Washington D.C. Travel Information
When to Go
The most comfortable times to visit Washington are in spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). The official tourist season runs from April through September. It's a good idea to buy advance tickets to popular attractions during this period because the queues can be monstrous.
Summers are hot and humid, especially in July and August. If you can bear the heat, this can be a good time to visit. If you plan on being in town for the city's biggest events - the Cherry Blossom Festival in March, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in June and Independence Day in July - book ahead.
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Washington Dulles International Airport, 26 miles west of the city center, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, 22 miles south, are the main airports serving DC, although Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, 30 miles to the northeast, is also an option. All three airports, particularly Dulles and National, are major hubs for flights from around the world.
MARC train, the regional rail service for the Washington DC-Baltimore metro area, runs trains frequently to Baltimore and other Maryland towns. Amtrak trains also run from here to destinations around the country, including New York City, Chicago and Richmond.
Washington's modern, efficient Metrorail subway system is excellent. It runs to most sights, hotel and business districts, and to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.
Metrobus operates buses throughout the city and suburbs.
Taxis are a viable option for short trips (especially if you share cabs) and they're a good way to avoid city parking hassles.
Walking is the best way to get around central Washington - most visitors do a lot more of it than they might expect.