ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Washington, DC: Top 5 Favorite Places to Visit - Activities and Attractions for Tourists

Updated on June 10, 2009

My Favorite City!

Washington, D.C. is by far, my most favorite city. I travel there frequently for work and pleasure and know the city like the back of my hand. Even if you're not involved with politics, this phenomenal city has something for everyone. It's a great family destination where you can sneak in a little history and your kids won't even know that they're learning. It's also a very romantic city in the evenings; try a walk in the dusk along the Potomac River or even a dinnertime cruise on the Potomac. For tourists, Limousine sightseeing tours are usually offered at very affordable rates.

If I was to do a true “Top 5” list of my absolute favorite places in D.C., I would choose all the landmarks in the city because of what the represent in our nation's history; not to mention they are incredibly breathtaking. Anyway, I'm sure we all can name off at least 8 landmarks in D.C., so to make this article a little more interesting;

Here are my top five places of Washington, D.C. in the following categories:

  • National Landmark
  • Museum
  • Restaurant
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping Area

National Landmark: The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Arguably the most famous residence and office building in the entire world. This is hands down, my favorite place in Washington, D.C. The White House is said to accommodate 5,000 visitors a day, although this number is not all tourists. Many are dignitaries, ambassadors, lobbyists, etc. On your next trip to Washington, D.C., you absolutely must take a tour!

How to Take a Tour of the White House: Because of security restrictions, it is no longer possible to simply walk up to the gate, get a ticket and get a sneak peek inside. If you would like a tour of the White House, simply contact one of your state's U.S. Senators' office and request tickets. I suggest doing this, at minimum, three months in advance. You will need to provide your Social Security number and your date of birth. A background check will be run on you and your party and the office will contact you when your tickets are available, or you may even be able to pick them up at the Capitol building when you arrive in town. Also inquire about a tour of the Capitol Building; these are much easier to get and the Capitol Building is absolutely breathtaking, even more so than the White House. Unfortunately, the "generic" White House tour does not include acces to the West Wing, which is where the Oval Office is located. In order to get a coveted tour of the West Wing (which houses the President's Office, the Oval Office), you must know someone that works for the administration. They can typically arrange a private tour that will give you limited accesst to the West Wing at a much shorter notice. Out of courtesy, you should give them at least a month to make the proper arrangements.

Museum: Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History

The Smithsonian Institute boasts a whopping 18 museums in Washington, D.C. alone. They are all free to attend and are incredible places to visit. I've haven't seen all of them...yet.

My absolute favorite Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. is the Museum of Natural History.

It is at this museum that you can view the world's most gorgeous diamond, the Hope Diamond. It is a whopping 40+ carats! You can also see the most famous type of dinosaur's skelton, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. It is huge and is absolutely breathtaking. Next time you're in D.C., definitely check out the Museum of Natural History. It's completely free and is very suitable for entertaining the entire family.

Restaurant - Kramerbooks

Out of the thousands of restaurants in D.C., Kramerbooks is my favorite. I have about 20 other favorites that consist of more traditional dining, but Kramerbooks, which is located on Dupont Circle, is a wonderful place to eat breakfast or brunch. It is a great place for tourists to check out. It's moderately priced, but the food and service is fantastic. Try to get a seat outside and you'll have a great experience. They stay open until 1am in the morning, which is very convenient and their brunch is to die for. Mimosa's are even included in their brunch price. Kramerbooks also serves as a bookstore and is a very charming shop. It's not (yet) a chain and is therefore unique which adds to the experience. Try it; you won't be disappointed!

Nightlife - Hawk 'N Dove

Located on Capitol Hill, the Hawk 'n Dove is the place to go if you want to check out what the nightlife is like for Capitol Hill staffers. If you're lucky, you'll also occasionally see a few legislators there, as well. The Hawk 'n Dove is an Irish pub that has great drinks, not to mention great food and has a wonderful ambiance. Some fun trivia is that this pub has even been featured on NBC's critically acclaimed drama, "The West Wing". It gets very crowded on the weekends, especially if there is a private party upstairs and the level is closed off. Definitely check it out on your next trip, but try to get there on a weeknight.

Shopping - Georgetown

There are tons of great places to shop in D.C., the most famous place is probably the Union Station which has around 100 stores. My favorite place to go shopping in D.C. however, is the commercial district in Georgetown, mainly on M Street and Wisconsin Ave. For a gorgeous area, wonderful shops and a great shopping experience, you have to try this area out. It is adjacent to a beautiful canal and makes for a great sightseeing experience, all while getting to sample a variety of high-end shops, restaurants and bars. Why shop inside at the mall when you can spend time in historic Georgetown?

The United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
The United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      jstcward 7 years ago

      Hi We are traveling from Michigan with 3 children and would like to avoid driving anywhere near DC. Can you recommend somewhere to stay that is away from the traffic congestion but easy to travel to DC via bus or subway?

    • mwaky profile image

      mwaky 8 years ago

      nice! i like it my favourite place will be maybe the museam

    • profile image

      dahfd 8 years ago

      i love washington i once did a report on it in 5th grade and my name u will never know because i dont want u to! =D

    • profile image

      Pierre 8 years ago

      Thank you very much for sharing this interesting and informative Hub. Also, many congratulations on the HubNuggets - keep them coming!

    • imadork profile image

      imadork 9 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      I love Washington DC and have been there three times. It's a great place for a history buff like me to visit.

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      Thanks for reading! As long as you are in safe areas (like the ones I mentioned) it is not very dangerous. The Capitol police are everywhere and as long as you don't wander off into questionable areas, it is a very safe tourist destination.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Washington must have changed a lot since I was last there. it was dangerous to go out at night back then.I do think it is a beautiful City.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hehe okay girly thanks for the tip! Hmmm but I should just save more because by the time I might travel it might increase or decrease LOL

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      oooh, one more thing. I should mention that the $1,000 was a figure I got by including cheap hotels with about $250/city if you stay only one or two nights in each place.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Egypt huh? Cool...hmmm well when I do travel to the US I'll be sure to tell you and ask all the help I need. :-) In the meantime, I better start saving up for that LOL

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      haha; I know what you mean! I've been wanting to go to Egypt FOREVER but I've heard from several people that getting a travel visa there can take 3 years and I have no clue what I'll be up to by then lol.

      Just a tip, when you do get your travel visa here, you can get really cheap airfare with a few airlines by getting multiple one-way tickets to plan a tour across the US. I'm sorry; can't think of the airlines that do this right now...but I'll look into it. It'd make a cool hub. I've looked into flying down to Florida, staying there for a few nights, going to Vegas for a night or two and then going to Los Angeles for a few nights and then flying back to Boston (all on one trip!). It was surprisingly affordable! Something like $1,000 for all those places!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I will place that in my list of places to travel I just have to apply for the US visa. That is one thing I have been putting off. heheh

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      Thanks, ripplemaker! You absolutely MUST go to DC. It's such a great city. It's a pretty affordable place to travel to, as well; an added bonus!. (oooh, maybe that's an idea for another hub) It's just such a cool city to able to walk around, go shopping and eat great food, all while seeing national monuments in the background!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Now I know where to go to when my path will lead me to Washington DC someday! LOL Yes, two hubs in a hubnugget! Wow! Keep up the good work.

      To vote for this hub click here:

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 9 years ago from United States

      Hi, again Generique! I just got on the computer for the first time today and had nooooo clue about the HubNuggets nomination! hahaha I don't even know if I would've known if you hadn't of told me; so THANK YOU! I'm very excited and am off to find some info on that...not really even sure what it is. :)

      Anyways, I, too, LOVE the street vendors in D.C. there are definitely an artsy bunch in the city, which isn't always expected as I know many in the city aren't.

      You sometimes do have to be careful about the souvenir vendors though; those guys can be super pushy!

      Tourists should also be wary of anyone that tries to sell them a map (typically happens entering or exciting the subway entrances); common scheme that is done for tourists. There are hundreds of great maps for free all over the city.

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image

      GeneriqueMedia 9 years ago from Earth

      Wow girly! Too HubNugget nom's in one week?! I must study you to divine the secret. ;)

      Though, it's no secret you write excellently.

      Love the pix.

      My favorite thing about the street vendors. Call me weird, but anyone who can peddle their art on the side of the street and make it interesting enough for someone to buy it...well, that's art in it's self.




    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)