Destination DC

05/14/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/14/2024 07:37

A midsummer traveler's dream: newly renovated landmark museum, extraordinary festivals, sports and events make DC a hot destination

WASHINGTON, DC - Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation's capital, welcomes visitors to experience the reopening of a landmark museum and buzzworthy new exhibits this summer. When combined with a packed calendar of sports, festivals and free events, DC becomes the perfect city for an unforgettable getaway. Begin planning your trip at

On June 21, the Folger Shakespeare Library, featuring the world's largest Shakespeare collection, will celebrate its grand reopening following an extensive, four-year renovation. The reimagined space will boast two modern, state of the art exhibition halls featuring literary and historical pieces that have seldom been displayed to the public. Welcoming new gardens, collaborative research spaces and expanded visitor amenities designed with inclusivity and accessibility in mind are just a few of the additions to this Capitol Hill landmark.

The city boasts a plethora of new and renovated hotels to experience. The famed St. Regis, Four Seasons and Capital Hilton have all unveiled renovations. Exciting rebrands include the Hotel AKA Washington Circle in Foggy Bottom and Hotel Nell - Union Market in burgeoning NoMa. In addition, a portion of the phased enhancements to the highly anticipated Salamander DC hotel, situated along the revitalized Southwest Waterfront, are expected to be complete by the end of summer. A luxury two-story spa and chef Kwame Onwuachi's new restaurant, Dōgon, will follow. Potential travelers can find deals and book directly at

"This summer, there's only one place where you can spend the day engaging with the work of virtuosos like Shakespeare, then spend the night consuming the work of acclaimed chefs," said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC. "There's only one place where you can see star-studded concerts, cultural celebrations and fireworks with an iconic backdrop for free. There's only one place where you can find this combination of excitement and value."

Summer is highlighted by iconic festivals and events, particularly over holiday weekends. Salute active-duty military and veterans at the Rolling to Remember honor ride and patriotic concert (May 26) and America's largest Memorial Day parade (May 27). Celebrate DC's LGBTQ+ community during Capital Pride (May 31-June 9), a prelude to WorldPride in the nation's capital next summer. This year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival (June 26-July 1) celebrates the living traditions of Indigenous peoples, coinciding with the National Museum of the American Indian's 20th anniversary. America's birthday celebration kicks off with a classic July 4th parade followed by "A Capitol Fourth" concert and fireworks on the National Mall. Over Labor Day weekend, DC JazzFest celebrates its 20th anniversary with performances across the city.

Summer also includes a star-studded sports schedule. Catch the Washington Nationals, DC United, Washington Spirit and Washington Mystics in action. No. 1 pick Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever face the Mystics' No. 6 overall pick, Aaliyah Edwards, at Capital One Arena on June 7. The U.S. men's national soccer team hosts a friendly against Colombia on June 8 at Commanders Field, while international legend Lionel Messi and Argentina face Guatemala on June 14. The USA Men's National Rugby Team hosts Scotland at Audi Field on July 12. The Mubadala City DC Open returns to Rock Creek Park Tennis Center July 27-Aug. 4.

Festivals and Events

  • The National Memorial Day Parade: Our Sacred Honor, May 27
    Telling the story of American sacrifice along Constitution Avenue through historical re-enactors, veterans and active-duty military personnel, with musical performances and celebrity appearances.
  • Capital Pride, May 31-June 9
    Celebrate with the LGBTQ+ community and its allies at the beloved tradition that honors LGBTQ+ history and acknowledges the evolution of the LGBTQ+ neighborhoods in DC. Note that DC will host WorldPride in 2025.
  • Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, June 17, 21-23
    For the first time, the nation's capital will serve as a host port and team partner for this grueling competition. After more than 10 months at sea, the 11 teams are expected to arrive in DC on June 17. There will be an exciting activation at The Wharf.
  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival, June 26-July 1
    The free festival salutes international cultures on the National Mall with craft exhibits, live music and cooking demos. The 2024 edition celebrates Indigenous Voices of the Americas and the National Museum of the American Indian, which turns 20 this year.
  • DC/DOX Film Festival, June 13-16
    The second annual event will take place at theater venues across the District.
  • Juneteenth Freedom Celebration, June 19
    The Anacostia Community Museum offers a free day-long celebration. The National Museum of African American History and Culture also offers a free community celebration themed "Freedom, Movement, and Migration" on June 15.
  • Independence Day, July 4
    Nothing beats seeing the fireworks against DC's iconic skyline of monuments and memorials, especially for free. Here is a list of the best spots to watch from.
  • Broccoli City Festival, July 27-28
    Headliners at Audi Field this year include Megan Thee Stallion, Gunna and Concrete Family.
  • Otakon, Aug. 2-4
    The family-friendly event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is run by and dedicated to fans of Asian media, entertainment and pop culture, including anime, manga, music, movies and video games.
  • National Book Festival, Aug. 24
    A free beloved annual celebration of books of all kinds, from children's stories to epic novels, curated by the Library of Congress.
  • DC JazzFest, Aug. 28-Sept. 1
    One of DC's ultimate summer traditions celebrates 20 years of bringing national and local musicians to a range of venues all over the city, including The Wharf. Many concerts are free.

New Exhibits

  • New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024, April 14-Aug. 11
    The National Museum of Women in the Arts brings together 28 visionary artists who imagine alternate realities to address world issues.
  • Little Beasts: Art, Wonder and the Natural World, May 18-Nov. 2
    The National Gallery of Art will feature previously unknown or overlooked flora and fauna discovered during the 16th and 17th centuries, paired with specimens and taxidermy from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - the first collaboration of its kind.
  • Reclaiming My Time, Opens May 31
    The National Museum of African American History and Culture's first exhibition devoted to contemporary Black designers who engage with ideas related to rest, repose and histories of labor and leisure.
  • Unbound: Narrative Art of the Plains, June 1-Jan. 20, 2026
    At this National Museum of the American Indian exhibit, the artworks are as diverse as the individuals who created them.
  • 82 First Folios of Shakespeare, Opens June 21
    The newly reopened Folger Shakespeare Library will unveil a permanent display of its 82 copies of the First Folio, the single biggest collection of the world's 235 surviving copies.


  • Disney in Concert: The Sound of Magic, June 22-23
    Let the National Symphony Orchestra whisk you away to the worlds of Peter Pan and Encanto at the Kennedy Center.
  • Back to the Future: The Musical, July 23-Aug. 11
    Audiences can keep up with Marty McFly and Doc Brown as they traverse the past, present and future at the Kennedy Center.
  • MJ the Musical, Aug. 13-Sept. 8
    The multi-Tony Award-winning new musical comes to The National Theatre.

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