Travel like a local.


Embassy Row, Cherry Blossoms & National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Best things to do in Washington DC Jamie Larounis White House administration-1846270_1920 Pexels from Pixabay

The White House. Photo courtesy of Pexels from Pixabay

I’m really excited to interview Jamie Larounis of The Forward Cabin about Washington, D.C. Jamie’s tips for the best things to do in Washington, D.C. are awesome because he’s lived in the D.C. area since college. He loves how clean and well-kept the city it is and how accessible it is to other major cities in the Northeast by plane and train.

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Best things to do in Washington DC Jamie Larounis cherry blossom tree with Jefferson Memorial in background

Iconic cherry blossoms with the Jefferson Memorial in background

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States. All branches of government are located here and there are numerous monuments throughout the city to pay tribute to milestone achievements and historical figures in our history. In addition to U.S. government buildings, you’ll find embassies for countries from around the world here. Most are located on Embassy Row and they often host parties and cultural events to encourage Americans to learn more about those countries.

Jamie says that the best time to visit Washington, D.C., is late spring. The weather is perfect and the cherry blossoms are blooming. It can be very humid in July and August and chilly during the winter. If you want to avoid the crowds and find cheaper hotel rooms, plan your trip when Congress is not in session. Spring break and summer can also be quite busy with families because D.C. is such a popular destination.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Destination D.C., the local convention and visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

With the Washington, D.C. Sightseeing Pass, you can save up to 60% off regular ticket prices to 15 attractions. Packages are available for one low price. The Day Pass with unlimited sightseeing for 1, 2, or 3 days while the Flex Pass gives you 60 days to visit the attractions. The Washington, D.C. GetOutPass includes almost 40 attractions for one price, but many of the attractions are geared more towards locals.

Best things to do in Washington DC Jamie Larounis Blue Duck Tavern breakfast with hot chocolate

Breakfast at Blue Duck Tavern. Be sure to order the hot chocolate!

Getting around Washington, D.C.

The local airport is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), which is only 10 minutes to downtown.

Jamie says that, if you’re staying downtown, there’s no need to rent a car. The city is very walkable and the metro system is very convenient. Short trips on the metro are easy on the budget. Most rides are distance-based, but you can also buy unlimited day-passes. Uber and Lyft are excellent ways to get around.

If decide to rent a car, click here for the best offers from Avis, Budget, or Hertz. When you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Washington DC Jamie Larounis dessert at Centrale

Enjoy some dessert at Centrale

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Jamie Larounis about Washington, D.C. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Washington, D.C.
  • Green dots = best things to do in Washington, D.C.
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Washington, D.C.


Who is Jamie Larounis?

Jamie Larounis is a travel industry analyst and loyalty programs educator. He writes at The Forward Cabin, Upgraded Points, Forbes, and other online publishers. Jamie speaks regularly at Frequent Traveler University events sharing his tips on American Airlines, Amtrak, and other loyalty programs. The media regularly calls up Jamie for his expertise. He’s spoken at Princeton University, been quoted in The New York Times, and interviewed for numerous other publications.

Best things to do in Washington DC Jamie Larounis on Airbus tour

Jamie Larounis on Airbus tour

Here are a few articles that he’s written:

You can connect with Jamie on his website and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Best things to do in Washington DC Jamie Larounis gin and tonic at Agora

Sip on a gin and tonic from Agora

Stay tuned for our next episode

Listen to the next episode when Paul Lanyi shares the best things to do in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Paul and I talk about skiing in July, relaxing in hot springs, and exploring the nearby ghost town. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Washington, D.C.? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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To see which cities we’ve interviewed and scheduled, please visit If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please submit an application at

Related episodes

Learn more about the Washington, D.C., area by listening to our other interviews:


  1. Peter

    Hi, I just listen to this episode. A lot of great stuff there. I am a big fan of DC and been there twice so far. There is still so much to see.
    Unfortunately, there are some misleading information. The metro still sells day passes. In fact there is a one-day and three-day pass. Depending on your exploration habits, the day passes pay very well for themselves. My one-day pass did at least during my visit in DC. Here more:

  2. Melissa

    Love Washington DC and have been a few times. It’s perfect for everyone of all ages. We took our kiddos and saw the US Capitol, the White House, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian museums, and al the monuments and memorials. Back then we got in touch with our state senator and was able to schedule a tour of the Capitol, (not sure if they still do this), but if you get the opportunity to go, make sure you experience the “whispering room”.

    One of our favorite places to visit was the Smithsonian zoo where we were able to see the pandas. I would love to go back and to see the cherry blossoms in the spring!

    Thanks for all the info.