It’s no secret that Washington D.C. is one of the country’s great beauties. From stone monuments of incredible scales, to its abundance of airy green spaces and streets which are lined with architecture older than many parts of the nation they were built in, D.C. can be downright breathtaking. There is one season, however, that the nation’s capital wears exceptionally well.
Springtime in Washington D.C. is something that must be experienced in order to truly appreciate. While many of the District’s attractions can be pricey, you don’t have to break the bank to soak up some springtime. In fact, for most of our favorite spring activities, you won’t have to spend a dime! Here are the best free things to do in Washington D.C. this spring.
While this may be the most obvious pick for a D.C. springtime list, its top spot on our list is completely earned. Often blooming the last week of March and consuming the Tidal Basin for the better part of a week, the annual cherry blossom is a not-so-subtle signal of springtime in D.C.— and doesn’t cost a penny. This year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival (also free, also great!) will have an in-person and online component, so you’re able to enjoy this must-see spring event in whichever way you feel comfortable.
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Designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, Jr., son of the famed landscape architect behind the Biltmore Estate and New York’s Central Park, the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral provide an open-air oasis from the bustle of Washington. While the grounds are free to the public and open year-round, spring is, by far, the time to visit. History buffs and green thumbs alike will enjoy spending spring prowling the legendary grounds of Bishop’s Garden.
Spring at the Smithsonian
We know what you’re thinking: “but it’s 70 degrees out, why would I want to be stuck indoors?!” Fair point, but the massive collections at any of the Smithsonian Institution’s many outposts have the ability to make you forget you’re in a museum (or even in D.C. for that matter), instead transporting you to another time and world altogether. Plus, museums are notoriously warm, so a visit during spring means you won’t be dying to get out of your down jacket upon admission. Free entry for access to a literally priceless collection of artifacts? Kind of a no-brainer — no matter the season!
Common’s furnished rooftops
This list would not be complete without mention of the furnished rooftops which can be found atop many of Common’s D.C. homes. In addition to paying lower-than-average rents with built-in luxury amenities (and free WiFi), residents of Common NoSHA, Common Clover, and Common Bowman have the pleasure of taking in the spring sun from a private rooftop and enjoying some unbeatable views of the District. Be it in the form of tanning, grilling, reading, or napping — sunny, springtime serenity awaits.