With its history, amazing cultural attractions and fresh air that attracts people from all over the world, Washington attracts a large number of visitors throughout the year. But if you want to make the most of your trip to Washington, D.C., choosing your arrival time can make a big difference.
The best time to visit Washington is during the Cherry Blossom Festival at the end of March/beginning of April or September, when you can enjoy the fresh air and stroll around historical sites in the warm weather after the summer tourist crowds have disappeared.
Read on to find the best time to visit Washington, DC, get to know the weather, local events and festivals and get the best hotels at great prices.
When do you have to go to Washington?
When to come to Washington – Abstract
- It’s the best time for good weather: The best months of the year in Washington are September to early October and mid-April to May. During these months the weather is warm and pleasant to move around in the historic capital, not hot and humid as in the summer months. Precipitation is moderate, although in Washington, D.C., it’s fairly stable throughout the year.
- The best time for sightseeing: The best time to come to Washington and see the incredible collection of historical and cultural attractions is from September to October. After the weekend of Labour Day the summer crowds leave, but the weather is still warm, making it a great place to walk from place to place and enjoy the view.
- It’s the best time to save money: The lowest part of the tourist season in the district of Columbia lasts from October to mid-March. In January and February we offer some of the best travel options and hotels after the holiday period. It should be noted that in Washington, D.C., a large number of people come to the city all year round for business and political reasons, which means that the tourist season is not the main reason people come to the city. On weekends, hotel rates are much lower due to the business travel factor. A trip to the city just before the weekend and a return shortly after is usually the best price, so a long weekend in January is the best price you can get.
Best time to visit Washington, D.C.
- The best time for museums and events: The best time to visit museums and explore everything you can do in Washington is September and October. The months of March and April can also be very auspicious, as the weather is warm and pleasant as in early autumn, but the cherry blossom festival means that tourists come to the city and therefore many museums can have longer queues.
- It’s the best time for restaurants: D.C. offers two weeks of catering in January and August. 250 restaurants across the city offer a $22 fixed-price menu for lunch and $35 for dinner, which means you can discover great places at incredible prices. The city’s gastronomic events include the Chocolate, Wine and Whiskey Festival in February, the Grill Battle in June and the Georgetown Taste Festival and Beer Week in September. For more information see the festival information at the end of the article.
- It’s the best time for concerts and music: The months of June and July are wonderful for music lovers – Jazz Festival, Smithsonian Folklore Festival and Capital Fringe Festival, as well as many other events with live music. If you’re looking for a more local atmosphere, come to D.C. in September, when the city holds its own street parties with great local musicians on stage.
- It’s the best time for families and children: It is preferable to come with the family in September or October. There are far fewer tourists at the main attractions, which means you don’t have to queue up to enter, and the weather is always pleasant and not too hot for children. You can also come in April, but the cherry blossom festival attracts a large crowd and people come for various school and cultural exchanges, which can make the place livelier.
- It’s the best time to avoid the crowd: If you want to avoid the queues at the main attractions and have fewer people, it’s best to come to Washington at the end of January or the beginning of February. Of course there are always business people, but the museums and cultural attractions will be very empty, especially on weekends.
Washington, D.C., travel time
Summer in Washington is warm and humid with temperatures reaching the highs of the 80s and 90s.
High season for tourists (late March/early April and July-August)
Most tourists come to Washington in July and August, during the summer holiday period. Visitors from all over the United States and abroad bravely endure hot and humid summers, making it the season with the highest hotel prices.
The cherry blossom festival, which takes place at the end of March/beginning of April, is another very popular period and during this period tourist activity has increased considerably, albeit less steadily than during the summer months.
Shoulder seasons (mid-April to June and September)
After the peak in the spread of the cherry blossom masses, it tends to be less polluted for a few months until the end of June, when summer traffic increases again.
September is also the low season – the number of visitors drops sharply after the weekend of Labour Day, but because the weather is still very hot, some tourists opt for a less busy period to visit.
Low season (October-March)
October-March is usually the low season for tourism in Washington. The low season in the capital is not quite the same as in other cities – you can still see tourist buses coming from far and wide to get that Lincoln Memorial click, but it’s usually much quieter during those months.
Most American tourists come in the summer, making the cold winter months less crowded, and hotels can offer good deals in January and February.
When are you going to Washington for the Cherry Blossom Festival?
The Cherry Blossom Festival is a three-day event that starts on the penultimate Friday in March and ends on the second Sunday in April.
Throughout the capital the cherry trees blossom in pink and purple, giving the city a unique atmosphere and visitors flock to the city to enjoy the scenery and the many events and activities that take place during these weeks.
The most important events of this period take place on Saturday. The opening ceremony usually takes place on the Saturday following the first day of the festival. Next Saturday there will be a festival of flowering dragons at the Washington Monument. On the first Saturday of April there will be a big parade through the streets of D.C..
Weather in Washington, D.C. during the year
Autumn leaves in Washington are clear and the sky is clear, making for perfect autumn days.
Average monthly temperature and precipitation for Washington, D.C.
|Average maximum temperature and precipitation
data from U.S. NOAA climate data.
|January||44.3 °F / 6.8 °C||3.09 inch / 78 mm|
|February||48.0 °F / 8.9 °C||2.90 inch / 74 mm|
|Mars||56.4 °F / 13.6 °C||3.72 inch / 94 mm|
|April||67.5 °F / 19.7 °C||3.51 inch / 89 mm|
|May||76.7 °F / 24.8 °C||4.28 inch / 109 mm|
|June||85.6 °F / 29.8 °C||4.08 inch / 104 mm|
|July||89.6 °F / 32.0 °C||4.32 inch / 110 mm|
|August||88.3 °F / 31.3 °S||3.41 inch / 87 mm|
|September||81.1 °F / 27.3 °C||3.76 inch / 96 mm|
|October||69.9 °F / 21.1 °C||3.79 inch / 96 mm|
|November||59.3 °F / 15.2 °C||3.47 inch / 88 mm|
|December||48.2 °F / 9.0 °C||3.20 inch / 81 mm|
Washington, D.C., Weather Month
- The weather in Washington in January: January is the coldest month of the year in the district of Columbia. The average daily maximum temperature is 6.8°C, while the minimum temperature at night is below the freezing point of -2.9°C. There is regular snowfall and the weather will be cool and icy. Although precipitation is relatively low, it is expected to rain or snow on average every 3 days. Average temperature: 35.5 °F / 1.9 °C. Average precipitation: 3.09 inches / 78 mm.
- The weather in Washington in February: Temperatures are slightly warm in February, although the snow remains normal and the nights remain below freezing at an average of -1.8°C. February is statistically the driest month of the year, although it is almost identical to January when counting the difference in days. Expect snow or frost several times a week for most of the month. Average temperature: 38.4 °F / 3.6 °C. Average precipitation: 2.90 inches / 74 mm.
- The weather in Washington in March: March is the low season for the climate in Washington, D.C. The month starts with cool weather and can remain temporarily covered in snow and ice, but at the end of the month it heats up quickly with daily highs above 16°C (60°F) for several days, allowing the famous cherry blossoms to blossom. Spending the night averages 2.2°C, but this month both halves have tended to stay well above freezing since the end of March. Average temperature: 46.2 °F / 7.9 °C. Average precipitation: 3.72 inches / 94 mm.
- The weather in Washington in April: The warm spring arrives in Washington in April. The temperature of the night air drops below 7.4°C (45.3°F) and only one day per month falls below freezing on average over the year. Precipitation remains moderate, with average daily maxima of 19.7°F (67.5°F), and temperatures often change from 1970s levels (over 21°F) towards the end of April. Average temperature: 56.4 °F / 13.6 °C. Average precipitation: 3.51 inches / 89 mm.
- The weather in Washington in May: According to the statistics, May is the wettest month of the year in terms of the number of rainy days. Although it is recommended that on the total amount of water flowing out of the air in July, in May an average of 12 rainy days – take an umbrella! The heating and the low temperatures at night are a pleasant 12.8 °C. Wait a few days until the end of the month to reach 32°C (90°F), as summer is in full swing. Average temperature: 65.9 °F / 18.8 °C. Average precipitation: 4.28 inches / 109 mm.
- The weather in Washington in June: Hot and humid summers actually start in June. The average daily maximum is 29.8°C (85.6°F) and increases by more than 32°C (90°F) every three days. In terms of total precipitation, June is in the middle of a wetter period, but it is more likely to rain in the afternoon than drizzle in spring. Expect to be slightly cooler at night, with an average temperature of 18.2°F (64.7°F). Average temperature: 75.1 °F / 23.9 °C. Average precipitation: 4.08 inches / 104 mm.
- The weather in Washington in July: July in Washington is hot, damp and sticky. This is the month with the highest temperatures and precipitation. On most days the daily maximum is above 32°C, and even the minimum is 20.9°C. They want lots of water, clothing suitable for warm and humid temperatures and they want to spend as much time as possible in air-conditioned museums! Average temperature: 79.6 °F / 26.4 °S. Average precipitation: 110 mm.
- The weather in Washington in August: The month of August in Washington remains very hot and humid, but there is less rain in the summer than at the beginning of the summer. During the day, maximum temperatures remain high, averaging 31.3°F, and at night, when the temperature remains warm, a short pause is needed, averaging 19.8°F. Find shelter in the house or in one of the waters where you can cool your toes. Average temperature: 78.0 °F / 25.6 °S. Average precipitation: 3.41 inches / 87 mm.
- The weather in Washington in September: At the beginning of September the temperature remains warm, but from Labour Day onwards the temperature starts to drop to a much more pleasant level. Later in the month the daily maxima will remain below 27°C, which will give a pleasant but not unbearable feeling of warmth. Night temperature averages 15.2°C, making it almost ideal in the evening when the wind blows from the sea. Average temperature: 70.3 °F / 21.3 °C. Average precipitation: 3.76 inches / 96 mm.
- The weather in Washington in October: The weather in Washington changes rapidly in October. At the beginning of the month the daily highs of the seventies (above 21°C) will be maintained, but as the month progresses they will cool down much more, with the daily highs falling to about 15.6°C (60°F) and some nights at or below zero as November approaches. Average temperature: 58.5 °F / 14.7 °C. Average precipitation: 3.79 inches / 96 mm.
- The weather in Washington in November: Winter begins in Washington in November. At the end of the month, the daily highs begin to drop to 50 degrees (10°C) and freeze at night, making the morning icy. The rainfall is relatively low – only 1 and sometimes 2 days a week when it rains heavily, but it’s starting to get very cool and you’ll have to take off your scarf! Average temperature: 48.8 °F / 9.3 °C. Average precipitation: 3.47 inches / 88 mm.
- The weather in Washington in December: December is the first real month of a cold winter in D.C. There is very little rain and snow, but the days are getting colder and the average is just above zero, and at night everything freezes over. The relative humidity and proximity to the ocean can make the air cooler than the measured temperature – turn to warm! Average temperature: 39.2 °F/4.0 °C. Average precipitation: 3.20 inches / 81 mm.
Washington, D.C., events and business up tomonths.
Winters in Washington are cold and can be snowy in January and February.
January in Washington, D.C..
- Washington D.C. Auto Show – 35 car makers show hundreds of new car models at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center during a weekend at the end of January.
- Metro Washington D.C. Restaurant Week – Approximately 250 restaurants in the DC area collaborate to offer 3-course lunches and dinners for $22 and $35 – incredible value in some of the best locations in the city.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, a national holiday, is celebrated all over town.
- Chinese New Year Parade – The annual parade at the end of January is getting bigger and bigger, requiring traditional cultural couples and dragons to dance.
- Remember that every 4 years, in January, the inauguration of the president will take place – thousands of people come to the city for this event, and some public places will be very crowded.
February in Washington, D.C.
- DC Chocolate, Wine and Whisky Festival – There are many events where I feel just as excited as for those who combine chocolate and wine and offer the opportunity to enjoy a whisky cocktail. Other food and drinks are also available!
- Black History Month – A wide range of events celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Afro-Americans through the Black Film Festival, presentations by famous black authors and fascinating speakers.
- Ice Yards is a winter paradise for adults, with a snowy beer garden, an ice cocktail bar, various winter games and warm food stalls.
. March to Washington, DC.
- DC Independent Film Festival – The DC Independent Film Festival, which is held at the beginning of March, has been presenting the best independent, short and alternative films for over 20 years.
- St. Patrick’s Day Parade – For 50 years, on mid-March Sunday, Washington has been celebrating Irish culture, traditions, beer and greenery.
- The American Rock and Roll Marathon is a unique opportunity for runners to complete the marathon as they take a complete tour of the capital, past the White House, the Lincoln Memorial in the Capitol Building and dozens of other important sites. Joining the runners or just cheering them on is a great event at the end of March.
- National Cherry Blossom Festival – The city’s biggest event takes place in late March and early April, when the famous pink and purple hues appear on the local cherry trees. From the opening ceremony at the Warner Theater to the Dragon Blossom Festival at the Washington Monument to the Cherry Blossom Parade, it’s the perfect time to visit Washington.
Aprilin Washington, D.C.
- Roll with Easter eggs at the White House is an annual event on the White House lawn where children up to the age of 13 can push eggs on the lawn with a spoon and participate in other activities. Please note that you must enter the lottery to win lottery tickets with a 4-day window from the end of February – beginning of March.
- Although the Arlington Art Festival – Oak – is held in Arlington, another city in a different state, it’s across the river. A two-day art festival is a great way to see or buy paintings, sculptures and much more.
- Filmfest DC – The DC International Film Festival celebrates all about film production with screenings of films from dozens of countries during 11 days starting at the end of April.
- Smithsonian Crafts Exhibition – 4-day celebration of the world of arts and crafts at the National Building Museum, with performances and exhibitions during the day and a drink in the evening.
Mayin Washington, D.C..
- DC Passport – A $25 passport that gives you 11 days of bonuses, including exclusive access to specially organized parties, 2 for 1 drinks and substantial discounts at 66 companies ranging from coffee to beer, wine and cocktails.
- The Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally and Memorial Day Concert is the biggest Memorial Day parade in the country and a weekend of events such as the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally and Memorial Day Concert.
- Cycling – A day when many of D.C.’s streets are closed to cars and you can explore the city’s best spots by bike without the need for vehicles.
- National Cathedral Flower Market – On the first Friday and Saturday of May, flower and plant lovers come together at Washington’s National Cathedral with 70 stalls selling plants, a flower show, art demonstrations and street food.
June in Washington, D.C.
- The Washington DC Jazz Festival – with over 300 artists performing for 10 days in June at over 40 venues across the district – is a great opportunity to visit Washington during the summer.
- Smithsonian Folklore Festival – This festival focuses on the music, culture, art and lifestyle of cultures from around the world, from South America to the Middle East, in the national shopping mall.
- The pride of the capital is reflected in a few days of events and celebrations, culminating in a colourful Pride, a festival and a concert on the weekend in mid-June.
- The By the People Festival is an international art and dialogue festival dedicated to visual and performing arts, from ballet to augmented reality art hunting, where you can attend all events for free.
- The big national barbecue capital is one of the largest barbecue events in the country, with a ribbon occupancy contest, a hot dog-eating contest and a huge selection of the best meat straight from the smokehouse and grill. Live music, beer and fun guaranteed for everyone.
- AFI Docs – shows, workshops and many other events related to documentary cinema, from in-depth television series to the most famous documentaries.
Julyin Washington, D.C.
- DC Independence Day Celebrations – Perhaps the best place in the United States to celebrate Independence Day (in partnership with Philadelphia) with large-scale fireworks shows and weekend events throughout the city.
- The Citi Open Tennis is a tennis tournament that takes place in late July and early August in Washington, DC.
- The Capital Fringe Festival is a Washington, D.C. edition of the Fringe Madness Festival, stretching from comedy to alternative music to quirky performances on small stages.
Augustin Washington, D.C.
- Metro Washington Restaurant Week – August marks the return of restaurant week with a wide variety of great restaurants offering a fixed-price menu for lunch and dinner at a fraction of the usual cost.
- 17th Street Festival – A large local event featuring outdoor vendors, grocery stores, music and art performances and a chance to meet the community in the 17th Street corridor.
September in Washington, D.C.
- H Street Festival – This local festival stretches across 11 blocks of H Street. Hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers perform, there are visual shows and events for youth and children.
- Labor Day Concert – A free concert by the National Symphony Orchestra on the West Lawn of the American Capitol on Labor Day and at the beginning of the performing arts season at the Kennedy Center.
- Adams Morgan Day is the longest quarterly festival in Washington, DC in over 40 years. Music, art, food, drink and communal family entertainment can be found here in the Adams Morgan area.
- The National Book Festival in the Library of Congress is a large book festival that brings together more than 100 authors, writers and poets, stalls selling different types of books, rare book sales and much more.
- Georgetown Festival Tasting – Local restaurants combine food, beer and wine in another great event in the area, with fun competitions and a great family weekend.
- DC Beer Week – Beer events at different locations in the District of Columbia. Big beer parties, brewery events and even a home brewing competition (this can get dirty) for those who love any kind of beer.
October in Washington, D.C.
- Taste of DC – A great culinary event that includes not only beer gardens, countless food stalls and great culinary displays, but also live music and parties.
- Marathon – A great popularity of the marathon, the largest in the world, which does not seduce the best athletes with cash prizes. It’s all about fitness, and 30,000 people take to the streets to walk 26.2 miles.
- Washington International Equestrian Show – A week of shows, various horse shows, performances and competitions at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC.
Novemberin Washington, D.C.
- The Kids Euro Festival is one of the largest children’s performing arts festivals in the United States. It is organised jointly with the European Union and includes free events for two weeks – from dance performances to film screenings.
- International Crafts Fair – The event is held at the World Bank with the participation of local and international suppliers supporting the Margaret McNamara Education Grant organization, which promotes higher education for women in developing countries.
Decemberin Washington, D.C.
- Festive market in the city center – traditional Christmas market with your favorite Christmas foods and drinks, gifts and lots of seasonal cheers.
- National Christmas tree lighting – The national tradition of lighting the Christmas tree in the national park is almost 100 years old. You can be in Washington at the beginning of December and then be one of the first to see a giant Christmas tree.
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