Washington DC Night Tours

Things to Do in DC at Night

This post is a look at things to do in Washington, DC at Night, including a top 10 list as well as free activities and things to do with kids. 

We also list nightlife and entertainment options.  Read more »

Marine Corps Sunset Parade

Sunset Parade at Marine Corps Memorial 2021

Every summer the Marine Corps hosts a weekly Sunset Parade at the Marine Corps War Memorial (also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial). The tradition began in 1956, two years after the dedication of the memorial, and has continued ever since.

The parade includes musical performances by “The Commandant’s Own,” the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as precision drill by the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. 

 

For 2018 and 2019, the parade took place at the Lincoln Memorial due to renovations at Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial. This video is from that location. 

The 2021 Sunset Parade has returned to in person at the Iwo Jima Memorial and begins Tuesday June 8, 2021!

Read more »

Things to Do in July in Washington DC

What to Do in July in Washington DC

This post covers the top things to do in July in Washington, DC (updated for 2021), including nighttime activities, free things to do, and family-friendly options.

Be sure to read our master post on things to do in DC for even more ideas.

 
 

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TOP 10 

This section covers our top ten list for July.

For more ideas on favorite things to do in DC, check out the following posts:

Some of the items listed in this post are included for free with the purchase of a tourist attraction discount pass


1. Discover Georgetown

July is a month filled with events about to America declaring its independence from Great Britain.

One neighborhood that predates the American Revolution is Georgetown and you can learn more about this historic area on our Historic Georgetown Walking Tour, or on your own with our GPS-led audio tour

If you’re concerned about daytime heat, take our eventing Ghosts of Georgetown or True Crimes of Georgetown tours or our evening Street Art & Glow Lights tour.

 

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You can find out more about all our walking tours here.

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A Definitive Guide to the BEST Museums in Washington DC

Washington, DC has over 70 unique museums to explore. With so many options, we decided to make a post of the top museums to visit in Washington, DC  from the Smithsonian museums, galleries, and zoo to some other fun free and paid ones in the city. 


With so much changing as Washington DC slowly reopens due to COVID-19, we are trying to keep all information updated. Note that opening hours, ticketing policies and procedures may vary.
For the most up to date information, check the location’s individual website.

Which Smithsonian Museums are Open right now? 

Reopening Soon

  • Natural History Museum reopens June 18
  • National Museums of Asian & African Art both reopen July 16
  • Air and Space on the National Mall reopens July 30
  • Anacostia Community Museum reopens August 6 (will not require timed tickets)
  • Hirshhorn Museum reopens August 20
  • National Postal Museum reopens August 27 (will not require timed tickets)

Free timed passes are required. Can be reserved 30 days in advance for up to 6 ppl (groups larger than 6 prohibited). 


 

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What to Do in Washington DC during COVID

Washington DC is slowly reopening but there are still many locations that are not open to the public just yet.

If you’re looking for what to do in Washington DC during the pandemic, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate what is open in DC right now.

This page was updated on May 26, 2021

 

 


Please note that Washington DC has some guidelines for visiting:

  • Face coverings must be appropriately worn while in public for those who are not vaccinated. Some businesses and many museums require masks regardless.
  • There are city regulations for visitors, you can find more here.

What to Do in Washington DC during COVID

1. Take a Walking Tour

We offer a number of walking tours right now! All tours take safety precautions such as small groups, no interior stops and physical distancing.

 

 

You can join us for tours of:

  • National Mall
  • Historic Georgetown
  • Lincoln’s Assassination
  • True Crime & Scandals of Georgetown, or Embassy Row
  • Ghosts of Georgetown
  • & more!

2. Visit a Museum (that’s open!)

Many museums in DC have reopened! Expect the need for timed tickets and reserve them in advance!

Hillwood Estates - taken by Canden

 

As of May 26, 2021 it is easier to list what hasn’t reopened! Most museums in DC have reopened, though on limited hours and required timed tickets. You can find out more about how to get Smithsonian tickets on our article here.

Which Smithsonian Museums are Open right now?

Reopening Soon

  • Natural History Museum reopens June 18
  • National Museums of Asian & African Art both reopen July 16
  • Air and Space on the National Mall reopens July 30
  • Anacostia Community Museum reopens August 6 (will not require timed tickets)
  • Hirshhorn Museum reopens August 20
  • National Postal Museum reopens August 27 (will not require timed tickets)

Free timed passes are required. Can be reserved 30 days in advance for up to 6 ppl (groups larger than 6 prohibited).

 

3. Explore the Memorials

One of the highlights of visiting Washington DC is touring the National Mall. You can take a guided tour of the memorials with us on a in-person guided walking tour or a self guided audio tour.

 

 

All the memorials on the National Mall and Tidal Basin are open to visitors, though some of the small interior museums are closed.

The Washington Monument is also currently closed. 

4. Walk through a historic neighborhood

Neighborhoods like Georgetown and Alexandria offer pre-revolutionary charm, and U Street NW was once known as Black Broadway.

 

 

A stroll through these neighborhoods offers photo ops, charm and if you walk with one of our self guided audio tours, a lot of history.

We offer audio tours of three historic neighborhoods:

  • Historic Georgetown
  • U Street NW
  • Old Town Alexandria

5. Take a Hop on Hop off Bus Tour

Big Bus Tours have recently reopened in Washington DC with enhanced safety measures.

Bus Tours allow you to hop on and hop off at select sites with a guided narration as you drive between. This is a good way to see sites but also get around the city.

Read more about Bus Tours in DC or Buy Your Ticket Here.

 

 

6. Become a Spy at the International Spy Museum

One of our favorite museums in DC has reopened! Here you have a chance to explore their new location and learn about the tricks of the espionage trade.

The Spy Museum is open Thursday to Monday.

You can read more about the International Spy Museum here.

7. Pay Respects at Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery is open and the Tomb of Unknown Soldier reopens on March 09, 2021.

You can also visit the Women in Military Service Memorial & Museum though free timed tickets are required. 

 

 

8. Eat at a local restaurant

DC has a lot of great places to eat! You can Support DC Businesses by ordering to go or eating on some of the outdoor patios. Many restaurants will have heated patio seating as the days get cooler.

Some of our favorite places to eat are:

  • Ben’s Chili Bowl (U Street NW)
  • Founding Farmers (Foggy Bottom)
  • Queen Vic (H St NE)
  • Martin’s Tavern (Georgetown)
  • Hamilton (Downtown)
  • Pizza Paradisio (Georgetown)

9. Learn about DC from a local Justice perspective

DC by Foot has partnered with Justice Walks DC to offer tours of Washington DC neighborhoods through the lens of Civil Rights and Social Justice.

Join Kate, a social justice educator, for a discussion about these neighborhoods and where available a chance to talk to community leaders and business owners.

NOTE: this is a tour that will discuss topics some may find controversial such as race, racism and economics. It is also a participatory, discussion based tour. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts. 

Contact us at info@dcbyfoot.com to book this as a private tour.

10. Visit the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

The National Gallery of Art, which offers a chance to see the only Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas, as well as Turners, Titians and more, is currently closed.

But you can still visit the outdoor sculpture gardens!

11. Heurich House Beer Garden

We are big fans of history & hops, so when the Heurich House Brewmaster’s Castle opened their garden, we could not have been more excited.

On Thursdays from 5pm-8pm you can have a 1921 style Happy Hour- featuring Senate Beer and Liberty Apple Cider.

Find out more here: https://heurichhouse.org/visithhm

12. See the theatre and museum at Ford’s Theatre

Ford’s Theatre will reopen Wed May 12, 2021 for museum and theatre walkthrough Wed-Sun 10am-4pm. Peterson’s Boarding House remains closed. Timed tickets required.

We’re still offering our famous Lincoln Assassination Walking Tours. Our walking tours do not enter any buildings and we end outside the famous theatre painting a picture for you. It is a great alternative for going inside! 

12. Explore the Great Outdoors

In addition to the National Mall, Washington DC has a lot of open green space for exploring.

  • Teddy Roosevelt Island
  • National Arboretum
  • Oak Hill Cemetery
  • Congressional Cemetery

Our hiking expert, Bob, has written a whole post about finding hiking in the DC area.

13. Ride the Capitol Wheel

The Capitol Wheel at National Harbor is an observation wheel that takes you up 180′ in one of 42 climate controlled gondalas. Sunset rides are the most popular.

Keep in mind that National Harbor is a ways out of downtown but there are a number of things you can do there such as a public art walk, the Awakening statue, restaurants and more. Read our post on things to do in National Habor…

14. Go to an immersive Art experience at ARTECHOUSE

‘Renewal 2021’ opens March 15, 2021 and is inspired by DC’s Cherry Blossom season. You’ll walk through an industrial city 100 years in the future where nature struggles to survive. Leave with a sense of hope though seeing cherry blossoms peak through the plastic and concrete.

Find out more …


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RELATED POSTS:

Best Things to Do in Washington DC

What to Do in Washington, DC

This post covers the best things to do in DC, including top attractions, museums, points of interest, kid-friendly activities, food, things to do at night and much more. 

Some attractions are closed due to COVID, but we have made note below where a location is closed or has new timed ticket requirements.

Interested in what there is to do in DC right now? Read our guide to visiting DC during COVID.

 

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TOP 10 THINGS TO DO (ONLY IN DC)

Below is our list of the top 10 things to do in DC. In each listing, we add links for more in-depth looks at each choice and related items.  Read more »

Washington DC Monuments

What tour should I take in Washington DC?

Figuring out what tour to take can be a hard choice! We offer a number of a tours, so we thought we’d put all the public tours we offer in one place to help you decide.

WHAT TOUR SHOULD I TAKE IN DC?


What tours are being offered as public tours right now?

Keep in mind that any tour we offer can also be booked as private tour, but we also offer a lot more types of tours as private tours! You can read about those here.

Can’t make any of the tours on our Public Tour Schedule and don’t want to book a private tour? We also have a number of Audio Tours available and you can take any of our Virtual Tours via our YouTube Channel

 

 


What is the difference between the three National Mall tours?

National Mall: 2 hour tour that visits: White House, Washington Monument, WWII, Vietnam, Korean and Lincoln Memorials.

National Mall & Tidal Basin: 3 hour tour that visits WWII, Vietnam, Korean, Lincoln, MLK, FDR and Jefferson Memorial

Memorials & Moonlight: 2 hour tour that visits WWII, MLK, Korean and Lincoln Memorials.

 


Kid Friendly Tours

Many of our guides are former teachers, so we love kids on our tours! We don’t put age limits on any of our tours (even our “adults only”) but these tours are best for younger visitors:

  • National Mall Tours – we have a scavenger hunt .pdf that you can add on for free to our National Mall tour! We have a 2 hour National Mall tour and a 3 hour tour that extends to visit the Tidal Basin.
  • Arlington National Cemetery 
  • Lincoln’s Assassination
  • Capitol Hill
  • Ghosts of Georgetown
  • Georgetown Glow & Public Art

Our Historic Georgetown tour welcomes kids, but it’ a lot of historic homes and political celebrities. It’s not usually of interest to our younger visitors unless they love history! 

Adults Only Tours

We don’t put an age limit on these tours, but they do cover sex, murder, affairs. You can decide who is old enough to handle it!

  • Embassy Row: True Crimes & Scandals
  • Georgetown: True Crimes & Scandals
  • White House at Night

Nighttime Tours

Washington DC is a 9 to 5 kind of city, so here are some tours you can take after hours.

  • Memorials & Moonlight
  • Lincoln Assassination 
  • Ghosts of Georgetown
  • Embassy Row: True Crimes & Scandals
  • Georgetown: True Crimes & Scandals
  • White House at Night
  • Georgetown Glow & Public Art

True Crime, Scandals & Ghost Tours

Love true crime or the scandalous side of history? What about ghosts?

  • Embassy Row: True Crimes & Scandals
  • Georgetown: True Crimes & Scandals
  • White House at Night
  • Ghosts of Georgetown

Local Neighborhood Tours

  • Historic Georgetown
  • SE DC Anacostia Tours
  • LOCAL SATURDAYS – each saturday in June and July we’ll have a walking tour of a different neighborhood in DC.
  • Embassy Row: True Crimes & Scandals – while the stories are about murders and affairs, it’s a beautiful walk around Dupont Circle and Embassy Row. We do offer a daytime historic non-scandal version as a private tour!

Best Tours for First Time Visitors

We think all of our tours are great for first time visitors. And what tour you would like really depends on… YOU! 

But these are the most popular tours for first time visitors. 

  • National Mall Tours
  • Capitol Hill
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • Lincoln’s Assassination 

Best Tours for Locals / Repeat Visitors

Same as above – we think all our tours are great for everyone! What you find interesting is will influence what tours you’ll like best. But we have a number of tours that are more popular with locals:

  • Historic Georgetown
  • Embassy Row: True Crimes & Scandals
  • Georgetown: True Crimes & Scandals
  • White House at Night
  • Lincoln’s Assassination
  • LOCAL SATURDAYS – each saturday in June and July we’ll have a walking tour of a different neighborhood in DC.

 


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Fourth of July DC

Top Things to Do in DC on Fourth of July

Visiting DC for the Fourth of July? The nation’s capital is in full Independence swing and there is plenty to do, from fireworks to parades, and we made a list of all there is to enjoy in DC on the Fourth of July.

This post covers things to do in Washington DC on Fourth of July 2021 including a top 5 list, nighttime activities, family-friendly things to do, and free things. Read our master post on things to do in DC any time of year.

 


 

 


TOP FIVE THINGS TO DO FOURTH OF JULY

DC is the perfect place to spend Independence Day. There are plenty of places to see and things to do to. This section covers our top five list for Fourth of July.

For more ideas on popular things to do in DC, check out our posts on bus tours and walking tours of the city.

Some of the items listed in this post are included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount passRead more »

Library of Congress Tours

Library of Congress Tours

This post explains how to take a Library of Congress tour as well as highlights and exhibits that you will see. Be sure to join us on one of our Capitol Hill & Library of Congress Tours.


The Library of Congress is currently closed for public touring.  For more about what is open in DC, visit our article.

However you can take our Capitol Hill Highlights Guided Tour which is running many times a week. We talk about and see the outside of Library of Congress, as well as Supreme Court and US Capitol.



PLAN YOUR VISIT

The Library of Congress is home to over 158 million items including books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, films, and more.

Today, the complex has multiple buildings but the most breathtaking is the original: the  Thomas Jefferson Building.  Read more »

Local Neighborhood Tours of Washington DC

We’re excited to bring back Local Saturday for #StaycationSummer for June and July, 2021. 

Each Saturday, we’ll have a guided walking tour of a different local neighborhood. Learn about the history of a new part of DC or maybe your own backyard on a 2 hour walking tour with one of our expert local guides.

2021 LOCAL SATURDAY SCHEDULE

Tickets are required and can be booked in advance.

 


  • June 05: H St NE: Displacement & Gentrification

 

H Street NE through the lense of Gentrification. Explore the interplay of historic Washington’s rise through the struggles after the 1968 uprisings. Significant focus on how gentrification is playing out today in the neighborhood recently named as one of the “hippest” neighborhoods in the United States. 

NOTE: this is a tour that will discuss topics some may find controversial such as race, racism and economics. It is also a participatory, discussion based tour. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts.

This tour is part of our partnership with Justice Walks so you can also book similar tours of other neighborhoods. 


  • June 12: Anacostia SE DC

>Join us for a walk in SE DC across the Anacostia River to walk through Historic Anacostia neighborhood.


  • June 19: Le Droit Park

LeDroit Park is a hidden gem in DC with tree lined streets, detached homes and a lot of history! While it started as a gated “white only” community, the black history of LeDroit Park includes poets, educators, politicians and more.

Learn more about one of the first suburbs of DC on our walk through LeDroit Park.


  • June 26: Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria is so close to D.C. that it actually used to be a part of the federal district, yet it manages to feel as it belongs to another world… another era. Home to one of the oldest historic districts in America, Alexandria boasts a heavy dose of colonial charm.

From its founding in 1749, you’ll learn about this pre- Revolutionary home where George Washington worshipped and occasionally stayed, Robert E. Lee grew up, and other stories of this historic town. End the tour at the Waterfront for some great seafood lunch or ice cream and a bit of boardwalk charm.


  • July 3: Eastern Market & Barracks Row

>The neighborhood of Eastern Market/Barracks Row is set on historic Capitol Hill, where the homes of historical figures mix with modern day congressmen. One of DC’s first neighborhoods, you’ll see the small town charm in the center of the City.

From John Philip Sousa’s first home, to the men (and women) at attention at the Marine Barracks, hidden statues and a lost wine cellar. The diverse architecture surrounded by the large trees on Capitol Hill to the historic Main Street of 8th Street SE.


  • July 10: Wharf & Southwest Waterfront

Learn about the Historic Southwest Waterfront and how the area grew into the glittery development of today. We’ll see some of the oldest houses in the district, the Titanic Memorial, and the oldest Fish Market. 

Not be confused with the Georgetown Waterfront, this area of Southwest DC is not far from the National Mall or L’Enfant Plaza.


  • July 17: East Georgetown

There is so much history in Georgetown that our regular historic Georgetown doesn’t get to this part of the neighborhood and it’s worth a tour of its own.

We’ll see Julia Child’s home, talk about the black history of Herring Hill, see some beautiful mansions and talk about the development of this part of the neighborhood.


  • July 24: Adams Morgan 

Did you know that the first Toys R Us was located here? Or that the Harris Teeter used to be a boxing gym where Sugar Ray Leonard boxed? There is a lot of hidden history in Adams Morgan!

We’ll explore this neighborhood’s beginnings on our walking tour.


  • July 31: Foggy Bottom

>Come explore one of DC’s oldest neighborhoods, full of history, presidential hijinks, student antics and local charm. Hear about the reason for the oddest neighborhood name in DC, as well as how Foggy Bottom connects with the rest of the city.


See a neighborhood tour that you think looks great but can’t come on that day? We offer all of these tours as private options as well! Contact us for more information.