22 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Washington, D.C
Tourist Attractions in Washington – The District of Columbia on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia was set aside as the nation’s capital so that the federal government was not located in a single state.
George Washington commissioned Pierre-Charles L’Enfant to do city planning, and you can see L’Enfant’s layout of a street grid intersecting wide avenues.
The most important of these is Pennsylvania Avenue, which connects two iconic buildings: the White House and the impressive domed Capitol Building.
Along with maintaining L’Enfant’s view of an open and spacious city, as well as its museums and monuments, stretches the expansive National Mall.
National symbols such as the Capitol and the White House are accessible to visitors and dozens of other tourist attractions, including world-class museums and important monuments.
The most important things to see and do are in the northwestern quadrant along the National Mall and can be best explored on foot.
Summer can be unpleasantly hot and humid, so the best times to visit Washington are spring and autumn.
Plan your trip to the nation’s capital with our list of the top attractions in Washington, DC.
- United States Capitol and Capitol Hill
Recognized worldwide as a symbol of the United States of America, the Capitol is the House of Representatives and Senate seats.
The colossal dome, based on the dome of St. Peter in Rome, stands above all other buildings in Washington.
Just like in Washington, the central part of the building has evolved over the years since it was built between 1793 and 1812.
In 1958–62, the last addition extended the main façade where the President takes the oath. On the other hand, a marble terrace offers beautiful views of the mall and the city.
The interior is resplendent with frescoes, reliefs and paintings, most notably the rotunda under the excellent cast iron dome with ceiling paintings by Constantino Brumidi and monumental paintings of scenes from American history on the walls.
Next to it is the former Chamber of the House of Representatives with statues of prominent historical figures.
The small Senate Rotunda leads to the beautifully restored old Senate Chamber, where the Senate met until 1859 and the Supreme Court until 1935.
When free tours resume, they can be booked online and started at the visitor center on the lower floor, where there is an exciting exhibit on the history of the building.
Free tour on weekday afternoons, explore the ornate paintings on the walls and ceilings of the corridors in the Senate Wing, designed by Brumidi between 1857 and 1859.
To visit the Senate or House in session, you need to contact your senator or representative for a pass. , Foreign visitors can arrange visits through the Visitor Center.
To the east of the Capitol are the Supreme Court Building; the library of Congress; and the Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world’s most extensive collection of printed works of William Shakespeare.
The Capitol Hill neighborhood stretches to the southeast, with the lively Eastern Market, a farmers market brimming with craft vendors.
- Lincoln Memorial
The best-loved of all Washington monuments, the Lincoln Memorial is located on the far side of the mall, separated from the Washington Monument by a reflecting pool.
At its center is a 19-foot marble statue of a seated and anxious President Abraham Lincoln surrounded by 36 columns, one for each state that existed at the time of Lincoln’s death.
It is the most famous work designed by the famous sculptor Daniel Chester French. Jules Guerin painted murals on the inside walls, showing important events in Lincoln’s life.
Since its completion in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial has been the scene of many historical events.
1n 1939, when the all-white Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused the famed African American singer Marion Anderson from performing at a concert at the nearby Constitution Hall, President Franklin Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged a song for her.
The open-air concert on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial was attended by 75,000 people and broadcast to millions of radio listeners.
Martin Luther King Jr. made history again in 1963, delivering his famous “I Have a Dream…” speech on Memorial Steps.
Seeing this and other mall monuments is one of my favorite things at night in Washington, DC. The monuments are lit with lights, and many, like the Lincoln Memorial, are open 24 hours a day.
The Statue of Lincoln is illuminated inside the temple’s dark interior and framed by flooded white columns, especially at night.
- National Mall and Veterans Memorial
The vast lawns and pools that form an expansive greenbelt from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial are also the Site of many of Washington’s historic buildings and monuments.
Most prominent at its focal point is the Washington Monument, and war memorials include veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a poignant wall inscribed with the names of all American soldiers and women who lost their lives or are missing, is one of Washington’s most-visited monuments.
The nearby Vietnam Women’s Memorial has a bronze statue of three servicemen helping a wounded soldier. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
The Korean War Veterans Memorial features 19 steel sculptures of soldiers. The latest, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, was dedicated in 2014.
If you look at the attractions map of Washington, DC, you’ll see that many of them line the National Mall, so you’re likely to spend a lot of time here.
Along with providing a park for walking, running and picnicking, a mall is a place for celebrations and festivals. The Independence Day celebration with fireworks around the Washington Monument is the most famous.
Also, in July, the Smithsonian’s American Folk Life Festival fills the mall with music, crafts, performances, storytelling, cultural events, and food from different regions around the country. The Smithsonian Kite Festival is held here in late March or early April.
On summer evenings, military bands often perform at venues along the mall. U.S. Navy bands held concerts on the Capitol Steps in front of the mall at the Navy Memorial on Monday and Tuesday.
The U.S. Air Force Band performs on the Capitol Steps on Tuesdays and at the Air Force Memorial on Fridays. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Location: Between Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue, Washington, D.C.
- White House
The White House is the President of the United States’ official residence. Home to every President except George Washington, it was initially built by James Hoban in 1792 and rebuilt in 1818 after being burned down by British forces in 1814.
Although east, tour the interior including the blue, green and red rooms; ballroom; And must the State Dining Room be booked in advance through your Congressional Office or Embassy, every tourist visiting Washington will want to see this iconic building at least from the outside.
A short walk away; the free White House Visitor Center has excellent interactive exhibits showing details about the White House and presidential families. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
It includes furniture from past presidents, a model of the residence, historical changes, and insightful videos about the time the presidents lived there.
Ellipse hosts summer concerts by American Army bands on a 54-acre lawn spanning Constitution Avenue.
Next to the White House are the elaborate 1833 Greek Revival Treasury Building and the 1871 Executive Office Building, one of Washington’s most striking old government buildings.
From Lafayette Square, one of the city’s most famous statues of Lafayette and others, the White House is visible. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: http://www.nps.gov/whho/index.htm
The 555-foot white shaft of the Washington Monument is a familiar symbol of the National Mall and a beautiful sight, mainly reflected in the long reflector pool at its foot.
The obelisk construction to honor the country’s first president did not proceed smoothly. Congress approved the plan in 1783, but the ground was not broken until 1848.
When the tower reached a height of 156 feet in 1854, political wrangling and a lack of funding halted the project for several years, and the civil war caused further disruption so that the tower was not closed until 1885 when it was eventually completed by the Army Corps. of engineers.
You can still see the different stages of its construction by the three changes in the color of the stones in front of it; Inside are engraved stones from states, cities, foreign countries, individuals and civic groups, many of them donors who helped with its private funding phases.
You can take the elevator to the top for aerial views of the mall and much of Washington. A circle of 50 U.S. flags surrounds the monument’s base. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Address: 15th & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum is one of the world’s most famous museums, with history-making air and spacecraft collections, including the original 1903 Wright Brothers flyer and Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the first aircraft to fly solo. The Atlantic Ocean.
More recent flight history is represented here by the Apollo 11 command module, part of the first human-crewed lunar landing mission.
Permanent and changing exhibitions describe the science, history and technology of aviation and space flight, covering topics such as the use of air power in world wars, the space race, flight pioneers and up-to-the-minute flight and space technology.
Many exhibits are interactive, and all feature actual historical objects, such as a moon rock you can touch. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Not only do permanent exhibits chronicle history, but they also show how and why flight and space science explains how things fly, how jet engines work, and what keeps the International Space Station in orbit.
In addition to the exhibits, there is the Albert Einstein Planetarium, an IMAX theatre, and the public observatory on the eastern terrace, where you can examine lunar craters and view planets and other astronomical features through telescopes.
The flight simulator (charged) allows children and adults to fly combat missions with aerial man-oeuvres such as 360-degree barrel rolls or experience naval aviation in the F-18 Super Hornet.
The museum is also home to the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, adjacent to Dulles Airport, and houses even more historic aircraft and space exploration artifacts, including the Concorde and space shuttle Discovery.
You can see through the hangar from the observation walkway where experts are restoring historic planes.
The Air and Space Museum is currently undergoing a seven-year makeover that will change not only the arrangement of the 23 galleries but also how it interprets the history and science of flight.
During the renovation, many exhibitions will be closed, so if special exhibits are of particular interest, you can consult the museum’s website to find out if they are open. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Address: 600 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: www.nasm.si.edu
National Gallery of Art
Housed in two separate buildings connected by a tunnel, the National Gallery of Art is one of the world’s leading art museums and one of the largest museums in the U.S. The collection includes masterpieces of European and American painting, sculpture and decorative arts.
Temporary exhibitions frequently add to this excellent permanent collection to highlight the arts of cultures worldwide. Among the highlights is the Ginevra de Benci, the only da Vinci painting in any American museum.
Others include works by major French Impressionists – Monet, Degas, and Renoir – and other masterpieces by Rembrandt, El Greco, and Vermeer.
The new East Wing houses sculptures by Henry Moore, a mobile by Alexander Calder, and other modern works. The National Gallery hosts free concerts on Sunday evenings from fall to spring.
Also part of the Smithsonian Institution and located in the mall are two museums, including the National Museum of Asian Art. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
These are the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, which houses more than 1,000 pieces, mainly Chinese jade and bronze, Chinese paintings and lacquerware, and ancient Near Eastern ceramic and metal utensils.
The Freer Collection, consisting of approximately 30,000 pieces of Asian artefacts, including Buddhist sculptures and Persian manuscripts, is one of the most comprehensive collections in the world.
The Freer also includes American art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially an extensive collection of works by James McNeill Whistler.
The drum-shaped Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden trace the history of modern art through more than 12,000 pieces of art and sculpture from the mid-1800s. One of the highlights of the garden is Rodin’s Burger of Calais.
The National Museum of African Art displays thousands of objects representing diverse artistic styles across the African continent, including sculptures, masks, costumes, household items and ceramics.
These are all in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. There are many free things to do in. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Address: 600 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: www.nga.gov
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Near the Smithsonian Museums, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum documents, studies, and interprets the history of the Holocaust with the twin purpose of memorializing the victims and helping the world confront hatred and prevent genocide.
Permanent exhibits examine the rise of the Nazis and Aryan ideology, significant events such as the Ghetto, Kristallnacht, concentration camps and Nazi atrocities.
An exhibit on Americans and the Holocaust examines the American response to the Nazis, war, and genocide.
At the same time, another features personal accounts by American soldiers and civilians who witnessed evidence of Nazi atrocities.
Presentations are based on a vast collection of more than 12,750 artefacts, 85,000 historic photographs, 9,000 oral history evidence, and archival footage and records of survivors and their families. A visit to the museum is a sobering experience. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Address: 100 Raul Wallenberg Pl SW, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: https://www.ushmm.org
Library of Congress
An underground passage with historical exhibits leads from the Capitol Building to the Library of Congress, one of Washington’s little-known places.
It is the most extensive library in the world, modelled at the Opera House in Paris. You can tour parts independently, but free tours reveal even more of its beautiful interior.
Among the galleries full of exhibits focused on topics as diverse as the three surviving complete Gutenberg Bibles, the first hand-printed Bible, Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson’s library, and the musical careers of the Gershwin brothers are one. And the work of editorial cartoonists and graphic artists.
Address: Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: https://www.aoc.gov/
National Museum of Natural History
One of the most popular things to do with kids in Washington, the Museum of Natural History, explores the natural world with permanent and changing exhibits for people of all ages.
Favorite exhibits include the famous Hope Diamond, the dazzling collection of gems and minerals, and the Ocean Hall with its stunning underwater photography and replica of the 45-foot North Atlantic Right Whale. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Hall of Human Origins follows human evolution over six million years in response to a changing world.
Kids will especially love the dinosaur exhibit and the interactive Discovery Room, where they can touch and play with the various artefacts.
Address: Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: http://www.si.edu/Museums/natural-history-museum
National Museum of American History
One of the Smithsonian’s many museums that line the mall, the National Museum of American History, is one of the largest museums in the U.S. since the Revolution.
Traces the political, cultural, scientific and technological history of It displays important pieces from America, including Thomas Jefferson’s table, one of Edison’s light bulbs, and the original flag, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words The Star Spangled Banner.
But beyond these treasured national artefacts, it also displays how people lived, what they ate, where they worked, how they played, what they wore, how they travelled, how they worshipped and how they established themselves. Had ruled.
Artworks depict many of these subjects, from the gowns, works by First Ladies, and the entire kitchens of Julia Child to the Muppets and the ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in the film Wizard of Oz. Washington DC.
You might think that your family has a great history with all the historical things to do in the city. But this museum has some fascinating displays and artefacts from our collective past that people of all ages will love.
Address: Constitution Avenue N.W., 14th Street N.W. in Washington, DC.
Official Site: http://americanhistory.si.edu
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Focusing on history, culture, and community themes, the newest of the Smithsonian museums explores changing definitions of American citizenship and equality, highlighting African American culture and the African diaspora.
Various themes are incorporated into the changing exhibits, focusing on themes such as African American food traditions and chefs, African American sports stars’ influence on breaking segregation, and African craftsmanship.
Historical artefacts on display include a section of the original Woolworths lunch counter that was the scene of the 1960s Greensboro, NC sit-in, and the aircraft were known as the “Spirit of Tuskegee”.
World War II was used to train African American airmen in the Army Air Forces, whose work helped trigger the Army’s separation.
Address: National Mall at Constitution Avenue, N.W., between 12th and 14th Streets
Official Site: https://nmaahc.si.edu/
Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin
The design for the domed white monument to the third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, is based on the Roman Pantheon, its lower dome supported by 54 Ionic columns.
Inside, visible in a dramatic silhouette through the columns, is a standing 19-foot statue of Jefferson, and excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and other writings are engraved around it.
The monument stands alone at the far end of the tidal pool, reflecting the monument on its surface, and around the edge of the water are cherry trees, a gift from Japan.
These are one of Washington’s biggest attractions when they bloom each spring, with a cloud of pink flowers surrounding the basin and celebrate with the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Along the Cherry Tree Walk around the Tidal Basin, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial reflects twelve years of American history through four outdoor rooms.
Each one is devoted to one of FDR’s terms of office as he guided the country through the Great Depression and World War II. Unveiled in 2011, the 30-foot-high Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is the newest in the Tidal Basin.
Address: 900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, D.C.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Opened in 1971 and named in memory of President John F. Kennedy, the National Cultural Center overlooks the Potomac River in a state-of-the-art building designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone.
It is home to the National Symphony Orchestra, which hosts some of the world’s greatest guest artists each year, and the Washington National Opera, one of the nation’s leading opera companies.
Its three primary and several more miniature stages present more than 2,200 performing arts shows and events each year, about 400 free. They represent both classical and contemporary music and theater.
Joining the Los Angeles Music Center and Lincoln Center in New York as one of the three most essential venues in the United States, the Kennedy Center is a prime stop for visiting foreign opera, dance, and drama companies. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Address: 2700 F Street NW, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: www.kennedy-center.org
National Zoological Park
The National Zoo is another part of the Smithsonian, where approximately 2,000 different animals, birds, and reptiles live in habitats that replicate their natural environments as closely as possible.
Of the several hundred species represented here, about a quarter are endangered. It is one of the best zoos in the world, not only for the quality of the visitor experience but also for its leadership in animal care and sustainability. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
The most popular animal here is the giant panda, part of a significant initiative that began in 1972 with the arrival of the Hing Hing from the People’s Republic of China. Other zoo highlights are:
- The red panda.
- Sumatran tiger.
- Western lowland gorilla.
- Asian elephant.
- White-naped crane.
- The North Island brown kiwi.
At the Amazonia exhibit, you can catch a glimpse of the colorful underwater life of the Amazon, where the world’s largest freshwater fish swims beneath a live tropical forest.
With cheetahs at the Cheetah Conservation Station, you can see Grevy’s zebras, Dama gazelles, vultures and Red River hogs.
On the top-rated elephant trails, you can see multi-generational herds and learn more about the life of elephants in the zoo. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Check the day’s schedule for meal times, demonstrations, educational games, and talks. As you might expect, this is one of Washington’s favorite places for kids. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Address: 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: http://nationalzoo.si.edu
National Archives in the U.S. Congress, U.S. The Supreme Court, the District of Columbia Courts, some federal agencies, and the U.S. Station Logbook for the U.S. Navy.
The records are open to researchers, and in the dome, you can view the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
The exhibition galleries house the 1297 Magna Carta and a changing set of other historically significant documents.
An exhibit, Rightly Hers: American Women and the Vote, includes documents from the suffrage movement, and other areas feature interactive exhibits and practical activities for all ages. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Address: 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: https://museum.archives.gov
International Spy Museum
The place for 007 wannabes, the museum covers technology, technology, history, and the contemporary role of espionage. Many of the exhibits are interactive.
There are examples of spy equipment (including a KGB-designed poison dart umbrella) throughout the building, ranging from declassified hardware and captured equipment to movie props used in the James Bond series. Huh.
Photographs, audio-visual programs and special effects combine to give a picture of the strategies and methods behind covert espionage missions.
The collection includes historical espionage artefacts from the Revolution and the Civil War, a wealth of secretly hidden and concealed cameras and weapons, and even the famous Enigma cypher machine that used the Nazi code in World War II. had broken
The top floor is dedicated to real-life detectives Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanson, and John Walker, detailing the methods and equipment they used to spy on the United States, with videos explaining how the spies were caught. Had gone.
The lower floor moves from fact to fiction, filled with information and actual props used in James Bond movies. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Highlighting these is the Aston Martin DB5 that first appeared in the 1964 film Goldfinger, equipped with a machine gun, oil jet, a dashboard radar screen, ejector seats, tire slashers, bulletproof shields and rotating license plates. The car inspired intelligence agencies to add similar features to their vehicles.
Address: 700 L’Enfant Plaza, SW; Washington DC.
Official Site: www.spymuseum.org
Arlington National Cemetery
On a hill overlooking the city from across the Potomac River, Arlington National Cemetery is filled with American history and monuments to the men and women who were a part of it.
Its most famous landmarks include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the tomb of President John F. Kennedy, and the U.S. flag depicting the raising of the flag over Iwo Jima in World War II.
Marine Corps War Memorial. The Welcome Center features maps, and information (including the locations of specific graves), telling the story of Arlington National Cemetery and its monuments.
These include memorials to nurses, casualties of the Iran rescue mission, and various wars and groups, including one at the tomb of a lieutenant commander. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Roger B. Chaffee and Lieutenant Colonel Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom were killed in a fire aboard their Apollo spacecraft. Another is reminiscent of the seven Challenger astronauts.
In a solemn and impressive ceremony, the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is changed every hour from 1 October to 31 March and every half hour from 1 April to 30 September.
Although the cemetery is not proper in the city, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metrorail system and Metrobus stop close to the gate. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Official Site: https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil
Washington National Cathedral
The English-style, Neo-Gothic National Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in the world, took 83 years, from 1907 to 1990.
It follows Gothic building styles and techniques, including flying buttresses and solid masonry constructions of Indiana limestone.
There are artistic details to see throughout the Cathedral, from its stained-glass windows to the hand-embroidered knick-knacks that commemorate war heroes and historical events.
Special tours, reserved in advance, explore the hidden parts of the building and its art; Families should ask for the brochure.
Explore the Cathedral with the kids for a scavenger hunt to find wrought-iron animals, small carvings and gargoyles. Be sure to see Darth Vader’s gargoyle high on the northwest tower.
The Cathedral is the burial place of Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller, and state funerals for Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, and Ford took place here. The top of the 300-foot central tower is Washington’s tallest. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
The Bishop’s Garden on the south side of the Cathedral contains plants found in medieval gardens, plants mentioned in the Bible, other natives of the area, and a fish pond.
The 59-acre Cathedral Close, designed in the early 20th century by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., is an urban oasis built on the walled base of a medieval cathedral.
Carillon lessons are held every Saturday at 12:30 p.m., and the peel bells run on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. and after Sunday services. On Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m., a cathedral organist discusses the Great Organ here, followed by a mini-retail.
Address: Massachusetts & Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: www.cathedral.org
Georgetown Historic District
The neighbourhood of 27th to 37th Streets, between Rock Creek Park and K Street N.W., is the city’s oldest, originating in the early 1700s before Washington. Georgetown University, the oldest Roman Catholic and Jesuit college in the country, is located here.
Today, Georgetown’s clean streets of historic homes and its boutique shops, cafes, restaurants, and small museums make it a popular respite from the lines of mall attractions.
The C&O Canal, a 184-mile waterway paralleling the Potomac River, begins here, and its towpath is a favorite place for walking and cycling.
Dumbarton Oaks is a 16-acre property with formal gardens and a valuable Byzantine and Christian art collection.
Federal period Dumbarton House houses Federal-style furniture, paintings, textiles, silver and ceramics and is one of the five original known copies of the Articles of Confederation.
Tudor Place is a mansion built in the early 19th century by Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Martha Custis Peter, and her husband.
Items from George and Martha Washington’s Mount Vernon home are shown here, and the Federal period gardens feature plants and trees from the early 19th century.
The Krieger Museum displays a vast collection of art from the 1850s to the 1970s, including paintings by Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Chagall, Gauguin, and Picasso.
If you are looking for places to eat or things to do at night in Washington, this is one of the places worth visiting. The neighborhood is filled with restaurants and cafes along with living music venues. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Smithsonian Museum of American Art and National Portrait Gallery
Sharing the historic Old Patent Office building with the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum houses the world’s most extensive and inclusive collection of American art, representing more than 7,000 artists from the colonial era to the present.
The collection records the wonder of artists capturing the beauty of the American landscape as the nation expanded westward and the changing face of American cities and towns.
The Special Collections represent the works of over 200 African American artists, a collection of Latinx works, contemporary American crafts, and an outstanding range of folk arts.
The National Portrait Gallery focuses on famous Americans, from the time of the First Colonies to today’s leaders and influential public figures, including the only complete collection of portraits of the President outside the White House. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Address: 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Botanic Garden
In the foothills of Capitol Hill, U.S. The Botanical Garden is an oasis of tropical gardens in the city’s heart. Surrounded by outdoor gardens, the vast glass house is the centerpiece of the Museum of Living Plants.
Permanent indoor exhibits create environments for plants at home everywhere, from the desert to the rain forest, while outdoors showcases plants that thrive in the mid-Atlantic states.
The greenhouse has two courtyard gardens and 10 garden rooms, and outdoor exhibits include a pollinator garden, rose garden, kitchen garden, and water garden.
There is always something in bloom, and the benches in the spacious conservatory invite a stop to enjoy the aromas and lush green surroundings. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Address: 100 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, D.C.
Official Site: https://www.usbg.gov/
Pennsylvania Avenue connects the White House and the Capitol Building, while along it, the National Mall extends from the Smithsonian Museums to the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
Most of the top tourist attractions are near these, so prime locations are central between Capitol Hill and Foggy Bottom south of DuPont Circle.
For a charming historic neighborhood with public transportation to attractions, consider Georgetown. These highly rated hotels in Washington are helpful for visitors:
Jefferson, in DuPont Circle, a stroll from the White House and the National Mall, is a D.C. landmark that hasn’t lost any of its historic grandeur in recent renovations.
Another gracious Washington institution, The Hay-Adams, overlooks Lafayette Park and the White House and welcomes kids with special activities.
Within walking distance of Georgetown’s historic streets of restaurants and shops, the Fairmont Washington DC is near Georgetown Ford’s Theater and an easy walk to the mall.
Close to the White House, subway and trolley stops. The Hampton Inn Washington, DC/White House offers complimentary breakfast and an indoor pool within easy walking distance of the Smithsonian Museums.
In a quiet neighborhood, a block from the Metro line and close to the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and Union Station, the Capitol Hill Hotel offers complimentary breakfast and a fitness center.
Near DuPont Circle and a short walk from Georgetown art galleries, theaters, and restaurants, Royal Sonesta Washington DC has a pool, fitness center, and free parking nearby. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Near M Street and five minutes from the Foggy Bottom subway, Hilton’s West End Washington DC Tapestry Collection features small kitchenettes and complimentary breakfast within walking distance of the White House.
Also, in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, Hyatt Place is roughly the same distance from Washington DC/Georgetown/West End National Mall (20 minutes walk) and Georgetown (15 minutes). There is an indoor pool, and breakfast is complimentary.
Close to Union Station and a short walk from the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress, the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill is near the top of the free D.C. Circulator Bus, which accesses downtown and National Mall museums and monuments.
Sightseeing by day
There are so many famous sites in Washington, DC, that it’s hard to keep track of all there is to see and do.
One of the best ways to explore this city is on the classic Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour, which takes you to see the sites from an open-top red bus and get off and on wherever you choose. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Sightseeing at night
At night, Washington changes as the monuments are lit with floodlights, making them look completely different from their daytime appearance.
The Washington, DC Monument by Moonlight Night Trolley Tour is a 2.5-hour guided tour that provides an easy way to see the city at night. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Sightseeing by bicycle
Active travelers will enjoy the Washington DC Memorial Bike Tour to see the Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial on a three-hour ride.
The hybrid bike and relatively flat terrain make it suitable even for those not fond of cycling. As many places have security checkpoints and backpacks are not allowed, carrying as little as possible when traveling is wise.
Places to Visit near Washington: If you have time to visit outside the city, there are several easy day trips from Washington, DC, and our page on Top-Rated Weekend Getaways from Washington, DC, will give you lots of ideas for longer trips. (Tourist Attractions in Washington)
Exploring Maryland: Maryland has many tourist attractions, including historic Annapolis and Baltimore’s vibrant port area.
The state is also famous for its beaches and Oceanside resorts, many of which are within easy weekend reach from Washington. You can learn more about these on our page Top Rated Resorts in Maryland.
Exploring Virginia: The District of Columbia lies between the two states, and to its south, you can find attractions in Virginia, including the capital of Richmond.
Or you can spend a weekend immersed in colonial history with the help of our page, the Top Tourist Attractions in Williamsburg and Easy Day Trip.
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