The DMV is filled with great food, amazing stays and beautiful experiences. Travel Noire has put together a guide to help you figure out where to vacay, play, stay and much more when you visit the areas in and around Washington D.C. While it may be easy to visit the DMV area year-round, the truth is that there are some months that are much better than others for visitation purposes.
DMV Area, Quick Travel Facts
- Best time to travel: March through May and September through November
- Time zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- Noteworthy: National Cherry Blossom Festival (March through May), Baltimore Jazz Fest (June)
- Best for: Couples Trip, Friends Trip, Family Getaways
More than just an opportunity to see some pretty trees, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is a cooperative celebration between American and Japanese cultures. It serves as a way to remember the first cherry blossom tree that was gifted to the United States by Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki back in 1912.
For those that prefer a more beachy experience, Delaware and Virginia both offer incomparable summer adventures. Stop by the fun and funky Bethany Beach if you’re in Delaware during the summer or enjoy a more serene experience at Sandbridge in Virginia Beach.
Play: Things to Do and See in the DMV
If you do decide to visit the DMV area, you will not be bored.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC), which is located in D.C., is the crest of a centuries-long effort to recognize the importance of the Black community and its influence on American life. The museum’s exhibition of slavery is housed at the bottom level of the building. The upper levels are considered the culture galleries and display fine art, and the stories and artifacts of Black entertainers, artists, musicians, writers and athletes.
Over in Maryland, it’s essential to take a trip to the National Aquarium, which is fun for children (and adults) of all ages. There are so many activities offered at this aquarium, such as dolphin training sessions, shark behind-the-scenes tours, and animal care and rescue tours, that you will never want to leave.
In Virginia, taking a trip to see the Natural Bridge — a limestone structure that is nothing short of a natural wonder — or the Luray Caverns, which is considered “Geology’s Hall of Fame” is a must-do.
Gourmet: Best Restaurants in D.C. & Virginia
There’s no shortage of delicious eateries in the DMV area. However, it can be hard to figure out which places to try.
If you are looking for Caribbean-fusion cuisine, they you may want to try Bammy’s Navy Yard, located in the heart of Arlington, VA. Executive chef Peter Prime is a local favorite, frequently appearing on local morning shows to tempt viewers with grilled oxtail, Trinidadian-style potato curry and brown stew chicken.
Other local favorites include The Duck and the Peach (which serves all-American fare) and the French bistro Cafe Colline. Bar Spero is the perfect spot to get your paella fix, and Fiola Mar has the best Italian food in the DMV.
Stay: Best Places to Stay in the DMV
Few things spell luxury in the DMV quite like the Fairmont Hotel. This DC landmark is located in the heart of the tony Georgetown district and is reminiscent of the incomparable luxury of NYC’s Plaza Hotel. Unlike The Plaza, the Fairmont is sleek and up-to-date with all the modern amenities that all 21st-century travelers could want.
For those looking to patronize a Black-owned hotel, the Salamander Resort & Spa provides a unique treat. Located in the heart of Virginia’s wine country, the Salamander — situated on more than 300 acres — offers a unique spa-like experience less than 30 minutes away from Dulles International Airport.
If you want a more unique experience, head on over to AirBnB and book Ingram Alley Inn. It is a highly-recommended tiny house that is close to the hidden gem of the 16th Street Heights.
Get Away: How to Get to the DMV
There are a lot of ways to get to the DMV. Some of the most common forms of transportation is by car, plane or train.
Train tickets to Washington D.C. are affordable, especially when traveling from the New York City area. Fares start as low as $31, and Amtrak can get you there in about five hours without the hassle of DC traffic stressing you out.
Direct flights to Washington D.C. also are available from all over the world with the vast majority of the routes being serviced by American Airlines.
If you are willing to run the risk of battling the D.C. traffic to get to the DMV, a road trip isn’t the worst idea in the world.