District of Columbia Vacations

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Washington DC vacation

Experience Your Best 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 D.C. 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 District of Columbia

  • In a vibrant city like Washington DC, 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 District of Columbia travel

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

District of Columbia Vacation Packages

Free Cancellation
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10 Thomas Circle Map
4.0 / 5 470 reviews
  • Save 20% on your stay
  • Save 20% on your stay
Hotel only
$112

The historic Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington DC has been accommodating travelers since it opened in 1962. Originally designed by world-famous architect Morris Lapidus, the hotel maintains its class and charm with its cosmopolitan ambiance. The hotel hosts 340... More

Hotel only
$112
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1000 H STREET NW Map
4.2 / 5 494 reviews
  • Save 15% on your stay
  • Save 15% on your stay
Hotel only
$159

With 897 rooms, the Grand Hyatt Hotel is one of DC s largest accommodation options. To bring the outdoors inside, the hotel boasts a large 12-story atrium in the center of the building. The Grand s exterior is stone, and large windows provide plenty of natural light. When... More

Hotel only
$159
Free Cancellation
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2117 E Street N.W. Map
4.0 / 5 770 reviews
Hotel only
$124

Many people prefer staying at the State Plaza Hotel Washington, D.C., because of the spacious suites, centralized location and exceptional customer service. There are eight floors at this hotel and 230 guestrooms. Some of the amenities included with the State Plaza suites... More

Hotel only
$124
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2401 M St Northwest Map
4.3 / 5 60 reviews
  • Save 20% on your stay
  • Save 20% on your stay
Hotel only
$149

The Fairmont Washington is a AAA Four Diamond luxury hotel in D.C.'s West End neighborhood. The hotel borders Georgetown and has hosted famous actors and politicians. The hotel immerses guests in elegant design, original artwork, plants and natural light. Guests love the... More

Hotel only
$149
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1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW Map
3.8 / 5 440 reviews
  • Save 5%, 2 Night Minimum
  • Save 5%, 2 Night Minimum
Hotel only
$112

The Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters, in Washington D.C. encompasses nine floors and features 197 contemporary accommodations, including eight deluxe turret suites, 60 corporate quarters and 42 executive suites. Each room is equipped with high-speed Internet,... More

Hotel only
$112
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550 C Street S.W. Map
3.9 / 5 286 reviews
Hotel only
$101

Every sleekly decorated room at the Holiday Inn Washington Capitol in Washington DC contains a coffee maker, a wall safe, a mini-fridge and a 42-inch flat-screen television with cable and a selection of movies. Business travelers will appreciate the Holiday Inn's 24-hour... More

Hotel only
$101
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400 New Jersey Ave Northwest Map
4.0 / 5 318 reviews
  • Daily Breakfast for 2, 2pm late check-out
  • Daily Breakfast for 2, 2pm late check-out
Hotel only
$124

With more than 800 guest rooms, the Hyatt Regency Washington in Washington, D.C. is a high-rise building that truly stands out. The contemporary facade and sheer size of the hotel creates a stark contrast to the Greek Revival motif that dominates the surrounding area.... More

Hotel only
$124
Free Cancellation
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1500 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Map
4.2 / 5 335 reviews
  • Save 10%
  • Save 10%
Hotel only
$192

The Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, D.C., features eclectic artwork, a sleek design and a coveted location as well as a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center. The hotel boasts 327 lavishly equipped suites and rooms as well as Level Nine, a private access guest... More

Hotel only
$192
Free Cancellation
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2019 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Map
4.2 / 5 189 reviews
Hotel only
$135

The Hotel Lombardy was built in 1926 as an apartment building and retains its original character with 1920's decor and elegant interior design. Cafe Lombardy, a European-inspired bistro, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a children's menu. The Venetian Room... More

Hotel only
$135
Free Cancellation
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1011 L Street Northwest Map
3.9 / 5 105 reviews
  • Complimentary Continental Breakfast for 2
  • Complimentary Continental Breakfast for 2
Hotel only
$124

A restored 19th-century Victorian mansion, Morrison Clark Inn blends historic elegance and contemporary accommodations. Situated close to downtown attractions and sights, Washington DC Convention Center, federal and local government buildings, this full-service hotel is... More

Hotel only
$124

District of Columbia highlights

  • 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.

  • Supreme Court

    Snap pics of the Court's pediment and media frenzy on the southwest corner of the plaza. Arrive early to get in line -- you can hear high court debates Monday to Wednesday (April to October) and bench sittings (Mondays, mid-May to June).

  • 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.

  • 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 graves of John F. Kennedy and Pierre Charles L'Enfant.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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