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Washington D.C 1 day itinerary in 2024

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There are many reasons to visit Washington D.C, and there is plenty to do! It is hard to fit it all in one day, however this itinerary will have all you need to know before planning your day in United States Capital.

Washington D.C in a Day


Travel Insurance

washington dc

Weather in Washington D.C

Car hire

Washington DC

Getting to Washington D.C-

Driving – Driving from N.Y.C. to Washington DC takes approximately 6 hours, and although this is a relatively easy drive, winter can complicate the journey.

Train – From N.Y.C. to  Washington, D.C, can be a better option in winter. If you take the Acela, the train will take an average of 2 hours and 56 minutes, while the Northeast Regional will take about 3 hours and 30 minutes. 

Washington DC travel

Marriott Hotel

If you aren’t already signed up for a hotel loyalty program, here is the time to do so; we love the Marriott chain for many reasons.

1- The point system is much more generous than other hotel chains; we also have a membership.

2- They often offer members specials and free services such as parking and access to the executive lounge (be mindful that not all lounges allow children under 12).

3-They have many hotel selections for all price ranges to fit any traveller’s budget.

The view from our hotel room was so beautiful at night, with the location (walking distance to the Whitehouse) and the bed giving me the best night’s sleep I have ever had (the jet-lagged helped as well).  

Washington DC


If you are like us and do not have the luxury of time, then a day tour is the way. There are many sites to see; one day isn’t enough to explore the place yourself.

Our group was tiny, which was excellent, and the tour guide was somewhat knowledgeable (the thick accent was a little hard to understand at times, though).

Be sure to email them and confirm the pickup time before the day of the tour.

zohery tours Washington D.C

Research for Washington D.C

Below is a list of books to read or shows to watch before you go; if you are like me, I do a lot of research before we travel.

  1. Night at the Museum 
  2. Frommer’s EasyGuide to Washington, D.C.D.C. 2017
  3. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr
  4. Scandal 
  5. Criminal Minds
Washington D.C



Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

Washington DC
american flag

It is hard to explain the feeling you get when you enter this cemetery; with as many as 400,000 graves, it is incredible to see in person.


The Whitehouse in Washington D.C

I wish I had taken my camera with me the night before, as the daylight does not give it justice. During the day, big crowds make taking an unobstructed photo difficult.

However, at night the Christmas tree is set up beautifully, and the area with the other Christmas Trees representing the fifty states, along with the decorations and train sets, is breathtaking. 



  • The National Museum of the American Indian.
  • Washington Monument
  • D.C. War Memorial
  • U.S. Capitol Building
  • World War II Memorial
  • Jefferson Memorial
  • F.D.R. Memorial
  • F.B.IF.B.I. Building

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Washington D.C 1 day Itinerary

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  • Paula Barreca Barnes

    So 17 years ago, my husband and I set off with our little family in tow, embarking on a short-term assignment in Taiwan. Although without any knowledge of expat life or the Taiwanese culture, we took the chance and decided this would be an exciting little adventure; little did we know it changed the direction of our lives forever.

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3 thoughts on “Washington D.C 1 day itinerary in 2024”

  1. Wow, cramming so much into one day sounds like an ambitious adventure! Starting at the National Mall and hitting the Arlington National Cemetery is a great way to experience both historical significance and scenic beauty.

    Since you recommend prioritizing specific monuments, which one would you say is an absolute must-see for any first-time visitor to D.C.? It would be interesting to hear your perspective on the most impactful monument and why.

    1. Paula Barreca Barnes

      If you plan to head over on a tour, you can cover it all in one day, as we had! They are all important monuments that play a big part in history!

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