Things to Do in Washington DC in Fall 2018 – Attractions, Activities & More

Autumn is a great time of year in Washington, D.C. The heat and humidity of the long summer has started to wear off, and we’re shifting towards cooler breezes and vibrant foliage.

If you’re planning a trip and looking for things to do in Washington DC in the Fall, take a look at our suggestions for the top attractions and activities to check out this year.

Our Washington DC fall itinerary includes…

  • Washington Walks Walking Tour
  • Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
  • George Washington’s Mount Vernon
  • DC Bike Rentals
  • Washington Monuments Cruise
  • The Capital Wheel
  • Taste of Georgetown
  • Boo at the Zoo
  • Mount Vernon Wine & Food Festival

Save on Attraction Admission

Regular admission to a number of these Washington DC area activities are included on the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 47% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

Check out all Washington DC tourist passes, attractions and prices.

Please note, the Fall events listed below may be separately ticketed and not included on the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

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*Valid for All-Inclusive and Explorer purchases

Washington Walks Walking Tour

Explore Washington DC like a native in this easily walkable city.

Choose from a long list of themed tours that will take you past all the most important DC monuments as your guide provides you with the in depth history of the United States capitol. Tour the path of the American Presidents, visit Georgetown, or follow your guide through the National Mall.

In honor of fall, take part in the Capital Hauntings: Ghosts of the US Capitol tour that takes place all throughout October. Learn the story of the whisper spot in the capitol, keep your eyes peeled for other-worldly beings, and discover why you should never step foot in Statuary Hall on New Years Eve.

Getting in: Washington Walks Walking Tour tickets are included on the Washington DC Explorer Pass.

Take a Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour of DC

Hop-On-Hop-Off-big-bus-washington-dc-1-Day-Patriot-Tour-1
If you’re new to D.C, chances are you haven’t seen much of the city yet. Rectify that problem with the most convenient touring solution around: a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour.

Enjoy the cooler temps of fall on your informative tour, and feel free to disembark wherever something strikes your fancy. You can hop on and off at popular stops like US Capitol & Botanical Garden, Air & Space Museum, Washington Monument Museum, and Jefferson Memorial.

Getting In: Hop On Hop Off Washington DC Bus Tour tickets are available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

With all the historical holidays coming up in autumn, fall is the perfect time of year to explore our national heritage.

Learn about early American history with a visit to one of the most strikingly preserved eighteenth-century estates in the country, George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

They offer a wide selection of fascinating topical tours, including the Mansion Tour, the National Treasure Tour, the Women of Mount Vernon Tour, and more.

Getting in:  George Washington’s Mount Vernon tickets are available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

Go for a Bike Ride

Image credit: Bicycling.com

Image credit: Bicycling.com

Get out and be active with a bike ride among the now blossom-less cherry trees (they’re still pretty cool looking, though).

Pedal around the tidal basin for a relaxing ride or up the challenging Meridian Hill if you’re looking for a good workout. Didn’t bring a bike? It couldn’t be easier to rent one!

Once you’re ready to go, get to pedaling around this historic city.

Getting In: DC Bike Rentals by Bike and Roll DC are available with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

Washington Monuments Cruise

Make sure to hop aboard a Washington Monument Cruise ship before the winter sets in.

Fall is the perfect time to sail through the harbor and admire the colorful leaves that surround the famous structures. From Potomac River, you’ll see the Lincoln Memorial, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the U.S. Capitol Building, and more.

This cruise provides ideal photo opportunities and is a great introduction to the city for first-time visitors. Enjoy a beautiful fall day on the city’s favorite river and disembark feeling like an expert.

Getting in: Washington Monument Cruise tickets are included on the Washington DC Explorer Pass.

The Capital Wheel

This 180-foot-tall, rotating observation deck is the perfect thing to do for first-time visitors.

Some of the sites visible from the Capital Wheel include the iconic Washington Monument, the striking Capitol Building, lovely downtown Alexandria, the scenic Potomac River, and various locations in Prince George’s Country. A ride aboard this observation deck is the perfect photo opportunity from the beautiful National Harbor entertainment district.

Getting in: The Capital Wheel tickets are included on the Washington DC Explorer Pass.

Taste of Georgetown

September 23, 2018
Georgetown

Photo via Taste of Georgetown

Love dining in Georgetown, but know you’ll never find the time to visit all those hot new restaurants (or even all the classic favs)? Hit up the Taste of Georgetown to enjoy samples from 30 Georgetown area restaurants, including everything from traditional American fare to seafood and tapas.

In its 25th year of celebration, the Taste of Georgetown feast will feature beer and wine options now, too.

Getting In: Admission to Taste of Georgetown is free.

Boo at the Zoo

Smithsonian National Zoo
October 19-21, 2018

Photo via National Zoo

This perennial family favorite is an excellent option for locals, or for families visiting around Halloween time.

Head to the National Zoo for some delightful family fun featuring costumed trick-or-treating, festive decor, (mildly) haunted and spooky spaces, animal encounters, keeper talks, and plenty of animals eating fall treats.

The event runs from 5:30 – 8:30 pm on all three nights.

Getting in: Boo at the Zoo is separately ticketed and is not included with the Washington DC Explorer Pass.

Mount Vernon’s Wine Festival & Sunset Tour

October 5-7, 2018
George Washington’s Estate Gardens

An unmatched opportunity to tour this special estate under special circumstances. Enjoy a taste of old world class with tours of George Washington’s wine cellars and other pertinent areas of the estate, in addition to the Mansion itself.

It’s all about celebrating the history of wine in Virginia – with some excellent musical accompaniment, too! It’s a great chance to see more of Mount Vernon.

Getting In: Admission to the Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour is separately ticketed and is not included with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

Let’s Recap

Who knew autumn could be this much fun? We hope you enjoyed these suggestions of a few popular things to do in Washington DC in the Fall.

And remember, you can save on combined admission on many of these popular attractions, tours, and more with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

Please note, some of the Fall events taking place mentioned in this post may be separately ticketed and not included with the Washington DC Explorer Pass®.

 

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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