Summer is here but going fast! The Virginia and D.C. Metropolitan area is full of exciting things to do: attractions, parks, museums – bust sometimes, the price tag on our preferences can add up. Here’s a list of FREE things to do in VA and Washington D.C.!
1. Embrace the History & Culture
There are a number of FREE attractions in museums in VA/DC, why not make an adventure out of it?
DC: Spend a day at the National Zoo. Visit our Smithsonian museums, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, or the National Museum of American History. Indulge yourself in international culture by taking pictures in Chinatown, visit the Alliance Française de Washington for $5 French Movies, or tour the Mexican Cultural Institute. Explore the many celebrated monuments and memorials in the National Mall, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
VA: Visit the George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, the Quantico Marine Base or the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax! Further south, visit the state’s capital in Richmond or tour through major historical cities-including Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown!
2. The Great Outdoors
Visit one of the many state and national parks and trails, including: Lake Anna, Virginia’s Birding and Wildlife Trail, Prince William Forest Park and many more.
In addition, enjoy one of many VA’s wonderful walking and biking trails, including the well-known W&OD Trail, a 45-mile long trail reaching from Shirlington to Purcellville.
Spend a day rock climbing at Great Falls National Park in McLean, VA on one of the “Fee Free” days, this summer will be on August 25th for the National Park Service birthday.
Wander the woods of Theodore Roosevelt Island off of the Potomac River in D.C.
If you have a few dollars to spare, spend a day of family fun at the many water parks across VA, including Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Soak City at Kings Dominion in Doswell, SplashDown Water Park in Manassas or Great Waves in Alexandria, to name a few.
3. Free SIGHTS, FESTIVALS, FOOD
Take a free ride on the King Street trolley in Alexandria to explore popular shopping district and the Potomac River Waterfront among other attractions. Get in touch with your creative side and observe artists at work at the Torpedo Factory Art Center or the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum in Alexandria.
Join in on the Del Ray neighborhood festive in Alexandria, VA along Mt. Vernon Avenue. Attend the 67th Annual Fairfax County 4-H Fair and Carnival July 30th to August 2nd in Herndon VA and see the big truck show, enjoy animal shows, carnival rides and a free concert! The Burke Centre Festival in September will offer food vendors, performers, plus an after-hours Wine Garden and more!
4. Something DIFFERENT.
How about something out of the ordinary?
Learn your state tree at the National Arboretum
Only 7 miles from Washington D.C., visit exhibits you won’t see anywhere else, including the bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln at the National Museum of Health and Medicine.
Visit “The Fridge” – a gallery in Capitol Hill that allows you to follow public art full of murals and graffiti
Gravelly Point Park, where visitors can experience the earth-shaking excitement of watching planes taking off or landing RIGHT over their heads!
Tour the largest collection of Berlin Wall pieces outside of Germany at Freedom Park in Arlington, VA
Feeling daring? Visit the Abandoned Virginia Renaissance Fair in Fredericksburg, VA
Whatever your taste- Virginia is sure to have an adventure awaiting any preference!
For more information, visit the state website at www.virginia.org.