How to Plan for Your Next Washington D.C Trip and What Not to Miss

I have lived 30 minutes from Washington D.C for 2.5 months now. I have already lost count of the amount of times we have gone to visit and we still have so much more we can see and do! I put together a few tips/ tricks that can help you plan your next trip to Washington D.C and what not to miss from a new “local” perspective.

Don’t forget that the side of the White House you see from the International Mall is actually the back of it! Make sure to walk to the front!

With Covid still very much effecting our daily lives and travel plans it is important to plan for your D.C trip ahead of time. Many attractions that have accepted walk ins now require that you have timed tickets since they are only letting a certain number of people in at a time. Its important to know what attractions do or do not require timed tickets to make the most out of your trip!

For the foreseeable future the Capital is closed but worth taking some pictures in front of

Most Smithsonian museums do not require a timed ticket to enter but if the museum is busy on the day you wish to go, you will have have to wait in line for entry, wait times vary. We experienced this at the Air and Space museum in D.C but no line or wait at the Air and Space museum in Virginia. For those that do not know, the Air and Space museum is actually split into two. One is in D.C and another in Chantilly, Virginia. Depending on where you are staying its about 30 minutes from D.C. Having been to both locations I can say, without a doubt, the museum in Virginia is far better than the one in D.C. The Virginia museum is bigger, has way more to see, VR and simulator experiences and to top it off there are far less people since its not in the heart of D.C. We visited the one in Virginia on a Saturday at about 4 pm and the crowds were small making the whole experience much more enjoyable! It is important to note that all the Smithsonian’s close each day at 5:30pm. Each museum also has different days they are closed so look into that before you plan your trip as well!

Air and Space Museum in Virginia

Some of the attractions that require timed tickets in advanced that I would recommend looking into are the National Archives museum, Library of Congress, Treasury building tours, Washington Monument (tickets to travel up/ walk the stairs to the top) and the Holocaust Museum. To take it a step further it also takes time and approval to tour the White House, you want to start planning and preparing for those tickets well in advance. Luckily for you finding these tickets is an easy google search away. They have made all the sites and pages for timed tickets user friendly, the only down side is how quickly all the spots fill up. If you have your heart set on a destination you want to visit the key is to PLAN AHEAD!

Had a late night dinner reservation so we walked around the National Mall at night and I highly recommend

Although the planning well in advance and needing timed tickets can seem overwhelming I promise it is still worth taking a trip to D.C. Timed tickets can actually work in your favor! Crowds are significantly decreased making the overall experience better. Not to mention having timed tickets helps your stay on a schedule during your trip allowing you to experience even more! These tickets also help eliminate waiting times in lines! Hopefully soon everything can go back to “normal” but for now we have to learn to roll with the punches and see the positive in these not ideal circumstances.

Since I do live so close to Washington D.C I already have plans for future blog posts that go more into depth on a perfect Washington D.C itinerary and what you can’t miss on your next visit, so stay tuned!

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7 thoughts on “How to Plan for Your Next Washington D.C Trip and What Not to Miss

  1. Good tips. I would add when you go to the Smithsonian Museums do one or two exhibits and leave. Go back and see others on another day. Don’t rush through them. :0)

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