Every year, thousands flock to visit the capital of the United States and experience all the historical and memorable things to do and see here. Washington D.C. was formerly the District of Columbia, which is why it is sometimes referred to as simply “D.C.” The area has many historical markers, monuments, and tributes to past defining moments in America’s history and schools, as well as families, regularly scheduled visits to see all the sights. Discover the best things to do in Washington D.C. on your next visit.
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The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
The Smithsonian Museum is the third most visited museum in the world and for a good reason. They are open 364 days out of the year and admission is free to all visitors. It has over one million square feet of exhibits, displays and more than 1,000 workers to maintain it all. Exhibits are formed into groups for their displays. Expect to see and discover information on groups that are labeled mammals, birds, insects, mummies, human origins, Africa voices, gems and minerals, geology, backyard dinos, the last American dinosaurs, wilderness forever, nature’s best photography and portraits of planet ocean just to name a few. Exhibits can range from a huge elephant in glass cases, to interactive displays. Guests could spend weeks in the Smithsonian trying to see everything. It is a fun, exciting and yet a great learning experience. Spend some time in one of the best and well-known museums in the world.
Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
The reflecting pool is one of the top attractions most schedule time to see while in D.C. It is a large, long, rectangular pool that stretches from the Lincoln Memorial out across towards the Washington Monument on the other end. The pool reflects the Washington Monument, the trees, and the Lincoln Memorial, depending on where you are standing. This entire area is known as the “National Mall’ and draws over 24 million people a year to see the sites here. Visit the massive Lincoln Memorial as he sits on a chair, appearing to contemplate something calmly. The entre piece is carved out of stone and is a visitor favorite. He is housed in a white-pillar building which is also stunning and dramatic. There are nice walking paths alongside the pool and beautiful shade trees as you travel across to the Washington Monument. The Washington Monument is a single obelisk and also the world’s tallest obelisk. It commemorates America’s first president, George Washington and is also a visitor must-see while you’re in Washington.
National Gallery of Art
The National Art Gallery is designed to impress. The extensive collections that are displayed from famous artists always leave visitors surprised and delighted. A wide variety is shown, including an excellent selection of European art. Headsets are a fee and available for self-guided audio tours. This is a great way to hear about a collection or piece without using a physical guide. There are guided tours led by staff, and they are always an excellent way to receive significant information while covering some ground in the vast building. Make sure to see the painting entitled “Ginevra de’ Benci, Leonardo Da Vinci’s only painting on public display in the U.S. Admission is free and this is a top-rated activity to do while in D.C.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This particular museum is beautifully and respectfully done to commemorate the loss of life and events of the Holocaust. It serves as both a memorial and a museum. School groups are often attendees here, as it is a beneficial way to learn about this part of your past. The museum is full of facts, timelines, displays, and information about this period in history. There is a children’s area that is not quite as intense and well-done for smaller kids. The staff is attentive and helpful, and there are tours and guides offered to answer any questions. It is a meaningful experience and is deemed a “must-see” while in Washington D.C.
Library of Congress
Library of Congress is an impressive stop that everyone needs to see! The detailed architecture of the walls and ceiling are beautiful, and people say that this alone is worth the trip. The Library is connected to the Capital by a tunnel. See Thomas Jefferson’s library for a memorable moment that you’ll never forget. Tours are available, and there are several video displays offered that talk about the interior design and meaning of the building. The building and its contents are highly praised, and visitors report that it seems more like a palace than a library. Make sure to add this fantastic building to your list of things to see.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The infamous memorial created to pay tribute to those that lost their lives in the Vietnam War is a powerful sight. The two-acre monument has a massive wall with the engraved names of those who perished. Many have visited to find their loved one’s name, or merely to pay tribute or see the famous wall. It seems to stretch on forever, and guests report that their visit was a compelling and memorable experience to see the continuous wall with so many names. Experience the most moving of all the monuments in the area on your visit.
Korean War Memorial
The Korean War Memorial is also a sight that visitors say that is powerful and haunting. The memorial differs from the Vietnam memorial, in that it does not have names on a wall. A triangle shaped area has been designated as the memorial with walking paths around it. Inside the triangle, life-sized statues of men and women in full combat gear seem to walk on the field. There are 19 of the stainless steel statues that are a little over 7 foot tall each. They represent a squad on patrol among the granite and juniper vegetation that has been cared for and which serves the terrain of Korea.
A City Full of Meaning
The capital of the U.S. has many memorials and museums that pay tribute to specific points of interest in our past. The vast majority of places such as these are open to the public, and free of admission to people can see and learn about these important things. School and student groups are popular visitors here, as this is a chance for students to visit some of the best museums in the nation and discover events of the past. Adults and kids alike leave Washington D.C. often enlightened and with a new perspective. The memorials are beautiful, and the museums are fantastic. Which will you like to visit first? Discover these moving and best things to do in Washington D.C. on your visit to the capital of the U.S.