Washington DC, USA
The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Washington DC. Photo by Javier Losa.
Best seasons in Washington DC
The Jefferson Memorial and Washington’s famous cherry blossoms. Jefferson, the White House and the Washington Monument are major attractions in DC’s National Mall – which is a park, not a shopping centre.
Best weather: April (for spectacular cherry blossoms), May-June and September.
OK: March, October-November
Worst: July- Aug, can be unbearably hot and humid and December-February, bitterly cold with a chance of snow.
Length of stay not incl. flights:
Minimum: 1 day for the White House plus Capitol Hill sights. Recommended: 3-5 days for sights plus selective museum visits.
Note that non-Americans may need to apply for a US Visa Waiver if flying to the USA for the first time.
Washington DC main attractions
Main Festivals and Celebrations
– March-April, National Cherry Blossom Festival. This is Washington DC’s best-known annual event, lasting two weeks, with the blossoming of more than 3, 700 Japanese cherry trees around the Tidal Basin, Hains Point and the Washington Monument. Events including fireworks, concerts, art exhibitions and sports. A grand parade features floats, marching bands, dancers, celebrity guests, and more.
– 4th July, Independence Day. No better place to be on that day than in Washington D. C.
The celebrations include a parade down Constitution Avenue followed at night by spectacular fireworks at the Washington Monument.
– Early December, the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. The president lights the tree at the northern end of the Ellipse, with orchestral and choral music, following 4-week Pageant of Peace, a holiday celebration full of free events such as musical performances.
Art culture, entertainment
High quality live music in Jazz and Blues venues, especially in Adams Morgan and Shaw districts; Chamber Symphony Orchestras and Opera at the Kennedy Centre; also museums, parks and the zoo offer free concerts.