1. Go to the top of the Washington Monument.
Get a panoramic view of the city at the top of the Washington Monument. You won’t even have to walk all 555 feet; there is an elevator to the observation deck.
2. Rock out at the 9:30 Club.
The trendy concert venue hosts a mix of artists from many genres. Grab one of the microbrews or pre-game on U Street before heading into the show.
3. See a show at the Kennedy Center.
Dress up and enjoy an evening of the arts at the beautiful Kennedy Center.
4. Walk, hike, bike or run the towpath on C&O Canal.
Starting in Georgetown and stretching all the way into Cumberland, MD, the C&O Canal preserves America’s early transportation. It’s a great way to get exercise and explore the area.
5. Root for the home team, whether that maybe the Wizards, Mystics, Nationals, DC United, Spirit or Capitals.
DC is home to five major sports teams and is not far from where the Washington Redskins play in Northern Virginia. If professional sports is not your favorite, catch of the college teams at Georgetown, American or George Washington.
6. Shop at Eastern Market.
No matter if you’re looking for fresh meats, cheese, produce, antiques, or art, you will find a little bit of everything at this eclectic market near the Capitol.
7. Celebrate 4th of July on The Mall.
The crowds can be crazy but nothing quite makes you feel like an American like watching the fireworks light up the White House, Capitol building, and the Washington Monument.
8. Kayak, paddle board or boat around the Potomac.
DC may be a few hours from any coast but we still have our fill of water sports on the Potomac at the Key Bridge Boathouse. Don’t miss a warm summer morning paddling the water or an evening cruise.
9. Drink at the Georgetown Waterfront.
Nothing beats a group of friends, beautiful views of the Potomac, and one of the many delicious restaurants on the Georgetown waterfront.
10. Hear the drum circle in Meridian Hill Park.
For over 40 years, a circle of drummers and dancers gather in Meridian Hill Park for a cultural celebration. What began as a spiritual revival following the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965 has become a well-known celebration of life in DC.
11. Visit the International Spy Museum.
The secret history of spies is told at one of the coolest museums in DC. The International Spy Museum gives visitors a first every look at espionage artifacts and the men and women behind some of the most secretive missions in history.
12. Visit the Lincoln Memorial at night.
The Lincoln Memorial is one of the most iconic sites in Washington DC and it's best at night. If the glowing 19 foot tall statue of Lincoln wasn’t enough to give you chills, the text of the 16th President’s most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address is etched on the wall for all to read.
13. Visit the Smithsonian.
There are 19 free museums, galleries, including the zoo here in DC. There’s no reason to not stop into a few, if not all, and get some culture since it’s there.
14. Play in Rock Creek Park.
Rock Creek Park provides a escape from the busy city without ever having to leave it. This national park of over 2,000 acres includes hiking trails, equestrian trails, a nature center, picnic facilities and much more that even the biggest city lover could enjoy.
15. Photograph the cherry blossoms.
Every spring thousands of tourists flock to DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. While it’d be tempting to skip the crowds, get up early and snap some shots then head back to your bed. You won’t regret it.
16. Tour the White House.
America’s most famous home in your hometown. You can schedule a tour and aim to visit around the holidays to see the decorations. Either way, it may be a tourist destination but it’s not worth missing.
Even if you aren’t into the culture, the arts or the history, don’t miss out on these bucket list items that only DC can offer.