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Washington, DC

Day trips

Our most recommended Washington, DC Day Trips

From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

1. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

2. Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

Glide around the streets of Washington DC on a guided tour by a battery-operated electric cart. See all the major monuments of the United States capital, like Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial with an onboard guide. After getting comfortable onboard, head first towards the Smithsonian complex. Admire the size of the largest museum and research complex in the world.  Next, discover three of the most well-known monuments in Washington DC. Admire the monuments to Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, arguably the three most beloved presidents of the U.S. From here, take a moment to pause and remember those who lost their lives in battle as you visit various war memorials. Pause at the memorials to World War I, World War II, the Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam War Veterans memorial sites.  Get your camera ready for when you pass by one of the most recognizable landmarks in the whole world, the White House, the home of the U.S President. Finally, feast your eyes on Capitol Hill, home to the United States Congress.

From Washington, D.C.: Mount Vernon Sightseeing River Cruise

3. From Washington, D.C.: Mount Vernon Sightseeing River Cruise

Experience a great American adventure on this boat trip to the home of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Enjoy a round-trip cruise from Washington, D.C. to Mount Vernon, including entrance to the estate of George and Martha Washington. Start your tour with a fully narrated cruise down the Potomac River to Mount Vernon. Tour the gardens and grounds of this national historical landmark and learn the history of one of the country's most important leaders. Spend 3 full hours at the estate viewing the gardens, strolling the many trails, visiting the farm, and stopping by the many restaurants and shops, on a tour that allows you to travel back in history to the time of colonial America.

From NYC: Guided Day Trip to Washington DC by Van or Bus

4. From NYC: Guided Day Trip to Washington DC by Van or Bus

Journey from NYC to Washington on a full-day trip to see the sights of the nation’s capital with a Spanish-speaking guide. Visit the most important monuments, memorials and buildings like the White House and the Washington Monument. Head down South from NYC in a comfortable air-conditioned bus, passing through New Jersey and Delaware, with a stop in Delaware to stretch your legs and use the restrooms. Continue on past Maryland until Arlington, Virginia. The tour starts properly at Arlington National Ceremony, where the tour guide will take you to Kennedy’s grave and explore with you the lush grounds. Then, head to the Iwo Jima memorial, with time to take photos. During the whole journey, your guide will tell you interesting facts about the city.   Next, head to Washington DC across the Potomac River. Pass along Constitution Avenue where you’ll see the State Department, the Institute of Peace, and the Albert Einstein Memorial. Go to the National Mall and walk with your guide to places that have been featured in movies and TV series. See the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial. You’ll recognize the Reflecting Pool from Forrest Gump. You’ll also see the most-visited monument in the city, the World War II Memorial.   Back on the bus, you’ll continue to view offices of important organizations such as the Organization of American States, the American Red Cross, and the Treasury Department until you finally reach the White House. Take some time to take pictures in the gardens before continuing on to see the FBI buildings, the National Archives, and more. Your final stop will be the Air and Space Museum, where you’ll have some free time to visit the exhibits, have lunch, and take photos of the Capitol Building. On the way back to NYC, you’ll be treated to a night-time panoramic view of NYC from New Jersey. 

From Washington DC: Mount Vernon & Old Town Alexandria Tour

5. From Washington DC: Mount Vernon & Old Town Alexandria Tour

Discover the historic Old Town Alexandria on a guided day trip from Washington. Ride along the Potomac River and visit the Mount Vernon Estate, the former residence of George Washington. Enjoy pickup in a luxurious, climate-controlled vehicle while your guide explains the significance of some of the city’s most recognizable monuments. A short drive brings you to the candy-colored architecture of Alexandria, where you can take a tour of some monuments notable to the former president – including the Masonic Temple and Christ Church. Arguably the birthplace of the city itself, George Washington’s former estate is located just 13 miles from the capital’s center. Then, go for an in-depth foray through the mansion, with entrance tickets to the grounds and gardens included. Interactive, historic reenactments bring the founding father’s story to life, while a guided tour of the building helps shine a light on his fascinating story. Next, you'll ride along the Potomac River and visit the Mount Vernon Estate - one of the Washington, DC, area’s premier sightseeing attractions. Explore historic Mount Vernon – from the mansion’s interior where President Washington resided to his beloved gardens, and final resting place.  Take some time for lunch at the Mt Vernon Food Court if you like, then learn more about George Washington’s life and legacy in both the Museum and Education Center – home to more than 700 original objects (including his false teeth) and 25 theaters and galleries. There is even a multi-media theater where it actually snows. After shopping for unique gifts at the Mt Vernon Shops, you will be entertained by your guide as you return back to Washington DC.

Old Town Alexandria: DC Monument River Cruise to Georgetown

6. Old Town Alexandria: DC Monument River Cruise to Georgetown

Avoid the traffic and see Washington DC from the Potomac River on this cruise from Alexandria's Old Town to Georgetown. Choose from a tour with or without a return trip. View sights from the water like the Lincoln and Jefferson memorial and the Washington Monument. Arrive at the Old Town Alexandria waterfront and simply hop onto the comfortable boat. Sit back and relax on a cruise to Georgetown, one of the district's most historic and fashionable neighborhoods. Make the most of your day and choose either a one-way cruise and return to Old Town Alexandria on your own, or choose a convenient round-trip cruise with 2 hours to explore Georgetown.  Visit Georgetown's historic streets and alleyways, quaint cafes, and high-end boutiques.

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

7. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

Test your night photography skills and see some jaw-dropping views while learning the history of the United States on this monuments tour at night. Hop into the electric-powered vehicle and learn about the monuments illuminated at night with your guide. Start at the Smithsonian Metro station, before heading towards the Smithsonian complex. Your guide will regale you with the story behind the amazing museums at the largest museum complex in the world. Drive past two of the city's most famous monuments, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Afterward, wander through the Franklin D Roosevelt and Martin Luthe King memorials and enjoy a stroll along the serene Tidal Basin at sunset.  Continue past the World War I and World War II Memorials before arriving at the Lincoln Memorial. Here, be amazed by the views of the Potomac River and the National Mall sparkling in the dark.  Be entertained by stories of the city’s history, statues, and famous buildings on your way to the White House. Take a monument here to capture what is possibly the most iconic American landmark, known worldwide.  Your tour will end by exploring Capitol Hill. Home to the world-famous dome of the United States Capitol, plus the United States Supreme Court Building and the Library of Congress. 

Mount Vernon: Full-Day Bike and Optional Boat Tour

8. Mount Vernon: Full-Day Bike and Optional Boat Tour

Enjoy a full-day bike ride to and from Mount Vernon on the banks of the Potomac River, or rest your legs on the return journey and travel by boat. Meet in the Old Town of Alexandria to pick-up your bike and helmet. Then, cycle along the wooded Mount Vernon Trail to George Washington’s historic Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. Lock your bike outside the estate for tour staff to pick up. Then, spend the day self-exploring the grounds and mansion house. The mansion’s interior has mostly been restored to the appearance at the time of George and Martha Washington's occupancy. Enter Washington’s study and feel a part of history! Take time for lunch, and enjoy a leisurely stroll in the gardens and farm. Then, bike back to Alexandria, or opt to return by boat. Climb aboard the Miss Christin for the 2:00 PM departure from Mount Vernon’s dock. Relax on the narrated cruise as you glide back to Alexandria's Old Town.

From DC: Virginia Wine Country Tour with Tastings

9. From DC: Virginia Wine Country Tour with Tastings

Step away from the big city crowds to spend a relaxed day in the countryside. Join this guided tour departing from Washington DC and travel to two traditional vineyards in the state of Virginia. Learn about the history and production process of each site, and taste their delicious wines. Board a van and take in the views as you leave behind the tall buildings of the city and drive into the lush countryside of Virginia. Visit two wineries, where you'll learn about the local history of wine production and tour their facilities to acquire a better understanding of winemaking. Enjoy fascinating guided tastings and snacks at both locations, with the possibility to purchase lunch if you're feeling hungry.

Washington DC: E-Bike Tour of the National Mall

10. Washington DC: E-Bike Tour of the National Mall

Ride through the entire National Mall and circle the Tidal Basin on this fun and informative E-bike tour. Start at the waterfront, and listen to a brief introduction about the E-bikes. Follow your knowledgeable guide past the Smithsonian Museums, and around to all the major sites including the U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and Korean War Veterans Memorial. Conclude the trip by riding around the Tidal Basin and touring the Martin Luther King Jr, FDR, and Jefferson Memorials. Hear about the history, lore, and latest happenings around the DC museums and find yourself in great self-spots and in front of picturesque views. Your guide will also stop and share some hidden gems along the way. See all the major monuments and memorials as well as treasures you might not find on your own. The riding is easy with pedal-assist bikes enabling you to see more and pedal less.

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Frequently asked questions about Washington, DC Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in Washington, DC?

The other unmissable things to do in Washington, DC are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Washington, DC

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What people are saying about Washington, DC

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,421 reviews

Our guide was Bruce and he was very knowledgeable about the monuments and buildings in the city. You could tell that he was passionate for his city! We loved that we were his only riders and the open vehicles found maneuver around into doors they bigger vehicles couldn’t. He stopped almost anywhere we wanted to for pictures. Would do it again!

We had an absolutely amazing day! Such good value for money, our tour guide / host & the bus driver both did an incredible job! We seen so much, whilst learning even more! Such a well planned day & use of time, so glad we did this on our NYC trip! Thank you again! (Ellie, dawn, nicola, Joan -U.K.)

Fantastic day out! Our guide to Monticello was Dion who was helpful, knowledgeable, very funny and told great stories.  We had a great day with Dion at Monticello.

Very friendly and informative tour, so pleased we did this. DJ our driver, went above and beyond to ensure we had the best experience of Washington D.C.

I really like this experience, the guide (Alice) was perfect and she explained everything very well.