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A Capital Invitation: Take A Best Summer Ever Family Vacation in Washington, DC Destination DC Connects Summer Fun-Seekers with Free Activities, Festivals, July 4th Fireworks

June 7, 2017 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Known for stirring public monuments and museums, free festivals, grand gardens and Michelin-starred restaurants, Washington, DC is an ideal city for a summer vacation. Destination DC, the official destination marketing office for the nation’s capital, is primed to assist travelers make the most their time-off. In addition to operating a concierge line (800-635-6338), the bureau’s website, is stacked with neighborhood guides, seasonal itineraries, a calendar bursting with only-in-DC events, as well as 50+ unique summer deals and discounts. On Instagram @visitwashingtondc delivers real time inspiration and insider tips. Summertime keyboard characters have been added to the free Emoji DC app and the DC Cool Kids Guide invites children to join the vacation-planning process.

“We help summer visitors discover their #myDCcool,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC (DDC). “Washington, DC packs a lot memory-making into 68 square miles: Kayak on the Potomac before breakfast, explore historic homes and gardens in Georgetown after lunch then hit Union Market food stalls and Ivy City distilleries once the sun goes down.”

For a third year, DDC produced a summertime-themed television commercial in-house. The 15- and 30-second “Best Summer Ever” spots will run in feeder markets in the northeast corridor and Los Angeles. Supporting dynamic digital and traditional print campaigns will run in outlets like Buzzfeed and regional magazines including The New Yorker and New York Magazine. “We’re seeing increased traction from Chicago and the West Coast, so we’re rolling out a cross-country welcome mat,” said Ferguson.

Capitol Building in the summer

Memorial Day: The city’s salute to active duty military and veterans includes the Rolling Thunder motorcycle honor ride (May 28), a star-studded concert by the National Symphony Orchestra (May 28) and the nation’s largest Memorial Day parade (May 29).

Independence Day: America’s birthday celebration kicks off with a classic July 4th parade on followed by “A Capitol Fourth” concert and fireworks on the National Mall.

Labor Day: Savor the last long summer weekend canoeing at Yards Park, shopping at Eastern Market and attending the final outdoor concert by National Symphony Orchestra on the National Mall (Sept. 3).

DC Bike Ride (May 14)
Cyclists of all abilities are invited to pedal 20 miles of car-less streets with landmark views.

IPW (June 3-7)
Destination DC welcomes 6,000 delegates from 70 countries to the U.S. Travel Association’s annual meeting, the largest single generator of travel to the U.S.

Dine-N-Dash (June 7)
This fundraiser for World Central Kitchen is as innovative its founder José Andrés: Sample 5-8 dishes and four cocktails at 30 restaurants in the Penn Quarter and U Street corridor.

Capital Pride (June 8-11)
The theme of the 42nd festival is “Unapologetically Proud!” The street festival (June 11) coincides with the Equality March for Unity and Pride on the National Mall.

DC Jazz Festival (June 9-18)
The fastest growing jazz festival in the country brings 125 performers to 40+ venues across the city.

RAMW’s BBQ and Grilling Week
Citywide/ June 19-25
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington highlights the flavors of summer with prix fixe meals at area restaurants.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
National Mall/ June 29-July 4; July 6-9
Circus Arts is the theme of the 50th annual pop-up festival of living culture featuring clowns, trapeze artists, tent-makers, poster artists, costumers, cooks and drivers.

National Building Museum/ July 4-Sept. 4
2017’s “summer block party” is designed by Studio Gang. Constructed from recyclable paper scrolls, giant domes will house musical instruments encouraging play.

Citi Open Tennis Classic
H. G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center/ July 29-Aug. 6
The tournament brings top players on the pro tour including Gael Monfils and John Isner to the courts in Rock Creek Park.

The Darcy Washington, DC, Curio Collection by Hilton: In addition to 226 contemporary guest rooms, studio and one-bedroom suites on Scott Circle, the property sports a restaurant, Siren, and coffeeshop.

Homewood Suites Washington DC Navy Yard: An all-suites hotel in Yards Park affords guests views of the baseball stadium and immediate access to buzzy restaurants and the U.S. Capitol.

Pod DC Hotel: This micro-hotel in Chinatown is primed to attract next-gen travelers with amenities like free Wi-Fi.

Residence Inn Washington Capitol Hill/Navy Yard: This extended-stay hotel gifts guests Wi-Fi and breakfast in the Capitol Riverfront.


The Wharf: Phase I of the $2.3 billion, mile-long mixed use waterfront project in Southwest DC opens in October, adding three hotels, 20+ restaurants, a distillery and two music venues.

Museum of the Bible: State-of-the-art 430,000 square foot facility opens in November, three blocks from the Capitol.

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