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9 Ways to Make the Most of Fall in Washington, DC

@iampoojatiwari - Fall Foliage at the Lincoln Memorial - Washington, DC

Autumn brings a mix of virtual and in-person fun in the nation’s capital

While spring and summer get much of the glory in Washington, DC, as the leaves turn shades of auburn, the nation’s capital buzzes with beauty. Although DC is still in Phase Two of its recovery from COVID-19, there are still plenty of virtual and in-person ways to savor autumn in the nation’s capital. Check out our suggestions below and make sure to visit the #DCTogether page for the latest info.

1 Fall means free in DC

@stellanandia - Fall foliage on the National Mall - Attractions and Landmarks in Washington, DC

Some of DC’s most gorgeous and free-to-visit locales become even more scenic as the leaves change color. You already know about the monuments and memorials on the National Mall, but have you checked out these inspiring parks and gardens (almost all of which are free)? We’ve got seasonally focused free activities as well.

2 Find fantastic fall foliage

@mattschmalzel - Fall foliage along Rock Creek Parkway - Things to do this fall in Washington, DC

The changing of the seasons in DC is an Instagrammer’s dream – lucky for you, we’ve picked out the best spots to photograph fall foliage. The National Mall is a top-notch foliage spot, and while it’s beautiful in any season, there’s something special about experiencing the monuments and memorials surrounded by brilliant auburn and yellow hues. Rock Creek Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, is another great place to experience DC’s autumn vibes. Take a trip there and forget you’re right in the middle of the nation’s capital.

Your ultimate guide to fall in Washington, DC

3 Can’t-miss virtual and in-person events

@ambarella - View of fall foliage from the Glenstone Museum - Free museum near Washington, DC

As you plan out your at-home or safe, out-and-about adventures this fall, make sure to check out our things to do for the week, weekend and month. Options include live streamed panels, discussions and performances, socially distanced in-person events and exhibits and much more.

4 Check out what’s open and reopening in the city

@louisedettman - Union Market

The coronavirus pandemic has affected events, attractions and other businesses throughout the Washington, DC area. The city is currently in Phase Two of recovery, which allows many businesses to open. Check out our breakdown of what you can enjoy and also read our list of reopened businesses.

5 Safely explore cideries in the area

@centralplaceva - apples at the FreshFarm Farmers Market

The DC area offers a range of ciders, including sweet, gluten-free and dry. Local cideries also offer unique varieties that you’re not likely to find anywhere else. So, hop on the cider trail in the DMV and prepare for an overload of flavor and refreshment. Make sure to review safety protocols at the cideries before planning your trip.

6 Have a socially distanced dinner on a patio

Many of the city’s best restaurants and most exciting bars offer outdoor seating, so if you're looking for a safe, socially distanced meal in the city, there are plenty of patios waiting to welcome you. Just make sure to check in on the restaurant's protocols before making a reservation.

7 Take advantage of deals at local businesses

Hotel Madera

DC restaurants, attractions and hotels are always offering special discounts and deals to make your trip to the nation’s capital easier on the wallet.

8 Plan a DC date night

couple on the national monument

As the nation continues to wrestle with COVID-19 and people are encouraged to stay home, we’ve put together some DC-themed date nights that can safely be enjoyed in-person or from the comfort of your own home. Turn a boring fall night into one to remember.

9 Taste these delicious fall flavors

@mydonutdiary - Fall flavored donut with pumpkins in background - Fall flavors in Washington, DC

While the pumpkin spice latte has become a classic signal that summer is over, DC rolls out the red (and orange) carpet each fall with a variety of creative fall flavors and pumpkin-infused treats. Order a meal or drink from one of these DC spots that can satiate your sweet tooth while also satisfying your fall flavor cravings.