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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.
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.
Drink seasonal beers and snack of pretzels with Capitol Hill staffers. The crowd is lively and the American dishes are delish.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 guests. Rich colors throughout the hotel evoke a modern vibe. Rooms and... More
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 blocks from the U.S. Capitol, and a 10-minute walk from the National... More
Situated within walking distance of many Washington DC attractions, the Carlyle Suites Hotel is also close to DC's Metro Red Line, making navigating the city and surrounding areas very easy. Hotel rooms have modern features and each room is custom designed and... More
This trendy, elegant boutique hotel is three blocks from Georgetown and within walking distance to Dupont Circle, three Metro stations, the White House and the Kennedy Center. The location and high-end service appeals to business travelers. The hotel's restaurant, The M... More
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 attracted many a celebrity. The walls whisper stories of famed guests... More
Located 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 fitness center and sauna, pool and steam rooms are onsite,... More
The Sofitel Washington D.C. Lafayette Square is located in an updated historic landmark built in 1880. Its elegant furnishings, art pieces and interior appointments cement its classy reputation. The on-site restaurant, iCi Urban Bistro, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.... More
The Washington Plaza Hotel offers a convenient location between the White House and bustling Dupont Circle for both leisure and business travelers. The hotel has a large, landscaped outdoor pool. Guests appreciate the relaxed, casual ambience throughout the... More
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 leisure travelers. It is covered with skylights and features the modern,... More
Palomar Washington DC, a Kimpton Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel in Dupont Circle that caters to guests from the moment they arrive in the modern lobby decorated with striking art. The d�cor is inspired by 1930s French Moderne designers and includes an array of modern... More
Book a qualifying 4-night flight + hotel vacation package between August 13, 2015 12:00AM CT and September 30, 2015 11:59PM CT, for $1000 or more for travel between August 13, 2015 and December 31, 2015 via Orbitz and instantly receive $100 off the hotel portion of your booking through the use of the promotion code. Limit one discount per hotel room and one promotion code per booking. Discounts are not redeemable for cash for any reason. Promotion codes cannot be resold. Any attempt at fraud will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted. Orbitz reserves the right to change or limit the promotion in its sole discretion. Promo code not valid for Las Vegas, NV bookings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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