The Best Time of Year to Visit Washington, D.C.

Autumn colours © valiunic / Pixabay
Autumn colours © valiunic / Pixabay
Photo of Nicole Hampton
13 November 2017

Yes, cherry blossoms are nice, but are they really worth the hiked-up airfare and hotel prices (check out AirBnB instead), the crowds of school groups, and families you’ll have to fight to see all of the good stuff? I think not. There is a time where you not only can avoid all of that, but you can have fantastic weather, enjoy the more local festivities, celebrate more holidays, and the foliage is like nothing you’ve ever seen. I’m talking about fall, folks. Here are some reasons why it’s the best time to come to D.C.

For starters, the weather is the best, hands down. The warm weather during the daytime is perfect for seeing all the outdoor sights and monuments. If you come in October, that’s when you’ll start to feel the cooldown and crisp nights that accompany the wonderful autumn colors of the trees.

Fall daydream | © Jack Flanagan/Flickr

The foliage is another terrific reason in and of itself. The National Mall is a historic place to check out this transition as well as the many parks and gardens around the city, including Rock Creek, West Garden Court, National Arboretum, Potomac Park, and Lady Bird Johnson Park.

If you come from September to November, there are some important events that every local comes to. Since most of the tourists are back home with their kids in school, here are some of the best events that you absolutely must plan your vacation around: In September, you have your Labor Day Concert, H Street Festival, and the Library of Congress National Book Festival. In October, it’s Taste of D.C. and Marine Corps Marathon. Other great activities to get to know the local scene are the must-see concerts at D.C.’s many acclaimed music venues and raising a stein of beer at one of the beer gardens.


Want to celebrate something a little more nationally acclaimed? Take your pick of the holidays: There’s Labor Day in September, Halloween in October, and Veterans Day is in November. And let’s not forget the almighty Thanksgiving, which put roasted turkey and stuffing on the map. If you come during that time, you’ll have the rare honor of seeing the president pardon a turkey. Yes, that’s a real thing. If you don’t know, now you know.

© Lawrence Jackson/WikiCommons

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