Expert Advice

Springtime in D.C. — Cherry Blossoms and Memory-Making, Capital City Activities

One Owner shares the scoop on the top things to do in Washington D.C.

Jessica M
A cherry blossom lined body of water with the Washington Monument and pink painted skies in the background in Washington, D.C.

People talk about visiting destinations along the East Coast in the fall because of the colorful foliage. Yes, it is magical. However, Washington D.C. in the springtime is just as beautiful. The weather is perfect for walking, which is important for this walkable city — in the summer months, it's like melting into the sidewalks.

The big draw during springtime in D.C. is the famous cherry blossoms. Taking time to appreciate their beauty is one of the top things to do.

Cherry blossoms with the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in the background in Washington, D.C.

Standing by the Tidal Basin with our country's awe-inspiring monuments set as a backdrop to the stunning cherry blossoms is a once in a lifetime sight. If you plan to visit D.C. in the spring, time your trip to see the blooms — you won’t regret it.  

The blooming period only lasts up to 14 days and includes the days leading up to peak bloom. Historically, peak bloom is at the beginning of April but can be as early as mid-March or as late as mid-April. 

If you plan a spring vacation around the blossoms, confirm the year’s expected peak bloom before booking your trip.

Besides enjoying the cherry blossoms, what else should you do, you ask?

Oh, so much. The list of activities in Washington D.C. is endless. Here are some do's and don'ts to make your time in this capital city near perfect.

Don't Drive

Seriously, it's not necessary and traffic is terrible — not just in the District but also in the whole District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, area. It will make you crazy. Take the train right to your destination.

Aerial view of Washington D.C.

There are three major airports in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia area. Fly into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to conveniently hop on the metro right at the  airport. But don't fret if you can't.     

Suppose you fly into Baltimore-Washington International Airport or Washington Dulles International Airport. Access to the metro isn’t as convenient, but still better than driving and paying a fortune to park.      

If you drive into the Capital and find yourself looking for the best place to park in Washington D.C., use a parking app, like ParkDC. Then find a place to park without in and out privileges. Your future self will thank you. 

You'll pay much less than parking with in and out privileges. And to reiterate, it's so much more enjoyable to metro and walk as you navigate the city. If necessary, use an Uber, Lyft or taxi service. 

Now for all the things you should do on your Washington D.C. vacation

The District by Hilton Club atrium in Washington, D.C.

Do Stay at The District by Hilton Club

I live in Northern Virginia, so even though I’m an Owner, I don't often stay the night when I go to the Capital. However, I took my niece to D.C. for a few days recently, and we stayed at The District, and we loved it.          

The District is nestled in the heart of Washington, D.C., and it's an excellent city property. It's a prime location and walking distance to Georgetown, which is noteworthy because there's no metro stop in Georgetown.

It's also just a short walk to popular metro stops, making it easy to enjoy the top things to do in D.C. Lastly, it's clean and has spacious accommodations. And did I mention the complimentary breakfast and happy hour perk? Both are awesome.

Do Eat All the Food

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner enjoying a craft cocktail at a local pub in Washington, D.C.

D.C. has a great food scene! There are fantastic local restaurants featuring food from around the world.

It's the perfect opportunity to try foods that you've never had a chance to try before. No need to go to the chain restaurants available back home — take advantage of eating local — you'll be so glad you did.

Do Check out Museums

Some people enjoy museums more than others. But, one of the great things about D.C. is so many museums are free. As the largest museum globally, the Smithsonian is home to 19 museums, the National Zoo, sprawling gardens and more. Entry is free, and it's an education complex worth exploring. Another good one is the National Air and Space Museum.

The best part about these activities is that you don't have to pay to try them. There's no pressure to white knuckle through the experience if you’re not enjoying your time.

Beyond the free museums, D.C. boasts a roster of for-profit museums that are worth every penny it costs to enter. 

Do Visit the Monuments and Memorials

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner posing in front of the Washington Monument while on vacation in Washington, D.C.

If you've never seen the famous monuments and memorials in person, add them to your “top things to do in D.C.” list. Check them out at night to see them majestically lit up for an incredible experience. 

They don't fall into the category of exciting vacation adventures, but these structures and, more importantly, what they represent are why many people are proud to be Americans. I implore you to pay tribute while you're in our Nation's Capital. 

While not a monument per se, a visit to the Capitol and the Library of Congress are popular Washington D.C. activities. These incredible buildings represent a significant amount of the United States' history and are worthy of a pit stop.

For a deeper appreciation of our nation's monuments and memorials, take time to learn about the historical stories behind them. 

Washington D.C. is steeped in history; that's both interesting and important to know.  

Do Explore Neighborhoods

There are so many unique neighborhoods that represent diverse histories and make a great stroll as you explore, especially in springtime, when the weather is beautiful. Georgetown and the U Street neighborhood are just two of my favorite cool D.C. communities. 

Washington, D.C.'s full of things to do and places to discover — so much so that it's a city you can visit time and again and still enjoy. However, no matter how many times you've been to the Capital, you've never experienced it until you've visited during spring, and definitely make sure you see the cherry blossoms.

Read Take Your Couples-Only Trip to Washington, D.C. to the Next Level With This Hilton Grand Vacations Itinerary for more ways to enjoy The District.

Hilton Grand Vacations Explorer, Jessica M.

Jessica M

Returning Explorer and Owner since 2019, Jessica says, “based on the way I traveled, vacation ownership just made sense." She enjoys the opportunity to use her ClubPoints to travel with family and friends, but you'll also find her flying solo. 

She says, "I love inspiring people to travel, and I'm excited to help young, single people think about vacation ownership and traveling in different ways than is often presented." Always one for adventure, you can find her off the beaten path to experience local culture, try regional foods or on the water enjoying watersports of all kinds. 

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