17 Best Fun Things to Do in Downtown Washington DC

Downtown Washington, D.C., is a vibrant and diverse city that offers many attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. From world-class museums to historic sites, lively nightlife, and delicious cuisine, there is something for everyone in the nation’s capital. In this article, let’s explore through the 17 best things to do in Downtown Washington DC., ensuring a memorable and enjoyable visit.

National Geographic Museum

Located just a short distance from the White House, the National Geographic Museum is a must-visit attraction for those interested in exploring the world’s wonders. The museum features various exhibits that showcase our planet’s beauty and diversity, including photography, interactive displays, and artifacts from around the globe. From the ocean’s depths to the vastness of outer space, the National Geographic Museum will take you on a journey like no other.

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

Step back in time and learn about the life and legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune, an influential African-American educator and civil rights leader. The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site is dedicated to preserving her memory and promoting her work. Explore the house where she lived and worked and gain a deeper understanding of her contributions to American history.

D.C. Improv Comedy Club

If you want a good laugh, head to the D.C. Improv Comedy Club. This renowned comedy club has entertained audiences for over 30 years and features local talent and nationally recognized comedians. Sit back, relax, and enjoy an evening of laughter and entertainment.

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle

For those interested in architecture and religious history, visiting the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle is a must. This stunning cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Washington and is known for its intricate design and beautiful stained-glass windows. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of this magnificent place of worship.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Art lovers will be in awe of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which houses one of the world’s largest collections of American art. From contemporary masterpieces to classic works, the museum showcases the diversity and creativity of American artists throughout history. Take your time to explore the various galleries and discover the beauty and significance of American art.

National Gallery of Art

Adjacent to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art is another must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. The gallery boasts an extensive collection of European and American art, including works by renowned artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and Claude Monet. Immerse yourself in the art world as you wander through the gallery’s stunning halls.

Franklin Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Franklin Park, a hidden oasis in the heart of Downtown Washington, D.C. This historic park offers a serene, relaxing environment with beautiful landscaping, walking paths, and a tranquil pond. Pack a picnic and enjoy a peaceful afternoon surrounded by nature.

The Phillips Collection

As the first modern art museum in the United States, The Phillips Collection is a gem in Downtown Washington, D.C. This intimate museum features an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by artists such as Renoir, Degas, and O’Keeffe. Explore the various galleries and immerse yourself in the world of modern art.


If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, head to CityCenterDC, a premier shopping destination in Downtown Washington, D.C. This upscale retail complex features a variety of high-end stores, boutiques, and restaurants. Whether you’re looking for designer fashion, unique gifts, or delicious cuisine, you’ll find it all at CityCenterDC.

Tea St. Regis Hotel

Indulge in the ultimate afternoon tea experience at the Tea St. Regis Hotel. This luxurious hotel offers a traditional afternoon tea service, complete with a variety of teas, delicate pastries, and savory sandwiches. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the elegant ambiance as you savor every sip and bite.

International Spy Museum

For a unique and thrilling experience, visit the International Spy Museum, where you can delve into the world of espionage and undercover operations. Discover spies’ secrets throughout history, explore interactive exhibits, and test your spy skills. It’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.

Ford’s Theatre

History buffs will appreciate a visit to Ford’s Theatre, the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Take a guided tour of the theater, learn about the events leading up to that fateful night, and gain a deeper understanding of the impact of Lincoln’s presidency. A visit to Ford’s Theatre is a poignant reminder of the nation’s history.

White House Visitor Center

While touring Downtown Washington, D.C., a visit to the White House Visitor Center is a must. Located just steps away from the iconic White House, this center offers a glimpse into the history and significance of the presidential residence. Explore interactive exhibits, learn about the various presidents who have called the White House home, and marvel at the grandeur of this historic landmark.

DAR Constitution Hall

As one of the largest concert halls in the city, DAR Constitution Hall is a premier venue for live performances and events. From concerts and theatrical productions to lectures and graduations, this iconic hall has hosted a wide range of events throughout its history. Check the schedule and catch a show during your Downtown Washington, D.C. visit.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Celebrate the achievements of women in the arts at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This unique museum is dedicated to showcasing the work of female artists worldwide, with a collection spanning over 5,000 pieces. Explore the various exhibitions and gain a deeper appreciation for the contributions of women in the arts.

Old Ebbitt Grill

No Downtown Washington, D.C. visit is complete without a meal at the Old Ebbitt Grill. Established in 1856, this historic restaurant is a local favorite and offers a classic American dining experience. Indulge in delicious seafood, mouthwatering steaks, and refreshing cocktails as you soak up the atmosphere of this iconic establishment.

Eaton Washington DC

For a truly unique and sustainable experience, consider staying at Eaton, Washington, DC. This eco-friendly hotel is committed to promoting social and environmental responsibility while providing guests with a comfortable and stylish retreat. Enjoy the hotel’s modern amenities, vibrant artwork, and engaging programming during your Downtown Washington, D.C., stay.

Explore the nightlife in D.C.

Downtown Washington, D.C., comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene when the sun goes down. From trendy rooftop bars and speakeasies to live music venues and dance clubs, there’s something for everyone after dark. Immerse yourself in the energy and excitement of the city as you explore the diverse nightlife options.

How to Get to Downtown Washington

Getting to Downtown Washington, D.C., is easy thanks to its convenient location and excellent transportation options. The city is well-connected by public transportation, including the Metro, buses, and bike-sharing programs. If you prefer to drive, plenty of parking options are available. Plan your journey to ensure a smooth and hassle-free arrival.

Downtown Washington, D.C., offers a wealth of attractions, activities, and experiences that will captivate and entertain visitors. From world-class museums and historic sites to delicious cuisine and vibrant nightlife, there is something for everyone in this vibrant and diverse city.

Share your love
Table of Content