How to Plan a Vacation to Washington, DC

How to Plan a Vacation to Washington, DC
As the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C. attracts millions of visitors every year. It is famous for its monuments and museums, but many are surprised to discover that D.C. is also a very green city. It is home to many large parks, and these offer a variety of opportunities for getting outside for fun and adventure.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Water bottle Mosquito repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Mosquito repellent
Step 1
Carry a water bottle as you take in the sights. It is a good idea in general, but critical if you intend to visit between May and September. Washington was built on a swamp, and those conditions create a brutal, pestilential microclimate in the area. Drink plenty of water, avoid dehydration, and plan on needing a sports drink such as Gatorade if you intend to engage in heavy outdoor exertion in the summers.
Step 2
Bring deep-woods mosquito repellent. The local mosquito variety is particularly vicious, and tends to ignore milder bug repellent sprays. These insects are a severe problem in those areas of the city that are close to the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers from about late April through to mid-October.
Step 3
Wear comfortable walking shoes. Even if you do not intend to go on a city walking tour, the museums and public buildings of D.C. are huge, and distances between them are deceiving. Visitors always wind up walking a lot by default, so think ahead and avoid blisters.
Step 4
Look into renting or bringing a mountain bike. Both Rock Creek Park and the C&O Canal Tow Path in Georgetown offer good biking opportunities, and there are more bike trails in the larger metro area. Also, bikes can be taken on the Metro, except during rush hours (7 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m Monday through Friday), making "Bike and Ride" a good way to get to less-accessible places such as the National Arboretum.
Step 5
Stroll or ride down to the boathouses in Georgetown. Facilities such as the Thompson Boat Center rent canoes and kayaks, which can be taken to downriver sites like Mount Vernon, upriver sites like Great Falls, or just around the city waterfront.
Step 6
Check the schedules for outdoor events. Popular, free and annual events include Screen on the Green (on the Mall), Shakespeare in the Park (Carter Baron Amphitheater, Rock Creek Park), and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (also on the Mall).

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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