Things to do in Washington, DC

The US capital offers up plenty of famed monuments and museums for your touring pleasure.

Our most recommended things to do in Washington, DC

National Harbor: Capital Wheel Entry Ticket

1. National Harbor: Capital Wheel Entry Ticket

The Capital Wheel is located just minutes from downtown Washington DC, at the National Harbor. Relax inside a fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondola with family and friends as you soar 180-feet above the Potomac River. With each gradual rotation, experience a bird’s eye view of the Washington Monument, Capitol Rotunda, Masonic Temple of Alexandria, and much more. Every spin offers a unique way to take in the sights. Admire a breathtaking sunset or capture a photo in front of the dancing light show that illuminates The Capital Wheel every evening. The National Harbor is the perfect one-stop destination offering great restaurants, shops, hotels, and outdoor fun. You can enjoy a drink from the Flight Deck located directly under The Capital Wheel while you unwind by the water’s edge.

Washington DC:Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey

2. Washington DC:Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey

Cruise on the Potomac River and see the sights of Washington DC from a luxury boat, The Odyssey. Board the boat and enjoy a personal greeting. Smile for the ship's photographer to capture the memory, then embark on an elegant dining cruise along the Washington DC shoreline. After being seated at your private table, tuck into your gourmet brunch or 3-course dinner consisting of creative meals prepared fresh daily by the on-board executive chef. After your meal or relax on any of the 3 climate-controlled decks as you watch the monuments glide by. Sample Dinner Menu Starters (choice of one): Caesar Salad Buttermilk Caesar Dressing | Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese | Herb Croutons | Italian Parsley Lobster Soup Brioche Croutons | Scallions Main Course (choice of one): Jumbo Forest Mushroom Ravioli Spanish Red Lentils & Sage | Arugula | Shallots | Toasted Walnuts | Basil Pesto Oven Roasted Frenched Chicken Breast with Rosemary & Thyme Warm Yukon Gold Potato Salad with Scallions | Haricot Verts | Creamy Cremini Mushroom Sauce Broiled Fresh Salmon Filet Roasted Yukon Potatoes | Steamed Bok Choi | Creamy Vegetable & Fresh Herbs Sauce Braised Beef Short Rib Idaho Potato & Horseradish Mash | Baby Carrots | Pearl Onions & English Peas | Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce Pan-Seared Fresh Pacific Cod Baby Spinach & Potato Mash | Steamed Rock Shrimp | Lemon Beurre Blanc Sauce Desserts (choice of one): New York Style Cheesecake Strawberry Compote Triple Chocolate Mud Pie Orange & Ginger Preservatives Duo of Sorbet Seasonal Sorbet | Fresh Fruit Freshly Cut Fruit and Fresh Strawberries Madagascar Vanilla & Orange Sauce | Fresh Mint Odyssey Signature Warm Butter Cake Vanilla Bean Ice Cream | Blackberry Sauce Menu items are subject to change.

Washington DC: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit

3. Washington DC: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit

See the sights of Washington DC from onboard the Spirit of Washington with a lunch or dinner cruise on the Potomac River. Enjoy a buffet dining experience as you sail, and delight in panoramic views. Board your vessel and receive a personal greeting. Have your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory before being seated at your private table. Once there, gorge on your lunch or dinner buffet consisting of creative entrees prepared fresh daily and listen to the onboard music. After your meal, visit any of the three climate-controlled decks as you glide by the sights.

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

4. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

See the most popular monuments of the U. S. capital illuminated at night on a guided trolley tour. The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and makes three stops for you to get off the trolley and explore the memorials on your own and take photos. Enjoy entertaining commentary from a professional tour guide who will entertain you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. The three stops on the tour are: 1. The Martin Luther King Memorial & the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial 2. The Iwo Jima Memorial (aka US Marine Corps War Memorial) 3. The Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Besides stops at the major memorials, you will also get spectacular views of the Washington Memorial the White House, the National Mall, the Capitol Buildings, the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian Museums and Castle, the FBI & Dept of Justice Buildings, and the World War II Memorial.

Washington, DC: Capitol Hill and Library of Congress Tour

5. Washington, DC: Capitol Hill and Library of Congress Tour

Immerse yourself in the sights of Washington, DC on a guided walking tour. Enjoy entry tickets to the Library of Congress and Capitol Building. View the Supreme Court building and walk on Capitol Hill and learn about the country's legislative and judicial branches. Begin your tour at the top of "the Hill" and hear fascinating anecdotes and facts about the country's legal system. Originally named Jenkins Hill, find out how this area quickly expanded to become the epicenter of American government and politics. Walk by the Supreme Court building, known as "The Marble Palace", and the surrounding Congressional office buildings. Tour inside the Library of Congress, the national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the country. Proceed to the Capitol Building to marvel at its neoclassical style and iconic architecture, while your guide details its rich history. Before concluding your tour, your guide will bring you into the US Capitol Visitor Center to arrange for your teacher-led tour of the capitol.

Washington DC: Museum of the Bible General Admission

6. Washington DC: Museum of the Bible General Admission

Steps from the National Mall, the Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, and educational institution with the purpose to invite all people to engage with the Bible. Showcasing rare and fascinating artifacts spanning 3,500 years of history, the museum offers visitors an immersive and personalized experience with the Bible, and its ongoing impact on the world. Admission includes access to 7 floors of informative and interactive displays and exhibits including a 12-minute film immersing viewers in the remarkable story of how the followers of Jesus grew into a thriving community and a 30-minute Hebrew Bible experience, where viewers encounter significant narratives including the stories of Noah's ark, the burning bush, and the Passover. This ticket allows you to explore the museum without the crowds with exclusive early access to the Museum from 9 AM, 1 hour before the Museum is open to the General Public at 10 AM (except on Sundays, when there is no Early Access). You also have the option to upgrade your ticket to include the 6-minute “Washington Revelations” Flight Simulator video. Take a dazzling, multi-sensory tour, "flying" past biblical references in and around Washington, D.C., from the Lincoln Memorial to the Library of Congress. Guests must be at least 42” in height to purchase this option.

Washington DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

7. Washington DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Visit iconic and historic landmarks in Washington, DC, and enjoy sweeping views from open-top buses. Take advantage of the freedom to explore and hop on and hop off at any stop on two routes around the city. Venture out and discover Washington D.C on an incredible multi-sensory digital art service with Artechouse or take an adventure on two wheels on a bike where you can leisurely ride along the city. The Red Loop, the official tour of the National Mall, visits historic sites, monuments, and landmarks including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, and much more. The Blue Loop transports you across the Potomac to visit the venerable Arlington Cemetery. See the iconic sights of DC including:• The White House• Washington Monument• Lincoln Memorial• US Capitol• Jefferson Memorial• National Cathedral• Arlington Cemetery Discover the historic city in one day with the 24-hour Classic Ticket, where you have unlimited access to the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, and a bike rental offer. Upgrade to the 48-hour Premium or the 72-hour Deluxe ticket for more flexibility to explore at your leisure.

From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

8. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Learn about American history on a tour of Washington DC and Philadelphia, both of which played important roles in the development of democracy in the USA. Visit the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall, Independence Hall, and more on a guided day trip with roundtrip transfers from NYC. Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Guided Tour

9. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Guided Tour

Let your guide help you navigate through the over 145 million specimens at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History with on this tour. Discover an extensive collection of human artifacts, dinosaur bones, preserved plants, and animals. Meet your tour guide outside of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and begin your tour. Go directly to the collection highlights without getting lost. Save time and energy by visiting with a guide that knows the museum well. Listen to additional commentary on exhibits from your guide. See the world's most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts. View dinosaur remains and tools used by early humans. Admire unusual gemstones and ancient mummies.

From NYC: Washington D.C. Day Trip

10. From NYC: Washington D.C. Day Trip

Depart from New York City, and pass through the states of New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland before arriving in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. On this full-day tour you’ll see the iconic landmarks of the U.S. government, such as the Capitol, home to the U.S. Congress, and the White House, home to the president. Continue on to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum before visiting the Lincoln, Washington, Korean War, and Vietnam War memorials. In the late afternoon you’ll enjoy a panoramic city tour before setting off on your return journey to New York City, arriving in the early evening.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Washington, DC

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What people are saying about Washington, DC

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 7,442 reviews

This was a great experience for my husband and me. We received over 20 photos at each location! The photographer, Ryan was very professional and helpful with poses. The photos are high quality and I am happy with them.

Dr. Koura was extremely knowledgeable as well as entertaining! After sharing our experience with friends, they too want to take the tour. Inclusion of the NMAAHC was a bonus. Truly an engaging experience...

Excellent overview of African American history in D. C. Informative, relevant and immensely helped by Dre’s encyclopedic knowledge of people, places and events. He made it come alive.

Gustavo was a good driver and Alicia explained everything very well

Very informative. We had an amazing guide to make it more fun.