DC Wine Tours

Wine Tours in the DC Area

This post is your guide to wine tours in the DC area. We’ll list the most popular ones and tell you all about them such as wineries on the itineraries, prices, and more to help you decide which wine tours to book.

 

 

 For more things to do in DC, check out our Top Things to do in DC post!

OVERVIEW

The DC area is a great place to explore wineries, as the area is filled with some incredible vineyards. There are plenty to drive to and visit on your own, but we think the best way to experience them is on a wine tour. This way you can relax and enjoy tasting without worrying about transportation. It also takes the guesswork out of planning which wineries to visit and the logistics of getting to them.

We’ve listed the best wine tours in Virginia and Maryland and researched them to give you an overview of the overall experience you should expect to have with each. This guide should give you the best idea of the wine tours around DC so you can best decide which is best for you!


VIRGINIA WINE TOURS

There are over 200 wineries in Virginia, and with so many options, deciding which ones to visit can be intimidating. Luckily, there are some great companies that will take care of the planning so you can just relax and enjoy the experience.


FROM DC

There are several wine tour companies that offer pick-up and drop-off in DC. This is a great option if you’re staying in the district.

DCAcar

DCAcar is a car service that offers a number of options, from driving clients to and from the airport, tours in DC, and wine tours, which we’ll be focusing on.

The great thing about this company is that they’re customizable. Want to add a winery? Want to create your own custom route? They can do that for you. Their vehicles as clean, reliable, and professional.

Wineries featured on their wine tours:

To learn more and book a tour, check out their website here.

Bonus: Use promo code dcbyfoot for 5% off your wine tour booking.  


Reston Limousines

Reston Limousines offers both public and private wine tours, great for all size parties. You can hire them for a private experience or join one of their already scheduled experiences, which usually pick up at the West Falls Church Metro Station. To learn how to use the DC Metro, click on our post here.

Wineries featured on their wine tours:

Price: Public ours start around $65/per person and include transportation and tastings. Special prices are offered for private tours.


Spirited Tours

Spirited Tours does it all- wines, beer, and spirits! They offer pick-up from 6 popular locations in Washington, DC, which makes it very convenient for those staying in the district. Their wine tours last around 6 hours and include snacks and tasting fees. They offer both public and private wine tours (up to 14 people) to accompany whatever your needs are.

Price: Tours start at $130/person.

 


FROM VIRGINIA

There are some wine tours that pick up/drop off in Virginia. This is a great option if you’re staying outside of DC.

DiVine Wine Tours of Virginia

DiVine Wine Tours of Virginia is an all-inclusive wine tour. This includes transportation, a guide, wine samples, lunch, and more! You can choose from their current wine tour packages or arrange for a private tour. Public tours provide transportation from Reston Towne Center, while private tours pick you up from your chosen location.

Wineries featured on their wine tours:

Price: Average tours cost $140-$170/per person.

To learn more and book a tour, check out their website here.


Getaway Driver

This company offers an all-inclusive wine tour of Northern Virginia wineries. They also offer wine, spirit, and beer tours for those looking for more variety. Their wine tours last 6.5 hours and include tastings, lunch/brunch, snacks, and water. They take care of everything so all you have to do is sign up, show up, and sip! Tours leave from Old Town Alexandria, and you can easily get there by Metro.

Price: Tours start at $115/person.

To learn more about their tours and book a spot, click here.


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MARYLAND WINE TOURS

Maryland also has some great wine tours. Here are some wine tour companies operating in Maryland:

 

 


On The Town Limousines

This car service is a great way to explore wineries in Maryland. They offer customizable private tours that last about 4-6 hours, although it is not inclusive and each person must pay for their own samples at the wineries. They offer not just wine tours, but tours of breweries and distilleries as well. This makes On The Town Limousines a great option if your party wants a more varied experience. This company also offers tours of Virginian wineries.

Wineries featured on their wine tours:

To learn more and book a tour, click here.


Transit Van Shuttle

This private shuttle company is great for those who want to create their own itinerary. Guests create their own list of wineries to visit and hire out this company for transportation to each of them and back. While it’s recommended that you have a list of wineries to visit and call ahead to book tastings, itineraries can be updated. Their website has a number of great winery recommendations to make planning easy.

Wineries featured on their wine tours:

To learn more about how their service works, check out their website here.


Vino 301

Vino 301 Maryland Wine tours are great for those who don’t want to plan. They handle all the scheduling and transportation! They have a number of tours to choose from, including Maryland Regional Wine Tours, Chocolate and Wine Tours, and Wine and Cheese Tours. They also have a Wine, Beer & Spirits Tour: A Beverage Adventure Tour, perfect for those groups with varying drink preferences. These tours last around 5 hours and include all tastings fees and a Tour Ambassador to help make the most of your experience.

Wineries featured on their wine tours:

Price: Tours starts at $95/per person

To browse their selection of tours and book your spot, click here.

 


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TOP 10 EVENTS AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN DC

This section covers our top ten things to do outdoors in DC. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or just want to enjoy the sunshine on a great day, we have something for everyone listed below. For more ideas of things to do in DC, check out our Top Things to Do in DC post.  

For more ideas on popular things to do in DC, check out our other posts:

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


1. Walk the National Mall

The best part of DC is outside! The National Mall is a free national park that extends from the Capitol Building all the way down to the Lincoln Memorial, just over 2 miles. It’s an expanse of grass fields for recreational sports, picnics, and visiting our memorials and monuments. The Washington Monument is also on the National Mall, which you can go up into and get an incredible view of the entire city! We recommend exploring the National Mall on a free walking tour so that one of our expert guides can tell you the history and stories behind the memorials you can find there.  

 

 


2. Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park is the largest green space in DC! It’s a great (and free!) place to hike, wander, bike, and climb. You can also find the National Zoo there! It’s open all the time, but we recommend going during daylight house. There are multiple access points to the park, it is North of Georgetown and West of Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan.

 

 


3. Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island is what’s called a “living” presidential memorial and is a great place to hike and picnic at. It’s free to enter and is open from sunrise to sunset every day. 

 

 

How to get there: The nearest metro stop is Rosslyn (check out our DC Metro riding guide here).  Exit metro and turn left on Wilson Blvd, then an immediate left onto Moore St. Make a right onto US-29, then left to Lynn St. Signs will point you down Mount Vernon Trail and a small footbridge and it’s a 15-minute walk.

Parking is also ample at the Island.

 


3. Visit an Outdoor Market

There are a number of markets throughout DC. We have two permanent markets, Union Market and Eastern Market, of which we offer an Eastern Market History & Desserts Tour. We also have farmers markets that pop-up throughout the year:

If you’re coming in the winter, there are a number of holiday markets in DC. For more things to do in DC in the winter, check out our winter guide

 


4. United States National Arboretum

If you love trees, you can’t miss the United States National Arboretum! There’s the National Grove of State trees, you can walk around the Bonsai tree collection, and check out the original columns from the Capitol. It’s a great place to lay out a blanket, have a picnic, and even fly a kite! It’s great for wandering even for those who simply enjoy the company of beautiful trees. 

Admission is free and the arboretum is open Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. 

 

 

 
 

Parking is ample there and is a short drive from the Capitol Building.

To get there by Metro can be a bit tricky, but here are the directions:  the easiest metro stop is Stadium-Armory (orange/silver/blue lines). Once you exit the metro, take the B2 bus toward Mt Ranier. Get off at Bladensburg Rd and Rand Pl.


5. Kayaking on the Potomac

For those more adventurous, we suggest kayaking the Potomac. It’s a great way to exercise and see the sites of DC from a boat! There are also paddle boards and canoes available for rent. 

There are a number of places to rent from, and prices vary but start at around $22/hour.

 

 
When to do it: depending on the season and weather permitting, most places start at around 9am and end around 7pm. 

For more information, check out boatingindc.com.


6. Wander Around Historic Georgetown

Georgetown is an incredible place to spend the afternoon wandering and exploring. Older than the city itself, Georgetown is DC’s oldest neighborhood, full of shopping, food, and incredible desserts, which you can experience on our Georgetown Cupcake & Desserts tour. You can find the oldest unchanged building in DC, the Old Stone House, there. There’s also Georgetown University, which you can take a self-guided tour of. You can visit Georgetown any time of the day or year and learn more about it on our Historic Georgetown tour. For those brave of heart, we recommend coming back after dark for out Ghosts of Georgetown tour.  

 

Unsure where to start? We recommend starting at the Old Stone House, at the corner of M Street and Thomas Jefferson. From there, the neighborhood extends behind you, so make a left on M, and then an immediate left onto 30th street. 

To get to the Old Stone House, take Metro to Foggy Bottom, make left out of the station.  At the circle, keep going left until you get to Pennsylvania Ave.  Walk down Pennsylvania Ave until it turns into M Street. The Old Stone House is 3 blocks on the left.


7. Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Spend the day at the Zoo! It’s free and a great way to get kids outside and burn some energy off. There’s the must-see panda exhibit and plenty for all ages to enjoy. The National Zoo is open daily from 8am-5pm. We recommend checking them out online too since they have a number of fun events year-round, not just for little ones! We personally love some of the boozy events they host for adults.

 

How to get there: the Zoo is midway between the Cleveland Park and Woodley Metro stations on the red line.

Pro tip: Arrive via Cleveland Park, and walk downhill to the zoo.  When leaving the zoo, continue to walk downhill to the Woodley Metro.

There is a parking lot at $25/car. If you get a zoo membership parking is free! 


8. Biking the Mount Vernon Trail

DC is a bike-friendly city, with lots of trails to explore. We recommend biking the Mount Vernon Trail, an 18-mile scenic route from DC to George Washington’s Mount Vernon home. We recommend checking out our Guide to Visiting Mount Vernon to make the best of your trip now that you’ve arrived. 

You can rent a bike from a number of places, like Capital Bike Share, which is just $8 a bike for 24 hours. Biking the trail itself is free! The trail is open daily from 6am-10pm.

How to get there: the Mount Vernon trail starts near Theodore Roosevelt Island, so the easiest way is to Metro to Rosslyn and rent a bike near there. 


9. Meridian Hill Park

Explore Meridian Hill Park, a hidden gem in Washington, DC. It was once a private estate, now made into a lovely public park. It boasts the longest cascading fountain in the United States and is home to the only female equestrian statue in DC (Joan of Arc!). It’s free to go there and is located near Adams Morgan, a fun neighborhood to explore. The park is open during daylight hours.  

 

How to get there: The closest Metro is U Street. Take the 13th Street exit and make a left onto U Street. Walk toward 16th street, making a right onto 16th. 2 blocks up 16th will be the south end of the park.


10. Stroll up Embassy Row

Change countries without leaving DC by going on a stroll on Embassy Row! While there are over 180 embassy’s scattered around DC, many are in a charming area known as Embassy Row.  A stroll up Massachusetts Ave will take you through the heart of the area. We recommend learning about a few on our Embassy Row tour, but you can check out which embassies you can walk by on their website and follow along on a self-guided tour

It’s free to just walk around, and daytime will allow you to get the best views of the homes and statues. 

How to get there: Take Metro to Dupont Circle (red line).  Get off either exit, and head toward the circle.  Once you are in the circle, look for the PNC bank.  That is Massachusetts Ave. Start walking up and the embassies are on either side of the street for blocks.  You can see many all the way up to the Naval Observatory, where the Vice President lives.


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THINGS TO DO OUTSIDE IN DC AT NIGHT

There are a number of outdoor things to do in DC at night. We mentioned visiting the National Zoo in the top 10 section above, which hosts some after-dark events. For more, check out the list below. 

 

 

For a complete list of things to do in DC at night, check out our master post here


Outdoor Cocktails at the Watergate Hotel

The Watergate is a pretty well-known hotel for scandalous reasons but is today a thriving residential building. Their rooftop features a bar with great cocktails and an incredible view of the city that the public can enjoy. Getting up there is free, though cocktail prices can sometimes get expensive. In the winter, they occasionally host ice skating up there! The rooftop is open daily from 5pm-midnight. 

How to get there: Take Metro to Foggy Bottom (orange/silver/blue lines). immediately upon leaving the station, turn right until you are facing away from the street. walk through the park, make a left onto New Hampshire Ave. When you get to the circle, make the first right onto Virginia Ave, the Watergate is in front of you. The main entrance is slightly to your right down Virginia.

Two other rooftop bars worth mentioning:


Kennedy Center Roof

Head to the top of the Kennedy Center for great rooftop views of the city. Bonus, the Kennedy Center has a free concert every day at 6pm on the Millennium Stage! Admission is free, just go inside the elevator and hit the Terrace button. You might even catch a proposal up there, it’s one of the most romantic places in DC.

Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10am – 9pm, Sunday: 12pm-9pm

How to get there: There is a shuttle from the Foggy Bottom metro (orange/silver/blue lines). The shuttle signs are to the left as you exit the Metro.  There is a paid parking lot at the Kennedy Center as well.


Gravelly Point Park

Gravelly Point Park is a great park for hanging out, playing bocci ball, and just relaxing. But the main reason people go out there is to see the planes take off and land since it’s located near Reagan National Airport! Gravelly Point Park is just off the main runway at the airport and has picnic tables and ample parking to enjoy seeing the jets soaring overhead. And it’s free!

The park is open all the time but places stop at the airport around 10pm. 

How to get there: It’s difficult to get to the park via Metro, so a car is probably the easiest option, and there is plenty of parking.  You can also bike there on the Mount Vernon Trail (see above).

 

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KID-FRIENDLY OPTIONS

DC offers a lot of family-friendly activities and attractions any day of the year. Here are a few more family-friendly ideas.

 

For a more complete list of things to do with kids in DC, check out our master post here


Mini Golfing at East Potomac Park

You can mini-golf

within sight of the monuments on the National Mall at East Potomac Park. This is a great activity for the whole family! There’s also a regulation course and a driving range. 

Admission is $7/adult, $6/under 18 

Hours: Generally 10am-sundown, weather permitting. During the winter months, the course is closed on weekdays. 

How to get there: The closest public transit would be the Circulator city bus, the National Mall route, which can be boarded in a number of places, especially Union Station. Once on the Circulator, exit at stop 6, and continue along 15th Street, over the bridge. Immediately on the other side of the bridge, make a left onto Ohio drive, walk down Ohio until you come to the entrance. 

Metro: Using the Smithsonian stop (orange/silver/blue), take the 12th street/Holocaust Museum exit.  Walk along Independence Ave, making a right on 15th street.  Follow 15th street over the bridge, making a left on Ohio drive.

There is also ample parking, though it can get crowded in the busy season. 
 

Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park is a 15-mile drive from DC, which can be tricky for those without a car, but absolutely worth it to go out of your way to explore. This is kidly-friendly, and a lot of families driving into DC with cars can take a little excursion to see these incredible waterfalls. There’s hiking and biking trails, places fish, and even to go horseback riding! 

The park is open year-round and parking is $15/per vehicle. 

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO IN DC OUTSIDE

There are a ton of free things to do in DC, and a lot are outside! We have a number of things mentioned in our other sections, like taking a free walking tour on the National Mall. For more, check out our list below.

 

 

 For more free things to do in DC, check out our master post here.


Find the DC Boundary Stones

For those with a sense of adventure, hunting down the boundary stones of DC is like a true treasure hunt! Back when we decided on the original boundaries of Washington, DC, we set out these boundary stones to mark the district. There a few still around, and you can go find them and see what are now the country’s oldest federal monuments. They’re free to find, and sometimes you can find them in unlikely places, like someone’s front lawn!

How to get there: See this website for a printable map of the 36 remaining boundary stones throughout DC.

 

Visit a Cemetery

Dc has some incredible historic cemeteries. These are great places to visit to pay respects to loved ones who might be buried there, learn the history of the area, and spend the day out and about. For example, not only is Arlington National Cemetery the final resting spot of over 400,000 heroes, it’s actually an arboretum! The cemetery offers horticulture tours for whose interested. 

Two other great cemeteries to visit while in DC are Oak Hill Cemetery which we offer tours of and Congressional Cemetery located on Capitol Hill. 

 
All of these cemeteries are free to visit. 
 

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden 

The Sculpture Garden is a great outdoor place to explore for those who love art. It’s also a great place for taking pictures, hanging out and reading, and attending one of the events they host throughout the year like their summer Jazz in the Garden series. 

They also have ice skating in the winter!
 

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DC DAY 1

If you’re arriving in DC on the weekend, we recommend a DC brunch for breakfast. A lot of restaurants offer unlimited food/drink options for brunch, giving you the most for your money. Our favorite is Ambar on 8th street near Eastern Market, which we suggest exploring afterward. There are numerous restaurants and cafes in the area if you’re looking for a lighter breakfast.

We offer a great Eastern Market History & Desserts tour so you can learn while you enjoy all the tasty treats! To learn more about DC food tours, click here.

 

 

After exploring Eastern Market, head over to the Capitol, just a short walk away. We offer a Capitol Hill tour that includes tickets to go into the Capitol, but you can also explore the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court on your own. They’re all free to go inside! Click here for more free things to do in DC.

Next, make your way west- just on the other side of the Capitol is the National Mall, home to our free Smithsonian Museums. Spend the afternoon exploring them. The three most popular ones are: Air & Space Museum, American History Museum, and the Natural History Museum. Keep in mind, we have 17 Smithsonian Museums in DC, including a number of art galleries, so check out our DC Museums posts to decide which ones you want to explore. You can also hire a private guide to show you around the museums!

 

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For lunch, we recommend eating at one of the many food trucks that are parked in the area. They’re usually cheap and great quality!

From there, you can either walk down or take the Metro to the White House. To learn how to get tickets to go inside, click here. We offer a number of White House tours, from the Secrets & Scandals of the White House to kid-friendly history tours. If you didn’t get tickets to go inside the White House, you can still learn more about it at the White House Visitor Center, a short walk away.

For dinner, we recommend making a reservation at Old Ebbitt Grill, the oldest saloon in DC. If it’s too crowded, not far away is its sister restaurant, The Hamilton, which offers live music.

After dinner, we recommend exploring the memorials. Our National Mall tour takes you to see the Washington Monument, WW2 Memorial, MLK Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. If you’re feeling tired, we recommend an evening bus tour to see the sights in comfort.

If you’re in the mood to grab a drink after, U Street and 14th Street have a number of great bars and clubs to enjoy. For more things to do in DC at night, check out our post.


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DC DAY 2

For day 2, we recommend waking up early and heading out to Arlington National Cemetery. We offer a guided tour to show you the highlights of these sacred grounds,  which includes seeing the Kennedy Grave and the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There’s also a trolley tour around the cemetery to take if walking up multiple hills is difficult for you. If you want to explore at your own pace, we suggest downloading an audio tour and exploring our self-guided tours.

 

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Just outside of Arlington National Cemetery is the Iwo Jima or Marine Corp Memorial, so be sure to check that out after.

For lunch, head over to Georgetown and check out Martin’s Tavern, which was a favorite of President John F. Kennedy. Rumor has it he allegedly proposed to Jacquie Kennedy in what is now known as the proposal booth! Explore Georgetown, DC’s oldest neighborhood, after lunch, where you can enjoy shopping and desserts. You can do these with a guide or on your own. You can also explore Georgetown University.

From there, head to Chinatown. Though small, it hides some cool stuff, like the National Portrait Gallery, which is free to explore and contains the largest collection of presidential portraits outside of the White House. There’s also Capital One Arena, home to some of our local sports teams, the Washington Capitals hockey team and the Wizards basketball team. For dinner, there are a number of great food options in Chinatown, including Daikaya for ramen.

You can also find Ford’s Theater there, and go on a free Lincoln Assassination tour after dinner to wrap up the evening. There are a number of free evening tours to choose from, including one of Dupont Circle and a Georgetown ghost tour.

 


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DC DAY 3:

Start your last day in DC at Mount Vernon, the former home of George Washington, located in Alexandria. You might need to take a Lyft to get there. Use discount code “BODCBYFOOT” for a discount on your first ride.

For lunch, explore Old Town Alexandria, a great place for shopping and dining.

In the evening, head to the Kennedy Center for a performance. They host free nightly performances at the Millenium Stage at 6pm. Be sure to go up to the terrace before or after the show for an incredible view of DC and Virginia.

For more ideas of things to do in DC, look into getting a DC Tourist Discount Pass. This will give you a bunch of discounts on a number of popular DC attractions. To learn more, click here.

 

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