Cycling in Washington D.C.
Boasting beautiful waterfront parks and a growing system of bike lanes with the Capital Bikeshare scheme offering up thousands of bicycles, Washington DC is a brilliant place for cycling trips or simply for daily exercise.
If you haven’t ridden in DC, try something small first. The National Mall is a great start…and no, it’s not a mall. This one is an area stretching for two miles and is packed with excellent museums and hallowed memorials. You’ll find the paths are smooth and there are bicycle parking lots at most of the major sights. This ride will build your confidence before cycling other areas of the capital. And of course, try to avoid peak hours – weekends are the best.
When you’re ready, Washington DC is all yours. Head out to DCs neighborhoods for cool rides along tree-lined streets and pop into lovely cafes along the way. You may want to consider pedaling around the bricked backstreets of Georgetown too, or the quiet and peaceful lanes of Woodley Park. The historic stretches of Capital Hill are also great places to ride, and don’t miss the local favorite trails including the Mount Vernon and Capital Crescent Trail.
Here at Washington DC, you’ll also find bike-friendly accommodations, businesses and full-service bike shops alongside well-maintained bike paths. The city has put great effort to turn itself into a comfortable, convenient and safe biking capital, so please ride carefully and follow the rules.
When to go
For cycling, the best time to visit Washington DC. is fall when the sweltering summer has passed. The weather is cooling off and you have a chance to see the beautiful changing colors of deciduous leaves against the backdrop of the marble monuments. Spring is the second best time to visit, which is also a high tourist season thanks to the National Cherry Blossom Festival in late March and early April. If you want to avoid the crowds while enjoying the blossoms, head to the National Arboretum or Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. They are great spots to get some great pictures with smaller crowds.