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Summer Escapes to Washington, D.C.

Summer in Washington, D.C. really brings the energy to this vibrant year-round destination — with a practically endless list of things to do all season long. Memorial Day kicks off the unofficial start of summer, setting the stage for festive fun. June brings the flavor with pride and Juneteenth celebrations. July bathes the Nation’s Capital in patriotic cheer, while August is filled with art and culture festivals. Come to D.C. this summer to discover why it’s like no other city in the world. It’s home to monuments, museums, and art — including the only da Vinci painting in the Americas, among countless other masterworks.

Summer is the perfect time to explore all this fascinating world capital has to offer, and Hotel Madera provides the ultimate urban escape right in the heart of D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. It’s the ideal home base for a summer adventure in Washington, D.C.

Capital Pride: May 31–June 9

June in D.C. kicks off in a colorful way with Capital Pride, the city’s annual pride festival, featuring fun parades, concerts, and festivities celebrating the diversity that makes D.C. such a special and welcoming place. Don’t miss the exciting crescendo of the festival on June 9th! Join the LGBTQ+ community for a day-long celebration on Pennsylvania Avenue. Enjoy live entertainment on multiple stages, delicious food and drinks, and connect with over 300 exhibitors showcasing their work and promoting LGBTQ+ causes. This annual event, the biggest in the national capital region, is entirely free to attend and inclusive of everyone!

Celebrate Freedom on Juneteenth

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, or Liberation Day, lands on June 19th. This significant day was officially declared a federal holiday in 2021, making it the country’s most recent national holiday. Juneteenth has been a cherished tradition within the African American community since 1866 and has been an official holiday in Washington, D.C. since 2004.

D.C. itself becomes a bustling hub of celebration during Juneteenth. Here, you can view meaningful art exhibits, visit important historical sites, and gather with diverse and joyful crowds.

D.C. is home to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, the only national museum “Devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture.” The museum opened in 2016 and is the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It offers a deeper look into the legacy and ongoing contributions of African Americans and is the perfect addition to your D.C. Juneteenth celebrations.

Independence Day Parade & Fireworks

What better place to celebrate the Fourth of July than the capital of the United States? Home to the National Independence Day Parade, an annual celebration that features bands, military units, celebrity guests, and more red, white, and blue than you can imagine! This patriotic celebration is co-hosted by the National Park Service and draws a street audience of hundreds of thousands of spectators, all gathering in the spirit of independence to celebrate America’s freedom. Once you’ve enjoyed a sunny day taking in the action of the patriotic parade, find a spot to watch the most breathtaking fireworks display you can imagine. From the National Mall to the Potomac River or a local rooftop bar, there are plenty of great options for taking in the spectacle.

Summer Dining in D.C.

D.C. is one of the nation’s great culinary destinations, with diverse flavors and gastronomic creativity on display all over the city. Right here at Hotel Madera, Firefly offers contemporary New American cuisine and comfort food staples, all within a casual environment that’s popular among visitors and D.C. locals alike. It’s a neighborhood go-to where warm natural light brings in the summer sunshine while bespoke cocktails offer the perfect complement to leisurely afternoons or evenings out on the town. Fan favorites include the Firefly burger, filet mignon, and pan-seared scallops. Or visit for brunch and tuck into brioche French toast and other breakfast classics.

D.C.’s Districts

D.C. is a city of unique neighborhoods, each offering captivating history, one-of-a-kind cultural experiences, and entertaining things to do. From Dupont Circle to Foggy Bottom, Logan Circle, and U Street & 14th, make sure you take time to explore the hidden gems and must-sees in this incredible world capital when you visit in the summer.

We may be biased, but Dupont Circle is our favorite summertime destination. It’s one of the city’s most lively neighborhoods — filled with art, architecture, embassies, and eclectic restaurants, shops, and nightlife for all. We’re lucky to sit in the heart of Dupont Circle, right on New Hampshire Avenue, just steps away from the iconic traffic circle that gives the neighborhood its name. Getting here and getting around the city is easy.

Colorful Dupont Circle row houses in Washington DC.

Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and remains a top summer destination. Its can’t-miss sights include Rock Creek Park, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, George Washington University, and a long list of restaurants, cafes, and assorted places to gather.

Don’t miss the hip and happening Logan Circle, named after the local traffic circle built around a monument to Civil War general John Logan. Like other D.C. neighborhoods, it’s home to eclectic restaurants, lush green parks, and amazing architecture — see if you can spot examples of Gothic Victorian, Second Empire, and Romanesque Revival houses as you stroll through on a sunny summer day. Shop stylish boutiques and discover what makes this one of D.C.’s coolest enclaves.

If you’re looking for the jazzy heart of D.C.’s music scene, head to U-Street & 14th — the birthplace of jazz legend Duke Ellington and still a staple destination for musical performances and nightlife. Once known as “Black Broadway”, it was a thriving center of Black culture in America and is on the National Register of Historic Places for its contributions to American culture.

Neon Sign for Jazz Club

Monuments, Museums & Our World-Famous Mall

When visiting one of the world’s best destinations for historic landmarks, museums and galleries, take some time to see the best. The White House is perhaps D.C.’s signature photo opp, so swing by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW to grab a quick selfie or two and take in the majesty of this most iconic of American buildings. Stop into the Visitor Center to enjoy a journey through the history of the White House or tour the gorgeous gardens. After your White House visit, stroll the National Mall to see the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and much more. Those are just the tip of the iceberg in this wonderland of historic sites and contemporary culture. Everywhere you look, you’re sure to spot something special as you enjoy warm summer days in Washington, D.C.

Start Planning Your Summer Adventure in D.C.

Looking to get a super-quick and easy overview of D.C., from dynamic districts to historical landmarks, and colleges and universities? Visit our Discover D.C. page and get planning! Hotel Madera offers the ideal place to lay your head during a D.C. summer sojourn, with spacious sun-filled rooms right in the heart of Dupont Circle — the perfect jumping off point for whatever you have planned in this must-visit city.

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The Hotel Madera entrance awning on New Hampshire Ave.