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Venture into the United States’ capital on a Washington DC holiday and discover the past and present of the country’s infamous political scene. Tales of power and democracy run through the city’s veins and are ready to be discovered through its many monuments, museums and memorials. 

Known as America’s Front Yard, the National Mall is full of iconic monuments, bookended by the U.S. Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial. Take a walking tour and let an expert guide take you around the national park to get a deeper insight into some of the United States’ pivotal historical events through the monuments and memorials dedicated to them. 

Washington DC’s Charming Neighbourhoods 

There’s even more to the city than just its political significance; there’s a sense of small-town charm not found in many cities. For a glimpse of life as a local, visit some of the diverse neighbourhoods surrounding the city centre. Head to the relaxed and easy-going area of Adams Morgan and shop for unique items at independent stores and experience its buzzing nightlife, or walk along streets of beautiful historic houses and quaint independent bakeries in Georgetown. 

Experience even more of the country with a multi-centre holiday and complete your visit to the United States’ capital with a trip to the equally historic cities of New York and Philadelphia. If you fancy a little more rest and relaxation, hop on a short flight to Bermuda and head to the pink sands. 

Destination Highlights

  • See the White House, the beating heart of United States politics
  • Visit the National Mall, home to some of America’s most important monuments, including the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument
  • Explore Arlington Cemetery and the Eternal Flame that stands next to the grave of John F. Kennedy
  • Take a walk around the charming neighbourhood of Georgetown

Great sample itineraries


You certainly won’t be short of things to do and see in Washington DC. If you’re looking for some inspiration, browse our sample itineraries or give us a call and let us plan a holiday tailor made to you.

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Explore Washington DC

Time Zone

GMT -5 hours

Flight Time

Approx 8 hours; direct flights from the UK are available

Currency

USD - US Dollar

Visa Information

Ensure you have a valid ESTA prior to travel

Language

English

Health Info

No vaccinations required

Holidays to Washington DC are about exploring the country’s history and wandering through its many museums. This certainly a family friendly destination and the children will love being able to play and interact on the many exhibits.

a sunset over a body of water

National Mall

This three mile rectangle of lawn is packed with monuments and memorials from the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Nation WW II Memorial. Stop in many of the free Smithsonian Museums lining the Mall, these museums are great for families.

a statue of a person with Lincoln Memorial in the background

Lincoln Memorial

Located in the heart of the Mall, the memorial is dedicated to the 16th President of the united States, Abraham Lincoln, who sits immortalised in marble as an enduring symbol of unity, strength and wisdom. Take your camera for great pictures looking down from the memorial, of the Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument.

a large lawn in front of a house

The White House

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States and a symbol of the United States government.The house of America’s president is possibly the most famous building in Washington DC located on Pennsylvania Avenue.

a black sign with white text

Arlington National Cemetery

A calm oasis located across the Potomac River, the cemetery has row upon row of tombstones paying homage to the service men and women who have lost their lives for their country. With famous memorials including the Eternal Flame for JFK and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington is a peaceful break from the bust sights along the Mall.

a group of colorful flowers

Cherry Blossom Festival

The Cherry Blossom Festival held annually during spring, this commemorates Tokyo's gift of 1000 cherry. Watch the city come to live with the pink blossom

a group of people standing in front of a building

Neighbourhoods

Head to one of DC's many neighbourhoods, each are different from Georgetown with its walk able streets and great restaurants to lively and laid back Adams Morgan. We love the diversity of these areas and melting pots these have become These are great places to mix with the locals and to get a feel about what DC is all about.

Jefferson Memorial Washington DC

Jefferson Memorial

In 1934, Congress authorised the construction of a memorial to honour Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. He is considered the political philosopher of the American Revolution. He also drafted the Declaration of Independence.

Jessica, Destination Manager

"The best way to explore Washington DC is by foot, so grab your walking shoes and pick up a map from your hotel concierge on the way out. Walking the area’s streets means you can get a really good feel for the layout and it’s easy to navigate your way around. Or, if walking is not your thing, book a hop-on-hop-off-bus that will take you to all the major attractions."

Jessica
Destination Manager
Charlotte, Destination Specialist

"The capital is especially beautiful at night so make sure you take a night tour of the city. You'll see iconic sites all lit up, like the Iwo Jima memorial, Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial – these are great by day and even better by night."

Charlotte
Destination Specialist

National Cherry Blossom Festival

As spring arrives and the cherry blossom trees start blooming in Washington DC, the city celebrates the anniversary of the gift of the stunning trees and the country’s friendship with Japan. Between March and April, the festival sees daily and weekend events that celebrate American and Japanese culture, contemporary arts, community and natural beauty.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Held on the National Mall each summer, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates cultures from all over the world. The event is free to enter and features an array of events that showcase diverse cultures, including music, dance, various demonstrations and discussions. 

Independence Day

Among the many ways the country’s capital celebrates the 4th of July is its incredible fireworks display on the National Mall. You can get a good vantage point from which to enjoy the spectacular show all over the city; watch as the colourful fireworks light up the sky from a well-positioned rooftop bar, the steps of the Lincoln Memorial or from the National Mall itself.

Local Cuisine

Just like the rest of the United States, Washington DC has a whole array of foods to offer, with influences from all around the globe.

Half-Smoke Sausage

DC’s home to the half-smoke sausage, one of the best of which is the legendary Original Chili Half Smokes at Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street. It's been voted as Washington DC's signature dish and it’s even loved by Barack Obama.

Chesapeake Blue Crabs

Being so close to the Chesapeake Bay means that Washington DC has some great seafood to offer. Blue crabs are steamed and coated in Old Bay Seasoning, a mix of black pepper, celery salt, paprika and crushed pepper flakes. This is a delicacy best served whole, leaving the diner the fun job of hitting the cooked crab with small wooden mallets to get to the sweet crab meat.

Mambo Sauce

Washingtonians have such a love for Mambo sauce that they put it on just about anything, from chips to korean food. Made from soy sauce, white vinegar, tomato ketchup, hot sauce and fruit juice and sugar, it’s sweet and spicy with a vibrant orange colour.  

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