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

http://www.tnetnoc.com/hotelphotos/074/26074/69481597-Grand-Hyatt-Washington-Hotel-Exterior-1-LP.jpg
1000 H STREET NW Map
4.2 / 5 477 reviews
  • Save 15% on your stay
  • Save 15% on your stay
Hotel only
$122

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

Hotel only
$122
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800 Florida Avenue N.E. Map
4.0 / 5 61 reviews
  • Save 15%
  • Save 15%
Hotel only
$109

Located on the beautiful and historic 99-are campus of Gallaudet University, historic landmarks built in the 1800s. Centrally located to downtown DC and Capitol Hill. Minutes from Library of Congress, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Smithsonian Museums.... More

Hotel only
$109
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525 New Jersey Avenue NW Map
4.1 / 5 452 reviews
  • Business Advantage Flex - Same Day Cancel
  • Business Advantage Flex - Same Day Cancel
Hotel only
$147

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

Hotel only
$147
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1500 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Map
4.2 / 5 323 reviews
  • Save 10%
  • Save 10%
Hotel only
$158

Downtown style permeates The Dupont Circle Hotel, where a multi-million dollar renovation transformed the hotel from top to bottom. Fresh, vibrant and cosmopolitan, The Dupont Circle Hotel caters to guests in modern rooms and suites, the French-inspired Cafe Dupont,... More

Hotel only
$158
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10 I Street SW Map
3.4 / 5 391 reviews
  • Rate Includes Daily Breakfast for 2
  • Rate Includes Daily Breakfast for 2
Hotel only
$109

The independently owned and operated Capitol Skyline Hotel offers everything a guest could need for a relaxing stay. Located close to the attractions that Washington DC has to offer, Capitol Skyline Hotel also has an onsite restaurant serving classic American meals for... More

Hotel only
$109
http://www.tnetnoc.com/hotelphotos/127/43127/2241284-St-Gregory-Luxury-Hotel-and-Suites-Hotel-Exterior-3-LP.jpg
2033 M Street NW Map
4.1 / 5 411 reviews
  • Business Advantage Flex - Same Day Cancel
  • Business Advantage Flex - Same Day Cancel
Hotel only
$124

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

Hotel only
$124
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1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW Map
3.8 / 5 431 reviews
  • Save 5%, 2 Night Minimum
  • Save 5%, 2 Night Minimum
Hotel only
$109

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

Hotel only
$109
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775 12th Street NW Map
4.2 / 5 178 reviews
  • Rate includes breakfast
  • Rate includes breakfast
Hotel only
$145

Washington Marriott at Metro Center features convenient access to the best of Washington, DC area attractions, shopping and dining. Our premier location near the DC metro system provides guests easy access to the National Mall, Smithsonian Institution, CityCenterDC, Spy... More

Hotel only
$145
http://www.tnetnoc.com/hotelphotos/638/34638/69481597-Hyatt-Regency-Washington-Hotel-Exterior-1-LP.jpg
400 New Jersey Ave Northwest Map
4.0 / 5 316 reviews
  • Daily Breakfast for 2, 2pm late check-out
  • Daily Breakfast for 2, 2pm late check-out
Hotel only
$130

The Hyatt Regency Washington's atrium impresses with its high, cascading ceilings and dark wood. The lobby gives an almost futuristic atmosphere to the hotel. Guests can use express check-in computer terminals to skip the reservation line. Unwind with friends or... More

Hotel only
$130
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1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Map
4.2 / 5 97 reviews
  • Rate includes breakfast
  • Rate includes breakfast
Hotel only
$193

The JW Marriott Hotel Washington, DC offers all things to all customers. The towering building features a huge 772 luxuriously designed rooms, making it a great destination for guests looking for a hotel with a thriving, big city atmosphere. The hotel offers full... More

Hotel only
$193

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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