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Things To Do in Washington DC

The incredible number of great things to do in Washington DC places this city, the capital of the United States, near the top of any list of America’s best visitor destinations. The most difficult part of finding the best things to do in Washington DC is going to be narrowing your selection to a reasonable size. Fortunately, you found Cool Washington DC, your one-stop center for planning and booking the best Washington DC tours and attractions.

Washington DC (or simply DC) is set on the eastern bank of the Potomac River, a major waterway that forms the border between the east coast states of Virginia and Maryland. The city is located on land chosen by George Washington in 1790, after the First United States Congress passed the Residence Act of 1790 authorizing the establishment of a special 10-square-mile district to serve as permanent seat of the US government. Land donated by Maryland and Virginia comprised the district, and by 1791 America’s only federal city was under construction and named Washington in honor of President Washington. The federal district itself, square on 3 sides, with the 4th formed by the western bank of the Potomac, was named Columbia, at that time a popular way to refer to the young United States.

The city site, positioned at the deep-water navigation head of the Potomac, included the existing pre-revolutionary war settlements of Alexandria Virginia, founded in 1749, and Georgetown Maryland, founded in 1751. Virginia was established in 1607 as the first English colony in the New World—Richmond, the state capital, is one of America’s oldest major cities. Washington and the surrounding area were the locations of major events during the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. Every inch of the Washington DC area is literally a historic site; the city a stage set for the endless political and social drama of a new nation that is still young and growing today.

Washington DC visitors come for this deep historical significance along with classic attractions like the US Capitol Building, the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, the Smithsonian, and hundreds more monuments and museums. Adding to the list some of America’s top galleries and performance spaces, most historic homes, and best dining options positions DC as a leader among United States tourist attractions. Nearly 25 million visitors every year agree: Washington DC is a definite must-see American city, and Cool Washington DC is here to help you build the ultimate DC itinerary.

Washington DC Attractions

There is no question that the top attractions in Washington DC are found in the heart of the city along Constitution Avenue and the National Mall. An entire vacation can easily be spent exploring from the Lincoln Memorial at the west end of the Mall to the United States Capitol at the east end. The White House, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Supreme Court, and the Korean War and Vietnam Veterans’ Memorials are just the basics. Next you can visit the vibrant historic neighborhoods of Downtown DC that surround the Whitehouse. Or cross the river to the solemn memorials of Arlington National Cemetery.

And Washington is not all serious history and politics either. Museum buffs will certainly be in heaven, but there are plenty of lively interactive experiences and exciting entertainment opportunities to be enjoyed. Georgetown with its many shops and cafes, Old Town Alexandria, George Washington’s estate Mount Vernon, the National Zoo, cruises on the Potomac, and haunted night time tours are just a few of the possibilities for adventure. The city center has also seen a recent boom in cafes, restaurants, clubs, and boutiques that are generating an energetic, youthful vibe. Added to the already plentiful selection of historic and classic pubs, taverns, and eateries, it is easy to find your way beyond the traditional Washington DC of monuments and museums to the exciting urban playground loved by DC locals.

At Cool Washington DC, we combine tech and security expertise with decades of experience in travel, tourism, and visitor services to put the best of Washington DC tours and attractions right at your fingertips. Convenient online access to user-friendly information resources, lots of beautiful photos, and hundreds of genuine guest reviews make Cool Washington DC your perfect online concierge service. Take advantage of our secure system to cut out the hassle of phone calls and paperwork,  book with confidence, then have all necessary vouchers and details delivered right to your mobile device.

Real-time availability information and one-click reservations are right here, but there is always a friendly customer service representative ready to handle your questions and requests via phone, text, chat, or email. Whether you are planning your next vacation or are already in Washington looking for something to do, Cool Washington DC has you covered.

Recommendations: The Best Things to Do in Washington DC

Washington DC is a great place to simply get on a "best of" or hop-on, hop-off tour and explore the key sites in the city. DC makes it easy for visitors because the important items that most everyone has to see are all large, obvious, and centrally-located. A grand tour is a good way to get a feel for the main attractions, and it is easy to choose a transport mode that matches the amount of walking you wish to do.

A Potomac River cruise should also be considered a must while in Washington DC. For brunch, lunch, dinner, or just plain sightseeing, cruising the river gives a unique view of the city and a feel for the historic foundations of a settlement that was once an important inland port serving Atlantic Ocean commerce and passenger trade. You can see Washington from the same angle as the British raiders who sailed up in August of 1814 to burn the Capitol, the Treasury, and the White House. If you really like boats, and happen to visit in a season of pleasant weather, consider sailing further afield on the Chesapeake Bay, a waterway steeped in colonial American culture and legendary for delicious crabs and oysters.

Washington DC also offers excellent potential for day trips out of the city. There are many sites of interest in neighboring Virginia, including the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley. Civil War battlefields including Gettysburg, Bull Run, and Fredericksburg are a short distance away in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Wineries, breweries, and distilleries are scattered throughout the region. The historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal runs north out of the city along the Potomac, with scenic viewpoints and interesting attractions all the way up to John Brown’s Fort at Harpers Ferry.

Finding the best things to do in Washington DC is simple here at Cool Washington DC. Just scroll, click, and build your dream DC itinerary. Detailed local insight, lots of useful general information, and plenty of pictures help make the planning easy and fun. And remember to contact our helpful customer service team if you have any questions at all. Welcome to Cool Washington DC!