When is the very best time to go to Washington, DC – Lonely Planet


Whether or not you wish to catch the attractive cherry blossoms in full bloom or snap photographs on the Nationwide Mall, deciding the very best time to go to Washington, DC, can really feel like a problem. From an ideal spring day to a quiet winter stroll, there’s all the time one thing to do year-round within the US’s capital.

Right here’s our information that will help you determine the very best time to go to Washington, DC.

Editor’s be aware: Throughout COVID-19, please verify the newest journey restrictions earlier than planning any journey and all the time observe authorities well being recommendation. Occasions could also be topic to vary.

Excessive Season: March to June

Finest time for visiting the Nationwide Mall

Springtime is the proper time to go to Washington, DC © Aaron Sheldon / 500px

Delicate, albeit unpredictable climate, makes this the proper time to go to Washington, DC. There will likely be numerous crowds on the Nationwide Mall, however the delicate temperatures imply you received’t thoughts. Cherry Blossom season kicks off in late March and attracts folks from everywhere in the world.

Shoulder Season: July to September

Finest time for visiting museums

Museums are a good way to keep away from the Washington, DC summer time warmth © Barbara Noe Kennedy / Lonely Planet

Summer time’s steamy situations skinny out the crowds a bit. Keep away from the warmth and humidity by visiting any variety of DC’s incredible museums just like the Nationwide Museum of African American Historical past, The Holocaust Museum or the Smithsonian Nationwide Air and Area Museum. In case you’re on the town for Independence Day, town places on an incredible fireworks show.

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Low Season: October to February

Finest time for avoiding the crowds

Spend the winter ice skating on the Nationwide Gallery of Artwork Sculpture Backyard © A Blokhin / Getty Photographs

Although milder than its northern neighbors, temperatures can (and do) dip in DC. However there are nonetheless loads of issues to do. Go ice skating on the Nationwide Gallery of the Artwork’s Sculpture Backyard or, when the vacation season kicks off, go to the numerous Christmas markets scattered all through town. Take into account: though it’s off-season, enterprise vacationers to town preserve resort charges excessive.

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January is quiet – until it’s an inauguration yr. Then it’s insanity. Crisp, clear days alternate with grey, frigid days. Each occasionally it can snow, shutting town down.Key occasions: Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday, Inauguration Day.


The weekend round President’s Day (the third Monday) brings crowds, however in any other case it’s time for low-season bargains. A number of occasions brighten up the gloomy days.Key occasions: Chinese language New 12 months, DC Trend Week.

Washington, DC’s Cherry Blossom Competition kicks off in March © Roberto Galan / Shutterstock


Cherry-blossom season – DC’s tourism apex – ramps up across the twentieth, culminating within the famed pageant. The bushes are attractive, however you’ll pay for it with higher-rates at inns and eating places at capability.Key occasions: St. Patrick’s Day, Nationwide Cherry Blossom Competition, Blossom Kite Competition.

A information to the Nationwide Cherry Blossom Competition


Cherry-blossom season continues to convey mega crowds (and costs). The park service determines that April 2 is the typical “peak bloom,” so if you wish to see the bushes at their shimmery pink greatest, that is it.Key occasions: White Home Easter Egg Roll, FilmFest DC.


It rains extra in Could than different months, however the temperature is cozy. It’s a busy time for conventions, faculty teams and college graduations, so costs bump up and inns are sometimes full.Key occasions: Passport DC, Broccoli Metropolis, Washington DC Dragon Boat Competition, DC Black Delight.


June sees the top of peak season, as school-group visits begin to dwindle. Resort costs are nonetheless pretty excessive. The temperature steams up because the weeks go on.Key occasions: Capital Delight, Nationwide Capital Barbecue Battle, Smithsonian Folklife Competition, DC Carnival, DC Jazz Fest.

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July means scorching and humid climate in Washington, DC © PhotoVS / Getty Photographs / iStockphoto


The times are exceptionally scorching and humid, however that doesn’t cease numerous vacationers from touring the DC sights. Temperatures frequently crack 90°F (32°C).Key occasions: Independence Day, Capital Fringe Competition.


The warmth retains coming, however the metropolis picks up with the return of school college students. Could be the very best time to snag some resort offers earlier than Congress comes again to city. Key occasions: Washington DC Water Lantern Competition, Across the World Cultural Meals Competition.

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The warmth breaks. Youngsters return to high school. Everyone seems to be refreshed after August’s congressional break. Resort charges begin to creep up once more.Key occasions: Nationwide Guide Competition, H Road Competition, DC Worldwide Beer Wine & Meals Competition.

There’s nothing just like the Excessive Heel Drag Race in Washington, DC © Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP by way of Getty Photographs


October is one other banner month with pretty climate and fewer vacationers, however enterprise vacationers preserve resort charges propped up. Daytime temperatures hover close to 70°F (21°C).Key occasions: Marine Corps Marathon, Excessive Heel Drag Race, Style of DC, Howard College Homecoming.

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Fairly quiet time of the yr as town (and everybody else) gears up for the vacation season. Key occasions: Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Trot for Starvation 5K.


‘Tis the vacation season, and town twinkles with good cheer from Zoo Lights to candlelight excursions of historic properties to free vacation concert events. As your vacation reward, charges stay cheap.Key occasions: Nationwide Christmas Tree & Menorah Lighting.

You may also like: Celebrating ladies’s historical past in Washington, DC The very best rooftop bars in Washington, DC Undercover DC: secret spots within the nation’s capital

First printed in February 2021, up to date in September 2021.

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