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City Escapes

3-Day Getaway: Washington D.C.

Hilton Grand Vacations recommendations for patriotic things to do in Washington, D.C.

The Vacationeer

Washington, D.C. is a year-round destination for kids and adults alike. The tricky part is narrowing down your to-do list.

With all of the free museums, national monuments, and incredible restaurants, you’ll never run out of things to do. Hilton Grand Vacations created a three-day itinerary filled with our favorite things to do in Washington, D.C.


Day 1


If this is your first time to Washington, D.C., (or if its been a while), the Hop-On, Hop-Off double decker bus is the perfect way to get acquainted with the capital city. You’ll get a good overview of the city’s top attractions, including more than 25 stops along the route.

If you stay on board for the whole ride, plan for the trip to take about two hours. You can also choose to use the bus all day as your transportation to and from attractions.      


Have lunch at one of the original market halls, Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. Then rent a bike on the National Mall and pedal around the natural and architectural beauty of D.C.

It’s a bike-friendly city, so enjoy your self-paced cycle tour. Consider these two stops:

  • Cycle over to the U.S. Botanic Gardens and take a walk inside to admire the stunning flowers and plants that surround you. 
  • Visit to Rock Creek Park and admire the foliage and a beautiful stone bridge as you cruise through the park's bike trails. If you have time, park your bike, and opt for a late afternoon hike. This 3.1 mile loop travels through forest and creek-side ecosystems, including an area of that President Theodore Roosevelt frequented over 100 years ago. 


Keep the market hall theme going, and have dinner at Union Market before taking a night-time Lincoln Assassination Tour. Join this family-friendly two-hour tour to meet characters, walk the streets, and see the buildings where American history was made. 


Day 2

For affordable things to do in Washington, D.C., look no further than the museums. Admission to most museums in D.C. are free, so you’ll certainly want to get in your share of these incredible attractions.


Head over to the National Mall and visit one of the most-beloved of all the Smithsonian Institution museums, the National Air and Space Museum. Inside you’ll find: 

  • Interactive exhibits
  • Collections of real items and artifacts from the history of flight
  • An impressive collection of restored air crafts
  • Buy a bag or two of freeze-dried ice cream


The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a must during your visit. This is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture.


D.C. is known for its iconic monumental architecture, and with the exception of the Washington Monument, memorials in D.C. are open 24 hours a day.

Enjoy a (robust) twilight walk, to visit:

  • The Lincoln Memorial
  • The Capitol Building
  • The Thomas Jefferson Memorial 
  • The White House 

After working up an appetite on your walk, visit the award-winning Founding Farmers, an urban farmhouse just three blocks west of the White House. 

Day 3


Head over to Old Town Alexandria for a relaxing day walking the cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks. Grab a coffee from Killer ESP (Espresso. Snacks. Pie.) and head out to take in this lovely city.

Charming Alexandria is filled with boutique shops, restaurants and impressive historic buildings and monuments.


Stay for lunch in Alexandria, and enjoy a cozy meal at the Columbia Firehouse. After lunch, visit the Torpedo Factory Art Center, located on the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. Built in 1918, this former naval munitions plant once created torpedoes during WWII before converting to storage for things like congressional documents, Smithsonian dinosaur bones, and WWII trial records. Now it’s home to the nation’s largest number of publicly accessible artists’ studios under one magnificent roof.


Head over to Washington’s next great meeting place - The District Wharf

  • Take your kids to the over-sized games playground, including a massive Scrabble board.
  • Rent a kayak or paddleboard for a pre-dinner workout, admiring the city views from the water.
  • For dinner, choose Kith and Kin for for a home-cooked meal that celebrates the Executive Chef’s heritage, including Nigeria, Jamaica, West Africa, the Caribbean, New Orleans, and New York.
  • Walk over to Pearl Street Warehouse for live entertainment on your final night in D.C.

With so many sights, eats, and entertainment, you'll enjoy your 3-day days in Washington, D.C.

Read on to explore our kid-friendly itinerary.


The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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