Monuments by Moonlight: Exploring Washington DC at Night

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Many DC landmarks light up after dark, so exploring at night is a great way to see the city at its most atmospheric. These night tours of DC cover many of the same sites as our favorite daytime tours, but with far less traffic and fewer crowds.

Trolley Tours
With open sides that are perfect for on-the-go photography, trolley tours are a good choice for shutterbugs. Most trolleys have live or recorded narration throughout the tour, so you’ll know what you’re looking at as you explore the key sites in central DC, such as the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. Some evening trolley tours can be combined with daytime tours of DC for a full day of exploring that offers especially good value.
 
Bus Tours
Climate-controlled buses are comfortable any time of year, and range from small-group vans to full-sized coaches. Whatever the group size, guides are on hand to introduce each point of interest along the way, and many tours include time to disembark and explore the sites on foot. Bring a flashlight or phone to light up dark pathways.

Night Cruises 
The Potomac River flows right past some of DC’s most important monuments, and a cruise offers unobstructed views from the water. Some river cruises offer climate-controlled cabins that are ideal on hot nights, with open-air decks for catching the breeze off the Potomac.
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