Epic history carved into Presidential monuments and preserved inside Smithsonian museums on Washington D.C. and the Capital Region holidays
The majestic Marine One helicopter hooks around the Washington Monument and comes in to sight on the south lawn of the White House with enough pomp and rumpus that you know the President has arrived. Time it right (end of the weekend is a good bet) and from the fence line of E Street NW you’ll see its perfectly choreographed helipad landing. If you’d prefer a cocktail in hand, the top of POV’s rooftop bar is a stylish spot for White House views. Whether you come to see the faded parchment of America’s treasured Declaration of Independence, years-old archived newspapers chronicling everything from Marilyn Monroe’s death to Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech or to tour the world-famous U.S Capitol, you can’t help but be impressed by the historic memorials and Smithsonian museums on holidays to Washington D.C. and the Capital Region.
Seen under a canopy of pink cherry blossoms in spring or wrapped up in woolly hats and scarfs for the romantic but cold winters, the National Mall houses those colossal monuments; the Thomas Jefferson Memorial; the 555-foot marble Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. But it’s not all history. There’s those colourful Ladurée breakfasts, bartenders hand carving ice in glamorous speakeasy bars and American University bookish vibes on Georgetown’s cobbled streets. And Washington D.C. and the Capital Region holidays aren’t just about the capital state. Acres of Virginia grapes are crushed in Charlottesville’s local wineries worthy of a glass or two at the foot of the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains and in the extraordinary rebuilt colonial town of Williamsburg, archeologists continue to excavate compelling reminders of the American Revolution.
Our hand-picked hotels in Washington D.C. and the Capital Region include award-winning luxury in historic Georgetown and riverside resorts in Williamsburg. Give one of our Personal Travel Experts a call and we’ll start creating your epic Capitol adventure.
Washington D.C. & The Capital Region holiday highlights
It is standard practice for resorts/hotels within the USA to charge a mandatory resort fee which is payable locally. This fee can be anywhere between 5USD to 40 USD per room per night and is not included in the cost of your Kuoni holiday.
Head to the National Mall in Washington D.C., a beautiful parkland containing a collection of iconic buildings. Here you can take in views over the striking Washington Monument, the tallest obelisk in the world, from the equally impressive Parthenon-style Lincoln Memorial, the spot where Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to 250,000 civil rights supporters in 1963. Visit the US Congress’s historic Capitol Building, the imposing Washington National Cathedral or the National World War II Memorial, before a enjoying a surreal up-close view of the White House, only a quick stroll away.
There is more to Washington D.C. than just memorials and monuments. Enjoy free entry to 17 Smithsonian Museums including Air and Space, the National Portrait Gallery and African American History and Culture. Head to The Kennedy Center in the West End for city skyline views from one of the only rooftop terraces in downtown Washington. This area is the hub of the capital, where you can visit an excellent theatre district, indulge in fine dining and wander beautiful open spaces including West Potomac Park and the Tidal Basin. North Central is the trendiest of Washington D.C.’s neighbourhoods and has a great range of shops, restaurants and clubs. The west is home to the historic village of Georgetown and various up-market shopping boutiques. Experience a diverse selection of cuisine, from widespread Mexican and Asian, to Indian in downtown D.C. and Ethiopian in the northwestern Adams Morgan neighbourhood.
Stop off in Virginia and you’ll discover some superb landscapes similar to New England. Charlottesville has quaint and historic houses plus rolling green countryside, and is not too far from the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains. Here you can visit Shenandoah National Park and explore over 500 miles of hiking trails, including the famous 105-mile Skyline Drive along the Mountains’ crest.
Make your way down to the coast and spend some time on laid-back Virginia Beach, home to a good range of shops and restaurants along the three-mile boardwalk between Chesapeake Bay Beach and tranquil Sandbridge Beach. Try kayaking, or you may even have the chance to spot whales or dolphins on a guided tour. Head to the Virginia Peninsula and visit the Historic Triangle, home to the trio of colonial communities – Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, where you can enjoy guided historical tours and museums. We’d also recommend a visit to the riverside state capital, Richmond – choose from a great range of tempting local and international cuisine as well as more than 20 craft breweries.
Where is Washington D.C. and the Capital Region?
In the eastern United States, Washington D.C. has a mid Atlantic position in between Maryland and Virginia. Charlottesville and Williamsburg are located in Virginia, a two-hour and three-hour drive, consecutively, from the capital.
To see all the main attractions in the Washington D.C. and Capital Region we recommend our Capital Region Self Drive tour. If you are solely interested in Washington D.C. and also want to experience Boston, Philadelphia and New York, we recommend our East Coast Highlights By Rail. Travelling around Washington D.C. is easy by foot, DCMetro, taxi or hop-on/hop-off tours.
In recent years Washington D.C. has managed to break free of its long association with stuffy suits and a nearly non-existent fashion scene, stepping it up with independent boutiques, high-end stores and interior design shops. Head to Dupont Circle and Georgetown for the best shopping experiences, whether you want Michael Kors and H&M or independent bookstores and vintage fashion. The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is a traditional-style mall where you’ll find all your American brands, and a Metro stop right outside.
Food & drink
International flavours are proving to be a big hit in Washington D.C. and there’s a huge Southeast Asian food scene alongside high-end celebrity favourites including Bourbon Steak and Fiola Mare. Expect classic American diners with family-friendly milkshakes and burgers on tap and margaritas and tacos in the Navy Yard- perfect before watching a Nats game. You’ll find stylish Parisian bistros, fine dining near the White House and Jose Andres Michelin starred Minibar in the Penn Quarter. A classic Old Fashioned is the way to go for cocktails in the city but you can also expect breweries, wine bars and sophisticated speakeasies hidden everywhere from industrial warehouses to old churches whether you want to work through 555 labels of beer or try a frose and punch de jour.