The Best and Worst Times to Visit Washington DC The Best and Worst Times to Visit Washington DC

Have you decided to study English? If so, hopefully, you have already learned that it is much more effective to study in person rather than solely online – preferably overseas rather than in your own home country.

Luckily for you, inlingua is a premier language school in Washington, DC. Traveling to the United States to immerse yourself in the language is a fantastic idea, but choosing to study English in Washington, DC is even better! This is because Washington, DC offers a plethora of cultural experiences giving students who choose language schools in DC, such as inlingua, the added tourism experience.

I’m going to assume that you already know visiting Washington, DC is a great idea – and that you are close to deciding to attend a Washington language school. So, I’d like to take some time to tell you the best and worst times to visit Washington, DC. After reading this information, you will see there is not a bad time to visit DC – it all comes down to personal preferences.

Fall in Washington, DC

Washington DC in the Fall

Photo: Flickr – Nicolas RaymondCreative Commons License

Fall is, far and away, my personal favorite time to visit Washington, DC. This is because the weather is beautiful and it is generally less crowded. You can take in the sites without worrying about being too hot or too cold. Plus, you will not have to stand in long lines or deal with throngs of people.

Between September and November, the temperatures generally range from the upper 50s to the upper 70s. The leaves are changing making the monuments quite picturesque. With all the walking you can do in DC and all the outdoor sites to see, the weather is important to factor in.

Another reason autumn is a great time to visit Washington, DC is because it is less crowded than the summer months or the other times during the year when schools are out. However, Congress is in session in the fall, so you can still expect to see the government hustle and bustle. Congress is “in” beginning the second week of September, so if it is possible to travel to DC when schools are in and Congress is out, you will find the lowest crowds.

Winter in Washington, DC

Washington DC in the Winter

Photo: Flickr – Valerie HinojosaCreative Commons License

Winter is a wonderful time to visit DC for those on a tight budget. This is because Washington, DC is prone to freezing cold temperatures and snowstorms. Due to the cold, winter in DC has far fewer tourists. Therefore, hotels slash prices. If you can handle the cold by bundling up and you need to watch your finances, you can get a great deal in the winter. Plus, you could even experience sledding on Capitol Hill!

Additionally, the holiday season is beautiful in Washington, DC. The lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House is an extraordinary event. Another benefit is the number of free museums in DC. If you plan to visit museums you will be spending much of your time indoors, away from the chilly weather. Winter is a perfect time to take in all the fascinating, historic, and beautiful experiences that the Smithsonian museums, DC sports teams, world-class restaurants, the Kennedy Center, and DC tourism in general have to offer, without dealing with crowds.

Spring in Washington, DC

Washington DC in the Spring

Photo: Nicolas RaymondCreative Commons License

Spring is a popular season to visit Washington, DC for good reason. The weather is beautiful and the National Cherry Blossom Festival (which runs from late March to early April) is an event everyone should attend at least once. The frigid cold of the winter has ended and the flowers are blooming – it is a site to behold all the magnificent cherry blossoms trees throughout downtown DC.

The warmer weather makes it more suitable for exploring all the outdoor national monuments. In particular, tourists will enjoy all the blooms along the National Mall. However, this is a time when the city is busy with crowds. Since schools let out for spring breaks at various times, the spring break period seems to last throughout the Spring meaning many families will be touring the city. In addition, spring is also a popular time for school field trips.

Summer in Washington, DC

Washington DC in the Summer

Photo: Flickr – Lorenzo TiacaelelCreative Commons License

Summer in Washington, DC is hot and crowded. DC tends to be very humid, so walking around to tour all the outside sites will leave you feeling a bit sticky. However, there are plenty of reasons why it is still a great idea to visit DC in the summer!

The summer is the best time to enjoy the water in and around DC. You can go paddle boating on the Tidal Basin in front of the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thomas Jefferson Memorials or rent a kayak in Georgetown and paddle past the majestic Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For a change of pace, simply head to one of the many waterfront districts and bike trails that line the Potomac River.

During the summer, the locals head out of town for their own family vacations, so there is less road congestion. Specifically, heading to DC at the end of August when schools are in, but Congress is still out is one of the least crowded times of the year. Keep in mind, the beginning of summer is also one of the busiest times of the year.

While the multitude of free museums offer heat in the winter, they offer air conditioning in the summer. If you plan to museum hop, you will stay cool indoors. Additionally, the hotel prices tend to be cheaper towards the end of the summer making it cost effective.

Additionally, summer in Washington, DC is full of fun events such as the major Independence Day Celebration (July 4th). There are several outdoor festivals and concerts to attend as well.

Other Considerations for Your Washington, DC Visit

Outside of the seasons, you should also consider holidays and special events. Many museums and restaurants are closed on legal national holidays. It would be disappointing to visit on a day when you cannot go to the places you intended.

Also, the popular sites are busier on the weekends than the weekdays (particularly Saturday). The slowest days for crowds tend to be Mondays and Wednesdays. It is also a good idea to visit museums after 2pm to avoid school crowds when necessary.

Finally, first time visitors should plan to spend at least three days in Washington, DC. This is just the minimum for tourists – not those wishing to learn English. This brings us back to taking English courses in Washington, DC.

Doesn’t it sound more effective in the long run (and more fun) to study English in Washington, DC at inlingua where you will be immersed in the culture and excitement of all the seasons rather than on a short-term tourist visit?


Interested in experiencing fall, winter, spring, or summer in DC while learning English?

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