Destination guide

A trip to Washington, DC is a capital idea

Time to brush up on everything you forgot from your U.S. history class—you're going to Washington, DC! More than just the site of many of the country's most iconic buildings—though you'll find plenty of those, too—the nation's capital is a bustling, cosmopolitan city, with a wealth of art and culture institutions. You can find world-class dining in the city's buzzy neighborhoods, as well as shopping, entertainment, and a bounty of outdoor space. With a Washington vacation rental, you'll be at the heart of national government—with attractions and nightlife for all.

Things to do

Washington, DC—home of the free (museums)

Everyone knows Washington is chock-full of worthwhile sights and museums, but just how many you can get into completely gratis is a marvel of modern governance. The National Portrait Gallery, the National Air and Space Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian—all run by the Smithsonian Institution—offer free admission throughout the year. And at the 163-acre Smithsonian National Zoological Park, visitors of all ages can get face to face with thousands of animals from all over the world, including elephants, lions, and giant pandas, all free of charge.


Monumental sightseeing in Washington, DC

If you like your national history in massive doses, then you're in the right place. With countless government buildings and national monuments to cross off your list, sightseeing is a major pastime in Washington. The National Mall is home to the iconic, Instagrammable Lincoln Memorial, as well as the Washington Monument and the United States Capitol, and you'll find plenty of museums, theaters, and live music venues in the area, too. Outdoorsy types can enjoy the running and walking trails in Rock Creek Park, a 2,000-acre oasis of greenery in the northwestern part of the city.


Getting to the bottom of the Foggy Bottom's weather

Fondly (and sometimes not-so-fondly) known as the "Foggy Bottom," Washington has a temperate maritime climate, with hot, muggy summers and cold, somewhat snowy winters; precipitation is relatively common throughout the year. Summer highs often climb into the 90s in July and August, while winter lows can regularly dip into the low teens between December and February. A popular summer destination thanks to its numerous monuments and government buildings, you'll be most likely to find killer deals on Washington vacation rentals during the slower and colder winter months.

Natural features

Here's the low-down on the Washington landscape

Washington, DC sits in a low-lying region, bordered on the south and west by the Anacostia and Potomac rivers. While Washington itself is densely urban, you can find a number of parks and open spaces throughout the city—more than 7,000 acres of them, in fact—and there are plenty of hiking trails, running paths, and bike routes for weekend warriors of all types. Your Washington vacation rental will also put you close to the 446-acre United States National Arboretum, a welcome break from the hustle and bustle that's home to trees and plants from all over the country.

How to get there

Transportation to and around Washington

Fly into Washington, DC (DCA-Ronald Reagan Washington National), the closest airport, located 3.8 mi (6.2 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you could book a flight to College Park, MD (CGS), which is 7.5 mi (12.1 km) away.

If you're traveling by train, you can make your way to Washington Union Station. It's easy to get around Washington by catching a ride on the metro at 7th St. Convention Center Station, Gallery Place Chinatown Station or Center Station.

Where to stay around Washington DC?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 2,072 vacation rentals near Washington DC. From 652 Houses to 1,065 Condos/Apartments, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Washington DC are on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Washington DC?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Washington DC. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Capitol Hill: 508 vacation rentals
  • Georgetown: 1,115 vacation rentals
  • Eastern Market: 377 vacation rentals
  • Dupont Circle: 587 vacation rentals
  • United States Capitol: 2,074 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Washington DC! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Washington DC?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Washington DC:

  • Embassy Row: 1,779 rentals
  • Baltimore: 286 rentals
  • Alexandria: 1,863 rentals
  • Arlington: 1,956 rentals
  • Bethesda: 1,873 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Can I find easy-access vacation rentals when traveling by plane to Washington DC?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of vacation rentals near airports. The airports with a large selection of vacation rentals in Washington DC are:

  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA): 2,073 vacation rentals
  • Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI): 730 vacation rentals
  • College Park, MD (CGS): 2,058 vacation rentals

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holidays in Washington DC?

HomeAway offers a large selection of rentals near lovely places in Washington DC. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Eastern Market: 377 rentals
  • United States Capitol: 2,074 rentals
  • National Mall ( Mall): 1,196 rentals
  • Nationals Park: 2,055 rentals
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: 2,089 rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Washington DC listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

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