If you have ever dreamed of visiting Washington DC, now is the right time to do so. Paying homage to our national heroes and visiting monuments in Washington is a great family vacation at any time of year, but visiting during the winter is a special treat.
With many free light displays to see, the Downtown Holiday Market to visit, and some family-friendly holiday-themed shows and performances, DC comes alive when things cool down. At night, you can visit ZooLights at the Smithsonian National Zoo for an unforgettable experience combining animal attractions and an epic light show. At the National Gallery of Art, you can go ice skating in the Sculpture Garden. And any trip to DC this time of year would be incomplete without seeing the gorgeous National Christmas Tree and Pageant of Peace on the White House Ellipse. Every state and territory in the country sends its own representative tree, too, so there’s quite a lot to take in.
In addition to all of the seasonal sights, there are several can’t-miss attractions like the Washington Monument, abundant museums at the National Mall, and a visit to Arlington National Cemetery.
Arlington National Cemetery
The Arlington National Cemetery,
located south of the city in Arlington, Virginia, is open 365 days a year, 8 AM
to 5 PM from October through March. Some highlights include:
- John F. Kennedy Gravesite
- Memorial Amphitheater
- Welcome Center
- Changing of the Guard
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- and more
Wandering is encouraged, and viewing the names and headstones will inspire you and make you wonder about their intriguing stories.
In Arlington, you can find hotels near Courthouse metro that will enhance your visit and offer convenience for your stay.
The Moonlight Tour
In addition to your visit to Arlington
National Cemetery, you can see the capital city in a different light with the
after-dark Monuments by Moonlight
Night Tour. All-weather trolleys, with a knowledgeable
guide, show off the city in a 2.5-hour tour of “moonlight merriment.”
With panoramic scenic views, you will enjoy stops at:
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
- US Marine Corps War Memorial
This tour promises you’ll be satisfied. You will be enchanted with seeing this city of granite and marble by the light of the moon while honoring the democracy and liberty of its past history.
Where to Stay
Even though most of the attractions are located in Washington, DC, finding a hotel in Arlington, VA, is a smart idea. It’s approximately 19 minutes from DC, and you’ll find a host of hotels that offer a great experience that’s not too hard on your budget.
The Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza is a great choice. It’s has a modern décor and is comfortable for families. The hotel is located near the Arlington National Cemetery and US Marine Corps War Memorial. It offers 24/7 dining, which night owls will appreciate. There’s also free Wi-Fi and a fitness center.
Courtyard Arlington Rosslyn is another popular pick due to its convenient location near Arlington National Cemetery, Georgetown University, and Market Common Clarendon. Guests enjoy free internet and a well-appointed fitness center.
Things to Do
Head over to the Observation Deck at CEB Tower for a
unique view of Washington DC and the historic landmarks from Arlington. In
Arlington, you will be near the following:
- U.S. Department of State
- Foreign Service Institute (FSI)
- Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Conference and Event Center
Courthouse Square offers Courthaus Social, with an outdoor beer garden, You can find authentic, delicious Lebanese fare at Me Jana.
Visit the International Spy Museum in Washington for a bit of entertainment during your stay. And of course, there is the Smithsonian and other museums that offer abundant history, culture, and fun.