Girls Weekend in DC: 3 Day Itinerary

The historic Patterson Mansion in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, showcasing exquisite Beaux-Arts architecture, a must-visit landmark for those seeking the best cultural experiences in the city.

Planning a girls weekend in DC is an AMAZING idea.  This urban cityscape is full of gems from exploring quaint neighborhoods (full of Instagram spots) to visiting iconic monuments. 

I highly recommend strolling Georgetown, shopping in Noma, enjoying the nightlife in Dupont Circle, and taking a day trip into the mountains.  

DC is vibrant, and loaded with culture and history, making it the perfect destination for a girls getaway!

Day 1: National Mall

Your first day begins with exploring the major icons of DC with the girls!  

Start off at the National Mall, a historical park that stretches over 1.9 miles and includes landmarks such as the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the U.S Capitol building.

US Botanical Gardens

This is literally the most beautiful botanical garden I have ever seen.  It is HUGE!  I’m not sure if the inside or outside is my favorite part.  It’s also free.  

There are also tons of photo opportunities.  My favorite is just past the entrance- there is a long, turquoise, rectangular fountain that runs all the way to a domed door. 

Vibrant, green plants fill around it.  (It reminded me of some of the beautiful, Moorish architecture from Cordoba and Marrakesh).  

Reflection Pond

Reflection Pond is one of the most beautiful places on Capitol Hill.  It’s even more beautiful at night, shining among all of the glowing monuments. 

Talk about a picture-perfect way to wrap up your first girls getaway evening!    

Other Monuments at the National Mall

You can’t possibly list all of them here.  But here are the other very famous monuments not to miss:

  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Washington Monument
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Famous Museums

After exploring the incredible free monuments, go explore the incredible free museums!  Seriously, so much of the National Mall is free and I’m so here for it.

Some of the top-rated museums in DC are:

  • Hirschorn Museum
  • Smithsonian Complex (technically several museums)
  • Museum of the Native American

Dinner in Dupont Circle

The historic Patterson Mansion in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, showcasing exquisite Beaux-Arts architecture, a must-visit landmark for those seeking the best cultural experiences in the city.

Dupont is known as the glitzier, ritzier side of town in DC… and that comes with a price tag. 

I recommend strolling, finding a great dinner spot, and possibly checking out the shopping scene on Connecticut Avenue (more on that in Georgetown tomorrow). 

There is tons of nightlife here too.  I can’t wait to check out DC Improv, one of the most popular comedy clubs in the city.

Day 2: Georgetown and NoMa

Georgetown is everything I imagine in a girls’ weekend, and more! 

Quaint, cobblestone roads fill narrow streets in this fairytale town.  It’s the perfect balance between classic and modern.  

Take photos on red, cobblestone roads

The streets of Georgetown are so charming.  I  know I keep saying that!  But it just makes me want to go back again and again. 

If you are looking to take an impromptu photoshoot with the girls, this might be your spot.  Plus, there are so many cute boutiques, cafes, and restaurants to stop at along the way. 

Shopping on M Street

M Street is declared one of the best places to go shopping in the United States. 

Enjoy vintage thrift shops and top-name brands with some of the best selections at some of the top designer stores in the country.   

Georgetown Cupcakes

A photo opp is a must for this one!  Yup, Georgetown Cupcake, straight out of DC Cupcakes on the one and only TLC is actually located here (as if the name didn’t give it away?)

They supposedly have long lines on the weekends, but there were only two people in front of me when I visited. 

I recommend ordering a variety of cupcakes and splitting them with the girls so you can sample a bit of everything!  

I recommend walking 5 minutes to the C&O Canal Waterfront to enjoy your sweet treats with a sweet view.  

Eat at Union Market

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably know I love a good market. 

There is something about that local feel and the endless variety, I just can’t get enough!  Anyways.

Take your culinary pick from mouthwatering ramen to comforting Southern cuisine and delightful fresh Italian dishes, just to name a few!

For dessert, you’ve got options like macaroons, fancy donuts, and huge cookies. And there are also a couple of cute little shops, like one selling maps and another with cool jewelry.

Tip: Union Market is conveniently located just a 20-minute train ride away from the National Mall. Simply take the red line from Judiciary Square to NoMa.

If you prefer, it’s also a quick 8-minute drive or Uber ride away. 

Shopping in NoMa

After lunch or dinner at Union Market, stroll around the NoMa neighborhood of DC.

The district’s rejuvenated urban space melds a vintage feel with modern charm, making it a go-to place for both unique finds and contemporary fashion (…and Trader Joe’s).

DC Nightlife

On your second night, consider seeing a show!  DC has got just about everything from live music events to comedy shows and more. 

Cirque Du Soleil was in town during my visit, so we took a 30-minute drive to Tysons, Virginia to catch the snow. 

Day 3: Day Trip to Harper’s Ferry

Harpers Ferry
Start of Harpers Ferry trail system

I highly recommend taking a mountain getaway during your girls’ weekend! 

DC is absolutely amazing and thriving, we know that. 

However!  What most people don’t know is that DC is less than an hour’s drive from some of the best mountains on the East Coast. 

Harper’s Ferry is a charming, historic, mountain town located right at the intersection of West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia.  Stand in three states at once?  Yeah, cross that one off the list. 

Explore Downtown

Downtown Harpers Ferry is worthy of a visit in its own right. 

More red cobblestone roads, of course, but this time surrounded by fairytale mountains.  Harper’s Ferry is the perfect, quaint town.

Viewpoints

If you’re not into hiking, that’s OK, because the viewpoints at Harper’s Ferry are everywhere:

  • The Point, where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers converge, provides a stunning backdrop to the historic town.
  • Jefferson Rock, named after Thomas Jefferson, offers a scenic overlook accessible by a short walk on pavement.
  • Lower Town View is a great location for capturing picturesque views of the mountains framing the quaint streets and historic buildings, all reachable by a gentle stroll through the town’s thoroughfare.

Hiking

Mountains = hiking trails.  I recommend taking even a short hike to fully escape the city (even the tiny town of Harpers Ferry). 

Getting lost in nature could be the perfect way to end your girls’ weekend on a rejuvenating note!

Alternate Girls Trip Activities:

More time on the schedule, or do you want to swap out some of the itinerary items?  No problem. 

This girls’ weekend guide features just a glimpse of all that DC can offer during an epic girls’ weekend.  Consider the following:

  • Alexandria
  • Arlington
  • Free Walking tour (in any of the neighborhoods described)

Conclusion

Having a full girls’ weekend in DC is the best.  From exploring historical monuments to enjoying the modern side of town, DC provides a full range of activities. 

There is even room for outdoor adventure and local day trips into the mountains and even more charming towns.  Whether you have two days in DC or three, what’s not to love?

So grab your girlfriends, pack your bags and make DC the destination for your next girls’ trip!

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Alyssa

As a full time employee who loves her job, learn how I honor my wanderlust while working a 9:00-5:00 (because I want to!) This blog welcomes all, and specifically provides resources for those seeking travel intertwined into a busy schedule (3 days to 5 weeks).