The Ultimate Guide To Washington, D.C. In The Fall

Taking a trip to Washington, D.C. in the fall is an excellent way to enjoy the season while seeing many of the nation’s treasured landmarks. Visiting in the fall means you’ll enjoy less crowds at many of the city’s popular museums and landmarks, like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. If you’re considering a trip to Washington, D.C. in the fall, be sure to consider the ideas below as you make your travel plans.

washington dc in the fall season autumn door step with pumpkin and fall flowers

This is a guest post that is brought to you by Jennifer Pellerito.

RED, ORANGE, AND YELLOW FALL FOLIAGE IN WASHINGTON D.C.

Washington D.C. boasts a brilliant display of leaves turning color in the fall. Everywhere you look, you’ll see the leaves of maple, oak and other types of trees turning gorgeous shades of red, orange, and yellow. 

washington dc in the fall monument

A visit to Georgetown is an absolute must during this time of year. As one of the most historic parts of the city, Georgetown was originally established in 1751. Situated along the Potomac River, Georgetown is famous for its row houses and high-end shopping along Wisconsin Avenue. 

Spend some time strolling through the cobblestone streets and red brick alleyways of the neighborhood, and you’ll catch sights of fallen leaves on the sidewalk and homes decorated with festive pumpkins and autumn wreaths.

Even if you aren’t able to make it to Georgetown, taking a stroll through almost any neighborhood in Washington D.C. is a treat. Enjoy the crisp fall air with a pumpkin spice latte in hand while strolling around the Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, or Columbia Heights neighborhoods. You’re likely to catch plenty of Halloween decorations if you’re in town before October 31!

pumpkin front door home decor curb appeal washington dc

WEATHER IN WASHINGTON, D.C. IN THE FALL

The weather can fluctuate quite a bit in Washington D.C. in the fall. In October, the last remnants of summer may still be lingering, in which case, temperatures may still be in the mid-70s or low 80s Fahrenheit.

As soon as November turns the corner, though, be prepared for temperatures to drop. It’s rare for Washington D.C. to receive snow as early as November, but the thermometer could go as low as 35 degrees at night! Both sunny and rainy days are also common. Be sure to check the forecast the week before your trip to make sure you pack outfits suitable for the weather!

veterans day in washington dc

VETERANS DAY IN WASHINGTON D.C.

November 11 is Veterans Day in the United States, and Washington D.C. is most likely the best place in the country to observe it. A wreath-laying ceremony is held every year at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the National Mall. Thousands attend every year to honor loved ones who have served the country.

You can also pay tribute at the Arlington National Cemetery, the resting place of thousands of veterans who lost their lives defending the United States. A concert is performed in the cemetery on Veterans Day along with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

More memorials that pay tribute to veterans include the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, the United States Navy Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the U.S. Air Force Memorial.

washington dc city buildings

POPULAR BEER GARDENS

Visiting Washington, D.C. in the fall means that you’ll see many D.C. residents out and about enjoying open-air beer gardens before temperatures really drop. A favorite activity for locals is hanging out with friends and meeting up at for a craft brew. The D.C. food and drink scene is on fire right now, and experiencing it is an absolute must. You’ll feel like you belong right among the locals when you check out D.C.’s beer gardens in the fall.

You can even celebrate Oktoberfest at Washiongton D.C.’s most popular hang out spots: The Berliner, Biergarten Haus, Church Hall, and Wunder Garten. Some beer gardens in the city are even pup-friendly, so you’re welcome to bring Fido along to enjoy the festivities!

washington dc abraham lincoln

VISIT SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK NEAR WASHINGTON D.C.

If you have time for a day trip outside of the city, a visit to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is a great way to spend an entire day. Only a 1.5 hour drive outside of Washington D.C., Shenandoah National Park includes the 105-mile long Skyline Drive, which you’ll want to spend some time driving along.

The fall colors really come to life on the trees in early and mid-October. Pack sandwiches and bring other snacks for a fun picnic in the park. You’ll be surrounded by magnificent shades everywhere you turn, especially if you take a hike in the woods.

Try Little Stony Man Overlook or Crescent Rock Overlook for a spectacular views. For a more intense hike, try the 6.5-mile trail from Jewell Hollow Overlook to Mary’s Rock. A mix of brown, golden and green shades bring about a lot of photo opportunities along the way. 

nationals game in washington dc

GO TO A WASHINGTON NATIONALS GAME

Fall is a great time of year to say so long to baseball and hello to hockey. D.C. is a big sports town, and it’s fun to take part in the action. It’s baseball season through the end of October, and in recent years the Washington Nationals have been on a winning streak. In fact, the Nationals won the World Series in 2019!

Even if baseball isn’t your favorite sport, it’s still a fun experience to head out to the ballpark for the afternoon or evening and catch a game. Grab a drink, order a hot dog and feast on peanuts while enjoying the atmosphere.

If it’s a rainy day, you might be better off checking out a hockey game indoors. The Washington Capitals are also a great team with a lot of recent wins -- the most notable, of course, is their Stanley Cup win in 2018. Crowds of fans in Caps jerseys, hats and t-shirts fill the seats and keep the game exciting with rowdy chants and rounds of applause.

washington dc jennifer pellerito

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Pellerito is a travel writer and blogger for Jen on the Run, a blog about how to find authentic, immersive experiences while traveling. You can find her on Instagram at @jp_ontherun, Twitter, or Pinterest

Washington D.C. sounds like such a lovely place to visit in the fall. I haven't visited Washington D.C. since I was a very little girl. Sadly I don't remember much of my experience there besides it being very historical. I remember my brother and I amused by every statue we saw. Oh! I also remember riding the train from Philly, I believe, to Washington D.C. That was a fun trip. Definitely one place I want to take my family too one day.

Have you ever been to Washington D.C.? What was your favorite place to visit there? 

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