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Have you ever wanted to sneak into a White House party like that one reality television couple? On second thought, unless you want to wind up on all the tabloid sites, we don’t recommend that. Happily, there’s plenty of other fun stuff to do in America’s capital.
From touring fantastic museums to checking out some of the nation’s most important monuments to getting your spy on, you’ll be schooled in the arts of history, politics and awesomeness. Plus, you could score some sweet grub. Staying at one of our Washington, D.C. hotels will have you so close to the action, you won’t know where to start. But don’t worry. We’ve got your back on that too.
Okay, first things first: ride the Capital Wheel at National Harbour. It’s a Ferris wheel with climate-controlled gondolas. Because America.
Got your walking shoes? Good. You’re about to go on a trip around the world. Stroll down Embassy Row to see where the wheelers and dealers of international politics kick it. Yes, they do need mansions that big. No, we don’t recommend climbing that fence. Instead, watch the monkeys through another set of bars in the National Zoo. See how far we humans have come?
Do you want a museum experience that’s a cut above the rest? The group of museums under the umbrella of the Smithsonian Institution will captivate you for hours (or even days, if you’re feeling dedicated). Visit historic air and spacecraft like Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis and the Apollo 11 Command Module at the National Air and Space Museum. Come back down to earth at the National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall. Check out the National Gem and Mineral Collection and see how well your eyes can adjust to staring at the Hope Diamond.
When you’re ready for some outdoor time, check out the deer, rabbits and coyotes in Rock Creek Park. Want more action than a couple of squirrels fighting over their nuts? How about a Washington Redskins football game? That’s American football. If you’ve never caught a game, you’re in for a surprise the first time the quarterback throws a pass down the field. When you’re done screaming, “Just kick the ball already!” we have plenty of places to stay in Washington, D.C. where you can recover from your shock.
There are three major airports that serve the D.C. metro area: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) are all within 50km of downtown.
Buses, taxis and even limousines are available to take you to the city centre and near accommodation in Washington, D.C. If you don’t want the hassle of flagging down cabs or cramming yourself into buses, book one of lastminute.com.au’s awesome car hire deals and zip around the beltway at your leisure.
The best time for Washington, D.C. holidays is all the time! Summers are warm—and delicious, especially when you show up for the Herndon Food Truck Rally on 23 July. Want an event with more than great eats? Be here 20 August for the Southern Maryland Wine, Jazz, R&B and Funk Festival. Or how about the 27th for the Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival? Nothing goes better with crab than beer. Of course, beer goes with everything. And nothing says America like the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival in early August. So, just be here in August. All of August.
Okay, okay. If you miss those (but don’t!), the DC Blues Festival and Smithsonian Innovation Festivals in September are also pretty epic.
Got your taste buds ready? Great! Dive right into some Ethiopian food! Did you think we were going to say good ol’ American burgers and barbeque? There’s plenty of that in the nation’s capital, but Little Ethiopia is home to the second-largest Ethiopian population in the world…you know, outside of Ethiopia. The result is a delectable combo of spicy, sautéed and stewed meats and veggies with plenty of spongy injera bread to soak it all up. If you ask us, it’s some of the best food in Washington, D.C. If you don’t, feel free to plug your ears and yell “nah-nah-nah I’m not listening” instead.
Stuffed? Sounds like you’re ready for a drink. Unlike most cities, downtown is not where D.C.’s nightlife is. So where should you go? That depends on how you take your drinks. Classy, with a side of dancing? Check out Dupont Circle. In a tinny with a laid-back attitude? Along 18th Street in Adams Morgan is your target. With some tears (and bitters?) and the raspy voice of a blues singer or the sexy sounds of a jazz sax? Try Shaw or Georgetown.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to soak it all up in just one day in Washington, D.C. Begin by tapping into your inner 007—remember: shaken, not stirred—at the International Spy Museum. You’ll be able to assume a cover identity, train in classic espionage practices in the School for Spies exhibit and then hit the streets in the museum’s interactive “Spy in the City” game.
After your cover is blown, make your way over to the National Mall, where the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and United States Capitol are lined up together. Toss a coin into the reflecting pool, but don’t go running into it like Jenny and Forrest—the ’60s are long gone. Pick your favourite school subject and find the corresponding Smithsonian Museum. Then pick your favourite branch of government and tour the White House, the Capitol Building or the Supreme Court. Hungry? Grab a bowl of steaming deliciousness at Ben’s Chili Bowl. It’s a presidential tradition.
There’s something special about D.C., and it’s not just the cheap hotels in the District of Columbia. We want you to find out what it is for yourself. Don’t worry about dipping into your neck oil savings for this trip. Instead, browse lastminute.com.au’s great selection of hotels in Washington, D.C. and find the best one for you!