August is a great month to visit Washington, DC. It is the month when summer tour season starts to wind down. The first half of August is pretty busy with families. The second half of the month is a lot slower, which means you can experience the city without the crowds. August is one of the cheapest months of the year to visit DC.
Historically, Congress takes an August recess which means that they are out of town for the entire month. Locally, many people who live in DC take their summer vacations in August because it’s a slow time of year at their day jobs. Also, local school districts tend to go back a little bit later than schools in other parts of the country.
August is also one of the easiest months to get a reservation at an upscale restaurant that may have wait lists at other times. On the flip side, since business is so slow, some restaurants actually close for a week or more during August to give their staff a chance to take their own family vacation. Make sure to check a restaurant’s website or call in advance to confirm.
Weather in DC in August
August weather in DC is hot and humid. The average daily highs in August are 86 degrees and average daily lows are 70 degrees. Make sure to factor in humidity since this can make August often feel like it is in the 90s or even the hundreds. It’s not as bad as July, but it’s still peak summer.
Packing for DC in August
You are going to want to bring your summer clothes. Shorts and comfortable walking shoes are a must. Although, you should bring pants if you’re planning to see a show at the Kennedy Center, go to a fancy restaurant, or otherwise visit somewhere that shorts would not be appropriate. Make sure to bring your umbrella. No matter what that forecast says, summer thunderstorms can pop up out of nowhere. Sun protection is also a must during August.
Events and Holidays in August
There are no federal government or unofficial holidays in August worth noting. You can take a tour of the Capitol which we recommend. Make sure to ask your tour guide if they can get you a floor pass. Walking on the floor of the House or Senate is a pretty cool experience.
Outdoor concerts, movie nights and Jazz in the Garden start to wind down for the year. However, if you’re visiting the first half of August you should be able to do all of them. If you are a sports fan, major league baseball and soccer are both still going strong. And NFL preseason is getting started.