The free Smithsonian museums, majestic monuments and spring cherry blossoms are tourist staples in Washington, DC. But even if you’ve been-there-done-that, there are loads of new reasons to visit our nation’s capital in 2022 – including a few visitor favorites now reopened after pandemic shutdowns.
Planet Word Museum
The museum is fully accessible and offers visitors a limited number of wheelchairs.
Visit: Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm; reserve tickets online (there’s no entrance fee, though donations of $ 10– $ 15 are encouraged); 925 13th St. NW; 202-931-3139; planetwordmuseum.org
Revived White House tours
Public tours restarted in April, after a COVID-related pause. The free peeks into public rooms are first come, first served and must be booked through the office of a member of Congress. Reach out to your member of the Congress and Congressional Tour Coordinator through the U.S. House of Representatives switchboard at 202-225-3121, the U.S. Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121, or online at www.congress.gov/members. You’ll want to plan ahead: Requests for tickets must be submitted three weeks to 90 days in advance. The self-guided tours of the East Wing include the State Dining Room, Red Room, Green Room, Blue Room and the China Room, which displays tableware of past presidents – but the Oval Office is off-limits. Secret Service members stationed in the rooms can answer questions.
Visit: The free tours are only available from 8 am to 12:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Some formerly down-at-the-heel neighborhoods are abloom with new restaurants, shops and trendy places to lay your head. Marriott’s AC Hotel Capitol Hill Navy Yard is close to the Capitol, Smithsonian museums and the revived DC waterfront. Rates start at about $ 200, depending on the date.
The citizenM Washington DC NoMa is due in July in the up-and-coming neighborhood north of the Capitol. The hip European brand boasts HDTV with streaming and in-room mood lighting. It joins the citizenM Washington DC Capitol. Rates start under $ 200.
Washington DC Downtown, due in July. Budgeters will appreciate that breakfast is included.