Now is the perfect time to plan a family vacation or group field trip to see the iconic, ADMISSION FREE monuments and memorials of the U.S. capital.

With so much history packed into one city, it’s important to be strategic with your time. Here are my top tips to help you get the most out of your D.C. visit!

Don’t Forget about the Basics!

When you visit Washington D.C., the National Mall and all of its monuments are a must see. But keep in mind that many of D.C.’s sites are located in “food deserts.” Be sure to pack snacks and water for your excursions!

You can also plan your Monument sightseeing route so that you are closer to restaurants when you’re ready for lunch.  Two of my favorite walking routes are:

To cut down on walking, jump on the D.C. Circulator for $1. Either way, comfortable shoes are a must!

Plan Museum Visits in Advance, and Include Outdoor Breaks

The Smithsonian Institution has 13 museums around or near the National Mall.  They are all FREE, but a common mistake is to try to see everything in every museum. Be selective, so you can savor the destinations you choose to visit. I recommend the Smithsonian website to help pick which museums and exhibits most interest you.

My ideal day of museum hopping:

Between your museum visits, spend some time outside. The fresh air makes a huge difference in your stamina!

One great way to spend an afternoon outside is by Boating in D.C. The Key Bridge Boathouse, conveniently located near Georgetown, offers affordable kayak and stand-up paddle rentals starting in April.

Venture “Off-Mall” If You Have Time

Union Market (closed on Mondays), located in northeast D.C., has a variety of cool food stalls. Also located in the market is Salt and Sundry, which sells beautiful home goods and unique gifts.

Lastly, we have a new baby panda (Bei Bei) at The National Zoo.  He joins a two-year-old sister, Bao Bao, so a visit to the Panda House is a must. Admission is free!

Where to Stay:
Check out all of the Hilton hotel options in the DMV region, here.

This article was originally published by Hilton Suggests.

Previous Article

Top Places to Dine in LA

Next Article

Walking Tour Sightseeing in Washington DC

Related Guides