Be a Tourist

Be a Tourist

Spring break and summer vacation are upon us, so many families are looking for unique and memorable trip destinations. Plenty of reliable standbys exist; Orlando, San Francisco, Hershey Park, and Washington, D.C. to name a few. This year, though, we’d like to challenge you to think outside the box and stay close to home.

The Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Park Service makes a bloom prediction each year to help visitors determine the best times to attend. This year, the Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20 to April 12, 2015. Popular places to view cherry trees and blossoms include the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park and the Washington Monument.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is always buzzing with things to do. You can make cherry-related crafts, attend a Japanese blossom parade, fly kites with other tourists, and of course, sample several cherry-themed delicacies. Consider attending a concert or the annual Blossoms and Baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees.

Historical Activities

Northern VA and Washington D.C. are bursting with history, including the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, as well as the other museums found on the Smithsonian’s campus. The Air and Space Museum features the Discovery shuttle, simulators, games, and plenty of aircraft exhibits. If you prefer natural history, visit the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, which boasts exhibits including dinosaur fossils and Marie Antoinette’s jewels.

Be a tourist for a day and visit the Washington Monument and White House. Time your visit for Congress’ recess times – search online or call your local congressman in advance for tips on less crowded times. Consider visiting the Library of Congress for a self-guided tour or tours based on topics like Thomas Jefferson or the performing arts.

If you are planning an adults-only trip or have mature teens, consider visiting the Washington, D.C. Holocaust Museum. The museum includes information on survivors and victims, lectures on genocide confrontation and prevention, and ID cards distributed at the entrance to “help personalize the experience of the Holocaust.”

Outdoor Activities

If you prefer time spent in nature and fresh air, walking, biking, and boat tours are all available, including a pirate-centered boat tour along the Potomac. Most outdoor activities are pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your animal friends. You can take a tour of George Washington’s haunts or famous African-American historical sites, or a walking tour of several pubs and breweries. Unite technology and the outdoors with a War of 1812 scavenger hunt.