It's a presidential election year, which also means that 2013 will be an inauguration year for whomever emerges as the victor Tuesday. If you plan to go but haven't yet made hotel plans, well, that's a good thing.
"Most people making a visit to D.C. on average book three weeks in advance," says Kate E. Gibbs, media manager for the district's tourism agency Destination DC. "So this is still very early, even though it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." She says many hotels still haven't posted their rates and special packages yet.
But all that changes Wednesday after the results are in. There are inaugural balls and parades to be planned, and those who want in on the city's biggest party-time will be making plans too. In 2008, an estimated 1.8 million people came to the district's National Mall to celebrate.
This year the inauguration falls on Jan. 20, a Sunday, which means the president will be sworn in privately at noon and all the public hoopla will be pushed back a day to the Monday (which makes Martin Luther King Jr. Day a double holiday).