Washington, DC flights promise a land of monuments, a city of symbols, and a place of power. The country’s capital is home to the President of the United States, the Senate, the House of Representatives and hundreds of memorials paying homage to the country’s vibrant, and often turbulent, past. It’s no wonder millions of travelers book airline tickets to Washington, DC every year. From inspiring speeches to larger-than-life replicas of past presidents and colorful neighborhoods waiting to be explored, it’s hard not be inspired to book a flight to Washington, DC.
There’s more than politics to this city, however. Entertainment gurus who book flights to Washington DC will awe at the sight of Dorothy’s ruby slippers and Fonzie’s leather jacket at the Smithsonian American History Museum. While your flight to Washington might not send you to the moon, you can pick up some moon rocks at the Natural Air and Space Museum. Take a walk through the Hall of the First Lady’s and admire the inaugural gowns of Lady Bird Johnson, Jackie Kennedy and more. Shoppers booking flights to Washington DC love the National Mall – a green park stretching from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial – is a common ground for protests and demonstrations.
Find cheap plane tickets to Washington and spend your money in DuPont Circle’s shopping district or Capitol Hill’s exquisite restaurants. Walk through Georgetown or head down to the Potomac River for a picnic in the park. Whether you book a flight to Washington, DC for political or personal reasons, you’ll find yourself fascinated with our nation’s powerful capital.
The busiest seasons for tourist activities are spring and summer, in particular during the time when the cherry blossoms bloom and when schools are out for spring break and then summer vacation. In addition, when Congress is in session and from mid-January through June, hotels and restaurants are full of lobbyists, and the streets are often full of demonstrations. Spring and fall have the most pleasant weather. Summers in Washington are hot, sometimes exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and very humid. Winter weather is unpredictable, ranging from mild to very cold.
Best Time to Fly to Washington
Washington, DC is busiest from about mid-March through June, thanks to school tours and vacationing families. Flights to Washington DC and hotel rates are at their highest, and there are long lines for popular attractions. The summer months are also popular, but Washington, DC gets hot so pack accordingly. The lines are long and the weather can be sticky.
The quietest times are late August into early September and the period between Thanksgiving and mid-January. This is also when Washington, DC is the coldest but it's likely you'll find cheap hotels and airfare deals to Washington, DC and discounted hotel rates if you travel during this time.
Getting around Washington
Washington is an easy city to get around. The streets are laid out in a grid, with numbered streets going in one direction and alphabetized streets going the other. The city is divided into four quadrants, with the Capitol building centering them all. Most of the major sights are within walking distance, but you can easily take the Metrobus or Metrorail (subway) if you get tired of walking.
Washington Travel Information
- White House tours must be scheduled in advance through your member of Congress. Tours may be cancelled, so check before going. The White House Web site is as up-to-date as possible, and it lists the phone number for a last-minute check on your tour.
- In addition to experiencing the beauty of the Capitol building and landscaping, many visitors want to sit in on Congressional debates. To do this, you must obtain gallery passes from your senator or representative's office; the passes are free. As with the White House, call ahead to check the status of tours, access, and what you may bring.
- Washington is full of historic sites (see the National Register of History Places Travel Itinerary for an extensive list). One unexpected site is the white neo-Federal Embassy Gulf Service Station, built in 1936 to fit in with the elegance of Washington architecture.
- The Washington National Cathedral is a beautiful building located on one of the highest points in the city. Construction began in 1907 and was not completed until 1980. Though a cathedral of the Episcopal Church, it was built for the entire nation, and has been used for services from Jewish to Serbian Orthodox. The grounds are as lovely as the building, with gardens and a lawn where you can picnic. In addition to religious services, the cathedral offers guided and audio tours, recitals and concerts. Music lovers can visit the Cathedral for the twice-weekly lunchtime recitals on the magnificent Aeolian-Skinner organ, or attend one of their concerts (classical, jazz, folk) throughout the year.
- There is always something to attend at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This extensive complex of theatres and concert halls, home to the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera, hosts distinguished visiting performers and provides some free concerts. In addition to classical music and ballet, concerts include jazz, pops, and other types of music and dance.
- For more happenings in Washington, DC, visit washington.org