No U.S. city has major sights as centralized as Washington D.C., where it pays to go for a great location. With over a dozen major museums situated around the Washington Mall and a dozen more renowned monuments to presidents, wars, and abstract American ideals, you can't go wrong by staying in hotels in downtown Washington D.C.
With its crisp white Classical architecture, neatly manicured lawns and dramatically lit monuments, it's easy to forget our nation's capital was built on a swamp on the banks of the Potomac River. Today, tourists staying in downtown Washington D.C. hotels enjoy the Founders' love of clear, simple design as they navigate the city's straightforward tourist district; blockbuster museum after museum is laid out in neat lines on either side of the Mall.
The step-on-and-off tourist buses are highly efficient at navigating these lines of museums. You should consider their deals even if double-decker tourism isn't normally your thing, since the stretch between the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial often looks more walkable on a map, especially after you've finished the trek (and watched a dozen or so buses zip by).
Among the standouts along the Mall are the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (a rare breath of the contemporary in a relatively history-focused collection of museums) and the National Museum of the American Indian; in addition to its forward-thinking and beautifully curated exhibits on native cultures, it may surprise you with what many believe to be the Mall's best museum cafe, featuring cheap and seasonal Native American dishes, organized by culture.
For shopping, take a cab from any of the best hotels near downtown Washington D.C. to Georgetown, where design, fashion, and home boutiques line Wisconsin Avenue NW and M Street NW. With Travelocity's Price Guarantee, you're sure to balance the budget on hotels in Washington D.C. — we'll match any lower price and refund the difference!
Need insider tips on must-see attractions in Downtown Washington D.C.? Check out our Downtown Washington D.C. travel guide!