A Washington Winter Wonderland

When we get a solid snowfall, Washington DC's monuments and landmarks become a winter wonderland.
Lafayette Park and the White House in Snow
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Washington DC might not get anywhere near as much snow as areas farther north, but a decent snowfall has a way of turning the city’s landmarks into a winter wonderland.

When we get big snowfalls they tend to be in January in February. The biggest snowstorm on record, known as the Knickerbocker Storm, was in late-January 1922. More recently, some of the biggest have come in late-January 2016 (dubbed by locals as Snowzilla), and double-whammy winter storms just before Christmas in 2009 (Snowpocalypse) and followed about six weeks later by an even bigger storm in early February 2010 (Snowmageddon).

Due to a confluence of factors, including that the DC area doesn’t have the infrastructure and snow budgets of some snowier regions, as well as a large portion of the very large population relying on above-ground transportation on roads and rail, even relatively minor snowstorms can have a crippling effect.

But there’s also a lot of open space for large blankets of snow to form and frame the area’s famous landmarks.

Photos of Washington DC in the Snow

White House in the Snow

Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washingotn DC Covered in Snow
Korean War Veterans Memorial.
Arlington National Cemetery in the snow
Arlington National Cemetery.
Snow on the Cherry Trees in Washington DC
Some of the famous old cherry trees by the Tidal Basin.
Sony RX100 V Sample Images
Cross-country skiing on the National Mall by the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
Cherry Blossoms - March 9, 2015
The Tidal Basin frozen over, with the Jefferson Memorial in the distance.
Washington DC Street at night in snowstorm
Looking north along 15th Street NW in northwest DC next to the Treasury Building.
Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknowns Guard
Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. It was about 20° Fahrenheit at the time (approx. -7 Celsius).
White House Christmas tree at night
White House Christmas Tree.
Washington Monument with floodlights in a snowstorm at night
Washington Monument.
Washington DC's National Mall in the Snow
The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool while it was undergoing repairs.

White House in the Snow

Washington DC Tourists in the Snow
Tourists dealing with the frigid temperatures. Taken along Independence Avenue between the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the DC World War I Memorial.
World War One Memorial on the National Mall in the snow (Photo)
The DC World War One Memorial. This was before some renovations that cleared out some of the trees and bushes from the immediate area around the memorial.
Snow in Constitution Gardens Washington DC
Constitution Gardens.
Arlington Memorial Bridge and Potomac River Frozen Over - January 26, 2016
The Potomac frozen over, looking past Arlington Memorial Bridge to Rosslyn.
Frozen Potomac in the Snow
The Potomac, with Arlington Memorial Bridge in the distance.
National World War Two Memorial in the Snow
National World War Two Memorial.
Tourists out in front of the White House with snow in the evening
Outside the White House.
MLK Memorial in the Snow
The MLK Memorial.
Lincoln Memorial in the Snow
The Lincoln Memorial.
Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 21, 2018
Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 21, 2018

Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 21, 2018
Lincoln Memorial.
Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 21, 2018
At the Tidal Basin leading into the FDR Memorial.
Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 21, 2018
JFK Hockey Fields (between Reflecting Pool and the Korean War Veterans Memorial).

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Washington DC Visitor Guides

If you're coming in from out of town, here are some of the most popular guidebooks that can help you make the most of your visit.

Fodor's Washington D.C.: with Mount Vernon, Alexandria & Annapolis...
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Fodor's Washington D.C.: with Mount Vernon, Alexandria & Annapolis...
  • Fodor's Travel Guides (Author)
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Lonely Planet Washington, DC (Travel Guide)
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Lonely Planet Washington, DC (Travel Guide)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Planet, Lonely (Author)
Fodor's Washington D.C 25 Best 2021 (Full-color Travel Guide)
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Fodor's Washington D.C 25 Best 2021 (Full-color Travel Guide)
  • Fodor’s Travel Guides (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
A History Lover's Guide to Washington, D.C.: Designed for Democracy...
96 Reviews
A History Lover's Guide to Washington, D.C.: Designed for Democracy...
  • Fortier, Alison (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

And here are some interesting options for less traditional guidesbooks if you'd like an emphasis on exploring DC on foot or diving into some of the region's rich history.

A History Lover's Guide to Washington, D.C.: Designed for Democracy...
96 Reviews
A History Lover's Guide to Washington, D.C.: Designed for Democracy...
  • Fortier, Alison (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
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