Things to Do

The Great Washington Bucket List: 50 Things Every Local Needs to Do

"Electronic Superhighway" by Gene Young/Smithsonian American Art Museum.

When’s the last time you rode to the top of the Washington Monument? Or toured the White House?

Admit it: It’s been a while.

We locals love living here, but when it comes to the most Washington of Washington experiences, we tend to roll our eyes and assume it’s all for tourists.

Our Great Washington Bucket List will tell you why that’s a mistake. We set out to pull together a collection of things we’d regret not doing if we moved away. As it happened, many of these were those same activities residents too often dismiss as hopelessly touristy.

They’re not. What is hopelessly touristy is not doing them right. Here’s our collection of the 50 memorable Washington sights, sounds, and places you really shouldn’t miss—and some tips for how to see them like a local.

Contributors to this package were: Sherri Dalphonse, Tanya Pai, Jennifer Barger, Andrew Beaujon, Kate Bennett, Benjamin Freed, Michael J. Gaynor, Matthew Graham, Sara Gilgore, Joseph Guinto, Christine Ianzito, Marisa M. Kashino, Ann Limpert, Leslie Milk, Anna Spiegel, John Scarpinato, William Triplett, and Michael Schaffer.

Edited by Sherri Dalphonse.