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Washington DC Vacations

Washington DC

Your Washington, DC vacation

Constantly reinventing itself through centuries of presidents, senators and political hopefuls, Washington, DC prizes her refineries, not her extremes. Capture a slice of America from the White House and US Capitol to the Washington Monument and the Library of Congress. See the star-spangled streets during Fourth of July, and stroll through the Smithsonian's metropolis of museums. Walk along the National Mall where Martin Luther King Jr shared his dream, and kayak through Georgetown. Bring the kids to the Bald Eagle Refuge where they'll learn about the country's symbol.

Whatever you elect on your Washington, DC vacation, let Orbitz cast a ballot on your itinerary. Our DC insiders dish the best time to go and top 10 attractions, plus reveal a declassified dossier of to-dos.

Best time to take a vacation to Washington DC

  • In a vibrant city like Washington, D.C., vacations are ideal any time of year. The city is abuzz during Cherry Blossom Festival (spring), 4th of July, and when Congress is in session (mid-September through Thanksgiving, and mid-January to June).For fewer crowds and lower hotel rates, travel between late August and early September, or after Thanksgiving into mid-January.

    Weather-wise, winters can be erratic (flurries, ice storms), while falls are warm, crisp and colorful. Summers are hot and humid, but hotel rates are low from early July (after the 4th) through August. Spring showers are common, but come May D.C. comes alive with sunshine and greenery.

Insider tips for Washington DC travel

  • Capitol City Brewing Co.

    Drink seasonal beers and snack of pretzels with Capitol Hill staffers. The crowd is lively and the American dishes are delish.

  • Segway, bike or kayak the sites

    Put a little muscle into your sightseeing. Pedal past the monuments, rent tandem bikes, or a take a Segway tour. Kayak through Georgetown under bridges and around Roosevelt Island – better yet, book an evening paddle on the 4th of July.

  • Secondi

    The unassuming front door is easily missed, but this high-end consignment shop shouldn’t be. Climb the stairs to get to two rooms full of Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Chanel and more.

  • Dupont Circle Freshfarm Market

    Shop for farm-fresh goodies on Sundays, rain or shine. Farmers and producers sell everything from the usual suspects (fruit, veggies, breads, flowers) to fish, fruit pies, soaps and herbal products.

  • National Museum of Crime and Punishment

    Learn about the history of crime and what happens to the bad guys at this police station exhibit. Get fingerprinted, stand in a police lineup and try to pass the lie detector test. Participate in the simulated shooting range and high-speed police-chase.

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Washington DC Vacation Packages

Hotel only $109

1 Grand Hyatt Washington

4 stars
4.2 / 5 484 reviews

1000 H STREET NW Map

Save 10% on your stay

Upscale hotel for business or pleasure in the heart of DCLocated in DC's hip Penn quarter, the Grand Hyatt Washington is an elegant option for both business and leisure travelers. Five excellent restaurants and bars offer guests a host of dining options. A full-service... More

Hotel only $91

2 Washington Court Hotel

4 stars
4.1 / 5 470 reviews

525 New Jersey Avenue NW Map

Business Advantage Flex - Same Day Cancel

A chic, conveniently located D.C. hotel with views of the U.S. Capitol.The glass entrance opens into a grand lobby filled with rich red and maroon hues, dark wood and natural light. The hotel is two blocks from Union Station's shopping, dining and transportation, three... More

Hotel only $69

3 The Embassy Row Hotel

3 stars
3.6 / 5 203 reviews

2015 Massachusetts Avenue NW Map

Save 20% on your stay

Hotel with rooftop pool on Embassy Row near Dupont CircleThe Embassy Row is a half-block from Dupont Circle in the midst of Embassy Row. Georgetown, the White House, and downtown D.C. are nearby. The Dupont Circle Metro is a half-block away. Guests won't lack... More

Hotel only $119

4 Embassy Suites Washington D.C. - Convention Center

3 stars
4.3 / 5 169 reviews

900 10th Street NW Map

Free cooked-to-order breakfast, Evening Reception

Spacious suites in D.C.’s center with on-site upscale restaurant The all-suite Embassy Suites Washington D.C. gives guests room to spread out. Suites come with a private bedroom and living room. The hotel is about two blocks from the Walter E. Washington Convention... More

Hotel only $98

5 Hyatt Regency Washington

4 stars
4.0 / 5 315 reviews

400 New Jersey Ave Northwest Map

Daily Breakfast for 2, 2pm late check-out

A spectacular newly remodeled five-story atrium lobby welcomes guests with a handsome contemporary atmosphere. Our 834 deluxe guest rooms, include 32 suites, Hyatt Business Plan and exclusive Regency Club accommodations. Our three-meal restaurant Article One-American... More

Hotel only $119

6 The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center

4 stars
3.9 / 5 141 reviews

1400 M Street NW Map

Save 25% on your stay

Modern rooms in D.C.’s business district with 24-hour fitness center The Westin Washington, D.C., City Center is centrally located in D.C.'s business district and within walking distance to Dupont Circle and the White House. The large hotel appeals to business and... More

Hotel only $175

7 InterContinental THE WILLARD WASHINGTON D.C.

5 stars
4.5 / 5 65 reviews

1401 Pennsylvania Ave Nw Map

D.C. hotel a home to presidents, literary and social figures of note A historic landmark, the Willard InterContinental Washington has hosted almost every United States president in office since it opened in 1901. The luxurious, magical atmosphere of this famous hotel has... More

Hotel only $83

8 Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters

4 stars
3.7 / 5 426 reviews

1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW Map

Business Advantage Flex - Same Day Cancel

Spacious suites and a rooftop bar with city views near Dupont Circle The Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters is an urban hotel located near Dupont Circle and the Metro. The on-site rooftop Beacon Sky Bar offers panoramic view of the city and attracts both locals and... More

Hotel only $99

9 Rouge, a Kimpton Hotel

3 stars
4.1 / 5 72 reviews

1315 16th Street NW Map

Save 10% on your stay

Dupont Circle hotel provides plenty of red-hot reasons to fall in loveThere's no shortage of drama at Rouge, a Kimpton Hotel, where the name only hints at the scarlet fever inside. Guest rooms and common areas at this ultra-hip Washington, D.C. hotel sizzle with red... More

Hotel only $99

10 Le Meridien Arlington

4 stars
4.3 / 5 145 reviews

1121 19th Street North Map

Save 15% on your stay

Design-savvy Rosslyn hotel with a modern look and amenitiesA famous team of architects designed the crescent-shaped buildings that overlook the Potomac and house the Le Meridien Arlington. Tasteful decor is found throughout the hotel. Expect modern shapes and clean lines... More

Washington DC highlights

  • Natural History Museum

    Learn about bugs, bones, blue whales, jewels and more. Ogle the bling in the Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals, home of the 45.5-carat Hope diamond. The freeze-action dioramas in the renovated Behring Family Hall of Mammals depict how animals adapt and evolve. African Voices uses personal accounts, proverbs, folk tales and hundreds of objects to convey African culture. Top off your visit at the O. Orkin Insect Zoo where your kids can feed the tarantula her meal of crickets.

  • National Archives

    View the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Search for documents recounting the Titanic and Challenger disasters, even the Watergate burglary. Read angry letters from college students protesting the Vietnam War, view declassified war plans, and create your own Oval Office seal.

  • Arlington National Cemetery

    This massive shrine honors US heroes and veterans, buried on green hills overlooking the capital. Witness a 24-hour honor guard watch over the Tomb of the Unknowns. Walk uphill to the Arlington House, built by George Washington's grandson, near the gravesites of John F. Kennedy and Pierre Charles L'Enfant.

  • National Air and Space Museum

    Experience the evolution of flight, chronicled through exhibits and interactive displays. See the original 1903 Wright Flyer, and let space suits, lunar vehicles and the 1,650-pound back-up mirror to the Hubble Space telescope explain the challenges and triumphs of technology. Don't miss the moon rock or the IMAX films, including "To Fly" where you'll feel like you're cruising over the planet.

  • The Capitol

    Learn about the leaders that shaped the Congress, the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. View hundreds of artworks and sculptures inside the Rotunda and National Statuary Hall. Visit the Crypt, or the Senate and House Galleries when either body is in session.

  • The White House

    Queue up for a public tour to see the where the president entertains (Gold-and-White East Room), Jefferson's dining room (the Green Room), the setting of the White House Christmas tree (the Blue Room), the State Dining Room and more. Contact your Congressperson one to six months in advance for a special group tour.

  • American History Museum

    A menagerie of cultural icons, you'll see the flag memorialized in "The Star-Spangled Banner," a Model-T Ford, Dorothy's ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz, Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet and a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth. Allow time for the Hands-On Science Center, where families perform their own experiments.
     

  • The International Spy Museum

    Real life whodunits are the subject of this espionage museum. Learn about fictional cloak-and-dagger characters and unlikely American spy heroes like cooks who parlayed fame into fact-finding for the government. Test your mettle by discovering audio bugs as discreet as a strand of hair. Check the schedule for KidSpy Overnights, suited for kids 9 to 15 accompanied by an adult.

  • American Indian Museum

    Discover Native American culture from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. Nations tell their stories through dazzling gold shields, feathered regalia and pottery. Cultural interpreters present discovery carts with arrowheads, moccasins and more. Free tickets are available for timed entry -- a great way to avoid the long lines.

  • Supreme Court

    Take photos of the Court's East or West Pediment, or check out the media frenzy on the plaza's southwest corner. Want to go inside? You can attend high court debates from April to October, or bench sittings from mid-May to June.