Find The Best Things to Do in Washington DC On Your Next Virginia Vacation!

When planning your next vacation to Virginia, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the vibrant and diverse city of Washington, DC. With its rich history, iconic landmarks, and endless entertainment options, there are plenty of fun things to do in DC. Whether you’re interested in shopping, dining, or immersing yourself in culture, Washington, DC has it all.

Let’s dive into the best things to do in Washington DC, the best restaurants in Washington DC, the must-visit shopping destinations, and where to stay outside of the city in Loudoun County.

Washington DC Shopping

Recognized as one of the best shopping streets in the country, M Street in Georgetown is a must-visit destination for shopaholics. The boutiques lining M Street offer a mix of trendy clothing stores like Sangaree, Madewell, and Urban Chic, as well as unique jewelry and gift shops like Charm Georgetown and M29 Lifestyle. Wander through the charming streets of Georgetown and treat yourself to a shopping experience like no other.

In the heart of Newport News, City Center at Oyster Point offers a sophisticated shopping experience amidst a beautifully landscaped open-air district. From high-end apparel stores like Ann Taylor Loft to gourmet food outlets and unique home gift shops, CityCenter is a one-stop destination for all your shopping needs. Complete your shopping spree with a visit to Cure Coffeehouse or Neo Kitchen and Bar for a delightful culinary experience.

For a more eclectic shopping experience, head to U Street and 14th Street, where you’ll find a mix of creative cocktail bars, award-winning restaurants, funky galleries, and trendy boutiques. Explore shops like Current Boutique, Frank & Oak, and Salt & Sundry, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Washington DC.

Experience shopping like never before at The Wharf, where a curated mix of shops and boutiques offer a unique and sensory experience against the backdrop of the Potomac River. From internationally known brands to local gems, The Wharf is a shopper’s paradise. Browse stores like Dock Shop, Diament Jewelry, and Glo30, and don’t forget to check out the special offers available on the shops’ websites.

Restaurants in Washington DC

Indulge in French-inspired cuisine at Petite Cerise, where seasonal dishes are crafted with classic techniques. Start your meal with the Spring Pea Veloute, followed by the flavorful Black Bass with morel mushrooms. Pair your meal with the refreshing Ligrian Sea cocktail for a truly memorable dining experience.

Transport yourself to France at Le Diplomate, where you can savor traditional French delicacies in a charming setting. Begin your culinary journey with the Mushroom Tart appetizer and then try the Trout Amandine entree. End your meal on a sweet note with the exquisite Vacherin Vanille-Fraise dessert.

For authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas, look no further than il Canale. Indulge in the Prosciutto e Mozzarella di Bufala starter before enjoying the flavorful Rolle’ di Pollo as your main course. Pair your meal with the refreshing Il Canale Spritz for a truly satisfying dining experience.

Craving flavorful tacos and homemade salsas? La Tingeria is the place to be. Start your dining experience with chips and queso before diving into the Birria Goat taco. Finish off your meal with freshly made churros for a sweet ending to your visit.

capital building in washington dc
Photo from Shutterstock

Washington DC Things to Do: Outdoors

For nature lovers, Rock Creek Park is a must-visit destination. This expansive park covers over 2,000 acres and offers a range of outdoor activities. Hike along the gorgeous trails, have a picnic by the creek, or go horseback riding through the park. Don’t forget to visit the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, where you can learn about the park’s flora and fauna.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting the US National Arboretum. With its stunning gardens and diverse collections of plants, this oasis is the perfect place to relax and reconnect with nature. Explore the Bonsai Museum, stroll through the National Capitol Columns, or have a picnic amidst the vibrant azaleas in the spring.

Take advantage of Washington DC’s location on the banks of the Potomac River by experiencing a river adventure. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the river on your own, or join a guided tour to learn about the history and ecology of this iconic waterway. If you prefer a more relaxing experience, take a scenic boat cruise and enjoy the stunning views of the city skyline.

No visit to Washington DC is complete without a stroll along The National Mall. This iconic stretch of green space is home to many of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the US Capitol. Take a leisurely walk, rent a bike, or simply find a spot to relax and people-watch. Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it while taking in the incredible views.

Washington DC Things to Do: Indoors

Art enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. This contemporary art museum showcases a diverse range of works by local, national, and international artists. From paintings and sculptures to photography and multimedia installations, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Catch a show at The Kennedy Center, one of the country’s premier performing arts venues. Whether you’re interested in theater, ballet, opera, or live music, The Kennedy Center offers a packed schedule of performances throughout the year. Check the calendar and secure your tickets in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience.

Immerse yourself in the world of digital art at ARTECHOUSE DC. This innovative art space combines art, technology, and science to create mesmerizing and interactive exhibitions. From projection mapping to immersive virtual reality experiences, ARTECHOUSE pushes the boundaries of traditional art forms and invites visitors to engage with art in new and exciting ways.

Discover the wonders of the universe at the Planet World Museum. This interactive museum features exhibits on space exploration, astronomy, and the solar system. Take a virtual journey through the cosmos, learn about the latest discoveries in space science, and even touch a real meteorite. This is a great place for families and anyone with an interest in the mysteries of outer space.

Plan Your Visit

While staying in Loudoun County, take the opportunity to explore the many attractions and places of interest in Virginia, such as historical sites, charming towns, and popular wineries. Book your vacation rental with us today!

Where to Stay Outside of DC

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by retreating to Loudoun County, Virginia. This picturesque region offers a peaceful getaway with its charming Loudoun County rentals and serene surroundings. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly rental for a family vacation, a cozy rental for a romantic getaway, or an estate for corporate retreats, Loudoun County has the perfect vacation rental for you. Our Virginia vacation rentals cater to a variety of preferences and budgets, ensuring your comfort and privacy throughout your stay. Additionally, we have a range of Loudoun County pet-friendly vacation rentals, so you never need to leave your furry friend behind. While staying in Loudoun County, take the opportunity to explore the many attractions and places of interest in Virginia, such as historical sites, charming towns, and popular wineries.