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Getting to Washington, DC
There are multiple airports serving the DC area, wise wanderer. You can land at Dulles International Airport or Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, both in Virginia and within a short drive of the top hotels in Washington, DC. Another option is the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
What to Know When You Land
Transportation: Once you’re on the ground and you reach the arrivals curb, you can get to most Washington, DC hotels in about a half hour. Of course, the journey depends on which airport you’ve arrived at. The Reagan National Airport is just 10 minutes from the center of the city, accessible via rental car or a short cab ride. If you’re landing at Dulles, the journey is a bit longer. You’ll rely on a rental car or shuttle to make the 26-mile trek to your hotel. If you land at the Baltimore/Washington airport, grab an Amtrak train to Union Station in the city. Once you’re firmly in DC, you can rely on the metro system to get most places.
Security Considerations: Washington, DC boasts a bounty of history. Monuments whisper stories of the past and memorials offer a place for quiet reflection. And yet, the city remains the center of the federal government. That means many of the places you want to visit hold an important function and are protected by strict security measures, wise wanderer. If you want to visit the White House, for instance, you must gain permission from your congressperson in advance. Research museums and other points of interest in advance to find out if you can bring a bag, should expect a metal detector, or are allowed to tour as a member of the public.
From cherry blossom season in April, when hope and temperatures spring eternal, to the snow-filled days of December, the seasons in DC are each unique. Your experience will be quite different depending on when you visit, sage traveler; plan your getaway accordingly. The average temperature in June is 83 degrees, while January is a brisk 42.
3 Things to Do in Washington, DC
1. Spend the Day at the Smithsonian Institution (0.7 miles from the JW Marriott)
The Smithsonian has been around since 1846, bestowing knowledge and imparting the wisdom of the past to visitors from around the world. Tour the collection of museums, which include the African Art Museum and the National History Museum. Enrich your appreciation of art and culture and explore the National Zoological Park, which is a part of the institution.
2. Visit the United States Holocaust Memorial (1.2 miles from the Sofitel)
Pay a somber tribute to the victims of the Holocaust at this moving museum. Exhibits take you through the history of the WWII occupations, including video footage and artifacts. While the hours you spend here will be serious, wise wanderer, they will be meaningful to be sure.
3. Tour the National Memorials (1.8 miles from the Dupont Circle Hotel)
Washington, DC offers a myriad of memorials to important historical figures and the brave service members who have died in conflict. Stand before the impressive marble Lincoln Memorial built to honor the nation’s 16th president, and watch the sun set behind the Washington Monument which was built for the first president. Stop by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and to see and touch the list fallen soldiers’ names, and go to the National World War III Memorial to pay tribute to those who served.
The history of Washington, DC will lure you to the city, and the current wheels of government will inspire you to find out more about how a bill becomes a law. Whether you visit in time to watch the blooms on the cherry blossom trees explode in a vibrant pink or make the journey in fall to watch the leaves turn orange—you won’t be disappointed. Book your hotel in the nation’s capital with Travelocity today, and your walk through history is off to an auspicious start.