Our beautiful Nation’s Capital is open and welcoming visitors. You can find what’s open at Washington.org. In this post, I’m going to offer some images of typical Washingtonians doing typical things. The theme is comfort and casual. People do dress up for occasions, but overall, dress for the weather, and wear good walking shoes. You’ll want to see all the amazing attractions, and that takes some shoe-leather.
First, many businesses continue to offer virtual work, so there are fewer people on the city streets these days. If you’re looking for where the locals are, consider making Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, U Street Corridor or the DC Wharf your home base.
Springtime (Late March to Mid-May)
Cherry Blossom Season is our favorite time of the year!
Summer (late May to late September)
Everyone should slather on and carry sunscreen year-round. In many parts of the city, there is very little shade. The concrete sidewalks get warm. There are a few fountains where you can cool down. The best is at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and Georgetown’s Waterfront Park.
If you want to pack the right clothing for a summer visit, plan to be sweaty and sometimes chilled. Warm because of the heat and humidity, and cool because every building is air conditioned. During the summer, it’s sometimes rains for a short time in the afternoon, so check the weather before you leave. You might take along an umbrella, which can do double duty as rain and sun protection.
I think flip flops are not a good idea at all, but if you must, just wear them for part of the day. You’ll thank me for it.
Fall (early October to late November)
Fall is such a gorgeous and less busy time to visit Washington DC. We have the most beautiful trees, in fact we’ve been called Tree City. So, you can imagine what it’s like to see them changing colors. It usually stays warmish all fall. So, it’s an ideal time for walking and especially visiting our many parks. It’s a great time for hiking on the trails and stopping in museums. Again, comfortable shoes are a must. Athletic wear is great for walking on the C&O Canal. Outdoor dining remains very much possible throughout the fall.
Winter (early December to early-March)
Hats are very important year-round to protect you from the sun and cold, of course, but when choosing headgear, make sure to bring something that won’t blow off when it’s windy.
You should plan to walk a lot (the National Mall is 2 very long miles), so especially in hot weather, pack double sets of thin socks rather than too-thick ones, and carry some precut moleskin bandages: They offer the best possible protection and won’t sweat off.
Washington is not the trendiest place, so you’ll feel comfortable wearing casual, classic clothes. For men consider wearing a collared shirt, jeans/dress pants, and nice sneakers in the evenings. Women always feel comfortable in sun dresses. Casual jackets and sweaters are the perfect layers. In the winter, wear a heavy parka, especially if you want to dine outdoors.
If you’re looking for insider’s information on visiting Washington DC, check out my guidebook, The Unofficial Guide to Washington DC.
Not a hippie city. DC expects males to conform, look, act 100 percent male and CONSERVATIVE at all times, no hair below the earlobes. Must use restrooms that reflect 100 percent maleness. Not a transgender friendly area– transgendered males are NOT tolerated at most workplaces. Republicans LOVE the DC way of life. However, females do not face appearance discrimination that males must endure everyday.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I’m sorry that DC doesn’t feel more welcoming to transgender males. We should do better.