Washington, D.C. is a place we all read about in history books and see in the movies, but not everyone thinks to visit this amazing city in an RV.
Many believe a visit to D.C. would be a costly venture, and others think RVing in or near such a large city would be difficult. I am here to tell you from experience that these things just aren’t true.
Thanks to the free admission at the Smithsonian museums and galleries, and the iconic monuments and memorials that are free for anyone to take a gander at, this city is actually one of the most affordable places we have visited. As far as RV parking goes, the public transportation system makes it a breeze to park an RV at one of the campgrounds just outside the city and ride into town.
Where to go:
After looking at it on a page or screen for so many years, it was a bit surreal seeing the White House in person. We truly enjoyed taking photos of the iconic US Capitol building.
Obviously, it’s recommended that you stop by the White House while you’re in D.C. If you have time, be sure to take a free tour. Just know that tours must be scheduled at least 21 days in advance, and it is recommended that you schedule as much as 6 months in advance if possible.
The perfect museum for people with any interest at all in the history of our country, The National Museum of American History offers a peek into many different points of our past. With information on everything from the food we eat to notable people like Thomas Edison, this is an interesting and engaging museum for people of all ages.
Another gem of a museum, this hall of amazing information is enormous. You will definitely want to give yourself a full day to enjoy everything this place has to offer. The museum covers everything from the creatures of the ocean to the animals of the African savanna and gives you a peek into the how and why behind the way our world works.
The third Smithsonian museum we visited was more for the sake of my husband and son than it was for myself. Nevertheless, the Museum of Air and Space is very interesting and well done, and I believe the space enthusiasts in my family thoroughly enjoyed their visit.
The Washington Monument is really just that: a monument. However, after a long day at the museum, it was nice and relaxing to visit the monument in person and then hang out in the surrounding grass afterward.
You can get free tickets to go up into the monument and get a bird’s eye view of our nation’s capital. However, tickets are limited so you will want to arrive early in the day. Another option is to pay a small fee to reserve your tickets in advance.
Other notable attractions:
The Smithsonian Institution has a collection of 19 museums and galleries, including both a zoo and an aquarium. Admission to these fantastic places of knowledge is always free, and the facilities and exhibits are top-notch.
This iconic memorial is an amazing way to introduce young children to Honest Abe.
Watch as dollar after dollar is printed on this fascinating tour. The tour is free but tickets are required, so be sure to arrive when the ticket booth opens at 8:00 am to ensure you are included in the tours of the day.
The world’s largest library, this enormous collection of books, recordings, photographs, and more houses something for everyone.
Where to eat:
Serving up “the best burger in D.C.,” this burger joint has the classic American meal of burger, fries, and a malt down pat. The lines do get long around lunchtime, but the staff works quickly and the food is well worth the wait.
This local pizza place is the place to go when you are craving a good slice. Just a short walk from several Smithsonian Museums, it is convenient and delicious. All ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible, and vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.
This place is popular, so you will want to make reservations. That said, it is pretty casual so don’t worry too much about dressing up unless you simply want to. The chicken and waffles is one of the more popular menu items, but I think anything you order would be delicious.
If you are in the mood for a cup o’ joe, Compass Coffee will get you fixed right up. If you don’t want to take my word for it, try reading the consistently amazing reviews. The Nutella Mocha is to die for, and the brewed coffee definitely lives up to the hype.
Where to stay:
This is a beautiful park and campground situated just 10 miles outside of the city. The campground is primitive and doesn’t offer any hookups. However, it does have bathhouses and a dump station and is easily the least expensive camping in the area.
With sites ranging from $45 to $66 a night, this campground is a bit more expensive but offers RV hookups in exchange for the extra cost. The park also has a pool with a slide and planned activities for kids. Adventure Bound is located about 15 miles from Washington D.C.
Likely the most convenient option, Cherry Hill RV Park offers visitors full hookups, two pools, mini-golf, free Wi-Fi, and more. City buses stop right in the park, making transportation into the city easy peasy. That said, with nightly rates starting at $68, it is also the most expensive option.
You may also like: The Best Places To Visit In New York City
Try the RV LIFE Pro Bundle FREE for 7 days
Love RVing? You'll Love RV LIFE Pro
It’s the wanderlust, the freedom of the open road. It’s not the destination, but the journey. It’s exploring the world. You don’t need a house because when you travel, you’re home. That’s RV LIFE.
The problem is, planning epic RV journey is somewhat complex. At RV LIFE, we believe it should be simple. As RVers ourselves, we understand the process and have helped millions of RVers journey with confidence and make their travel dreams come true.
RV Trip Wizard helps you plan the perfect trip and our RV GPS app turns your phone into an RV Safe GPS to get you there safely. Have a question about ANYTHING related to RVing, join the conversation at any of our awesome RV forum communities.
Step 1: Click here to learn more and sign up for the free trial.
Step 2: Plan your dream RV trip.
Step 3: Enjoy unforgettable memories!