How to see the Best of Washington DC in a Day

It would be impossible to see all of Washington DC in a single day but many tourists want to be able to experience as much of the city as possible and quite often time is restricted making a necessity to see the best bits of DC in the most efficient way possible. Luckily, we are here to help and even though you won’t be able to do absolutely everything in one day, you can squeeze as much of the must-see attractions in as possible! You might also like to read our blog about the 5 things you probably didn’t know about Washington DC before you visit!

Aerial view of the Capitol Building

The Main Tourist Attractions in Washington DC 

While we cannot offer you the chance to view the whole city in one go, we do offer a fantastic range of Washington DC bus tours that can help you get the most out of your stay. There are some key areas that we feel should be visited especially if you’re visiting for the first time. Top of our list would be Mount Vernon and Old Town Alexandria as this is the historical home of George Washington, the first President of the United States. This is one of the most historic places in the country and a key reason why so many people visit Washington DC. 

The Capitol Hill Visitor Center is also high up on our list as it is from here that you can begin to learn about the history of the US government. You can enjoy a tour of the Capitol Building and enjoy some historic sites such as the rotunda, Hall of Columns and the old Supreme Court chambers. Even better, these tours are free but we would recommend booking in advance. There is also an exhibition gallery and the tours themselves can last up to an hour each so factor this in when planning your day. 

The very imposing Capitol Building

National Mall & Smithsonian 

Once you have experienced at least some of the Capitol then our recommendation would be to visit the National Mall. You can use the metro to get there or our bus tours will take you straight this location also. From here you can enjoy some of the best views of the city and it truly is one of the most scenic locations in Washington DC. You will be able to view of the historic Washington Monument to the West and then make the trip to the Smithsonian.

In total, the Smithsonian comprises 19 museums. Naturally, you will not be able to visit each individually if you’re planning a day trip so the National Museum of National History or National Museum of American History would be our top two choices. We are not going to lie, there is a lot to see and do here so grabbing a map and picking out some key exhibits is a good idea. 

The National Museum Washington DC

If you have time left on your day trip then the White House is always worth a visit even if it is just to gaze at this monumental building. Turn west on Pennsylvania Avenue and you will reach the building in no time. You can take some pictures and enjoy a view of the White House grounds and the public park across the street is always a popular place to visit all year round. 

Separate the fact from the fiction when you go on a Gray Line DC tour as you learn about some of the most interesting aspects of US history! For more information on any of our tours around Washington, please do contact us for more information!