Visiting Washington, DC is like trying to visit the history and culture of an entire nation so there are no lack of things to see or do. From the White House to the Capital to the Smithsonian to the many monuments, it’s all here to be enjoyed, and most of it is free.
Some of the monuments you’ll want to visit are the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Some of the beautiful architectural monumental masterpieces are actually war memorials. The World War II Veterans Memorial, The Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. Don’t miss the reflecting pools at the Vietnam War Memorial, especially at night.
The National Mall is beautiful and the site of many historic events. Stretching from the capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, it is a gathering place for many events and most of the monuments are located here. Also of interest to be visited are the Pentagon, the Library of Congress and Lincoln’s Cottage, newly renovated and open to the public
You won’t want to miss the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum, actually compromised of many museums with subjects ranging from Air and Space to Art. Some of these different museums you’ll want to enjoy are the National Museum of Natural History, The American Art Museum, The Air and Space Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the National Zoo, to name but a few of the 19 museums in all. Most of them are free and open everyday except December 25. Other important museums in DC to be seen are The National Gallery of Art and its sculpture garden, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Ford Theater, the historic museum where Lincoln was shot.
Another refreshing thing to do is to visit the National Botanical Garden. A truly green thing to do, it is a break from the interiors of museums, is close to city center and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Constitution Park in the Mall is a good spot for a picnic and the National Arboretum is another green destination that is lots of fun.
Because parking is a consideration in DC, many enjoy taking tours by bus, bicycle or even segway. Many people also enjoy taking a tour of the city by boat city on the Potomac. And while you’re touring, don’t miss historic Georgetown, a beautiful section of the city known for its beautiful homes, shops and restaurants and Georgetown University. Dumbarton Oaks, a beautiful museum and gardens, is here as is the Woodrow Wilson House Museum.
For the performing arts, there is the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts which houses great performances, and the new Arena Stage, among others. The National Cathedral is also magnificent.
A lovely time to see the city is in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, in time for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. In the summer when it is vacation season, it is a little more crowded but that can be fun, too.