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Washington DC Super Saver: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley and Monuments by Moonlight Tour
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Washington DC Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour and Attractions Pass
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Half-Day Grand Tour of Washington DC
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Weather Related Clothing / Accessories Tips (17)

Washington in Summer

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear When you come to see Washington in the summer you can count on several things: there will be a LOT of people and it is likely to be hot. Walking around all day in the heat will do a number on your feet, so make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes and cotton clothes. Bear in mind that inside the museums they usually turn up the air conditioning pretty high. Pace yourself and though there isn't much you can do about the lines you can at least help yourself by wearing something comfortable and appropriate for the heat. Though the may not let you into some places, tshirts and shorts are entirely acceptable in summer.take lots of breaks.

GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
Dec 16, 2011

Hot as a Furnace

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear I was in DC at the end of June and it was BOILING. It was like walking in a sauna, with sweat dripping down you all the time (this, from a person who never sweats).

So if you are planning a trip in the summer, stick to light, airy cotton clothing. I would stay away from skin-tight acrylics unless your are a glutton for punishment.

But if you plan to spend a lot of time in closed places like hotel lobbies and restaurants, do bring a long-sleeve button down shirt to wear over your cotton T shirt. They usually have their air-conditioning on super-cold and if you sit there for any length of time, you can really freeze.

gilabrand's Profile Photo
May 05, 2009

Don't freeze your ears off

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear It might be the low season in January, but I still see the occasional tourist. Please, for God's sake, bring something to cover your head. We get bitterly cold winds in January/February even when the actual temp doesn't sound that cold. They're pretty strong between the buildings where you'd expect wind tunnels, but if you're out on the Mall, they can still be strong enough to knock you over. My stepmother wanted to go sightseeing when she was here in January; was stubborn and refused my offer of a knit hat; and then was miserable the entire day whilst I was bundled up and toasty. Gloves are also a must.

For the high season, it gets quite hot. Bring your sunscreen because you won't notice how long you've been in the sun when you're admiring the memorials until your skin is on fire.

Toiletries and Medical Supplies No worries, there is a CVS on practically every other corner in case you forget something. They have pharmacy goods, toiletries and a small selection of food items.

Photo Equipment If you can't wait to get home to have your film developed, CVS, Ritz Camera and Penn Camera all have 1 hour services (in order from cheapest to most expensive). I'm not a professional photographer, but I'm picky about how my shots are developed, and I can not stand Ritz Camera's service. I tried and tried to make it work there because their stores are convenient, but the employees are either rude, incompetent or both. My shots always come out amazing at Penn Camera (18th & L Streets) so I pay the premium. However, I know many people who use and love Ritz, so it boils down to personal preference.

Care824's Profile Photo
Apr 26, 2006

Fill a Backpack for Cherry Blossoms

Luggage and bags A visit to Washington D.C.'s Tidal Basin to view the famous cherry blossoms will take about 3-4 hours to do right. Therefore, fill a backpack with food (the area is great for picknicking) and extra clothes (if it starts out warm), since the spring weather in Washington can change quickly. If the day starts out cool, bring an empty backpack to give you a place to stow those jackets when it warms up. If all else fails, the pack is always useful for a lazy, overweight, elderly Italian greyhound who appreciates flowering Japanese trees..

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear Definitely wear comfortable walking shoes to visit the cherry blossoms, as you should expect to walk miles around the Tidal Basin and Mall. Of course, you will see people wearing everything posssible on their feet, but that doesn't mean it's wise.

Miscellaneous The Tidaal Basin during cherry blossom season is a great place to bring your dog, as long as it's well-behaved and well socialized.

AKtravelers's Profile Photo
Dec 28, 2005
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Suitably to season and safety requirements

Luggage and bags Be prepared to have your hand luggage searched each time you enter into any federal building or museum. It can't be large in size. Leave it in your car or hotel as most museum lockers and checkrooms have been closed. Security check points like bag checks and metal detectors will slow down your entry. To enter some museums you can't carry anything on your back (small hand-held back-packs are allowed though) and bring any sharp items (scissors, knife, corksrew etc.).

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear Dress for the season and keep an umbrella handy. It can rain at any point in the year. Warning: summer is a very hot season, winter cold. Wear good comfy walking shoes. DC is a walking city. You have plenty of miles to walk.

Read info on average temperature and rainfall in Washington, DC.

Check weather (10-day forecast) for Washington, DC:
Weather forecast for Washington, DC

Toiletries and Medical Supplies Bring sunblock from spring to fall. Take sunscreen for your face. No spray containers are allowed to enter some museums/federal buildings.

Photo Equipment A 35 mm should be enough, but a digicam is much better. Take as many films as you can or as large memory card as you can - Washington, DC offers a lot for photography lovers :-). For pictures at night and/or bad light (weather) and first of all for night pictures take a tripod but you will be not allowed to use it without special spermission inside most museums and all federal buildings. Additionally your tripod must be small you to be allowed to enter them.

Miscellaneous Water purchased on the street is expensive. Bring your own but to enter some museums/federal buildings it should be in plastic bottles and originally closed (no cans allowed as well).

matcrazy1's Profile Photo
Dec 14, 2005

Don't go outside

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear Comfortable shoes for walking around

Miscellaneous Washington DC is always unbearable. In the summer, British Expats used to get hazard pay for the swamp-like jungle that decends on DC in the summer months. Winter is just miserable, with temperatures hovering near freezing that coat the city in a slippery near-sleet mist. In October and April, you might be able to go outside, albeit temporarily. The rest of the time, A/C and heat are the recycled air we prefer.

mattreider's Profile Photo
Nov 01, 2005

Packing List

Luggage and bags No need to overpack unless you go to one of those big (overrated) Washington parties.

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear Dress for the season and keep an umbrella handy because it can rain at any point in the year. If you come in winter, friends and neighbours, make sure you carry along a heavy coat, a stocking cap, and a warm pair of gloves.

Photo Equipment A 35 mm should be enough, but a digicam is much better.

b1bob's Profile Photo
Jan 27, 2005


Miscellaneous When we visited DC the weather was so warm, and the humidity very high, meaning you were bathed in sweat!!! Standing waiting for a tube train was like being in a sauna. As we are visiting DC again in just over a weeks time, I am going to remember to this time take one of those little hand held fans, they have batteries in them. At the push of a switch I will hopefully cool down. They probably sell them there, but when you are on holiday you dont want to be rushing round trying to find a shop that sells them, so pack one instead.

bugalugs's Profile Photo
Aug 11, 2003

Top 5 Washington D.C. Writers

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"Neither American nor European City :-)"
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"Washington DC"
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"Washington D.C."
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"Washington D.C."
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Be ready for heat in summer and freezing in winter

Luggage and bags We have 2 seasons--too hot and too cold. Pack for rain and heat in summer, and for dry cold weather in winter. It doesn't snow much, except last year it did.

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear Distances are not short along the mall. Make sure your shoes don't hurt.

taxing's Profile Photo
Aug 10, 2003

Packing List

Luggage and bags please bring plent of shorts and cool shirts during the summer. also some good walking shoes.

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear Resort

Toiletries and Medical Supplies jus

Photo Equipment bring a zoom camera to get your best pics.

Miscellaneous bring water and snacks in the city because there are not many places that are cheap there. The reagan building has great food court and not expensive.

brazilnut30's Profile Photo
Sep 12, 2002

A city of changing seasons

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear The Washington, D.C. area experiences all four seasons. It can be bone-chilling cold in the winter, rainy in the spring, unbearably hot and humid in the summer, and beautiful in the fall (my favorite!). Pack accordingly.

fa330's Profile Photo
Sep 05, 2002

Packing List

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear Dress cool in summer time. It gets hot and very, very humid.

Toiletries and Medical Supplies bullet repellant and methadone

Photo Equipment Bring a digital camera and/or mini DV cam so you can take LOTS of pictures and then suck them into your computer when you get back home.

Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear DC gets very humid in the summer time.

Miscellaneous Bring plenty of change for tips and tax in restaurants. In addition to even bad service causing 15% to be automatically added to your bill sometimes, for large parties that is, you can also be impressed by the tax on your meal which will be somewhere around 10%.

Thalor's Profile Photo
Aug 26, 2002

Things To Do in Washington D.C.

Things to do


We finished our day in Georgetown by visiting two very different historic cemeteries located quite close to one another. The first, Oak Hill Cemetery, was founded in 1848 on a 15-acre plot of land...
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Things to do

Watergate Complex

The Watergate Complex will forever be linked with the scandal that led to Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974. The complex itself is made up of five buildings, i.e. one office building, three...
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Georgetown University was founded in 1789 and is America's oldest Roman Catholic University. It is said that during the Civil War, Georgetown students and instructors joined the Union Army while...
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Things to do

Dumbarton Oaks

This fabulous estate dates back to the 19th century and it belonged to Robert and Mildred Bliss. Robert Bliss was an American diplomat who had graduated from Harvard University and, while they were...
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Things to do

Kennedy Performing Arts Center

Be sure to go on the Kennedy Center webpage and be on the lookout for free things to do here. Just today the 20th of March I attended a free Concert by Punjabi MC an Indian DJ who combine hip hop with...
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Things to do

Islamic Mosque & Cultural Center

This great Mosque was founded in 1947 during President Truman's term in office, and it is the very first Mosque to be built in the nation's capital. It came about after the sudden death of a Tursking...
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Getting to Washington D.C.


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