Ice cream sundae and popcorn

Summer is approaching, and that means there are a ton of warm-weather attractions to visit, treats to indulge in, and events to attend. To help guide our guests to some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences out there, we put together a list of tips on how to take the perfect summer trip to DC.

Spend Time Outside

There are so many wonderful places to hangout in the warm summer sun around DC. One of the most notable is the National Mall, where you can walk or bike from iconic monument, to government building, to timeless memorial for days on end. Hit can’t-miss sights like the U.S. Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial, and then cool off in the shade unders some cherry blossom trees by the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin.

Choose Air-Conditioned Retreats Wisely

In the midst of spending long afternoons exploring the mall and other outdoor attractions, the spots where you seek a little air-conditioned refreshments offer opportunities of their own. On the mall, for example, the National Air and Space Museum is a donation-based institution that’s fun for the whole family, and nice and cool during the summer. You can also cool off in one of our favorite local restaurants.

Eat A Lot Of Ice Cream

Another classic way to keep cool during a warm summer afternoon in Washington, DC, ice cream is plentiful and of a high quality in this town. Original flavors like caramel popcorn, roving ice cream trucks that cruise around the Smithsonian, and Shake Shack are some of the highlights of the city’s ice cream culture. For more specific information, check out our breakdown the best places to get ice cream in DC.

Hang Out By The Water

Washington, DC’s Potomac River offers some of the best lookouts and adventures in town. Take it in from the shore with a nice bite and a walk or bike ride down at the Georgetown Waterfront. If you’re looking for an excursion, then head out for one of the many touring cruises offered by the Potomac Riverboat Company.

Join In DC’s Summer Festivities

Washington, DC has plenty of festivals and celebrations returning this summer, offering more than enough opportunities for impending travelers to connect with local culture. The annual Fourth of July celebration on the National Mall is an all-out spectacle. Fringe Festival brings some of the best visiting musical acts the city will see all year together each summer. And you can pig out at food-centric celebrations like the National Capital Barbecue Battle.

For more summer ideas in D.C., take a look at our Neighborhood Guide, or head to our blog for more helpful stories, like our guide to biking in Washington and our favorite coffee shops in DC.