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Washington DC Trip Guide

Updated on January 5, 2012

Monuments, Sightseeing, and Trip Planning Tips for Washington DC

One of the most affordable and attractive cities in the United States, Washington DC has something for everyone. There's museums, photographic opportunities, beautiful monuments, history, and a seemingly never ending amount of things to do here. The Metro will connect you from place to place, whether you want to see The White House, the Smithsonian, or head across the river to Arlington National Cemetery. Sightseeing here is among the best on the east coast, so bring your camera and plenty of memory cards! This guide will point out some of the best places to see in DC, along with plenty of photos and trip planning advice.

When you're done reading, be sure to take a look at my Washington DC Photo Gallery!

Lincoln Memorial at Night

Lincoln Memorial at Night
Lincoln Memorial at Night

Washington DC Videos - Video sightseeing tours of this beautiful city!

US Botanic Gardens in the National Mall

US Botanic Gardens in the National Mall
US Botanic Gardens in the National Mall

A DC Poll...

If you have used the DC Metro...

Do you consider the metro a safe form of transportation in DC?

See results

U.S. Air Force Memorial, Arlington

U.S. Air Force Memorial, Arlington
U.S. Air Force Memorial, Arlington

Iwo Jima Memorial

Iwo Jima Memorial
Iwo Jima Memorial

What's the best way to DC?

If you're driving to DC, the best route is usually 295 from the north, or I-395 from most points south. I-95 circles Washington DC, so you'll have to take an alternate route to get directly into the city.

Books on the Washington DC Area - Recommended Books

Washington DC was a well planned out city aesthetically, with beautiful tidal basins and riverfront monuments, the capitol is very photogenic. Here are a list of recommended guides and scenic books featuring the tributes, monuments and sightseeing opportunities in the DC area.

It's Nearly Free?

All of the monuments in Washington DC are absolutely FREE, even the majority of the museums! This makes DC an extremely low cost trip. Save up for airfare (or drive if you're close) and your hotel stay, maybe a little food and a metro pass and you're good.

Be sure to visit our lens for royalty free Washington DC photos!:

Washington DC Photo Gallery

Have you Ever Been to Washington DC? - Tell us about your experience in the capitol city!

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    • jregins2 lm profile image

      jregins2 lm 5 years ago

      Very nice lens, I work in the downtown DC area and the tourist crowd definitely adds to the vibrancy of the area.. A couple tips so as to not irritate us locals. On Metro escalators the etiquette is to stand on the rightside and allow access on the left for those to walk. Secondly, please keep in mind that these are urban sidewalks please try not to block the entire width of the sidewalk by walking 4 or 5 across.

    • JohnMichael2 profile image

      JohnMichael2 6 years ago

      I visit often

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The highlight of my trip to the capitol city was going to the top of the Washington Monument. The view from there makes you realize how unique the city is. So different from any other city in America. From that vantage point, you can really see how wonderful the layout of the city is. My trip to D.C. made me so proud to be an American. I'd hope to return one day.

    • wheresthekarma profile image

      wheresthekarma 6 years ago

      I was there a couple months ago, it was awesome, now on my way to Boston :)

    • michelleart profile image

      Michelle Collins 6 years ago from Florida

      Yes! Great job! I am featuring this on my DC lens! Blessed!

    • phoenix arizona f profile image

      phoenix arizona f 6 years ago

      I've never been to DC but a lot of people tell me how beautiful it is. I would definitely go when the blossoms are in.

    • LiquidGranite1 profile image

      LiquidGranite1 6 years ago

      I like so much the photos! Inspirational.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Always informative to stop by and see what you have been creating. I would love to visit Washington DC, maybe someday. We have a great country with many wonderful places.

    • ActorOutOnLoan profile image

      ActorOutOnLoan 6 years ago

      Great lens from a fellow lover of DC! Thanks!

    • Bella Stella profile image

      Bella Stella 6 years ago

      This is a really beautiful lens! Congratulations for the good work.

      I am currently trying to complete a project with the museums of Greece. I would appreciate it if you stopped there for a while leaving your opinion comments and it would be very important for me if you liked it. Here is my lens .

    • Digital Book Toda profile image

      Digital Book Today 6 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Excellent lens. I lensrolled you to my lens on travelling with an elderly parent in Washington DC. It might be helpful to the senior traveller. Thanks.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 7 years ago

      Yes, and I can't wait to go back! Blessed by a squid angel!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Hi! I've been there several times, but I'm trying to plan a day trip for my children as a field trip. Your info will help us narrow down what we would like to hit. The many museums of the Smithsonian are all excellent, also! =D *Squidoo Angel Blessed*

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Nope, but it's on our trip list!

    • momto4 lm profile image

      momto4 lm 7 years ago

      I went to Washington DC when I was younger and had a lot of fun. There are so many neat sites to see! This makes me want to go back! Great lens!

    • DailyRogue profile image

      DailyRogue 8 years ago

      Everyone needs to see the monuments in D.C. The Lincoln Memorial is one of my faves. I also like the (relatively) new WW II memorial. If you plan to to go up to the observation deck in the Washington Memorial, be sure to start trying to get tickets early in your trip--they sell out fast!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Blessings to YOU my dear! Squid Angel blessed today.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Say, remind me please -- what was that TV show that you could play along online and it was centered around landmarks or monuments -- ending up in DC -- know what I'm talking about???

    • profile image

      QueSea 8 years ago

      Wow! This will make it easier for us to plan our trip. Thanks. I've added it to my favorites.

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 8 years ago

      I haven't been to the US Botanical Garden on the Mall since they renovated it. Glad to be reminded. I will lensroll this when my US National Arboretum lens goes live. Unfortunately I can't do this right now.Stay tuned.

    • profile image

      IndianGuru 9 years ago

      Awesome lens! Reminded me of my great trip to DC this June.

    • NewRiver LM profile image

      NewRiver LM 9 years ago

      Another great one Kiwi!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Gorgeous, as always! I've been to DC once and it wasn't enough. There's so much to see and do. Welcome to All Things Travel.

    • profile image

      Lakota429 9 years ago

      Awesome lens! Saw you on the board! 5 stars. Annie~

    • sisterra profile image

      sisterra 9 years ago

      Again, another fantastic lens. You make them look easy. Great photos!!