The Smithsonian’s free museums, majestic landmarks, and springtime cherry blossoms are must-sees when sightseeing in Washington, DC. But even if you’ve been there before, there are plenty of new reasons to visit our nation’s capital in 2022 – including some visitor favorites now reopened after pandemic shutdowns.
Planet of Words Museum
The museum is fully accessible and lends visitors a limited number of wheelchairs.
To visit: Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; reserve tickets online (there is no entrance fee, although donations of $10-$15 are encouraged); 925 13th St. NW; 202-931-3139; planetwordmuseum.org
White House tours revived
Public tours restarted in April, after a long COVID-related hiatus. Free peeks in public rooms are first-come, first-served and must be reserved through a congressman’s office. Contact your Congressman and Congressional Tour Coordinator through the U.S. House of Representatives Switchboard at 202-225-3121, the U.S. Senate Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or online at www.congress.gov/members. You’ll want to plan ahead: Ticket requests must be submitted three weeks to 90 days in advance. Self-guided tours of the East Wing include the State Dining Room, Red Room, Green Room, Blue Room, and Chinese Room, which features tableware from past presidents — but the Oval Office is off limits. Secret Service members posted in the chambers can answer questions.
To visit: Free tours are currently only available from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Some once destitute neighborhoods are brimming with new restaurants, boutiques and hip places to lay your head. Marriott’s AC Hotel Capitol Hill Navy Yard is close to the Capitol, Smithsonian Museums and DC’s renovated waterfront. Fares start at around $200, depending on the date.
The citizenM Washington DC NoMa is due to take place in July in a booming neighborhood north of the Capitol. The hip European brand offers HD TV with streaming and mood lighting in the bedroom. He joins the citizenM Washington DC Capitol. Rates start at less than $200.
Prices will be under $130 on slow nights at the more traditional Holiday Inn Express Washington DC Downtown, due in July. Small budgets will appreciate that breakfast is included.