There is a lot to be seen and done in DC.  Most people that live there haven’t even experienced it fully.  And if you’re a tourist you definitely can’t get it all in one trip either. With over 24 free museums alone it’s not a city short on entertainment.

DC is a city you can literally walk across.  It invites you to embrace nature with wide-open avenues and classic neighborhoods that come complete with front porches and great views of the river.

Here’s a list of 10 things to do/ places to go while in DC.  Each of them has their own mystique that makes DC the great place that it is.

Ford’s Theater

Ford’s Theatre has a rich place in the history of DC and America in general.  Started in 1861 by John T. Ford, Ford’s Theatre went on to become a great success attracting guests like Abraham Lincoln on a regular basis.  

Ford’s Theatre was officially re-opened in 1958 as a historical site and theater.  You can catch lots of cool plays that show off DC’s cultural side.

Washington National Cathedral

The National Cathedral is one of the most majestic buildings in America.

Located in a calm, residential area of DC you can take tours every 30 minutes.  Since 1997 the cathedral has been used for state funerals for 3 presidents, unity services during WWII and presidential prayer services and 9/11 memorials.  The National Cathedral has a rich past in American history.

Be sure to head over to 2 Amys afterwards for an delicious slice of pizza.

National Mall

National Mall is the best way to see all of DC’s monuments and museums.  It’s highly recommended you take public transit and walk around since parking is nearly impossible. You’ll enjoy taking in the sights, while learning monument-themed fun facts and trivia.

There are a whole bunch of things to be seen and done in this area.  It’s best to prioritize what you want to see so you don’t end up overwhelmed.

U Street Corridor

The revived U Street Corridor is the place to go for fun during DC’s nightlife.  U Street was once a musical hub and birthplace to artists like Duke Ellington.  The strip of bars, restaurants and boutiques runs for about eight blocks between 17th Street and 9th Street NW, in a neighborhood called Shaw.

There are many restaurants and bars to choose from but the main attraction of U Street is Ben’s Chili Bowl.  Ben’s has been a staple since 1958 and stuck around when no one else did.  These U Street pioneers are well worth the visit.

Explore the C & O Canal

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is a park with a rich history dating back to the 1800’s.  If you’re coming from DC check out the towpath along the canal to access some of the best places for outdoor recreation.  Here are just some of the activities available:

Hiking – The C & O Canal National Park offers amazing scenery and varying terrain for different levels of hikers.
Biking – All 184 miles of the towpath can be biked along.  You can even rent a bike if you don’t have one.
Fishing – Make sure you have your fishing license if you are between the ages of 16-65.

Washigton Capitals Games

Starting in late September, NHL hockey is back in the nation’s capital and they need your support!  Washington Capital games are always fun to attend as a family event or with some people from work.

Eastern Market

Take in the beautiful fall surroundings while walking around the Eastern Market.  Here you can enjoy fresh produce at the farmers market and everything from handmade arts and crafts to jewelry.  Every Saturday morning more than 100 vendors setup to make the Eastern Market a great place to find fun.

Fall Foilage

Are you a photo hog?  This is your chance to capture some great footage of natural beauty on display in DC.  Even if you’re not, the fall scenery makes many public places a great place to relax, hang out and enjoy nature.  The best time to go out is generally in the middle of October and afterwards.

Fright at the Museum

This is not for the faint of heart.  If you are over the age of 17 (and can handle it) get ready to go on a haunted thrill ride through Crime museum.  Complete with ominous fog, startling scenes and dimly lit passageways, show up ready to scream.

International Spy Museum

If you are tired with traditional museums then this is the place for you.  Mystery and intrigue are on full display in one of DC’s most popular attractions.

Learn everything from spying back in Moses’ day to why the KGB used lipstick as pistols.  Reservations are recommended if you are planning to stay for a meal!