Experience thrilling theme parks, inspiring museums and luxurious shopping centers that can only be found in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Spanning across Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, The Capital Region USA is filled with lots of sights to explore. Spend a day of thrills at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, become a spy at the International Spy Museum, ride the famous Capital Wheel at the National Harbor or visit the animals at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Take some time out and enjoy your family at these amazing spots.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia has been voted “the World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park” by the National Amusement Park Historical Association every year since 1990. It’s no wonder either – their thrill rides and attractions are surrounded by detailed European themes and lush landscaping that make for a breathtaking sight.
This park isn’t just about the scenery though; it offers loads of fun for the whole family. There are seven rollercoasters, water rides and a host of kiddie rides as well. If you’re looking for thrills, take a ride on Apollo’s Chariot – a hyper coaster with a 64-meter drop that travels at 117 km/h. Take the family on the Le Scoot log flume for an exciting (and wet) 15-meter plunge. Let the kids take the wheel on the Der Autobahn Jr. bumper cars, or get a cute photo in the Land of the Dragons.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg also has tons of entertainment options. From the incredible performances located throughout the park to the amazing animal shows, your whole family will be laughing and smiling all day.
Riders fly by in the Verbolten roller coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. is the only spy-themed museum in the USA that is solely dedicated to espionage. It features the largest collection of never-before-seen international spy artifacts, which illuminate the work of famous spies and pivotal espionage actions that have shaped the world. It’s a unique and fun museum that will fascinate both kids and adults alike. Learn about the espionage and intelligence gathering professions by engaging in interactive and impartial exhibits. Here you will start to understand the important role spies play in current and historical events with the most accurate information available to the public.
Your whole family will enjoy the thrills of an interactive spy experience that puts you in the center of the action. In Operation Spy, you go on a one-hour spy mission where you are the key to solving the case. Spies in training must be 12 years or older to go on this mission. In Spy in the City, you get to go on a high-stakes operation in Washington, D.C., armed only with your GPS-interactive device. Agents 10 and up can enjoy this one-of-a-kind spy adventure.
Can you solve the clues in the International Spy Museum?
The National Harbor is located in Maryland on the Potomac River across from Washington, D.C. There are 150 stores and 30 restaurants located here as well as the world-famous Capital Wheel. Bring the family along for a day filled with excitement and fun.
Older kids will enjoy the Muse Paint, which lets you take a class together and paint your next masterpiece. Go on an art walk and take some wacky pictures of the outdoor art that lines the plaza and streets. Teen night at Bobby McKey’s is also a popular event; every month this Piano Bar opens its doors for teenagers to hang out and hear their favorite songs by request. The Gaylord National Resort also holds cultural events and festivals that the whole family can enjoy.
Take a ride on the Capital Wheel and grab some amazing photos of the D.C. skyline while soaring 54.8 meters over the Potomac. The kids will also enjoy the American-themed carousel that sits at the north end of the National Harbor. There’s also a playground with a toddler area and picnic tables so the whole family can relax and have a good time.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is one of Washington, D.C.’s most popular tourist destinations. Admission is free to this amazing family destination, so be sure to take advantage of it. Sitting on 66 hectares of green in the heart of Rock Creek Park, the zoo is the home to more than 1,500 animals across 300 different species including giant pandas, Asian elephants, Western Lowland gorillas, cheetahs, zebras, meerkats, tigers, sloths and more.
The kids will enjoy taking a ride on the Conservation Carousel, riding on the National Zoo Choo Choo, making a splash in the Tide Pool or going on the various meet and greets throughout the park to learn more about the care of the different animals. Get hands-on at The Kids’ Farm and pet cows, alpacas, hogs, donkeys, goats, chicken and fish. They also have daily demonstrations with zookeepers so families can learn about the care of the animals, their personalities and their natural behaviors. You can even book a family sleepover!