Washington, D.C. has been known for its high-profile politicians and marbled monuments. Outsiders often view Washington as inefficient and slow. US capital has transformed into a vibrant, more exciting East Coast destination.
While the government remains the center of the city, it also hosts a number of renowned museums and fascinating neighborhoods. D.C. is becoming a vibrant cultural hub thanks to a new explosion in restaurants, cafes boutiques, clubs and shops. The DC Cool campaign by the D.C.
Tourism Board emphasizes that this is not the Washington you remembered from middle school field trips. It’s much more hip than that.
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Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), is the best public transportation system for getting around Washington, D.C. The majority of travelers and residents use the Metro trains, buses, and their own feet to get around.
Even from Arlington, Virginia’s closest airport, you can take a Metro bus or train into the city. It is not a good idea to rent a car in D.C., which is frequently ranked among the worst places to drive in America. Taxis are also an option, but they will cost more.
Washington, D.C. is served by Washington Dulles International Airport, (IAD), which is located approximately 31 miles northwest. Just south of Baltimore is another airport, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Take the MARC Train from Union Station to get to Baltimore/Washington Airport.
The Metro is the best option for travel between Reagan Airport in Washington, D.C. To get to the city, take the Metro or the 5A bus from Dulles Airport. All airports have taxis and rental cars.
Best Time To Travel
Washington, D.C. is best visited between September and November and March through May. The summer heat is gone in the fall, bringing with it the majority of high-season tourists. The only thing left is crisp breezes and changing foliage, which look amazing against the marble monuments.
Spring is second to fall, and is also a mini high-season thanks to the National Cherry Blossom Festival that takes place in late March or early April. D.C.’s summer heat can be unbearable, making it difficult to enjoy the outdoors. However, museums have air conditioning so you won’t be too hot.
There are plenty of attractions that offer free entertainment. Winter is a low season. While you can find lower hotel prices and the weather is generally mild, it is susceptible to snowstorms and freezing temperatures.
Washington, D.C. is the epicenter of American politics and non-profits. The city attracts a wide range of clients, and the restaurant scene reflects that melting pot. You’ll find many interesting restaurants along Georgetown and Dupont Circle, including trendy tapas and white-tablecloth restaurants. They also offer a variety of delicious dishes such as spicy Spanish bites and succulent oyster shots.
You can also head to Florida Avenue or the U Street Corridor, where you will find some of the best Black-owned restaurants in the area, such as Ben’s Chili Bowl, Oohh’s & Aahh’s on U Street, and Florida Avenue Grill, and HalfSmoke. H Street Northeast in the Atlas District has a number of ethnic restaurants that offer Belgian, Japanese, and other cuisines. Book a guide tour to get a taste of the diverse dining scene in the city.
Gourmets who love haute cuisine will also find the city appealing. Jose Andres has a collection of restaurants that offer sophisticated dining at high-end restaurants. These include Zaytinya and Oyamel Cocina Mexicana. For a more traditional experience in Washington, you can make reservations at trusted spots such as Old EbbittGrill or 1789.
The city’s breweries and brewpubs are a mainstay. A trip to the capital of the country would not be complete without sampling one of best brunches.
Travel Attractions & Places To Visit in Washington DC
1. Travel to the United States Capitol and Capitol Hill
A visit to the United States Capitol Hill is a great way to learn more about our country. The building itself is fascinating to look at, and the surrounding area is filled with historic buildings. The Visitor Center on Capitol Hill is a large underground expansion of the United States Capitol complex.
The building serves as a central gathering point for up to 4,000 visitors a day, and it also houses the US Congress. Its interior is beautiful and well-organized. The first floor of the Capitol is the House of Representatives, while the north wing contains the Senate chamber. Congress first met in the Senate chamber in 1800. Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated there.
Construction of the rest of the building was finished in 1803, but the war prevented the dome from being finished in time. At the start of the war, the federal government dispatched soldiers to Washington to prevent Confederate troops from attacking it. Soldiers held mock sessions of Congress and freely franked stationery. A tour of the Capitol building is free to individuals, but reservations are required.
Tours last about three hours and include a 13-minute orientation film. Visitors are encouraged to visit both the House and Senate Galleries while they are in town. Most tours start at the Capitol Visitor Center, which is located underneath the East Front plaza. The Capitol Visitor Center is open daily, but it is closed on major holidays. If you’re interested in visiting the Capitol, plan ahead.
2. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, USA
The Lincoln memorial is a monumental structure that has become a symbol of American freedom and democracy. The architect Henry Bacon modeled it after Greek temples. It features 36 Doric columns, each representing a state in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death. The monument is 204 feet long, 134 feet wide, and nearly a hundred feet high.
The stone used to build it comes from several states, including white Colorado marble for the exterior and interior walls, pink Tennessee marble for the floor, and black Alabama marble for the ceiling. The design of the monument was based on the Parthenon in Athens. Sculptor Daniel Chester French created the statue of Lincoln. Evelyn Beatrice Longman was responsible for the ornamentation and lettering.
The statue of Lincoln is carved with wide open hands and a clenched fist. This is symbolic of Lincoln’s determination to win the Civil War while being open to the Confederate Republic. The Lincoln Memorial opened on May 30, 1922. The building’s exterior is stunning and the interior of the memorial is equally stunning. The Greek Temple, with its gleaming reflecting pool, has an elegant architecture and is particularly stunning at night.
A statue of Lincoln sitting inside is 19 feet high, and the walls are lined with inscriptions about his presidency, including the Gettysburg Address. The interior is divided into three chambers: the central chamber features a giant statue of Lincoln, while the north and south chambers feature the Gettysburg Address and second inaugural address.
3. Travel to the White House
Irish architect James Hoban designed the structure in 1792. It was formally called the Executive Mansion until the first president, Andrew Jackson, named it The White House. Presidents Andrew Jackson and James Garfield added running water to the home and installed the first elevator. During the early twentieth century, a second-story porch was added to the south portico. In the twentieth century, Richard Nixon installed a one-lane bowling alley under the First Lady.
Aleksandr Borisovich Lakier, a Russian nobleman, wrote that the White House was so small that it did not conform to the expectations of the Europeans. The first interior renovations in the 19th century were minor, but they were followed by the addition of modern conveniences. Electric lighting was added in 1891, and gas and oil heating were installed in 1849. The White House is America’s most famous residence.
The State Dining Room is an excellent setting for state dinners. Its neoclassical design draws inspiration from late-18th century English houses. The mantel is decorated with a quote from John Adams, which FDR carved into the stone. Despite the spartan interior, the White House has many unique details. Dickens was not the only foreign visitor to the White House in the nineteenth century.
The first president, Theodore Roosevelt, began a major renovation in 1902. The first floor of the executive mansion became the temporary Executive Office Building, which is now the West Wing. McKim, Mead, and White, a famous New York architectural firm, transformed these rooms into living quarters for the President. During this period, the president enlarged the Oval Office and the other presidential offices in the West Wing.
4. The Washington Monument – A Symbol of Democracy in the USA
The Washington Monument is a symbol of democracy in the United States. It is located in Washington, D.C. Its construction began in 1848. The Civil War and declining contributions led to a break in construction. However, the work resumed in 1876, when President Grant authorized the use of federal funds for the project. The monument was opened to the public on October 9, 1888.
In the beginning, the monument featured a rotunda and Roman-like statue of George Washington. Originally, Mills wanted the monument to rise to 600 feet, but after receiving numerous protests, Casey persuaded him to build the structure as a simple obelisk. This simplified the construction process and reduced cost.
In addition, Casey was persuaded to lower the wall thickness between the 150 and 160-foot levels, from 13 feet to nine feet. The transition is visible on the inside tour. In addition to the monument’s appearance, the building’s construction was made easier by the use of less expensive materials. The Washington Monument is free to visit, but it is necessary to purchase a ticket ahead of time.
Visiting during the evening hours is recommended, as the monument’s lights illuminate the column as the sky darkens. Alternatively, the monument is open seven days a week. If you wish to see the monument at night, you may want to visit on a Saturday. If you want to avoid the crowds, you should go at night.
5. The National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is a great place to learn about and explore the history of flight. Among its many highlights are the Spirit of St. Louis, the command module from Apollo 11, and a sample of lunar rock. The museum also has a planetarium and public observatory.
In 2018, extensive renovations were started to ensure the museum’s future. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s website. The National Air and Space Museum has been around for a century and houses a collection of almost 60,000 items, including spacecraft and avionics. The museum’s annex in Virginia houses many of the museum’s avionics, and more than 8 million people visit each year.
The museum has a dazzling display of space artifacts and exhibits. It’s well worth the visit, and many visitors enjoy the free admission. The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum houses artifacts of the history of aviation, and doubles as a research center. The museum’s many exhibits showcase the history of flight and the future of space exploration.
The museum also showcases geology and planetary science, and gives visitors a glimpse into what the future may hold for humankind. They aim to inspire, educate, and inform. In addition to showcasing the history of flight, the National Air and Space Museum also has an impressive space exploration exhibit. If you have time, the National Air and Space Museum is an excellent place to spend an afternoon.
There are two buildings at the museum, which house exhibitions on aviation, space exploration, and planetary science. There are also educational programs and even performances at the museum. The museum first opened its doors in 1976 and is situated in the heart of the Smithsonian complex. It’s a must-see attraction for anyone who loves flight and the solar system.
6. The National Mall and Veterans Memorials in Washington, DC, USA
The National Mall and Veterans Memorials are among the most prominent monuments in Washington, DC. The park contains the Washington Monument, the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, and memorials for World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the largest of all these monuments, with thousands of names inscribed on its walls.
You can also find sculptures of servicemen and women during this horrific time in world history. Here, you can also enjoy Independence Day celebrations. The National Gallery of Art is another must-see. Its new East Wing features a sculpture by Henry Moore, and an Alexander Calder mobile. You can also catch free concerts on Sundays.
The National Museum of Asian Art, part of the Smithsonian Institution, is also on the National Mall. Its Arthur M. Sackler Gallery has over 1,000 pieces of art, including Chinese jade, bronze, and paintings. The Capitol Building is another must-see while in Washington, DC. Its dome resembles the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. Its terrace offers a beautiful view of the city.
The interior is filled with historical art, including statues of prominent historical figures. During the summer, the National Gallery of Art hosts jazz concerts at its Sculpture Garden. While you’re there, make sure to try the sangria pitcher at the National Gallery of Art. The Lincoln Memorial is the perfect place to pay respects to our nation’s veterans.
You can even catch a performance at the Lincoln Memorial. You will also be able to see the murals that are painted on the wall. If you’re a history buff, this place should be on your list. The monuments are well-lit and are a great place to spend your day. And don’t forget the commemorations.
7. National Gallery of Art
For art lovers, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. is a wonderful place. It can be found at Constitution Avenue and the National Mall. The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, was established in 1937. It houses a large collection of paintings and drawings, photographs, sculptures, as well as other exhibits. Many of the artworks here were donated by different socialists and philanthropists, such as Paul Mellon or Lessing J. Rosewald.
The museum also owns the largest mobile by Alexander Calder and the Leonardo da Vinci painting. The National Gallery of Art is one of the most important museums in North America. It has a West Building and an East Building as well as a Sculpture Garden. National Gallery of Art West Building The West Building houses the sculptures and paintings from the medieval period, created by famous European artists.
The collection also contains works by American artists of the 20th and 19th centuries. Here are the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Claude Monet. Here is Vincent Van Gogh’s stunning self-portrait. This is one of the most important paintings you should see while visiting. Rembrandt’s self portrait is also significant.
The Adoration for the Magi, “the Alba Madonna”, and “A boy wearing a red Waistcoat” are all other iconic pieces. National Gallery of Art East Building The East building National Gallery of Art focuses more on contemporary and modern art. It displays paintings by Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder as well as Henri Matisse. This building houses the National Gallery of Art’s main office and a research centre.
The National Gallery of Art also hosts temporary exhibitions on a variety of topics, including Sense of Humor and Marine Paintings, Murals. Renaissance Prints. Portraits. Heavenly Earth, Kitchen Table Series. Recent Acquisitions Made In California.
8. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, museum, and memorial to Holocaust, Washington, D.C., U.S. It was established in 1993 as the nation’s Holocaust museum. The permanent exhibit, “The Holocaust”, is divided into three sections: “Nazi Assault,” the “Final Solution” and “Last Chapter.”
Visitors are given an identification card containing the name of someone who was persecuted or murdered by Nazis or their associates upon entry. The three-level exhibit contains photographs, artifacts and audio and video footage. There are also large-scale installations such as a Polish railcar used to transport Jews to concentration camp.
Visitors are permitted to board the train. Visitors have the opportunity to find out about the fate of each individual by looking at their identity cards. The Hall of Remembrance is a hexagonal room which echoes the six-pointed Star of David as well as the six million Jews who perished–located at end of permanent exhibit. Visitors can pray, meditate and light candles to remember the victims.
A replica of the sign with the inscribing “Arbeit Macht Free” (“Work Makes One “)– that was above the original Auschwitz entrance in Poland); in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. The museum is not only interested in its collection but also seeks to educate people through various programs such as the Academy for Genocide Prevention and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. This program provides training in foreign policies.
The museum’s website features online exhibitions that feature primary source material, personal stories and a Holocaust Encyclopedia. Special programming is also offered each year by the museum for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This day was established in 2005 by the United Nations to commemorate the anniversary of liberation at Auschwitz camp. American architect James Ingo Freed designed the Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is located next to Washington, D.C.’s Mall.
His family fled Germany during World War II. Freed designed a space to “resonate with memory.” Although it did not make any specific reference to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the many elements of the space were meant to create a feeling of unease, disorientation and separation as well as pressure, uncertainty and imbalance in the visitors.
9. Library of Congress
Although admission to the Library of Congress remains free, reservations must be made before you arrive. The process takes approximately 5 minutes, and there are usually more spots available each day. You can reserve tickets up to 30 days before your trip, giving you plenty of time to plan.
Visitors who plan to arrive the night before will have little or no problems. You can still take the Capitol Hill Highlights Guided Tour, even if you forget to reserve your tickets. It runs many times per week. We discuss and see the exterior of the Library of Congress as well as the Supreme Court, US Capitol.
They also arrange a private tour for you to see the Library of Congress. Over 158 million items are housed in the Library of Congress, including books, manuscripts and maps, photographs, films, and other materials.
10. National Museum of Natural History
In 1910, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History was opened to promote discovery and education about the natural world. The museum’s signature features include its green dome and enormous size (comparable 18 football fields), as well as the 140,000,000+ natural science specimens and cultural artifacts. The Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, is located centrally on the National Mall.
Admission is free, as with all Smithsonian Institution museums. The museum’s normal hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; however, hours are extended in the spring and summer when it closes at 7:30 p.m. The museum is open all year, except for Dec. 25. Public transportation is the best way to get to the museum. Parking is limited, but there are plenty of spaces for disabled visitors.
It houses some of the most well-known artifacts around the globe. Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall for Geology, Gems and Minerals displays the allegedly cursed Hope Diamond. Q?rius, the museum’s education center, provides teens and tweens with a laboratory where they can make scientific discoveries. The museum’s David H. Koch Hall of Fossils has been reopened after a five year renovation.
Deep Time is the exhibit’s theme. It spans 31,000 square feet and was inspired by a scientific phrase that explains how Earth’s history unfolds over billions of year. Expect to be dazzled, amazed, overwhelmed, and engaged by one of DC’s largest exhibitions in years. An insect zo, and The Sant Ocean Hall with a exact replica of a North Atlantic right whale are two other permanent exhibits.
11. National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History is found on Constitution Avenue NW. It runs parallel to the National Mall. The museum presents America’s rich history through extensive exhibits, research and outreach. The museum has more than three million artifacts in its collection, including Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz and sheet music by DC legend Duke Ellington.
It is easiest to get there via Metrorail or Metrobus. Smithsonian is the closest Metro stop, located on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines. You can take the 32, 34, and 36 Metrobus routes to the National Mall. There you will find the most famous monuments and memorials. Madison Drive NW is the designated parking area. The facility is accessible for those with disabilities.
The museum is a treasure trove of Americana and is beloved for its collection of the Star Spangled Banner Flag. It flew over Fort McHenry, Baltimore during the War of 1812, which inspired Francis Scott Key to create our national anthem. Now it is on permanent display. The top hat that President Abraham Lincoln wore on April 14, 1865 when he went to Ford’s Theatre, and was later assassinated by John Wilkes Booth is another treasured item.
An exhibit entitled A Glorious Burden includes a variety of presidential relics. The museum covers 750,000 square feet and contains more than just presidential artifacts. The First Ladies honors the women who stood beside our leaders. It also contains more than two dozen dresses, fine china, and other furnishings. Don’t forget about the ruby slippers mentioned in the American Stories exhibit.
This fascinating collection of artifacts that tell stories throughout American history is worth a look. Admire Julia Child’s home kitchen, a part the FOOD : Transforming America’s Table 1950-2000 exhibit, which explores the evolution of American eating habits through new technologies, forward-thinking and cultural shifts.
In separate exhibits, the evolution of American business and transportation are also highlighted. The America On the Move exhibit is car-friendly and features the first automobile to be driven across the United States. It also includes a 40-foot section of Route 66, among other 340 objects. American Enterprise focuses on the country’s commercial innovations over the past 300 years.
12. National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, on the National Mall. On Sept. 24, 2016, the museum was opened on four levels. It is the only national museum that is solely focused on the documentation of African American history, culture, and life.
The Smithsonian Institution museum features many interactive exhibits. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays. You can get there by either the Metrorail, or the DC Circulator. Federal Triangle is the closest Metro station on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines.
You have many options for bus transportation. The DC Circulator’s National Mall route will take you to the National Mall and make it easy to explore afterwards. This facility is accessible for those with disabilities. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, a state of the art building, covers nearly all aspects of the African American experience.
It includes the arts, slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. David Adjaye, a Ghanaian architect, designed the building’s exterior. It is composed of a bronze-colored, three-tiered screen. This lattice is a tribute to the intricate ironwork created by the Southern United States’ enslaved African Americans. The museum has a remarkable collection of artifacts. There are 3,500 on display, and 35,000 more in the collection.
A shawl that Queen Victoria gave Harriet Tubman, a Tuskegee Institute training aircraft, and an invitation to President Obama’s 2009 inauguration are some of the highlights. It would be difficult to navigate the entire NMAAHC in just one visit. The sheer number of exhibits makes it even more challenging. There are many things you need to know before you visit.
The Musical Crossroads exhibit traces the history of African American music from the time of the first Africans to the present. Jazz to hip-hop: African American musicians created new expressions that reflected the spirit of liberty, justice, and change. This exhibition will allow you to witness the rise of some of America’s most creative art forms as well as the incredible expressions they produced.
Slavery and Freedom use first-person accounts and remarkable historical artifacts in an extremely complex story. This exhibit shows the history of slavery in America, from Europe and Africa to the Civil War and Reconstruction. This important history demonstrates that freedom and slavery are closely intertwined in America. It also shows that slavery remains at the heart of American politics, economics, and everyday life.
Continue your exploration of history with Defensive Freedom, Defining Freedom and The Future of America. The first covers the period of segregation, and the onset the Civil Rights Movement. It highlights the struggles that African Americans faced, and how they conquered them in creating a cultural identity, and their own communities, and changing the nation.
The second covers 1968 to today, and includes the assassination Martin Luther King, Jr. to Barack Obama’s two terms as president. It also shows the journey from the Black Panthers towards #BlackLivesMatter.
13. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
John F. Kennedy was a famous advocate for the arts. He invited musicians and authors to the White House, and laid the foundations for the National Endowment for the Arts. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a living tribute to Kennedy’s passion for creativity.
The center was opened by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1971, shortly after Kennedy’s assassination. Performances at The Kennedy Center A show is the best way to get to know Ken Cen (or as it’s known locally). The performing arts center is the busiest in America, hosting more than 2,000 performances each year and drawing over two million visitors annually.
The Grand Foyer’s Millennium Stage has the cheapest seats. Free concerts, dance performances, and other shows are held every night at 6 p.m. The Kennedy Center is the home of the Washington National Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra. It is also home to a variety of ticketed events, including Broadway productions and comedy shows, as well as concerts that feature internationally-respected groups.
TodayTix offers huge savings on many Kennedy Center productions. Get your tickets quickly or purchase them in advance. TodayTix also offers discounts and $20 rush tickets. The Washington Ballet’s productions are worth your time. Julie Kent is the artistic director of the dance company. Watch the video below to see what Julie hopes you will take away from a performance.
The magnificent jumbo white marble structure boasts an impressive interior and exterior space. It includes the Grand Foyer, which measures 630 feet long and 63 feet high, with its distinctive red carpet and crystal chandeliers. There is also a riverside terrace that offers spectacular views of Georgetown, fountains, and walls with Kennedy’s words.
Seven theaters are housed in the center, including the Concert Hall, which is known for its outstanding acoustics, symphonic performances and symphonic music, and the Opera House with its luxurious red decor and large, 50-foot-wide starburst-like crystal chandelier. The gift of Sweden was given to the Opera House. You can find artwork from other countries both inside and outside the center.
There is a statue of Don Quixote, a gift from Spain, and tapestries by Henri Matisse in the Opera House lobby. These treasures can be viewed on free guided tours that are offered every day to anyone who is interested. The REACH was the first major expansion of the Kennedy Center’s history. It was created to bridge the gap between art and audience. Steven Holl, a renowned architect, designed the project along the scenic Potomac River.
It transformed Ken Cen’s campus from a performing arts center to a living theater that allows guests to interact directly with art. On September 7, 2019, the REACH was opened to the public with a 16-day festival. Shopping and Dining at the Kennedy Center The Kennedy Center also offers food and drinks, which is a great idea before or after a show.
The KC Cafe is an informal venue, while the Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar offers a more formal dining experience. A Sunday brunch is offered by Roof Terrace Restaurant. Two gift shops are also available on-site, filled with Kennedy-themed souvenirs and art.
14. National Archives
The National Archives Building’s Rotunda is open for viewing the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, with limited capacity, from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. every day. On Recreation.gov, you can reserve timed entry tickets. Reopening the Rotunda will only be possible if local health metrics remain below safe reopening targets.
The National Archives & Records Administration Building & Museum is located at Constitution Avenue NW between 7th and 9th Streets. It is just north of the National Mall. It houses the museum and National Archives and Records Administration. This agency is responsible for federal records that are deemed of historic importance.
The National Archives Building houses more than 3 billion records, including three of the most important documents of American history, the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. These documents can be seen in the Rotunda for Charters of Freedom. There are many areas of the National Archives that serve different purposes in helping to illuminate American history through vital documents.
The Rotunda of the Charters of Freedom is the focus of most attention. The semicircular room houses the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Bill of Rights. The exhibits surrounding the charters highlight the importance and composition of each document. National Archives & Records Administration The David M. Rubenstein gallery is home to Records of Rights.
It features many Archives documents and a touch screen measuring 17 feet to summarise American debate on key issues like citizenship, voting rights, equal opportunities, and free speech. One of the four original 1297 Magna Cartas surviving originals is the highlight of the gallery. Explore the Archives’ records with the Public Vaults. More than 1000 documents can be seen at any one time.
This demonstrates the breadth and depth of American democracy. Each vault is themed using words from the Preamble and the U.S. Constitution. It is fitting. Interactive elements have been added to the exhibit to bring you closer to America’s history. The National Archives Museum has many exhibits and historical documents. It also hosts the William G. McGowan Theater.
This 290-seat theater often hosts documentaries and forum discussions. The Boeing Learning Center offers interactive activities related to Archive materials. It is a great place to entertain and educate the next generation. The National Archives Store, which is located in the heart of Washington DC, offers a wonderful place to find American memorabilia or souvenirs that you can take home.
15. Washington National Cathedral
The Washington National Cathedral looks old with its stained-glass windows and Gothic spires, but it was built in the 20th century. The Episcopal Church oversees the house of worship, but all faiths are welcome to the impressive location at the top of DC. Family at Washington National Cathedral, Upper NW – Family-Friendly Activities in Washington, DC Architecture and history The cathedral was built by stonemasons and builders in 1907, and completed in 1990.
The structure is made from Indiana limestone and features a central tower that stands 30 feet tall, a nine-bay nave, 215 stained-glass windows, one of which has a moonrock embedded, and a central tower measuring in at 9 1/2 by 9. You’ll find the crypt level, where President Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller are buried.
You’ll find a wood choir area with intricate carvings and many tranquil chapels on the nave level. You can find the 112 gargoyles, which are decorative rain spouts, and the grotesques (carved stones creatures), on the exterior. A map is available at the entrance. Guided tours are also offered during the summer months.
Keep an eye out for the grotesque Darth Vader gargoyle and the hippie gargoyle. The only way to see the cathedral is through church services or musical performances. Sunday services are free to everyone, and Monday through Thursday, at 5:30 p.m. evening concerts fill the nave. Admission to the cathedral costs $12 for adults and $8 for children aged 5-17. Children 4 years and younger are free.
Guided walking tours are offered daily by the cathedral. Admission is available at 10:15 am Monday through Saturday and 1 pm Sunday. However, you can check the tour schedule to see the most recent updates. You can book tickets for many ticketed special tours such as seasonal gargoyle hunts and artisanship-themed walks. Big Bus Tours also offers sightseeing options. Once you are there, you can hop on and off the bus to explore the cathedral.
FAQs About Washington DC
What is Washington, D.C. really known for?
In addition to being the center of the U.S. government, Washington, D.C. is known for its history. The city limits include many historic national monuments and famous museums like the Smithsonian Institution.
Why is it called DC?
The city was named for George Washington, a Founding Father and the first president of the United States, and the federal district is named after Columbia, a female personification of the nation.
Does Washington, D.C. have states rights?
The Constitution sets only a maximum size, “not exceeding ten miles square,” for the federal district that is the “Seat of the Government of the United States” (Article 1. Section 8).