Memorial Day Weekend 2024: Best and worst times to drive in DC region

A record number of drivers, including many in the Washington, D.C. region, are expected to hop in the car and hit the road as they get the summer travel season started this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Nationally, AAA predicts nearly 44 million people will travel 50 or more miles for the holiday with around 38.4 million making those trips by car. In the Washington-metro area, that breaks down to more than one-million total holiday travelers, with over 933,000 of them getting behind the wheels of their automobiles.

Holiday weekend drivers can expect similar gas prices to last year. The AAA National Average on Thursday morning was $3.61 per gallon compared to 2023 when the national average was roughly $3.57. Prices in the District came in slightly higher at $3.70 on Thursday.

The unofficial start to summer is traditionally one of the busiest periods of travel on U.S. roadways. Here’s a look at the best and worst times to drive this weekend.


Thursday, May 23

Worst Travel Time | 12:00 – 6: 00 PM 

Best Travel Time | Before 11 AM, After 7PM 

Friday, May 24

Worst Travel Time | 12:00 – 7:00 PM 

Best Travel Time | Before 11AM, After 8 PM 

Saturday, May 25

Worst Travel Time | 2:00 – 5:00 PM 

Best Travel Time | Before 1 PM, After 6 PM 

Sunday, May 26

Worst Travel Time | 3:00 – 7:00 PM 

Best Travel Time | Before 1 PM 

Monday, May 27

Worst Travel Time | 3:00 – 7:00 PM 

Best Travel Time | After 7 PM 

In the Washington, D.C. region, the peak congestion period over the holiday weekend comes on Friday around 2:15 p.m. along the Baltimore / Washington Parkway. 

Peak Congestion by Metro 

Washington, DC to Baltimore via Balt/Wash Pkwy N 

Peak Congestion Period: Friday 2:15 PM 

Est. Travel Time: 1 hour 21 minutes 

Increase Compared to Typical: 72%