|Washington Travel Guide|
Washington is a world stage, with international media poised for an 'event' any time the President dons his jogging shoes. But besides these spontaneous little excitements, Washington also hosts big-scale, half-crazy, half-democratic events that reel in everyone from Texan brigades to teachers' unions, pro-lifers, priests and peaceniks, cult and world leaders. And some of these events have changed the nation's history...
Regular features on the DC calender include the beloved Cherry Blossom Festival in March-April and the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival in June. Independence Day is a grand event, including a troops parade, the reading of the Declaration of Independence, concerts and fireworks over the Potomac. Other highlights include Martin Luther King Jr Day on the third Monday in January, when orators recite King's 'I have a dream' speech at the Lincoln Memorial; the Smithsonian Kite Festival (late March), when kite designers, flyers and competitors gather on the Mall for this rite of spring; April's White House Easter Egg Roll, which the First Lady hosts for children between three and six; and the Festival of American Folk Life, hosted by the Smithsonian on the last weekend in June.
In September, Adams-Morgan Day is a raging international block party with global music, food and crafts along and around 18th St NW and Columbia Rd. This is also the month for the National Frisbee Festival (watch your head when wandering the Mall) and the DC Blues Festival (free concerts around town). On the second Thursday in December, the President illuminates the national Christmas tree and lights a menorah on the Ellipse. There's outdoor partying on New Year's Eve at the Old Post Office.
Mar/Apr - Easter
Fairs and festivals
Spectacular country fairs and festivals celebrating wine, beer, fruit, music, arts, slugs, and a whole lot more.
Autumn Leaf Festival - Leavenworth
Festival schedule, history, and royalty are included on the web site for this annual fall event.
Bellevue Art Fair
Northwest Folklife Festival
Northwest Washington Fair
Seattle/Tacoma Fairs & Festivals
Sequim Lavender Festival
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Spokane County Interstate Fair
Stanwood-Camano Music Festival
Washington State International Kite Festival
Washington Summer Microbrew Festival
Western Washington Fairgrounds - Puyallup
The most comfortable times to visit Washington are in spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). The official tourist season runs from April through September. It's a good idea to buy advance tickets to popular attractions during this period because the queues can be monstrous.
Summers are hot and humid, especially in July and August. If you can
bear the heat, this can be a good time to visit, as business travel to
DC slumps and accommodation rates fall accordingly. Snowman aficionados
may get a kick out of winter. If you plan on being in town for the city's
biggest events - the Cherry Blossom Festival in March, the Smithsonian
Folklife Festival in June and Independence Day in July - book ahead.
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