The holidays are a wonderful time to visit our nation's capital. The city is beautifully decorated and there are plenty of festive activities to enjoy. If you're looking for a truly special holiday experience, consider spending a few days in Washington DC. Here are some of the best ways to celebrate the season in style:
Stay at a luxurious hotel: There are plenty of great hotels in Washington DC, but during the holidays you'll want to splurge on a room at a luxurious property. The Ritz-Carlton Washington DC and the Mandarin Oriental Washington DC are two great options. Both offer elegant accommodations and top-notch service.
Attend a holiday concert: There are several great venues for holiday concerts in Washington DC. The Kennedy Center is a popular choice, but you can also find performances at the National Cathedral and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
See the Nutcracker: The Washington Ballet's production of The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition for many families. It's a great way to introduce kids to ballet. The show is performed at the Warner Theater and tickets usually go on sale in October.
Ice skate at the National Gallery of Art: One of the best things about winter in Washington DC is ice skating at the National Gallery of Art. The outdoor rink is surrounded by beautiful sculptures and it's a great place to people watch.
Visit the National Christmas Tree: The National Christmas Tree is located on the Ellipse, just south of the White House. It's a beautiful sight, especially when it's lit up at night. You can also visit the nearby Pathway of Peace, which features 56 smaller trees, each decorated by a different state or territory.
Watch the Holiday Pageant of Peace: This annual event features a procession of marching bands, choirs, and floats. It starts at the White House and ends at the Washington Monument. The pageant is usually held on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Take a holiday lights tour: One of the best ways to see the city's festive holiday decorations is to take a guided tour. Many tour companies offer special holiday light tours, which typically last about two hours.
Book a limo service Washington DC: Nothing says holiday luxury like being chauffeured around in a limousine. A professional chauffeur will take you wherever you want to go, so you can sit back and relax as you enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. Plus, he will be more than happy to take photos of you and your group in front of the city's most popular landmarks.
Relax at a spa: After all the holiday shopping and sightseeing, you may need a little time to relax. Book a spa treatment at one of Washington DC's many luxury hotels. The Ritz-Carlton has an excellent spa, as does the Mandarin Oriental.
To make the most of your trip to Washington, here are some must-dos while organizing your itinerary:
- Purchase tickets to popular holiday events in advance, such as the Nutcracker or the Holiday Pageant of Peace.
- If you're ice skating at the National Gallery of Art, bring your own skates or rent them on site.
- Make reservations for dinner at one of the city's many Michelin-starred restaurants.
- Book your plane ticket months in advance to get the best deal, and consider flying into a nearby airport such as Dulles or Baltimore-Washington International.
- Once you're in the city, take advantage of the free attractions, such as the Smithsonian museums.
- If you're planning to do a lot of shopping, consider staying at a hotel near one of the major shopping districts, but if you're on a budget, there are plenty of great hotels in other parts of the city. For instance, the Omni Shoreham Hotel is located in Woodley Park, which is a short Metro ride from the shopping districts.
- If you're traveling with kids, be sure to check out the family-friendly activities, such as the National Zoo and the American History Museum.
- When booking your hotel room, request a view of the city so you can enjoy the holiday lights.
- If you want to get around without having to deal with traffic and parking, book a limo service for your group. This will be especially helpful if you're attending a holiday concert or event at one of the city's many venues.
- Pack comfortable shoes, as you'll be doing a lot of walking. And as you're visiting in the winter, don't forget to pack a coat or two! It can get quite chilly in Washington DC in December.
- Finally, relax and enjoy your time in Washington DC! This is a wonderful time of year to visit our nation's capital.
There are plenty of other great ways to enjoy the holidays in Washington DC. These are just a few of our favorites. Whatever you do, we hope you have a wonderful time in our nation's capital. Happy holidays!