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Washington, DC Car Rental

 

Our nation's capital attracts many thousands of visitors every year because of its historical, cultural, culinary, and political attractions. It's also a great destination for families, especially if you want to teach your kids about United States history. The kids can see some of the most iconic U.S. landmarks in person, then return home to tell their friends.

 

Of course, the adults don't have to miss out on the fun. Choosing family friendly activities in Washington, DC, will allow everyone in the group to enjoy themselves thoroughly. To enjoy maximum flexibility, rent a car after you arrive in DC and start planning your memorable trip.

 

Washington, DC visitor information:

Planning the Ultimate Washington, DC Family Vacation

Amazing Mid-Atlantic Drives and Day Trips

 

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Location Location Hour

1

Balt Washington Intl Apt (BWI)

7434 New Ridge Rd Po Box 347
Hanover, MD 21076 US
Phone: (410)859-8092

2

Wash Dulles Intl Arpt (IAD)

23430 Autopilot Dr
Dulles, VA 20166 US
Phone: (844) 648-1605

3

Washington Reagan Arpt (DCA)

Ronald Reagan Wash Natl Airprt
2500 National Avenue Garage A
Arlington, VA 22202 US
Phone: (844) 648-1608

4

D Street Sw-l'enfant Plz

970 D St SW
Washington, DC 20024 US
Phone: (888)826-6893

What to Do in Washington DC

 

You can't visit Washington DC, without a visit to The Smithsonian. This collection of museums holds numerous treasures, from rare antiquities to the iconic reflecting pool. You'll find insect and animal specimens, precious artwork, American portraits, and more. There are also outdoor gardens and monuments, and you won't want to miss the Star Spangled Banner or the relics left over from our earliest presidents.

 

Next, visit the National Zoo. Unlike most zoos throughout the United States, this one doesn't charge admission. The zoo features animals ranging from peacocks and cheetahs to giant pandas and American alligators. It's open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., though it has extended hours during the holiday season so guests can enjoy the Zoo Lights. There's a visitor's center and gift shop as well as many places to grab a beverage or snack.

 

You won't want to skip the United States Botanic Garden. Kids love the beautiful foliage and stunning sculptures. You'll find specimens of nearly every flower that's native to the United States as well as other plants, from bushes and trees to ornamental grasses. You can also explore non-native plants in the indoor gardens, which feature exhibits that belong in the desert, jungle, and other climates.

 

Kids and adults also love the National Geographic Museum. It's devoted to wildlife and culture, and you can explore numerous exhibits that feature video, photos, and interactive materials. Kids particularly like the latter options because they enjoy the tactile experience. Several exhibits allow children to climb on them, so you don't have to worry about hearing the dreaded cries of "I'm bored!"

 

Day Trips from Washington DC

 

While the city offers plenty of excitement, you might want to unwind a bit during your visit to Washington, DC. If you have a rental car, you can easily see some of the top destinations around the city.

 

Start with Shenandoah National Park. You'll get beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River. Go on a hike to see majestic waterfalls or take the kids on a guided horseback ride down scenic mountain trails. You'll see plenty of native fauna, from frogs and squirrels to deer and even the occasional black bear. The park is located roughly 2 hours away from the city center.

 

Alternatively, if you're craving a different type of city life, head North to Baltimore, which is about an hour away. The Inner Harbor area offers dozens of top destinations, from museums and restaurants to shops and the World Trade Center. The kids will love the National Aquarium, which features marine creatures from all around the world. Traveling exhibits often include animals from faraway destinations, such as Africa and Australia.

 

You might also want to enjoy the peace and quiet of small-town life while you're in DC. Head 2.5 hours down the road to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. It's a tiny hamlet with plenty of charm. Hike through the leaf-drenched Brandywine Battlefield State Park, enjoy comfort food at The Gables Restaurant & Bar, and head to the Art Beat, where adults and kids alike can express themselves creatively through multiple artistic mediums.

 

Must-Know Washington DC Tips

 

Traffic can become a hassle in Washington, DC. Avoid congested freeways like I-95 and I-68 in favor of less-clogged back roads. Avoid rush hour which is typically from 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Instead, restrict your travels to midday. If you need to travel during peak traffic times, consider walking, biking or taking public transportation to your destination.

 

When to Visit Washington, DC

 

If possible, visit Washington DC during spring or fall. These ‘shoulder seasons’ typically experience lower hotel rates, less traffic, and fewer lines at tourist destinations. Plus, you won't have to sweat in the hot summer heat or bundle up in every jacket you own to escape the winter chill.

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