10 Things to Do in Washington DC in Spring

Washington DC is a true spectacle in the spring. You won't want to miss any of the activities the city has in store for you.

Andressa García

Andressa García

12 min read

10 Things to Do in Washington DC in Spring

Washington DC | ©Eric Dekker

Spring arrives with lots of color in the U.S. capital. The list of things to see and do in Washington becomes much longer and livelier during the spring. One of the main spectacles of the city is the blooming of the cherry blossoms present in its gardens.

Without a doubt, Washington at this time of the year becomes a must-see tourist destination, so take note and don't miss anything on your tour of Washington in spring!

1. HopFest beer festival

HopFest| ©USCapitol
HopFest| ©USCapitol

During **Washington DC'**s spring beer week, you can enjoy a special event, HopFest.

This festival brings together local brewers who have organized themselves into a group to conduct their activities and raise awareness of their businesses. This group, called the DC Brewers Guild, promotes the show that has been offering enjoyment to locals and visitors to the U.S. capital for a few years now.

Part of what you will find at the festival is the process of brewing beer according to the formula of each of the participating companies. You will be able to get in touch with all the participating brewers and talk to them about the brewing process, fermentation and everything that happens between brewing and consumption. The best thing about this festival is that every participant is local and there is not a single one from another state in the country.

You can also be part of the special tastings, where you can try each of the beers presented at the festival.

It is a place worth visiting and enjoying to the fullest if you are a beer lover. It usually takes place during the month of March each year, so it is one of the first activities you can enjoy in the city during the spring period.

Tickets usually range between 50 and 75 euros and you have to buy them in advance if you don't want to miss out. Apparently in the city there are a lot of drink lovers, so you are likely to find a festival full of drink tasters and presenters.

Practical information

  • Location: The Washington Brewing Co. 28 East Maiden St. Washington.
  • Price: Between 50 and 75 euros per ticket.
  • Hours: Noon to late night.

Book the beer tour in Washington DC

2. Rock'n'Roll Marathon

Rock'n'Roll Marathon| ©Kyle T.
Rock'n'Roll Marathon| ©Kyle T.

This is one of the most special marathons in the city of Washington and it takes place precisely in spring. It is a marathon that brings together the whole city in a spectacular walk through all its emblematic places, especially the museums and its best monuments. Running this marathon can make you see the city in a different way.

If you don't want to run, you can also attend as a spectator. It is one of the spectacles not to be missed in Washington for the energy you can get to feel while watching the runners strive to win the race.

To participate in it you must visit their official website and find out the whole process to attend the event.

Runners must go to the race's distribution center to pick up their race bibs and other race identification badges. The place where this center is located depends on the organization of the event each year.

It is also organized a kind of fair and exhibition where participants and spectators can meet to see and learn about everything related to the race and its sponsors.

This marathon and half marathon has been held in Washington DC since 2006 and since then it has welcomed thousands of participants and spectators eager to compete in a healthy way while exercising during the early spring.

Practical information

  • Location: Exhibits occur at Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Hall E. The half marathon finishes at Constitution Ave & 14th Street NW. The 5K finishes at RFK Stadium, 22nd Street SE.
  • Price: Registration for the marathon can be from 39 euros, while for the half marathon it can be from 79 euros.
  • Schedule: The race starts in the early hours of the morning.

3. Visit the Botanical Garden to see the spring bloom

Washington Botanical Garden| ©USCapitol
Washington Botanical Garden| ©USCapitol

While going to the Botanical Garden is an activity you can do any time of the year to see new plants, the best time to visit is definitely spring.

Inside the Garden you have the opportunity to see the wide variety of seasonal plants and watch the most beautiful of them bloom.

Spring in Washington is much more than cherry blossoms. To find out which flowers will open in spring and what attractions the Botanical Garden has to offer during the season, I invite you to go to its official website, where you can find updated information about it.

This is an incredibly versatile activity that you can do with family and friends and have a great time. You can also take the kids to the Garden and see how they are delighted with everything there is to see.

Even if you are passing through the city for work, you will find it a peaceful walk to relax and disconnect a bit from reality.

Another advantage of visiting this place in spring is the pleasant weather you can enjoy. Temperatures are usually a little warmer without being unbearable, the humidity is low and the thermal sensation is pleasant, a perfect climate to stay as long as you want touring the Garden.

Practical Information

  • Location: 100 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20001
  • Price: Admission is free.
  • Hours: Every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

4. National Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom in Washington| ©Elvert Barnes
Cherry Blossom in Washington| ©Elvert Barnes

In 1912 the mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki, gave cherry trees to Washington. Since then, the trees have adapted, preserved and reproduced in the city in an impressive way. Their flowering occurs in the spring season, with March being the month during which they reach peak bloom.

The cherry blossom is one of the most anticipated activities for Washingtonians in the spring. In fact, most of the events that occur during the season in this state revolve around the cherry blossoms.

This festival becomes a special occasion for you to get to know and delve a little deeper into Japanese culture, which since 1912 has found its niche in the city of Washington DC.

Among the interesting experiences that you can live during the festival, there are different fairs, events and places to share Japanese culture. It is impressive to see how deeply rooted the culture of these Asian islands is and how they share their traditions with locals and visitors to Washington DC.

Due to weather conditions, the peak bloom dates of the cherry blossoms change from year to year.

I recommend that you keep an eye on the official website that organizes the events to find out what time of the year to expect the bloom. Once all the blossoms have opened, they stay that way for about 14 days.

The best cherry blossom viewing can be found on the banks of the Tidal Basin, where the largest concentration of cherry trees in DC is found.

Book your exclusive cherry blossom bike ride to see the cherry blossoms

5. Pink Tie Party

At the Pink Tie Party| ©MolaViajar
At the Pink Tie Party| ©MolaViajar

This is an exclusive dinner organized in the context of the cherry blossom celebration. The special thing about this exclusive dinner is that attendees are asked to dress up in their pink finery.

If you want to go to a high-class event, this is definitely the place. The celebration is synonymous with the end of winter in the city. The Pink Tie Party officially kicks off the spring season and of course, the cherry blossom.

Inside the meeting you will find a huge variety of food and tasting dishes from all over the world. The main protagonist is Asian and Japanese food specifically, but you can also find food from other latitudes such as Latin American, European, Mediterranean, Arabic, among other gastronomic variations.

After dinner you have guaranteed entertainment, because the organizers of the Pink Tie Party make sure to offer all participants a high level entertainment experience.

You can even find multiple contests that will test your skills. Generally this party lasts around four hours and usually starts early in the evening.

It is usually held during the days when the cherry blossoms are at their peak bloom.

If you want to go to this exclusive gathering you will have to pay an entrance fee that can range from 90 € to 300 €. All proceeds from the celebration go solely to the organization of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Practical information

  • Location: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
  • Price: Between 90 and 300 euros to enter, depending on the type of ticket you are willing to pay.
  • Hours: From 8:00 p.m. generally. Although it may change depending on the organization of each year.

6. St. Patrick's Day Parade

St. Patrick's Day Parade| ©Madeleine
St. Patrick's Day Parade| ©Madeleine

The feast of St. Patrick is typical of Ireland and given the Irish influence and the great migration of this nationality in the United States, St. Patrick's Day celebrations are really popular in the North American country. In different cities, the respective parade and celebration days are held.

In Washington DC it is definitely a holiday not to be missed if you visit the city in spring. It is celebrated in March, whose strongest day is the 17th, although at any time of the week you can join the celebration.

During the parade you can see a lot of interesting attractions and allusive to the Irish tradition. It is an activity that you will surely love to do with the kids because the younger ones also participate in the parade, which they attend dressed as popular characters of the Irish culture.

If you go with friends or family, another option to be part of the party is to go to the Irish pubs where you can enjoy all the festive excitement ofSt. Patrick's Day.

Another attraction that you can find during the St. Patrick's Day festivities is the great Irish beer festival.

Definitely if you are a lover of Irish culture and want to drink some good beer, this is the best cultural festival you can enjoy in Washington DC during the spring.

Practical information

  • Location: The parade route is generally located on Constitution Ave NW between 7th St NW and 17th St NW.
  • Price: The parade is completely free to attend.
  • Hours: The festivities run throughout the week, from morning to evening in Irish pubs.

7. DC Passport

Celebrating Passport DC| ©Nestor Sánchez Cordero
Celebrating Passport DC| ©Nestor Sánchez Cordero

The festival known as Passport DC gives you the opportunity to experience multiple countries for one day a year.

This experience usually takes place during the first days of May and offers you the chance to visit each of the participating embassies for a full day.

On another day of the month you can visit the European Union embassy where you can visit all the EU countries of Europe in one day.

The tour is completely free, but you must be informed about the embassies participating in the celebration so that you can arrange your tour through Dupont Circle, where most of them are located.

Inside each of the embassies you will have a unique experience where you will learn about the traditions and customs of each country.

In some of them you will have the opportunity to taste some typical dishes of the country. This celebration takes place almost at the same time as the celebration of Asian culture, so you will have many opportunities in spring to tour different regions and traditions of the world.

Practical information

  • Location: Dupont Circle, at the embassies listed on the itinerary.
  • Price: Admission to all embassies is completely free during this holiday.
  • Schedule: Activities start in the morning and usually last until late at night.

8. DC Bike Ride

Biking the Washington Obelisk| ©Tony DeFilippo
Biking the Washington Obelisk| ©Tony DeFilippo

The DC Bike Ride is a closed loop that is on the list of the best bike tours in Washington DC.

It is generally held during the spring season and is a non-competitive ride that residents and visitors ages 3 and up can participate in. Children and teenagers up to 17 years of age must be accompanied by a legal representative.

This is basically a family tour, where you can ride through the entire city through the streets prepared for this purpose and without cars around to disturb the way. One of the best experiences of this tour is that you will be able to see multiple sites of interest in the U.S. capital city while riding your bike.

At the end of the ride, you will have the opportunity to participate in the Festival for participants and non-participants that takes place after the finish line.

Only if you register as a VIP member will you be able to enjoy the special participant lunch. Otherwise, there are multiple food options at the festival so you can recharge your batteries after cycling all over the city.

Practical information

  • Location: The ride starts on the west side of the Potomac and ends very close to the U.S. Capitol.
  • Price: The cost to participate can be up to 190 euros, depending on the type of registration you choose.
  • Schedule: Starts at 8:00 am.

Traveller Tip

I recommend you to bring a raincoat, because the event takes place regardless of the weather, so you better be prepared in case it rains.

9. Broccoli City Festival

Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.| ©Christopher Paulin
Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.| ©Christopher Paulin

It is a hip hop festival that takes place every May in the city of Washington DC. Usually the place chosen for this event is the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.

During the event, it seeks to elevate the black culture, all that it represents musically and culturally not only in Washington, but throughout the country.

If you want to live a different experience musically speaking and learn a little more about the hip hop genre, this is definitely a show you can not miss.

It is specially organized for you to attend with friends and spend a different day admiring integral artists of hip hop and other urban genres prominent in the country.

To purchase your tickets, you can go to the official website of the show and find out all the news about it. On the website you can also find information about the itinerary of the festival during the weekend it will be active.

Practical information

  • Location: Washington DC Metropolitan Area.
  • Price: You can get tickets from 50 euros.
  • Schedule: The festival lasts two days and you can enjoy it all day long.

10. Potomac and Anacostia in spring

Potomac River at sunset| ©Steve Holsonback
Potomac River at sunset| ©Steve Holsonback

Spring is an excellent time of the year to take a walk along the banks of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers around the city. This is a walk that you can do in several ways.

One of the ways you can tour these places in the spring is to walk along the city streets in front of the rivers. Another option is the waterway.

There are a variety of cruise ships in Washington as well as water cabs and other means of maritime transportation that you can use for this type of tour.

Although it is a tour that you can also include in your list of things to do in Washington in the summer, and even in the fall, I recommend taking this tour especially in the spring.

The main attraction of the banks of these rivers during the spring is the cherry blossom, which gives a much more colorful, fun and harmonious atmosphere to the already beautiful scenery.

Book your Washington DC brunch cruise

What is the weather and temperatures like in Washington during the spring?

Spring in Washington| ©Craig James
Spring in Washington| ©Craig James

Temperatures in Washington during the spring months are usually quite pleasant.

The lowest temperature is usually no lower than 3ºC, while the highest temperatures are around 15ºC. Humidity is quite low, so it rains very little when it is spring time.

I would definitely say that spring is one of the best times to visit Washington, especially because of the combination of pleasant temperatures and low humidity. The nights are usually cold and the days are a little warmer.

This is what you should pack if you visit Washington in the spring

Preparing your luggage| ©Marissa Grootes
Preparing your luggage| ©Marissa Grootes

Considering the temperatures, I recommend you plan to pack a suitcase of layered clothing. Pack t-shirts, coats and sweaters and include more long pants than shorts. Try to include sunglasses in your luggage, because even if it is not summer, the sun is sometimes harsh.

You can't miss your camera to take pictures of all the beautiful things you will see in Washington in spring, especially to take pictures of the cherry blossoms.

Still on the subject of clothing, you can't leave out comfortable shoes, ankle boots and long socks. Bring pajamas that will keep you warm enough to keep you warm at night.