We were winding down our sightseeing as the museums were closing and we saw a tour bus. We hopped on and got to see many of the monuments and buildings in Washington all lit up at night. We did the bus tour, but you can also do a Trolley tour, a walking tour a Segway tour and a bike tour. The trolley tour is the cheapest at $44.00 and takes two or three hours.
if you have a chance, see the monuments on the mall in washington dc at night. dont waste your time taking lots of pictures, just soak in the reverence. absolutely visit the jefferson and lincoln memorials. sit questly and look at the monuments of these great men looking at you. i wish our political leaders would visit these 2 shrines to men of vision (not of politics) at night at least once a year just to remind themselves of why they are there. both are wonderful places to sit and ponder the potential that our young nation once held and to see how small the leaders have since become. these were men of principle and vision. these were men of greatness. this is what america should be about. being on the mall during the day gives you a metaphorical sense of what america has become, while being there at night gives you a sense of what america once was. they are strikingly different experiences.
Dress Code: bring a jacket as it gets chilly. and for god's sake look decent. dont wear t-shirts with pictures on them...show some respect.
I definitely recommend taking a night tour of the monuments, even if you have seen them during the day. The night lighting is really spectacular and set up so well. The monuments have a different feel at night and they are definitely less crowded. You are able to take better pictures (with no other people in them, if that is your desire). There is hardly anyone there at night so it is a lot easier also to get an etching of the Vietnam War Memorial at night. If you go early enough so the information booth is still open, they even give you a special paper and a pencil to do your etching. Also, if you are there in the summer, the weather at night will be more tolarable. My favorite at night has to be the Lincoln Memorial. One thing is that you will have to do a lot of walking because there is really no transportation around there at night. So you may not be able to see all of the things you want to see because you are on foot...for instance, I never made it over to the Jefferson Memorial at night.
Washington, DC is fantastic place for fans of city night photography. All major buildings and memorials are heavily lit which I could easily see at night from my Sheraton National hotel in... Arlington, Virginia across the Potomac River. The Capitol dome, the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington memorial and the Lincoln Memorial were among the lightest points. I took some great night pictures using my tripod and 7x optical zoom but... it would be better to get closer to these huge buildings.
Well, my lovely wife preffered to get to Georgetown for shopping in M street (luckily mostly winfow shopping :-) which she loved to do and in general it was not that bad idea. We had to take our car from hotel parking in Hyatt Regency Crystal City before 8 pm (in fact, we came 1.5 hour later but luckily we didn't pay anything extra) and change hotel to Days Inn Washington Arlington. Shortly we didn't have time to stop in downtown. Next time... :-)
I also promised myself to eat in Italian restaurant in Georgetown which was called Ristorante Piccolo (1068 31st Street, NW; phone: +1 202 342 7414), looked pretty charming at night and offered great choice of food at average prices.
Dress Code: Surely casual dress + a tripod :-)
If your not the clubbin type person and tend to make an early night of it, may I suggest sightseeing at night. Sightseeing at night can be a lot of fun with many pluses! 1 not to crowded, 2 great parking! 3 it's quiet and peaceful. Night shots can be fun to play with, note how the reflection pond adds more light to brighten up the photo with out using a flash.
Terry and I thought we would check out the town at night and just loved it. The monuments are all lit up for your enjoyment and photo ops of course! Washington DC has a lot of reflection ponds near the monuments so when they light them up at night it's much brighter and easy to take night shots! Best resualts with a tri-pod and no flash. Have fun!
There really wasnt much of anything open, a few restaurants, the hotels' places was one of them. Drugstores are closed. The city looks kind of abandoned actually. I believe most memorials are open, I know Arlington closes at about 5ish? and The washington monument requires tickets to get into, but i think things like the vietnam memorial are open.
Dress Code: casual. jeans and a t-shirt is what most people were wearing.
If you go to Washington make sure you don't miss the best view (and most romantic) view: Visit Jefferson Memorial at night. The place itself is great and a memorial to a great man, too. When you are through admiring the architecture and learning about Thomas Jefferson, sit on the steps and admire the virew across the tidal basin. You've got all the Mall in front of you and all the city lights behind it. And the best thing is, there are not too many tourists to spoil the fun. So don't tell anyone.
Dress Code: Whatever you want
Visit monuments at night! Why not? You can still take good photos if you have a half decent flash and LOTS LESS CROWDS. Parking is easier too, and there is a certain majesty to some of the monuments at night. A special glow.
Even if you visited all these places in the day, it's good to make an other tour at night so you can see the city in an other way which is quit different.:)
Maybe this isn't the most enjoyable way to spend your evening but it's definitely worth a visit at night. The White House lights up beautifully at night! Give it a try, if only for a few minutes.