The 5 Best Local Washington DC Tours

April 22, 2021 in Blog, Trip Planning

The best Washington, DC tours are operated by small locally-owned businesses. If you’re a seasoned traveler this won’t come as any surprise. You know the best slice of pizza in New York City isn’t Pizza Hut and the best tacos in Los Angeles aren’t Taco Bell. Similarly, you wouldn’t expect the best tours to come from a big national chain.

One of the best things about visiting Washington, DC is that there are tours and experiences to fit every traveler’s interest. Here’s a roundup of five locally-owned DC tour companies we wholeheartedly recommend! Check them out on your next visit to the Nation’s Capital. 

1. Trip Hacks DC

Rob leading a Trip Hacks DC trivia tour.

Do you watch Jeopardy? Enjoy games of Trivial Pursuit? Or just like to compete with family and friends? The Trip Hacks DC Trivia Tour combines a classic Washington DC monuments tour with an interactive trivia game. Over the course of three hours you’ll get to experience all of the major monuments on the National Mall. Not only do you visit all the sites up close, but you’ll compete with fellow travelers to win prizes.

2. DC Design Tours

Carolyn leading a DC Designs Tours architecture tour.

Maybe it was your dream to become an architect, or maybe you just love beautiful buildings. Either way, come experience Washington’s architectural marvels and best kept secrets, while hearing about the conflicts, controversies, and personalities involved in the development of our capital. DC Design Tours leads tours of the Federal sites, as well as tours of neighborhood gems, like Georgetown and Embassy Row. From Neoclassical to Brutalist designs, hear the stories behind the brick and mortar!

3. A Tour of Her Own

A women's history tour in Washington, DC.

A Tour of Her Own is the first tourism company in Washington, DC focused exclusively on women’s history. Their mission is to elevate women’s stories into a more prominent place in American history. And their vision is to create a sustainable culture of women’s tourism in DC and beyond. Check out their lineup of upcoming events to see if any are scheduled during your trip. Or become a Tour of Her Own member to get access to live tours, virtual events, and other educational services. 

4. Historic America

A tour of Arlington Cemetery by Historic America.

If you want to take in the story of our Nation, sign up for a tour from a company founded by two self-proclaimed professional history nerds! Historic America delivers their experiences through dynamic, multi-sensory storytelling that are fun for the whole family. Join a walk through the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery – America’s largest and most famous military burial ground. Or book the Millionaires, Mansions & Moonshine tour and learn about a time when rivers of illegal booze flowed through some of DC’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

5. Blue Fern Travel

Blue Fern Travel operates food tours in Washington, DC.

For those who love to “eat their way through a city” – a food tour is a must! Blue Fern takes you off the National Mall and into the neighborhoods where real Washingtonians live, work and most importantly, eat! On the U Street tour you’ll get a chance to sample diverse cuisines of cultures that call DC home. On the Georgetown tour you’ll experience DC’s oldest neighborhood and taste everything from handmade doughnuts to socially-conscious street food that helps feed refugees. If you want to make a day-trip to Old Town Alexandria they’ve got you covered there too. 

Airbnb Washington DC – Tips & Questions to Ask

January 1, 2019 in Trip Planning

One of the most important decisions during your trip planning is to decide where to stay. You want to pick a place that’s convenient but affordable. You need accommodation that’s safe and comfortable. Is renting an Airbnb apartment a better and cheaper than booking a hotel? Before you book an Airbnb in Washington, DC, here are a few important questions to consider.

Should you stay in an Airbnb Washington, DC? There are a few important questions to ask before booking that apartment.
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Hotels in DC: A Guide On Where to Stay

December 1, 2018 in Trip Planning

What are the best hotels in Washington, DC? Where is the best area in Washington, DC to stay when you visit? With over 100 hotels in DC and hundreds more in the suburbs, there is no simple answer to this question.

However, you should not despair! We created this guide to help you figure out where to stay in Washington, DC. We identified the best hotels in DC based on location, reputation and prioritized hotels near DC Metro. Furthermore, we included all of the major hotel brands (Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG) and some independent properties. Also, we marked any freebies the hotel offers. For instance, free breakfast or happy hour are including links to reviews on TripAdvisor and other reputable websites. 

Do you want to know more about these areas before getting started? Check out our 11 recommended areas in Washington, DC video. Afterwards, navigate this guide by clicking or tapping on one of those areas below. 

  1. Downtown
  2. Convention Center
  3. The Wharf
  4. Dupont Circle
  5. Georgetown / Foggy Bottom
  6. Union Station
  7. Woodley Park
  8. Navy Yard
  9. Crystal City
  10. North Arlington
  11. Old Town Alexandria
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Washington DC Trip Planning: Trip Hacks DC E-book

November 1, 2018 in Trip Planning

Looking for a guide for Washington DC? The Washington DC Trip Planning Guide to Washington, DC e-book is now available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!

Are you thinking of coming to Washington, DC? Be sure to get our Washington DC Trip Planning guide. Buy this book if you’re a modern traveler and want insider tips and travel hacks to help plan your trip. This book is not your grandfather’s travel guide. It’s not even designed to replace those dusty old books. Honestly, the value of traditional travel guides for today’s traveler is debatable. In the pre-smartphone days, travel books gave you colorful fold-out maps, big directories with phone numbers for hotels and restaurants so that you could keep all this vital information at your fingertips. Although, today there is Citymapper, TripAdvisor and Yelp all just a tap away. You can Google search to find the phone number for any business and have them on the phone in seconds. Why lug around travel directories when everything you need is already inside your smartphone?

Trip Hacks DC is all about tips and travel hacks. Everyone needs a plan.  So, we wrote this book with the modern traveler in mind.  Washington DC trip planning is very crucial. The content that follows is curated to focus on the things we think are most important for planning and enjoying your trip. We cut out all the fluff and the long lists. Also, we cut out the maps, because you can use Google Maps or Citymapper once you’re here. Although, We are not the tourism board and are not trying to sell you on the city. You are considering this book because you want to come to Washington well-informed and equipped with insider guidance. We are excited to share the honest realities of what it’s like to visit Washington, DC.

Packing for Washington DC: What To Bring for Your Trip

February 3, 2018 in Trip Planning

If you’re coming to Washington, DC and want to know what you need to pack in your suitcase for the trip, we are here to help. Don’t forget to download your free packing checklist as well.  Here is what you should be packing for you Washington DC Trip.

Below are some of our personal reccomendations. There are a lot of great products out there in all of these categories, so don’t feel like you need to get these exact items. However, we picked them in order to help give an example of what you should be looking for.

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DC Airports: a Guide to Navigating DCA, IAD and BWI

November 5, 2017 in Blog, Trip Planning

There are three Washington, DC Airports – which is the best? Well, it depends. Read on to learn more.

The three airports in the Washington DC area are: Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA), Washington Dulles International (IAD) , and Baltimore-Washington International (BWI). There are pros and cons to each of these airports. Reagan National is by far the closest, just across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial. Dulles is considerably farther, about 25 miles from the National Mall and BWI is the farthest, about 35 miles away.

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