Washington DC in March

Washington DC in March is when the weather starts to get warmer! But beware that March is also when convention and conference season begins. In addition to this and the cherry blossoms, you may experience higher prices than usual for hotels. Let’s take a complete look at visiting Washington DC in March.

Washington DC In March: Weather & Sunlight

Let’s first start with discussing the weather. In March, Washington DC is unlikely to have a winter storm, but it is within the realm of possibility. Depending on when you travel, the weather can be warmer or cooler in March.

  • Temperature Range: The average temperatures in March typically range from lows of around 35°F (2°C) to highs of about 56°F (13°C). The beginning of the month could be highs in the 40s with the end of the month having days in the low 60s.
  • Rainfall: March can have occasional rain, with about 7 days of rain on average in the month. Occasional snowfall is possible early in the month.
  • Sunlight: The city experiences an increase in daylight hours throughout the month, with an average of about 11 to 12 hours of daylight per day. This leaves you plenty of time to enjoy all the outdoor monuments and memorials in DC. 
  • Sunrise: Sunrise in the middle of the month on March 15, 2024 is 7:19 PM 
  • Sunset: Sunset in the middle of the month on March 15, 2024 is 7:16 PM
  • Overall Climate: Transitioning from winter to spring, March in Washington D.C. can have fluctuating weather patterns, with some days feeling like winter and others more spring-like. It is best to check the weather before traveling so you can pack properly for a trip to DC

Washington DC In March: 2024 Events

There are many events that you can enjoy in Washington DC in March, with the National Cherry Blossom Festival being the most famous

National Cherry Blossom Festival: March 20 2024 – April 14 2024

A signature D.C. event, the festival includes numerous activities such as the Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. It’s a celebration of spring with various events across the city. There are many events within the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The main area to view the cherry blossoms in full bloom is around the Tidal Basin which is near the Jefferson Memorial (pictured below). 

Blossom Kite Festival : March 30 2024

The Blossom Kite Festival is part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, but it has key events within it. The Kite Festival is one of the most popular ones.

  • Date and Time: The festival is scheduled for Saturday, March 30, 2024, from 10 AM to 4 PM. A rain date is set for March 31, 2024.
  • Location: The main event takes place on the Washington Monument Grounds.
  • Activities and Performances: The event includes music, kite competitions, and performances. There are different activities suitable for all ages and levels.
  • Notable Features:
    • The Sakura Taiko Fest at Sylvan Theater, celebrating traditional Japanese drumming.
    • A display of traditional Edo-style kites by Mr. Mikio Toki from Japan.
    • Performances and demonstrations by the local Wings Over Washington Kite Club.
  • Competitions: The festival features Adult and Youth Kitemakers Competitions, with opportunities for attendees to participate.
  • Kite Flying Workshops: There are workshops and demonstrations, including kite flying basics and the art of kite making.

Opening Event At Warner Theatre

The Japan Foundation collaborates with the National Cherry Blossom Festival to present an exhilarating opening event at the Warner Theatre. This grand event showcases performers from both Washington DC and Japan. To secure early tickets for this magnificent spring festivity, register for the festival’s email list. 

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Although the city no longer has a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, there are numerous activities to celebrate the occasion, such as Ireland at the Wharf with live music and Irish dancing, and various St. Patrick’s Day-themed bar crawls.

Washington DC In March: Sightseeing

One of the best things about an early spring visit is that Washington DC in March is very pleasant for sightseeing. Although museums and monuments are starting to get crowded, the good weather conditions make it easy to have a nice time exploring fun things in the city. 

Although it can get a little cold outside on certain days, aside from visiting the monuments, the museums are all indoors. Also, one of the best parts about Washington DC, is that many of the museums, including the Smithsonian museums are free of charge to enter. 

Because it can start to get busier during this time with school groups visiting as well as business travelers for sightseeing, its important to plan ahead. Be sure to make reservations at places that require a timed entry pass like the National Air And Space Museum. Local restaurants will also start to get crowded with tourists and locals who are out more so be sure to make reservations ahead of time. 

Washington DC In March: Monuments

When you picture Washington DC, you picture all the monuments. If you are landing into DCA, which is Ronald Regan Airport, you may have a chance to see many of these from the sky. There are some iconic monuments that should not be missed during a March visit to Washington DC. 

If you don’t have time during the day, check out a night tour of the DC monuments. It is not only a relaxed way to see them, but also truly magical to see how they are all lit up at night. 

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is at one end of the magical reflecting pool. Walk up the steps here and enjoy taking in the grand view of the National Mall. 

Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial is an iconic structure especially during the month of March because of the cherry blossoms. The Jefferson Memorial sits adjacent to the beautiful Tidal Basin and you can see the reflection of the trees in the water. 

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is also the site of the Kite Festival. If you can coordinate your visit with this event, it will make the visit extra special. 

Washington Monument with Lincoln Memorial and Capitol Building Dome

Washington DC In March: Musuems, Galleries, Government Buildings

If you happen to visit in early March and get stuck with cold weather, you will want to focus your sightseeing on indoor activities. There are so many museums to explore in this beautiful place.

National Air & Space Museum

This is one of the most well known museums in the nation’s capital. You will need to make a reservation online for a timed entry, but given the time of the year it should not be too challenging to secure a reservation. Like many of the DC museums, this one is also has free admission

National Museum Of Natural History

This is one of the most popular DC museums. Admission is free like many other DC museums. This museum is great for people of all ages so its fun to visit as both an adult and as a child. Be sure to check out the Butterfly Exhibit.

Natural History Museum in DC

National Gallery Of Art

From the National Museum Of Natural History, you can walk next door to the National Gallery Of Art and Sculpture Garden. If the day happens to be a bit warmer, you can walk around the outdoor sculpture garden.

​The Capitol & Supreme Court

Explore the grounds of the United States Capitol. This iconic building is the perfect backdrop for taking pictures. You can also take a tour of the inside. Very close to the Capitol Building is the US Supreme Court. Depending on how much time you want to spend in Capitol Hill, you can also enjoy one of the many popular restaurants here. 

US Supreme Court

National Archives

The National Archives is across the street from the Natural History Museum so it’s easy to visit these 3 together (Natural History, National Archives, National Gallery Of Art) in the winter season. 

Visit The Holocaust Museum

The Holocaust Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except on Yom Kippur and Christmas Day. It’s located on the National Mall in Washington, DC. While the museum itself is free, timed-entry tickets are required to enter the museum’s Permanent Exhibition from March 1 to August 31. These tickets may be subject to a transaction fee. It’s important to note that tickets are not required for other exhibitions like Daniel’s Story or special exhibitions

The National Museum Of African American History

Visiting the National Museum of African American History in March is a great idea for several reasons. Firstly, March is often less crowded, allowing for a more intimate and contemplative experience of the exhibits. Secondly, it’s an educational opportunity to deeply engage with African American history and culture. The best time to visit is during the week as weekends are naturally more crowded.

National Museum Of African Art 

The National Museum of African Art should not be confused with the National Museum of African American History. The National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of African American History and Culture are distinct entities within the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., each with a unique focus.

The National Museum of African Art, established in 1964, is dedicated to the art and culture of Africa. It showcases a diverse collection of traditional and contemporary African art, including sculptures, paintings, textiles, and decorative arts from across the continent.

International Spy Museum

This is an interactive museum where visitors can participate in spy missions and solve puzzles, making it a dynamic and fun learning environment for all ages. The museum also has immersive exhibits that allow guests to experience the life of a spy, including assuming a cover identity. There are also detailed presentations on historical and contemporary espionage activities. It’s a great place for both adults as well as young audiences.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Visiting the Smithsonian American Art Museum in March offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich diversity of American art. The museum, located in the heart of Washington D.C., features an extensive collection that spans centuries and includes works from a variety of American artists. March visitors can also enjoy special exhibits and programs, often including those that align with Black History Month, adding an extra layer of cultural and historical context to the museum experience.

National Museum Of The American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is a cultural and educational institution in the United States dedicated to the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of Native Americans. It’s part of the Smithsonian Institution and operates across three facilities: the main museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the George Gustav Heye Center in New York City, and the Cultural Resources Center in Maryland. T

he NMAI showcases a vast collection of Native American artifacts and is known for its unique curatorial approach that emphasizes native perspectives and voices. It was established in 1989 following the discovery that the Smithsonian Institution held thousands of Native American human remains and has since been involved in significant repatriation efforts. 

Washington DC In March: Outdoor Activities

If you are an art fanatic, then Washington DC has many indoor venues that celebrate beautiful and unique art. Here are some top places you can explore.

Dumbarton Oaks Museum & Gardens

Visiting Dumbarton Oaks Museum and Gardens in March can be a fun experience. March is the beginning of spring, so you might catch the early blooms in the gardens. The gardens at Dumbarton Oaks are renowned for their beauty and design. There is a museum here as well as gardens that you can walk. The museum has an impressive collection of art and artifacts, with a focus on Byzantine and Pre-Columbian pieces. Visiting in March means you’ll likely avoid the larger crowds of peak tourist season, allowing for a more leisurely experience.

Picnic At Gravelly Point

Gravelly Point is known for its scenic views and is popular among plane spotters. You can enjoy watching planes taking off and landing from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. It’s an iconic spot offering a unique experience for visitors, with amenities like picnic tables and restrooms available.

However, the weather in March can be variable in the Washington D.C. area, so it’s important to check the forecast before planning your visit. Overall, if the weather is favorable, Gravelly Point can be a great location for a picnic in March. Just remember to dress appropriately for the weather and perhaps bring some cover in case of unexpected rain.

Explore The C&O Canal

The C&O Canal is a famous waterway in the Washington DC area. Boat tours through the C&O Canal in Georgetown are available, offering a unique way to experience this historic waterway. 

Boat ride on C&O Canal

Georgetown Heritage, in partnership with the National Park Service, has reintroduced these boat tours after a significant hiatus. These tours provide an hour-long guided historical journey along the first mile of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, immersing visitors in the canal’s rich history, technology, and culture.

Check their website for exact dates and times of operation. 

Head To Glen Stone Museum

Glen Stone Museum is a unique art museum located 40 minutes outside of Washington DC. It has a beautiful outdoor sculptures as well as indoor exhibits. It is located in Potomac, Maryland which is a very popular place to live outside of Washington DC. There are many other things to do in this area as well as restaurants you can try. 

Explore The DC Wharf

While the DC Wharf will be quite cold in March (because of the breeze coming off the Potomac River), all of the restaurants and shops in this area are very close to one another. This makes it easy to hop from one place to the next. 

Stroll Down 14th Street DC

Another very busy and popular street in Washington DC. There are tons of great happy hours as well as amazing restaurants on 14th street in DC. You can warm up here by bouncing from one happy hour to the next and then finally ending your evening with some delicious food.  

Explore Historical U Street

Another popular area of Washington DC is U street. U Street in Washington D.C. has significant historical importance. It was known as the heart of African-American culture in Washington D.C., especially in the early to mid-20th century. This part of DC was often referred to as “Black Broadway.” 

This area was a hub for African-American businesses, entertainment, and culture, playing a vital role during the Harlem Renaissance. The U Street neighborhood was home to many influential figures and venues in jazz music. While you are here, you can visit the famous Lincoln Theatre. Bohemian Caverns was also located here and it was a famous jazz club. The venue has unfortunately shut down. 

In addition to historical significance, U street is quite lively. You can have a great time here enjoying happy hour or exploring one of the many popular U street restaurants. Want to take a quick coffee break? There are many cute coffee shops on U street as well.  

Shop In Georgetown

The Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC is not only historic but it is a lot of fun. During the summer months, this historic neighborhood can be incredibly crowded with tourists but during the colder months, it’s actually a lot of fun to stroll the streets. 

The most famous street in Georgetown is M street. All the stores here are close together making it easy to pop in and out of them without getting too cold. You can also check out more stores and shops on Wisconsin avenue. Stop for a coffee break in the middle of your shopping spree at one of the many cute Georgetown coffee shops. 

After you have gotten tired of shopping, head to a cocktail bar in Georgetown or one of the many great restaurants here.

Best Hotel Deals In March In Washington DC:

You can get some amazing hotel deals when traveling off season in March. Here are some hotels which tend to be more discounted in the early spring months.

There are some 4 and 5 star hotels that you can get great deals on in the colder months.

Top Luxury Hotel Choice For Proximity To Sightseeing: The Riggs Hotel. – Top Hotel Choice In March given close distance to attractions. This historic Washington DC hotel is not only luxurious, it also has some great dining. The basement floor of this hotel has a swanky cocktail lounge.

Top Affordable Hotel Choice: The Kimpton Hotel Monaco. This hotel is walking distance to several sites. Rooms are a little smaller so best for singles and couples or families who don’t mind close quarters. 

Top Hotel For Large Rooms For Families In March: The Conrad. The Conrad is a 5 star hotel located in the trendy City Center part of time. It is walking distance from many attractions and has large rooms for accommodating couples as well as families.

Washington DC In March: Where To Stay

Because it is Cherry Blossom Season you will want to stay centrally or with good access to public transportation. When the cherry blossoms are in peak bloom, the traffic can be very bad. Not only is the Cherry Blossom Festival the most popular thing to do in DC in March, its also one of the many awesome free things you can do in this city. 

Near The Metro

Staying at a hotel that is near a metro station is a huge plus when sightseeing is a priority. There are many hotels near the metro in Washington DC and the surrounding areas which give you easy access to DC.

You can opt to stay near a metro station within Washington DC itself, or opt to stay near a metro station in Maryland or Virginia. The areas of Bethesda and Chevy Chase in Maryland have good metro access to Downtown DC. In Virginia, Alexandria and Arlington are popular places to stay with metro stations as well. 

WanderDC has a full list of great hotel options near metro stations here. 

City Center

City Center is a luxury part of town that has good metro access and it is walking distance from several sites. It also has its own high end shopping and dining scene. 

The Conrad Hotel here is one of our favorite places for a luxury experience. Especially if traveling with family, the Conrad Hotel has spacious suites and rooms that are great for the whole family. It is also walking distance from the metro and top sites.

There are also many popular restaurants here including Boqueria, Fig & Olive, and Centrolina. All of these restaurants are a short walk from The Conrad Hotel.

Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle is a lively neighborhood in Washington DC. Although it is not very close to many museums, there is a metro stop right in Dupont Circle. Popular hotels here include The Dupont Circle Hotel and Yours Truly. These are great places to come home to after a long day of sightseeing. A great cocktail at Doyle Bar in the Dupont Circle Hotel is a perfect way to wrap up your evening. 

Georgetown / West End

This neighborhood is further from sightseeing. However, if you want to focus more on dining and drinking then Georgetown is the place to be. From amazing cocktail bars, to cute coffee shops, Georgetown has it all. There is also world class dining, including famous Italian restaurants, and plenty of other things to do. 

Some popular places include Cafe Milano (one of the most famous Italian restaurants in Georgetown), Nobu in West End, and the always bustling bar scene at the Four Seasons Hotel here. 

Washington DC In March: Should You Bring A Car

Washington D.C. is a very walkable city and also has many public transportation options. If you are traveling with kids, then a car may be helpful, but generally taxis and ride shares will be readily available during this non busy time of year. Whether or not you bring a car will depend on where you decide to stay and how much you really need one. 

The best reason to bring a car would be if you plan to explore areas surrounding Washington DC. There are some pretty amazing day trips that you can take from Washington DC and having a car will definitely make those trips much easier. 

Washington DC In March: Sample Itineraries

One Day Guide To Seeing Washington DC: If you don’t have enough time to explore Washington DC in depth, this one day itinerary will give you a quick overview to make the most of your time

Washington DC In March: Summary

Washington DC in March is unpredictable when it comes to weather. The beginning of the month may be cold and the end of the month is likely to have much more pleasant temperatures as you approach early April. 

Although some people say that March is the shoulder season which means prices should be lower, it really depends on when the Cherry Blossom Festival is. It usually starts in the month of March and goes until early April. Prices are usually higher during this time. 

In terms of sightseeing in March, Washington DC has so many unique places that are worth visiting. From the many museums to outdoor activities, there is a lot to explore in this city at the start of Spring. 

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