Top Things to Do in Washington DC

As American as apple pie, festooned with cherry blossoms and brimming with museums and marble monuments, Washington DC is more than just a political city full of paperwork and bureaucrats. It was designed by a Parisian and you can see the influence in the wide tree lined boulevards, open front porches and lack of skyscrapers. With world class art, culture and cuisine in this classically beautiful capital, there is a lot to explore.

Since our flight to Bangkok at the end of June will be leaving from Washington, DC we will have a perfect opportunity to enjoy a taste of America’s capital.

Here is the Global Goose guide to the top things to do in Washington DC:

A View of the Lincoln Memorial from the National Mall
A View of the Lincoln Memorial from the National Mall

The National Mall

Washington DC has one of the best collections of museums and monuments in the entire country and they are all gathered together for your convenience into one area, known as the National Mall. This greenway stretches two miles from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial and is lined with free museums along the way. This spot is incredibly important to the national psyche and is one of the biggest destinations in the country, making it one of the top things to do in Washington DC.

Allow yourself at least a day to check out the highlights of the many museums along the Mall, including the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institute and much more.

Historic Georgetown
Historic Georgetown


Georgetown is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and its location on the Potomac River made it a crucial port during colonial times. Now the cobblestone streets of this historic neighborhood are alive with bustling bars, hip restaurants and upscale shops. One of the top things to do in Washington DC is to take a walk through this area past the 200 year old houses and beautiful gardens.

Capital Building, Washington D.C.
Capital Building, Washington D.C.

The Three Houses of Government

Washington, DC is home to the White House, the Capitol and the Supreme Court and not only do these government buildings have impressive architecture they are also incredibly important to the history and the current operation of the United States. One of the most popular top things to do in Washington DC is to take a tour of these three houses to learn more about how the government works, but keep in mind that tours need to be booked in advance.

Great Falls Park
Great Falls Park – One of the Top Things to do in Washington DC

Great Falls Park

This rugged 800-acre park along the Potomac River is located close to downtown Washington, DC making it a perfect spot for a hike or a picnic. The park also has facilities for horseback riding and is a popular location for rock climbing and cycling. The 20 foot tall Great Falls themselves are the steepest fall line rapids of any eastern river and can be seen from many different observation areas.

These are just a few of the top things to do in Washington, DC. I can’t wait to visit this beautiful city soon!

Find more top things to do in Washington DC on the cities Wikitravel Page

Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

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  1. USA is so big that I don’t even know where to begin if I decided to visit it one day. I have friends, pretty much, in every state in the USA, and yet, I can’t seem to make my mind up. I have heard a lot about Ohio, Florida, Texas, and many others, but not so much about Washington. Thanks to you and the beautiful photos, I think it would be the first place I would like to visit, followed by New York City (which to me is an absolute must-visit place in the US!).

  2. It was really interesting to read this post because I live in DC and I love to hear outside perspectives! I also have always been struck by the resemblance to Paris (where I was also lucky enough to live) and I was glad you notice it too.

    I thought it was interesting that you included Georgetown in your list of must-see places. As a D.C. native who doesn’t live in Georgetown, I always just think it is kind of a drag to need to get there- like most people who live in DC proper I don’t have a car and no bust will go straight there from where I live (and Georgetown has no metro) so it just seems like a pain. It is a pretty area though.

    Did you have a favorite restaurant in your time here?

  3. DC is such a great and historic city. I lived there for a while an every time I went out I was discovering something new. Georgetown is really a great place to go. And the night life there is really fun. The national mall was by far the best though. Everything to see is basically right off of the mall. I used to run around the mall, as do a lot of people in the summer. It is a really fun city.

  4. I wish I had seen this blog entry before travelling to DC last winter. We visited the National Mall and many of the museums. The next time we visit, we’ll have to travel through Georgetown and get out into “nature” and see the Great Falls Park!

  5. Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would love to have
    you share some stories/information. I know my visitors
    would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

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