Planning a First-Time Trip to Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. Capitol

If you’re planning a first-time trip to Washington, D.C., for a client, you may feel a little overwhelmed. There’s so much to do in the U.S. capital. For being a moderately sized city, Washington, D.C. packs a punch. It boasts immense history, excellent cultural events, the nation’s most famous monuments and memorials, and an extensive list of world-class museums, including the famous Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian museums, including the Natural History and the American History museums, are free museums (great for budget-conscious travelers), and these are the most visited museums in D.C. However, there are museums around D.C. that are paid but a little lesser known. A favorite is the International Spy Museum, which features artifacts and exhibits from the past 50 years of spy technology and missions. The Spy Museum is fun for people of all ages, and because it requires paid tickets, crowds are minimized. It can sometimes sell out, so it’s a good idea to book in advance.

A trip to D.C. shouldn’t be confined to the District. In neighboring Virginia, there are a couple of key sights for visitors: Arlington National Cemetery and George Washington’s Mount Vernon.  Arlington National Cemetery is home to many different memorials and monuments to units of various national conflicts. The most famous of these is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Every visitor to the cemetery should see the changing of the guard ceremony that occurs daily. Mount Vernon is a little farther from D.C., but it’s still easily accessible to visitors. We recommend visiting with a VIP tour, which includes hotel pickup and drop-off, a private tour of the estate, and time to freely tour the grounds.

No trip to Washington, D.C., is complete without spending time on the National Mall. A guided tour allows your clients to see everything while also allowing them to get around crowds by using a bus or car. The Washington, D.C. Twilight Tour  has the added benefit of going to the mall around sunset, when crowds start to dissipate. This tour takes your clients around DC to the most famous memorials and monuments, where your clients can get out to take photos and get a look up close. The tour also takes your clients around to many other famous D.C. landmarks and buildings to see by coach.

To see a full list of the many ARC MarketPlace tours and activities available in Washington, D.C., click here.

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