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13 Things to Do in Washington DC in September

Thinking of visiting Washington DC? In September the city dresses up in autumn and fills with magic with numerous festivals for all tastes.

Nicolas Reffray

Nicolas Reffray

10 min read

13 Things to Do in Washington DC in September

Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC | ©John Brighenti

You are probably wondering what is so special about Washington DC in September, because this is a month with numerous arts festivals and cultural events, such as the H Street Festival, the Adams Morgan Day Festival and the Night Art Festival.

In addition, this time of the year offers the possibility of visiting very important museums free of charge and participating in the National Book Festival, organized by the National Library. For all these reasons and more, September is an ideal time for you to visit Washington DC.

1. Experience the thrill of a baseball game

Baseball Game| ©Ricky
Baseball Game| ©Ricky

September is one of the best months to enjoy a baseball game in Washington. So don't wait any longer and get tickets for the MLB regular season.

Below, you can book your ticket for Washington Nationals, the team from the U.S. capital that is part of the Eastern Division. Get ready to live a unique experience! Baseball games are full of excitement and excitement.

Besides, it's not all about baseball, as you can enjoy all the spectacle that surrounds it and enjoy some fast food. Whether you are a fan of the sport or not, this option is ideal for you.

Buy your ticket for a Washington Nationals game

2. Get to know the city on the legendary sightseeing streetcar

Tram| ©Daniel Lobo
Tram| ©Daniel Lobo

There is no more comfortable and better way to get to know the capital of the United States in September than by booking the legendary Washington DC sightseeing streetcar, a one and a half hour tour, with free stops, where you can get to know the city at your own pace and with as much freedom as possible.

You will pass by the most emblematic and popular points of the city such as the White House, the United States Holocaust Museum, the Women's Military Memorial, the Supreme Court, the Smithsonian Institution art museums and the historic Ford Theatre. In addition, you have the option to choose a superior option and visit Arlington National Cemetery.

You won't miss a single detail and you will get to know the city in detail thanks to the on-board commentary of a professional expert guide.

Book the Washington DC Sightseeing Trolley

3. Delve into the architecture of Washington DC

Admiring Congress| ©yeahbouyee
Admiring Congress| ©yeahbouyee

If there is one thing the capital of the United States stands out for, it is for its incredible architecture, which leaves everyone who visits it speechless. So booking an architecture tour of Washington DC is a must-do experience, and even more so in September when the weather is ideal for it.

On this two-hour tour, you will admire some of the most popular buildings and monuments such as the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Columbus Fountain, the U.S. Supreme Court or the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial.

In addition, you will be accompanied at all times by a professional guide who will give you all the details, not only of the architecture but also of the history of the city and its most emblematic points.

Book an Architecture Tour of Washington DC

4. Take a free tour of its emblematic museums

National Children's Museum| ©Chris Devers
National Children's Museum| ©Chris Devers

Among the best museums in Washington DC, there are many that have free admission year-round, although others do not. If you visit the city in September, you can take advantage of Museum Day, a day when you will find that many museums and cultural institutions across the country offer free admission to those who present their "Museum day ticket".

This ticket can be downloaded online from the official Smithsonian Magazine website.

Two museums you can't miss are:

Get tickets for Washington DC museums

5. Visit the National Arboretum

National Arboretum| ©Nicolas Raymond
National Arboretum| ©Nicolas Raymond

The reddish and ochre colors are the true protagonists of autumn. All landscapes become sublime with this decorative touch that nature gives us every year, so there is no better plan than touring the wonderful green spaces and parks of the fantastic city of Washington DC.

The National Arboretum is a treasure in northwest Washington DC. Located about 2 miles from the Capitol, this site fascinates with its contrasting Corinthian columns and surrounding greenery. A huge museum of vegetation and living trees of about 1.78 square kilometers. Undoubtedly, a must for any nature lover.

September brings with it the colors of autumn, so it is a very good reason to make a visit to the National Arboretum more picturesque. It should be noted that admission to this attraction is absolutely free. A great idea to take advantage of DC's fall scenery is to book a bike tour and take in the beauty of the greenery as you ride along.

Practical information

  • Location: 501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC.
  • Price: free.
  • Hours: Open daily until 5pm.

Book a bike tour of Washington

6. Delight your palate at the National Food and Wine Festival

Wine from the Mount Vernon Wine Festival| ©Virginia
Wine from the Mount Vernon Wine Festival| ©Virginia

Year after year, the National Wine & Food Festival is held in September, an event that brings together internationally renowned celebrity chefs, food entrepreneurs and thousands of referrals from the best local restaurants.

It is held on the Plateau of the National Harbor, an outdoor space specifically created to host large events with a capacity of up to 15.

In this great festival you will be able to delight your palate with the most exquisite wines from the best local wineries and taste traditional dishes and preparations from this great city, as well as from different parts of the world where the different exhibitors come from.

Practical information

  • Location: On the Plateau of the National Harbor.
  • Price: from 49 U$S.
  • Hours: from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • When: usually on September 25.

Book a culinary tour of Washington

7. Enjoy the H Street Festival

H street festival| ©S Pakhrin
H street festival| ©S Pakhrin

The H Street Festival is one of the most anticipated and one of the most visited events in Washington DC each year.

The festival spans over a mile with 14 stage areas featuring various types of art, divided into different themes. In addition, it offers dance shows , music, performances, fashion, poetry, interactive children's events and so much more.

If you are in Washington DC in September, you will be fortunate enough to witness it.

Practical information

  • Location: H street.
  • Price: free.
  • Hours: from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm.
  • When: around September 18.

8. Get your groove on at the DC Jazz Fest

DC Jazz Fest| ©Dc Honny
DC Jazz Fest| ©Dc Honny

Washington DC saw the birth of the great Duke Ellington and, therefore, this city has a deep connection with jazz. So, if you are a music lover and enjoy listening to good jazz, you can't miss the DC Jazz Fest that takes place annually between the last days of August and the first days of September.

At the DC Jazz Fest numerous musicians offer the public more than 150 magnificent jazz concerts. This Festival is one of the most important of the genre. It helps to promote and disseminate jazz music as one of the artistic manifestations most characteristic of the United States.

You can also see shows of swing, blues, soul and even Latin music. The shows are held in different corners of the city, such as restaurants and hotels. It is worth mentioning that most of these concerts are totally free.

Practical information

  • Location: different locations in DC.
  • Price: there are free and paid concerts, with a price that depends on the performance.
  • Hours: from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • When: first days of September.

9. Don't miss Adams Morgan Day Festival

Adams Morgan Day Festival| ©NCinDC
Adams Morgan Day Festival| ©NCinDC

The Adams Morgan Day Festival is a family-friendly festival held during the day in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, a very popular neighborhood and worth visiting any time of the year if you are looking to enjoy the nights in DC, as it is home to many bars, pubs and nightclubs.

However, during the month of September the neighborhood shines during the day, thanks to this important festival to enjoy with the family, which features many musical shows, parades, dance and other events of cultural interest. In addition, you'll find booths where you can buy beautiful handicrafts, such as jewelry and pottery, and even something to eat.

The Adams Morgan Fest has been going on for more than 40 years and is organized by volunteers. It is the oldest festival in Washington DC. The focus of this celebration is cultural diversity. There is even a special area for children with games and activities of all kinds.

Practical information

  • Location: various events in the neighborhood.
  • Price: free.
  • Hours: from 10:30 in the morning.
  • When: around September 12.

10. Get to know the National Book Festival

National Library of Congress| ©Carol M. Highsmith
National Library of Congress| ©Carol M. Highsmith

The National Library of Congress organizes annually during the month of September the National Book Festival, an event that gathers numerous writers from all areas who exhibit their works and give lectures here.

Also in this festival new literary works are presented, authors sign copies of their books to their fans, literary debates are given and many other activities, all around literature.

So, if you are passionate about books and you are going to Washington DC during September, you can't miss this event.

Practical information

  • Location: Washington Convention Center, located at 801 Mt. Vernon Place.
  • Price: free.
  • Hours: All day.
  • When: early September.

11. Participate in Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year

Person blowing the shofar| ©slgckgc
Person blowing the shofar| ©slgckgc

Washington DC is one of the cities with the most observant Jews, behind New York, Los Angeles and Miami. As such, the celebrations of this community are also a big deal for DC. Rosh Hashanah. Not only is it the start of a new year for the Jewish community, but it is the beginning of a series of holy days, which are celebrated through reflection, prayer, festive meals and the blowing of the horn known as the shofar, a symbol of repentance for all our sins.

At the beginning of this period, every synagogue in the city and around the world blows the shofar, this ancient traditional instrument, recalling the birth of the world. Its sounds are repeated during prayers on numerous occasions and it is believed that this sound awakens the consciences of those who hear it, inviting to a path of self-improvement and justice.

On the occasion of this holiday, the most important restaurants in Washington DC include traditional Jewish dishes in their menus for these dates. A great opportunity to enjoy the typical flavors of Jewish food on a very special day.

12. Enjoy the art throughout the night

Art All Night| ©Ted Eytan
Art All Night| ©Ted Eytan

During the month of September, Washington DC organizes the Art All Night Festival, a free evening art festival that offers music, dance, theater, poetry and fashion performances, as well as photography, painting, sculpture and other art exhibitions.

The Art All Night Festival takes place in both private and public spaces and includes venues such as restaurants and stores, as well as outdoor spaces.

Practical information

  • Location: At various locations throughout DC.
  • Price: Free.
  • Hours: starting at 5 p.m.
  • When: Approximately September 24 and 25.

13. Be fascinated by King Street Festival

At the King Street Festival| ©Chris Devers
At the King Street Festival| ©Chris Devers

In this fascinating spectacle, one of Washington DC's most important and historic streets is transformed into an open-air art gallery. King Street, between Washington and Union Streets, is filled with numerous booths by more than 200 artists, both American and from around the world.

The neighborhood where this celebration takes place is called Alexandria. Located in the historic center, it is known as the old town and concentrates in its streets numerous antique stores, restaurants, boutiques, theaters and many other sites that are a huge magnet for tourists.

In the King Street Festival, a community festival, you can find different types of artwork such as paintings, sculptures, jewelry, ceramics and photographs. A good plan if you are thinking of taking some nice souvenirs from this great city, or if you are looking for some gifts to take back home to your family and friends.

Practical information

  • Location: King Street.
  • Price: free.
  • Hours: from 10 am to 7 pm.
  • When: at the beginning of the second half of September.

Some tips for your trip

Good Weather in Washington| ©Sergiy Galyonkin
Good Weather in Washington| ©Sergiy Galyonkin

As you have seen, there are many interesting things to see and do in Washington DC all year round. Before I say goodbye, I would like to give you some useful tips to make your trip in September everything you expect and more.

What is the weather like in Washington DC in September?

September fall temperatures in Washington DC average about 27 degrees Celsius during the day, dropping to about 16 degrees at night. As for rainfall, September is quite rainy. On average it rains about 11 days in this month.

Autumn itself in the city of Washington DC stands out for its relatively mild and friendly weather, with temperatures pleasant enough to enjoy your walks without problems.

What should I pack in my suitcase for Washington DC if I go in September?

Temperatures in this particular month are quite pleasant and you can still feel some of the warmth that summer leaves behind. But in the evenings the temperatures drop quite a bit.

Therefore, I recommend that you pack a variety in your suitcase: some light or mid-season coats and something more wintry in case you decide to go for a walk at night and you get caught by the low temperatures.

I also recommend some waterproof jackets, as well as footwear, as you are likely to encounter some rain during this period, but if you are well equipped it shouldn't interrupt your plans.

Book the Washington DC bus tour