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Published on : Monday, May 30, 2016
Washington, DC is the ideal destination for a summer vacation and Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, helps visitors make the most of it. The re-designed washington.org is packed with expanded neighborhood coverage as well as practical information, calendars and itineraries to ease trip-planning. Shareable inspiration and advice from locals and visitors using #myDCcool animates Destination DC’s social channels including @visitwashingtondc on Instagram as well as the playful Emoji DC app and 2016 DC Cool Kids Guide.
“Destination DC helps visitors find their DC Cool vibe this summer, whether that means watching Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall, joining a food tour of Capitol Hill, kayaking on the Potomac – or all three,” said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC.
Memorial Day: The city salutes active duty military and veterans with events including a star-studded concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol (May 29); the largest Memorial Day parade in the nation (May 30) and the Rolling Thunder honor ride. Find additional inspiration on our list of 20 Things to Do Memorial Day Weekend.
Independence Day: Watch the National Independence Day Parade; catch “A Capitol Fourth” concert on the West Lawn and fireworks. Join a private rooftop party like the American Experience Foundation’s July 4th Celebration. Discover more reasons to come for July 4th here.
Labor Day: Walk or bike through one of DC’s National Parks then relax at the National Symphony Orchestra’s free concert that kicks off the Kennedy Center’s season. Plan Labor Day weekend with a round-up of special events.
JULY 4th WEEKEND ITINERARY
July 1: National Air and Space Museum marks its 40th birthday with “All Night at the Museum.” Following an evening ceremony, the museum will remain open for tours, a film fest and party for guests ages 21-and-over.
July 2: Tudor Place celebrates its bicentennial with a party. “Happy Birthday Tudor Place! Happy Birthday America!” offers lawn games, tours of the decorative arts collections and cake.
July 3: The National Gallery of Art marks its 75th anniversary with “In Celebration of Paul Mellon” (May 8-Sept. 18), an exhibition of 80 works the collector gifted the nation. Honor the National Park Service’s centennial: #findyourpark on one of DC’s green spaces or catch the IMAX movie “National Parks Adventure” at the National Museum of Natural History.
July 4: The National Archives marks the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights and the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with activities, patriotic crafts and costumed characters. Watch the parade from the Archives’ steps.
Hyatt Place Washington, DC/National Mall: The new 12-story, 214-room hotel sports a pool and rooftop boasting sweeping views including Nationals Park, museums and monuments.
Kimpton’s Mason & Rook Hotel: Discover 178 guest rooms and Radiator, a bar with fire pits and shuffleboard. The hotel’s rooftop has a grill, a pool and views of the Washington Monument.
The Rosewood Washington, DC: This property (formerly Capella Washington, DC) sits canal-side in Georgetown and has a rooftop offering views of the historic neighborhood as well as the Potomac River.
The Watergate Hotel: Following a $125 million renovation by Euro Capital Properties, this property houses two ballrooms, Kingbird restaurant, the 2,500-bottle Next Whisky Bar and Argentta Spa.
SUMMER FESTIVALS, EXHIBITS & SPORTS
Capital Pride (June 1-12)
The theme of the 41st festival is “Make Magic Happen.” Catch the parade, parties and concerts.
The Greeks: Agamemnon to Alexander the Great (June 1-Oct. 10)
More than 550 artifacts map the secrets of an ancient civilization at the National Geographic Museum.
DC Jazz Fest (June 10-19)
Offering 125 performances at 40+venues, this is one of the largest and fastest growing jazz events in the country. The 2016 line-up includes Maceo Parker, Talib Kweli and Ravi Coltrane.
AFI Docs (June 22-26)
The preeminent festival showcasing non-fiction film in landmark venues honors Werner Herzog.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival (June 29-July 4, July 7-10)
This year’s pop-up museum of living culture explores “Basque: Innovation by Culture” and “Sounds of California.”
ICEBERGS (July 2-Sept.6)
Explore Insta-worthy icebergs suspended inside the Great Hall at the National Building Museum.
Citi Open (July 16-24)
Pros from the men’s and women’s tennis circuit battle at the intimate Rock Creek Park Tennis Center.
Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Sept. 24)
President Obama dedicates the museum exploring the African American experience in American history. A three-day celebration follows.
Reopening of the National Gallery of Art’s East Building (Sept. 30)
See the $30M renovation adding +12,000-feet of exhibition space and rooftop sculpture garden.