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Washington, DC FAQs

Choose from the topics below to find the answers to frequently asked questions.
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Airports
Which airports are in and around Washington, DC?
X
There are 3 DC-area airports - Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)... READ MORE
Annual Events
When do the cherry blossoms bloom? When is the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
X
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is planned to coincide with the blooming of the trees. Peak bloom dates usually occur in early April, though weather conditions can accelerate or delay the... READ MORE
What events take place in DC over Memorial Day weekend?
X
As you might expect, Memorial Day weekend is a popular time to pay respects to veterans at the Vietnam, Korean and World War II Memorials, along with Arlington National Cemetery and the Air Force,... READ MORE
What happens in DC on the Fourth of July?
X
The Fourth of July is an exciting time to be in Washington, DC. There are festivities throughout the day, leading up to a spectacular fireworks display at night.During the afternoon, you'll find... READ MORE
Attractions
How can I tour the White House?
X
Tours of the White House are available by advance arrangement through your member of Congress. Tours are arranged for groups of 10 or more; smaller groups and families should request to join a tour... READ MORE
I've arranged to take a tour of the White House. Where can I store my bags/camera while I take the tour?
X
The White House firmly restricts items that visitors can bring with them during their tour,  including cameras, handbags, bookbags, food/drink and strollers. If it's not convenient for you to... READ MORE
How can I tour the Capitol? How can I see Congress in session?
X
The U.S. Capitol is open to the public for tours Monday through Saturday. The Capitol Visitors Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Tours are free,... READ MORE
Which attractions require tickets?
X
Many of Washington, DC's major attractions are open to the public and do not require tickets, including the Smithsonian museums, the Smithsonian National Zoo, the National Gallery of Art, and the... READ MORE
Can I tour the FBI Headquarters?
X
The FBI Tour at the J. Edgar Hoover Building is closed for renovations. Please call (202) 324-3447 or visit fbi.gov for more information. READ MORE
Which attractions require group reservations?
X
Many of Washington, DC's major attractions are open for the public and do not require tickets or advance reservations, including the museums of the Smithsonian system and the National Zoo, the... READ MORE
Biking
Can you recommend a jogging trail?
X
Washington, DC boast more than 800 miles of trails, making it a very pedestrian - and bicycle - friendly city, full of jogging trails and biking routes. Here are some great places to get moving. READ MORE
Budget
Can you recommend a nice, moderately priced hotel?
X
It's easy to find a hotel that suits your personality and your budget. Start your search here on our website. We work with our hotel partners to ensure that we offer the best available rates.It's... READ MORE
Family Friendly
When do the cherry blossoms bloom? When is the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
X
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is planned to coincide with the blooming of the trees. Peak bloom dates usually occur in early April, though weather conditions can accelerate or delay the... READ MORE
What happens in DC on the Fourth of July?
X
The Fourth of July is an exciting time to be in Washington, DC. There are festivities throughout the day, leading up to a spectacular fireworks display at night.During the afternoon, you'll find... READ MORE
Where can I find public restrooms on the National Mall?
X
There are public restrooms, all with handicapped accessibility, located at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and near the World War II Memorial and Washington... READ MORE
Fourth of July
What happens in DC on the Fourth of July?
X
The Fourth of July is an exciting time to be in Washington, DC. There are festivities throughout the day, leading up to a spectacular fireworks display at night.During the afternoon, you'll find... READ MORE
Getting Around
Where can I park?
X
We encourage visitors to avoid the challenges of parking by taking advantage of DC's safe, efficient public transportation system with options such as Metrorail, Metrobus and the DC Circulator.... READ MORE
How does Metro work?
X
Washington, DC is proud to have one of the world's best public transportation systems. Most visitors quickly master the Metro system and, in the process, discover that it's a very quick, efficient... READ MORE
Can you recommend a jogging trail?
X
Washington, DC boast more than 800 miles of trails, making it a very pedestrian - and bicycle - friendly city, full of jogging trails and biking routes. Here are some great places to get moving. READ MORE
Which airports are in and around Washington, DC?
X
There are 3 DC-area airports - Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)... READ MORE
Can I take a taxi in Washington, DC?
X
DC’s taxi cabs have recently transitioned from a zone system to a meter system. The rates for time and distance meters are as follows:The DC taxi cab system operates on a meter system.Fares begin... READ MORE
What is the DC Circulator?
X
The DC Circulator is a bus service that connects downtown to Georgetown and Union Station via the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on an East-West route and the Washington Convention Center... READ MORE
What are the rules and regulations for motorcoaches?
X
In response to safety, security and preservation requirements, the Capitol Police and the Department of Motor Vehicles have recently enacted new regulations that cover permitting and traffic flow... READ MORE
Group Travel
How can I tour the White House?
X
Tours of the White House are available by advance arrangement through your member of Congress. Tours are arranged for groups of 10 or more; smaller groups and families should request to join a tour... READ MORE
I've arranged to take a tour of the White House. Where can I store my bags/camera while I take the tour?
X
The White House firmly restricts items that visitors can bring with them during their tour,  including cameras, handbags, bookbags, food/drink and strollers. If it's not convenient for you to... READ MORE
How can I tour the Capitol? How can I see Congress in session?
X
The U.S. Capitol is open to the public for tours Monday through Saturday. The Capitol Visitors Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Tours are free,... READ MORE
Which attractions require tickets?
X
Many of Washington, DC's major attractions are open to the public and do not require tickets, including the Smithsonian museums, the Smithsonian National Zoo, the National Gallery of Art, and the... READ MORE
Can I tour the Pentagon?
X
To request a tour of the Pentagon, go to pentagontours.osd.mil. Reservations may be booked from 8 to 90 days in advance - reservations will not be accepted for tour dates within 7 days or more than... READ MORE
Where can I find public restrooms on the National Mall?
X
There are public restrooms, all with handicapped accessibility, located at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and near the World War II Memorial and Washington... READ MORE
How does Metro work?
X
Washington, DC is proud to have one of the world's best public transportation systems. Most visitors quickly master the Metro system and, in the process, discover that it's a very quick, efficient... READ MORE
Which attractions require group reservations?
X
Many of Washington, DC's major attractions are open for the public and do not require tickets or advance reservations, including the museums of the Smithsonian system and the National Zoo, the... READ MORE
What are the rules and regulations for motorcoaches?
X
In response to safety, security and preservation requirements, the Capitol Police and the Department of Motor Vehicles have recently enacted new regulations that cover permitting and traffic flow... READ MORE
What evening activities do you suggest for student groups?
X
If you're looking for something different to do with your group after dark, here are a few suggestions:DC's monuments and memorials are even more impressive by moonlight. Talk to your tour guide... READ MORE
My band/musical group wants to perform on the National Mall. How can we do that?
X
Groups of 25 or more who wish to perform at one of DC's memorials or in public spaces such as Freedom Plaza, Franklin Square, McPherson Square, Farragut Square, Washington Circle, Dupont Circle and... READ MORE
History & Heritage
What events take place in DC over Memorial Day weekend?
X
As you might expect, Memorial Day weekend is a popular time to pay respects to veterans at the Vietnam, Korean and World War II Memorials, along with Arlington National Cemetery and the Air Force,... READ MORE
Hotels
Can you recommend a nice, moderately priced hotel?
X
It's easy to find a hotel that suits your personality and your budget. Start your search here on our website. We work with our hotel partners to ensure that we offer the best available rates.It's... READ MORE
LGBT
If you get legally married in DC, what happens to your domestic-partner status?
X
If you are part of a District of Columbia Domestic Partnership, upon marrying your Domestic Partnership automatically dissolves and you are simply married. If you are part of a Domestic Partnership... READ MORE
Who in DC performs same-sex weddings?
X
Here is a list of local same-sex officiants:Rev. SJ Burns(202) 253-3629revsjb [at] comcast.netwww.startum.com/dcgayweddings.htmTravis W. Crytzer(202) 251-4553travis [at] tietheknotdc.comwww... READ MORE
Memorial Day
What events take place in DC over Memorial Day weekend?
X
As you might expect, Memorial Day weekend is a popular time to pay respects to veterans at the Vietnam, Korean and World War II Memorials, along with Arlington National Cemetery and the Air Force,... READ MORE
Metrorail
Can you recommend a nice, moderately priced hotel?
X
It's easy to find a hotel that suits your personality and your budget. Start your search here on our website. We work with our hotel partners to ensure that we offer the best available rates.It's... READ MORE
How does Metro work?
X
Washington, DC is proud to have one of the world's best public transportation systems. Most visitors quickly master the Metro system and, in the process, discover that it's a very quick, efficient... READ MORE
Military History & Culture
Can I tour the Pentagon?
X
To request a tour of the Pentagon, go to pentagontours.osd.mil. Reservations may be booked from 8 to 90 days in advance - reservations will not be accepted for tour dates within 7 days or more than... READ MORE
What events take place in DC over Memorial Day weekend?
X
As you might expect, Memorial Day weekend is a popular time to pay respects to veterans at the Vietnam, Korean and World War II Memorials, along with Arlington National Cemetery and the Air Force,... READ MORE
Museums
Which attractions require tickets?
X
Many of Washington, DC's major attractions are open to the public and do not require tickets, including the Smithsonian museums, the Smithsonian National Zoo, the National Gallery of Art, and the... READ MORE
National Cherry Blossom Festival
When do the cherry blossoms bloom? When is the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
X
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is planned to coincide with the blooming of the trees. Peak bloom dates usually occur in early April, though weather conditions can accelerate or delay the... READ MORE
National Mall
What happens in DC on the Fourth of July?
X
The Fourth of July is an exciting time to be in Washington, DC. There are festivities throughout the day, leading up to a spectacular fireworks display at night.During the afternoon, you'll find... READ MORE
Where can I find public restrooms on the National Mall?
X
There are public restrooms, all with handicapped accessibility, located at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and near the World War II Memorial and Washington... READ MORE
Outdoor Recreation
Can you recommend a jogging trail?
X
Washington, DC boast more than 800 miles of trails, making it a very pedestrian - and bicycle - friendly city, full of jogging trails and biking routes. Here are some great places to get moving. READ MORE
Parking
Where can I park?
X
We encourage visitors to avoid the challenges of parking by taking advantage of DC's safe, efficient public transportation system with options such as Metrorail, Metrobus and the DC Circulator.... READ MORE
Spring
When do the cherry blossoms bloom? When is the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
X
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is planned to coincide with the blooming of the trees. Peak bloom dates usually occur in early April, though weather conditions can accelerate or delay the... READ MORE
Summer
What events take place in DC over Memorial Day weekend?
X
As you might expect, Memorial Day weekend is a popular time to pay respects to veterans at the Vietnam, Korean and World War II Memorials, along with Arlington National Cemetery and the Air Force,... READ MORE
What happens in DC on the Fourth of July?
X
The Fourth of July is an exciting time to be in Washington, DC. There are festivities throughout the day, leading up to a spectacular fireworks display at night.During the afternoon, you'll find... READ MORE
The Pentagon
Can I tour the Pentagon?
X
To request a tour of the Pentagon, go to pentagontours.osd.mil. Reservations may be booked from 8 to 90 days in advance - reservations will not be accepted for tour dates within 7 days or more than... READ MORE
The White House
How can I tour the White House?
X
Tours of the White House are available by advance arrangement through your member of Congress. Tours are arranged for groups of 10 or more; smaller groups and families should request to join a tour... READ MORE
I've arranged to take a tour of the White House. Where can I store my bags/camera while I take the tour?
X
The White House firmly restricts items that visitors can bring with them during their tour,  including cameras, handbags, bookbags, food/drink and strollers. If it's not convenient for you to... READ MORE
Tickets & Admission
Which attractions require tickets?
X
Many of Washington, DC's major attractions are open to the public and do not require tickets, including the Smithsonian museums, the Smithsonian National Zoo, the National Gallery of Art, and the... READ MORE
Can I tour the Pentagon?
X
To request a tour of the Pentagon, go to pentagontours.osd.mil. Reservations may be booked from 8 to 90 days in advance - reservations will not be accepted for tour dates within 7 days or more than... READ MORE
Which attractions require group reservations?
X
Many of Washington, DC's major attractions are open for the public and do not require tickets or advance reservations, including the museums of the Smithsonian system and the National Zoo, the... READ MORE
Tours & Sightseeing
How can I tour the White House?
X
Tours of the White House are available by advance arrangement through your member of Congress. Tours are arranged for groups of 10 or more; smaller groups and families should request to join a tour... READ MORE
I've arranged to take a tour of the White House. Where can I store my bags/camera while I take the tour?
X
The White House firmly restricts items that visitors can bring with them during their tour,  including cameras, handbags, bookbags, food/drink and strollers. If it's not convenient for you to... READ MORE
How can I tour the Capitol? How can I see Congress in session?
X
The U.S. Capitol is open to the public for tours Monday through Saturday. The Capitol Visitors Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Tours are free,... READ MORE
Which attractions require tickets?
X
Many of Washington, DC's major attractions are open to the public and do not require tickets, including the Smithsonian museums, the Smithsonian National Zoo, the National Gallery of Art, and the... READ MORE
Can I tour the FBI Headquarters?
X
The FBI Tour at the J. Edgar Hoover Building is closed for renovations. Please call (202) 324-3447 or visit fbi.gov for more information. READ MORE
Can I tour the Pentagon?
X
To request a tour of the Pentagon, go to pentagontours.osd.mil. Reservations may be booked from 8 to 90 days in advance - reservations will not be accepted for tour dates within 7 days or more than... READ MORE
Which attractions require group reservations?
X
Many of Washington, DC's major attractions are open for the public and do not require tickets or advance reservations, including the museums of the Smithsonian system and the National Zoo, the... READ MORE
What evening activities do you suggest for student groups?
X
If you're looking for something different to do with your group after dark, here are a few suggestions:DC's monuments and memorials are even more impressive by moonlight. Talk to your tour guide... READ MORE
Transportation
Where can I park?
X
We encourage visitors to avoid the challenges of parking by taking advantage of DC's safe, efficient public transportation system with options such as Metrorail, Metrobus and the DC Circulator.... READ MORE
How does Metro work?
X
Washington, DC is proud to have one of the world's best public transportation systems. Most visitors quickly master the Metro system and, in the process, discover that it's a very quick, efficient... READ MORE
Which airports are in and around Washington, DC?
X
There are 3 DC-area airports - Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)... READ MORE
Can I take a taxi in Washington, DC?
X
DC’s taxi cabs have recently transitioned from a zone system to a meter system. The rates for time and distance meters are as follows:The DC taxi cab system operates on a meter system.Fares begin... READ MORE
What are the rules and regulations for motorcoaches?
X
In response to safety, security and preservation requirements, the Capitol Police and the Department of Motor Vehicles have recently enacted new regulations that cover permitting and traffic flow... READ MORE
Travel Tips
How can I tour the White House?
X
Tours of the White House are available by advance arrangement through your member of Congress. Tours are arranged for groups of 10 or more; smaller groups and families should request to join a tour... READ MORE
I've arranged to take a tour of the White House. Where can I store my bags/camera while I take the tour?
X
The White House firmly restricts items that visitors can bring with them during their tour,  including cameras, handbags, bookbags, food/drink and strollers. If it's not convenient for you to... READ MORE
How can I tour the Capitol? How can I see Congress in session?
X
The U.S. Capitol is open to the public for tours Monday through Saturday. The Capitol Visitors Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Tours are free,... READ MORE
Can you recommend a nice, moderately priced hotel?
X
It's easy to find a hotel that suits your personality and your budget. Start your search here on our website. We work with our hotel partners to ensure that we offer the best available rates.It's... READ MORE
Where can I park?
X
We encourage visitors to avoid the challenges of parking by taking advantage of DC's safe, efficient public transportation system with options such as Metrorail, Metrobus and the DC Circulator.... READ MORE
Where can I find public restrooms on the National Mall?
X
There are public restrooms, all with handicapped accessibility, located at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and near the World War II Memorial and Washington... READ MORE
How does Metro work?
X
Washington, DC is proud to have one of the world's best public transportation systems. Most visitors quickly master the Metro system and, in the process, discover that it's a very quick, efficient... READ MORE
Which airports are in and around Washington, DC?
X
There are 3 DC-area airports - Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)... READ MORE
Can I take a taxi in Washington, DC?
X
DC’s taxi cabs have recently transitioned from a zone system to a meter system. The rates for time and distance meters are as follows:The DC taxi cab system operates on a meter system.Fares begin... READ MORE
What is the DC Circulator?
X
The DC Circulator is a bus service that connects downtown to Georgetown and Union Station via the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on an East-West route and the Washington Convention Center... READ MORE
What is the waiting period from the time you apply for a marriage license to the time you can hold a wedding?
X
You will have to wait three full business days. That means if you apply for a marriage license on a Monday, you can hold a wedding on that Friday. If you apply for a marriage license on a Wednesday... READ MORE
If you get legally married in DC, what happens to your domestic-partner status?
X
If you are part of a District of Columbia Domestic Partnership, upon marrying your Domestic Partnership automatically dissolves and you are simply married. If you are part of a Domestic Partnership... READ MORE
What evening activities do you suggest for student groups?
X
If you're looking for something different to do with your group after dark, here are a few suggestions:DC's monuments and memorials are even more impressive by moonlight. Talk to your tour guide... READ MORE
U.S. Capitol
How can I tour the Capitol? How can I see Congress in session?
X
The U.S. Capitol is open to the public for tours Monday through Saturday. The Capitol Visitors Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Tours are free,... READ MORE
Visitor Services
Can I tour the FBI Headquarters?
X
The FBI Tour at the J. Edgar Hoover Building is closed for renovations. Please call (202) 324-3447 or visit fbi.gov for more information. READ MORE
Can you recommend a nice, moderately priced hotel?
X
It's easy to find a hotel that suits your personality and your budget. Start your search here on our website. We work with our hotel partners to ensure that we offer the best available rates.It's... READ MORE
Where can I park?
X
We encourage visitors to avoid the challenges of parking by taking advantage of DC's safe, efficient public transportation system with options such as Metrorail, Metrobus and the DC Circulator.... READ MORE
Where can I find public restrooms on the National Mall?
X
There are public restrooms, all with handicapped accessibility, located at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and near the World War II Memorial and Washington... READ MORE
Can I take a taxi in Washington, DC?
X
DC’s taxi cabs have recently transitioned from a zone system to a meter system. The rates for time and distance meters are as follows:The DC taxi cab system operates on a meter system.Fares begin... READ MORE
What evening activities do you suggest for student groups?
X
If you're looking for something different to do with your group after dark, here are a few suggestions:DC's monuments and memorials are even more impressive by moonlight. Talk to your tour guide... READ MORE
Walking
Can you recommend a jogging trail?
X
Washington, DC boast more than 800 miles of trails, making it a very pedestrian - and bicycle - friendly city, full of jogging trails and biking routes. Here are some great places to get moving. READ MORE
Weddings
Where in DC can you apply for a marriage license?
X
You can apply for a marriage license at the D.C. Superior Court Marriage Bureau, located in H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave. NW, Room 4485. Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday -... READ MORE
What is the waiting period from the time you apply for a marriage license to the time you can hold a wedding?
X
You will have to wait three full business days. That means if you apply for a marriage license on a Monday, you can hold a wedding on that Friday. If you apply for a marriage license on a Wednesday... READ MORE
If you get legally married in DC, what happens to your domestic-partner status?
X
If you are part of a District of Columbia Domestic Partnership, upon marrying your Domestic Partnership automatically dissolves and you are simply married. If you are part of a Domestic Partnership... READ MORE
Who in DC performs same-sex weddings?
X
Here is a list of local same-sex officiants:Rev. SJ Burns(202) 253-3629revsjb [at] comcast.netwww.startum.com/dcgayweddings.htmTravis W. Crytzer(202) 251-4553travis [at] tietheknotdc.comwww... READ MORE
Zoo, Parks & Nature
Can you recommend a jogging trail?
X
Washington, DC boast more than 800 miles of trails, making it a very pedestrian - and bicycle - friendly city, full of jogging trails and biking routes. Here are some great places to get moving. READ MORE
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