The modern traveler has more options than ever before. Not only is travel more accessible than ever, it’s also more varied in terms of destinations, modes of transport, activities, attractions, restaurants, and accommodation. This final aspect is a big part of planning any trip; it’s vital to choose a good place to rest your head each night in order to sleep well and have enough energy to make the most of your vacation. Hotels and motels have their benefits, but why not consider staying in a hostel as your next home away from home? Hostels are affordable, exciting, friendly, and filled with great features and services like free breakfasts, internet, entertainment areas, pools, and more. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


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Washington DC is one of the most famous cities in the world. The capital of America, DC is home to a myriad of historical locations and monuments, from the beautiful architecture and old residences of Georgetown to the natural wonder of the Potomac River and the grand importance of places like the White House, Lincoln Memorial, and Washington Monument. There’s a lot to see in DC and people from many different countries and cultures visit the capital each year, with many of them choosing to stay in hostels and find new friends to share their adventures with.

Best Hostels in Washington DC

The nation’s capital is a great spot for a hostel stay. Some major American cities don’t have too many hostels, but Washington DC has quite a lot of locations to choose from. Each DC hostel has its own services, features, and advantages. Some will have comfier rooms than others, will some have more amenities or lower rates. The choice is yours, so read on to learn some important details on the best hostels in Washington DC.

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2.HighRoad Hostel DC

HighRoad Hostel DC
© HighRoad Hostel DC

Housed in a beautiful old building, this trendy hostel is nicely situated with good transport links to key areas around the nation's capital. Both single-sex and mixed dorms are available for groups as small as four or as large as 12 people, with each guest having a comfortable bed and a private reading light, as well as full access to secure storage lockers to keep their belongings safe and sound. A continental breakfast is offered for free each morning with some very tasty treats on offer, and the hostel also features a communal kitchen space, a computer room, and a cozy lounge complete with fireplace.

1804 Belmont Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009, Phone: 202-735-3622

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3.HI Washington DC Hostel

HI Washington DC Hostel
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HI is a popular hostel chain with a lot of locations all around the United States. If you've never stopped in a HI spot before, you should know that these locations are reputed for offering some of the best services, cleanest rooms, and most affordable rates of any American hostel chain. The DC location is a great example. Wi-Fi and breakfast are included in the cost of your room, and the hostel also offers a laundry area, computer space, games area, lounge, and more. In terms of room options, you can choose between private areas all to yourself or take a bed among other travelers in one of the female-only or mixed-gender dormitories.

1009 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, Phone: 202-737-2333

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4.City House Hostel DC

City House Hostel DC
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If you're in DC to appreciate the city's history and culture, City House Hostel is a nice place to stay. Why? Well, it's literally right next door to some of the city's best points of interest like the National Gallery and National Arboretum. Simple, no-frills dorms with shared bathrooms are offered at this hostel, which has some of the lowest rates in the city. Rooms are clean and nicely decorated and City House Hostel also offers a cooking and a homely lounge space with games to play and movies to watch. Upscale coffee-making facilities are also available for use by all guests and everyone gets access to the building's high-speed Wi-Fi access.

506 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002, Phone: 202-370-6390

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5.Capital View Hostel

Capital View Hostel
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A perfectly situated hostel, Capital View is located just short walks away from several iconic monuments and attractions like the National Mall. Plenty of good bars, stores, and eateries can also be found in the local area, making Capital View a top spot from which to base your DC adventures. This cozy hostel features an impressive roof terrace area for travelers to socialize and among the cityscape views, as well as several other communal spaces offering TVs, storage, coffee-making facilities, and more. Several room varieties are also available including private rooms with shared bathrooms or classic hostel dorms.

301 I St NW, Washington, DC 20001, Phone: 202-450-3450

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4 Best Hostels in Washington, DC

Attraction Spotlight: Smithsonian Gardens

The Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C. is an outdoor extension of the Smithsonian Museum that is responsible for all horticultural exhibits and research and landscapes over 180 acres of the Washington Mall. Established in 1972 by S. Dillon Ripley, eighth secretary of the Smithsonian, with the mission of expanding the experience of the Smithsonian through horticulture collections and education.

The Smithsonian Gardens Greenhouse nursery operations are a critical part of maintaining the exhibits and gardens around the museums. The greenhouse is home to the orchid collection and nectar plants that are used in the butterfly gardens. All of the plants used in the interior of various Smithsonian museums are also grown here. The gardens and green house are a leader in integrated pest control in The United States and their program is ever evolving based on scientific evidence.

There is a special branch of the Smithsonian Gardens dedicated specifically to creating educational programs, documenting all of the collections, and managing the artifact collections which include antique and modern garden furniture, ornaments, and items related to the floral trade. Interns are also overseen by this branch of the gardens.

The Smithsonian Gardens are meant to be outdoor museums designed to accompany the indoor exhibits of the same historical context. Each garden echoes the museum that it is grows next to in an effort to enhance the overall learning experience for visitors.

Butterfly Habitat Garden emphasizes the relationship between butterflies and the environment. The differences between plants that host the larva and plants that support the butterflies through nectar are explained with cards next to each plant that also describe the life cycle of the plant and butterflies. Visitors can also learn about the different types of plants that they can grow to attract butterflies to their own gardens at home.

This garden is over 11,000 square feet and features plants and butterflies that are native to the east coast of The United States. Patrons can tour this garden while visiting the National Museum of Natural History. Visitors should be sure to stop by the Urban garden center where they can learn how to landscape their own butterfly garden in a much smaller space.

Enid A. Haupt Garden is part of the castle quadrangle that was recently redesigned. The cultural influences from the adjacent museums are reflected in this garden with many stone fountains, benches, brick paths, and many brightly colored floral designs and hanging baskets. The most unique feature of this garden is that it is actually on the rooftops of National Museum of African Art, S. Dillon Ripley Center and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Freer Gallery of Art is an Italian Renaissance style courtyard meant for quiet introspection that is part of the museum of the same architectural design, both by Charles A. Platt. The entryways from the museum to the courtyard have been closed off to prevent humidity and other climate related issues from hampering the Asian and American art inside the museum, however visitors can still access the garden with flowing fountains, lush landscaping and romantic arches from the outside. The trees in this garden are reminiscent of calligraphy in the wintertime when their shadows are cast upon the ground, and provide shade and relaxation in the summer months.

Heirloom Garden is particularly interesting because it features plants that were popularly cultivated in home gardens prior to the 1950’s. This garden located on the terrace of National Museum of American History hopes to inspire people to start growing the annuals, perennials, and bulb plants once again. This garden changes season to season and is particularly colorful.

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden is a sunken garden in a major urban center of the National Mall. Across from the Hirshhorn Museum, the 1.3 -acre garden features a reflecting pool, terraces, and greenery. The landscaping is not modeling around art works since the 60 different sculptures rotate. Instead, the grounds are neutrally enhanced with willow and pine trees, vinery, and shrubs.

Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Gardenis the center focal point of the entrance to the Arts and Industry Museum. Located just East of the Smithsonian Castle, this garden is beautiful year-round with different species of roses that bloom in summer, spring, and fall. Conifers and Evergreens decorate the garden in the winter time and several cast iron antiques, such as the three tier fountain, are located here as part of the Smithsonian Gardens Artifact Collection.

Mary Livingston Ripley Garden has a large variety of plants and flowers that creates an oasis through raised garden beds and beautiful hanging baskets that are cultivated in the Smithsonian Greenhouse. Mrs. Ripley, wife of Smithsonian Garden founder, S. Dillon Ripley, established this garden in the hopes of creating an extremely fragrant garden that provides respite for visitors. Iron lamp posts and benches as well as the beautiful fountain create a stunning visual amongs the flowers for guests.

Gardens at National Air and Space Museum expand over seven acres of tiered, walled terraces. Many different varieties of trees, shrubs, annuals and perrienials decorate the landscape of the museum. The garden is currently in the planning stages of developing a “flight garden” with the goals of attracting many of the different flying birds and insects in the area.

Native Landscape Garden showcases the landscape of the are pre-colonial times when Native Americans were the only occupants of the land. It is quite fitting that this garden is an extension of the National Museum of the American Indian. Over 33,000 plants native to the Piedmont region encompass four distinct habitats—hardwood forest, meadow, wetland, and crop land. This landscape is meant to look natural and undisturbed with wildflowers, water lilies and cattails that are free to grow. The cropland section of the garden features crops planted and harvested in the traditional ways that the American Indians used. The garden is completely organic and boulders, as well as clay sculptures decorate the space. There is a fire pit and amphitheater located in the area as well where visitors can enjoy performances.

Urban Bird Habitat is home to 300 different species of birds that are both native and migratory. The Lost Bird Project, a five-piece sculptural work dedicated to extinct birds, is showcased in this garden. When trees die in this habitat, they are transformed into architectural designs to create housing for birds and other small animals in the garden.

Victory Garden, located at the National Museum of American History, is a recreation of the victory gardens during World War II. These gardens were used to ensure adequate sources of food for soldiers and civilians during war times. Governments and communities came together to grow community and personal gardens. Throughout the spring and summer the goal was to produce enough fruits and vegetables to feed your family and neighbors through the warmer months and can the rest to sustain families through the winters.

One of the goals of Smithsonian Gardens is to preserve and collect horticultural specimens and artifacts relevant to the floral trade and gardening for research and exhibitions. Through their vast collections, the Smithsonian Gardens has become an outdoor classroom dedicated to teaching visitors about the importance of the relationships between plants and animals. They also put much emphasis on recycling, upcycling and conservation.

Archive of American gardens is a digital archive that is created and modified by public participants that upload photographs and videos as well as personal stories of their own gardens at home. There are currently over 100,000 photos and videos of personal and professional gardens in the United States.

Orchid Collection is an ever growing collection of orchids from around the globe. New additions to the collections are chosen very carefully based upon rarity, quality, beauty and how well they fit into the current selection.

Garden Furnishing and Horticultural Artifacts Collection is a quite impressive of over 1,600 different artifacts including garden furnishing, urns, seating, fountains and items relevant to the commercial floral and seeding industry. The two historic fountains from the 19th century are located in the Ripley garden and rose garden. While over two dozen seating designs, dated back to 1840, are displayed and used throughout various spaces in the vast gardens

Tree Collection at Smithsonian Gardens is the most recent collection to be started. Currently, the collection has nearly 1,900 different specimens on the museum grounds and Mall gardens. Every piece in the collection is living and cared for by the Smithsonian Gardens Arborist with help from interns and volunteers. Both native and exotic species can be viewed in this collection including Chinese Elms, Asian cherry species and Cryptomeria swhich are all exotic. Some of the native species are dogwood, crabapple and magnolia trees.

The gardens are open seven days a week all year-round. Only the Enid A. Haupt garden is gated and open from dawn until dusk. Every other garden is accessible at any time. Gardens tours can be schedule and a leisurely walk through inclusive of all the gardens will take approximately three hours. All visitors are advised to wear good walking shoes and sun protecting since the gardens are outdoor museums. The gardens can also be viewed and learned about online.

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National Mall, 14th sreet& Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington DC 20001, Phone: 202-633-2220

Attraction Spotlight: Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Located in our nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., the Thomas Jefferson Memorial honors and preserves the legacy of one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson. The only attraction at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial is the memorial itself. The exterior of the Memorial features marble steps and an open concept with a dome. In addition to the architectural elements of the Memorial, an array of Japanese cherry trees are planted around the Memorial. These trees were gifted from Japan in the early 1900s. More Things to Do in Washington, DC

Although the site of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial was used since 1901, it wasn’t until 1934 that the site became dedicated to Jefferson and plans for the official memorial was drafted. In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt pitched the idea of the site to become Jefferson’s memorial to the Commission of Fine Arts. A member of congress, John J. Boylan, supported Roosevelt’s pitch, and encouraged the Commission to fund the project. Later in the year, $3 million was funded to create Jefferson’s memorial.

In 1935, architect John Russell Pope began drafting design plans for the Memorial. Pope’s plans were situated along the Tidal Basin and incorporated a design that resembled a pantheon. By the time construction began in late 1938, Pope had passed away. So, Daniel P. Higgins and Otto R. Eggers, Pope’s partners, oversaw the construction.

On April 13, 1943, President Roosevelt dedicated the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. This happened to be on the same day of Jefferson’s 200th birthday. The White House is in a close proximity, and in a directly straight line, as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Many people praise the Memorial’s design dedication to Jefferson’s personality and style, as it resembles two buildings Jefferson designed: the University of Virginia Rotunda and Monticello.

Inside of the Memorial, visitors can find a bronze statue that is 19 feet tall, and weighs approximately 10,000 pounds, of Jefferson. This statue was created by renowned sculptor Rudulph Evans. Another statue located in the Memorial is that of Alexander Hamilton, who was known to be the rival of Jefferson. Jefferson’s statue is positioned in a way that looks back at Hamilton’s statue.

One of the most renowned elements of the Memorial is the array of words that are inscribed to the dome’s walls. Two of the most notable quotes include, “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” and “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men”.

Since notable moments in Jefferson’s personal life and career are inscribed on the Memorial’s walls, there are no formal educational opportunities at the Memorial. People are encouraged to visit the Memorial to gain an in-depth insight into Jefferson’s accomplishments and legacy, as well as honor those accomplishments and his legacy. Many people and school field trips visit the Thomas Jefferson Memorial during walking tours of Washington, D.C. that feature other monuments and memorials, such as the White House.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial regularly hosts special events throughout the year, such as the Easter Sunrise Service and memorial activities. One of the most notable events that take place at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial is the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Every year, Washington, D.C. celebrates spring with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. In addition to celebrating the season, the National Cherry Blossom Festival honors and embraces the United States’ relationship with Japan, and Japan’s gift of cherry blossom trees to the United States.

While the National Cherry Blossom Festival is home to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, other locations around Washington, D.C. are home to events for the Festival. Every year, about a week before the Festival officially starts, the Pink Tie Party occurs to raise extra funds for the Festival. Events that take place during the actual Festival include the opening ceremony, kite festival, performances, parade, and fireworks.

There are a ton of other event opportunities during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which occur on a daily basis. This year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival occurs from March 25, 2017 to April 15, 2017.

In addition to public special events, such as the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial is home to a select number of ceremonies. For more information about the National Cherry Blossom Festival, ceremonies, and any other special event at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, check out the National Park Service’s official website, or contact them during standard business hours.

900 Ohio Drive SW , Washington , DC 20024, Phone: 202-426-6841