Happy New Year!

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January 2, 2014 by toursbybecca

A very Happy New Year to all from Tours By Becca!  As 2014 is beginning, I wanted to give you a brief highlight of what’s happening in Washington, D.C. this year.  I hope that everyone has made visiting our nation’s capital one of their resolutions for the New Year and I resolve to be as helpful as possible in planning your trip and providing you a superior guide experience!

 

Construction Updates

As you’re planning your visit, you may want to know where to expect scaffolding and construction during your visit.  As we lovingly refer to D.C. as “the District of Construction,” you can certainly plan to see improvements being made throughout 2014 but I’m happy to share that several sites will be scaffolding-free!

You’ll be thrilled to learn that both the United States Supreme Court (after eight years of work!) and the Washington Monument (following our devastating earthquake in 2011) no longer have scaffolding around their facades.  However, the Washington Monument remains closed for interior repairs.  The National Museum of African-American History and Culture – the newest addition to the Smithsonian Institution – continues to be under construction, with plans to be completed in 2015.  If you visit during the next year, you’ll see that the construction site is no longer a giant pit and the framework of the building is starting to take shape.

The most important construction project to be aware of is the two-year improvement and restoration of the 150-year-old dome at the United States Capitol Building.  The dome has over 1,000 cracks in it and this project will ensure that this important historical site will be around for another 150 years!  The impact to visitors will be minimal – the Capitol Building will remain open to tours and work will be done primarily at night and on weekends to minimize disruptions.  However, by mid-year, expect to see the entire exterior of the dome surrounded by scaffolding as well as safety nets inside the dome!  This will make for some unusual photos during your trips this year and next year!

2014 Events

One of the best reasons to visit Washington, D.C. is that there is almost something incredible going on every single weekend.  There’s always so much to do and not enough time to do it in when you’re visiting – or even living here!  With that said, here are a few dates you may want to mark on your calendars as you make plans for a visit.

+ February 13-15: Washington DC International Wine & Food Festival.  While the marketplace is free and open to the public, the main events each day are ticketed. This massive gathering of wine and food obsessives is a fantastic event, especially during the fickle-weather month of February.

+ March 20-April 13: National Cherry Blossom Festival.  It’s too early to give you an estimation on peak blooming dates but if you’re hoping to catch the parade or any of the other events, the schedule is being updated daily.

+ May 2014:  Passport DC.  Washington, D.C. is home to 176 embassies and May is the month to visit if you want a taste of them all!  Throughout May 2014, embassies throw open their doors for cultural events, performances, tastings, and more.  There are even souvenir passports you can take to have stamped at each event.  This is a great month-long festival to incorporate into your spring visit!

+ June 25-29 and July 2-6: Smithsonian Folklife Festival.  One of my favorite events in D.C., this free festival spans two weeks during summer and always has an incredible line-up of food, vendors, crafts, and performances.

+ September 2014: Library of Congress Book Festival.  A chance to see over 100 authors and artists speak, read, and perform, this is a must-attend event for bookworms.  While the official dates have not yet been released, I’m predicting the festival will be September 20th-21st.

 

Tours By Becca in 2014

This year, I’m resolving to provide even more content on this site to help you plan your D.C. vacation.  From restaurant and bar recommendations to reviews of museum exhibitions and special events as well as how to budget a trip, I want to be your go-to destination for D.C. trip planning.  And remember, I’m always available to provide custom itineraries, reservations, and guided experiences for your trip.  Contact me directly at toursbybecca [at] gmail [dot] com or visit me on Facebook!

 

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