Are you looking to visit the capital city of the United States?
It’s no surprise that Washington DC welcomes over 23.8 million visitors every year. Washington DC is rich in history in culture. While it’s a federal working city, it’s also a popular tourist destination. If you find yourself in Washington for the first time, you’re in for a treat.
Not sure how to spend your time in Washington? Don’t worry; we got you covered!
With this guide, you’ll learn about various places you can go to. That way, your Washington DC stay will be exceptional and memorable. Read on and find out more:
1. Supreme Court
This is the country’s highest court, meaning its decisions are final. The good news is that its court sessions are open to the public. The caveat is that you must be quick since it serves on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Supreme Court offers free 30-minute lectures in the main hall. These lessons aim to explain in detail how the court functions daily. Take note; you won’t get guided tours of the location’s buildings.
However, you may still enjoy its educational lectures, visitor films, and special exhibitions. If you’re curious about how the US’s justice system works, this place offers a unique experience.
2. Capitol Building
The Capitol offers free tours every day. You can find tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must be early if you plan to join these tours because they hand it out by 8:30 AM.
If you want to book a tour in advance, ask your local senator or a Congress member. You can also get tickets to sit in the galley to watch the Congress in session. As always, you must be quick to grab them because they usually run out fast.
3. Smithsonian Museums
The Smithsonian Institution hosts a group of museums, as well as research centers. The United States government administers these buildings. Ever since its founding in 1846, all Smithsonian museums are open to the public.
This means you need not pay anything to enter them. You can even enjoy their amenities like free WiFi. Indulge yourself in its two museums that offer massive IMAX movie theaters.
Regardless of your interests, you’re sure to find something within the Smithsonian Institution. This includes astronomy, history, art, zoology, and more. In some cases, you might not even have enough time to explore every museum.
4. National Zoo
This zoo first opened its doors in 1889, and its 160 acres of land is now the home to over 1,800 animals. You’ll see some exotic animals that you’re unlikely to see in other zoos within the country. This includes:
The National Zoo is the first in the world to make a scientific research program. If you travel with children or have a soft spot for animals, this location is a marvel. The best part is that it’s free to visit because it’s a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
5. Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the biggest in the world. As of this guide’s writing, the library includes over 39 million categorized books. This doesn’t include the 170 million media items.
These have printed materials in over 470 languages and manuscripts. This treasure trove of knowledge first opened in 1800. Now, it has over 3,000 staff members that keep it running in peak condition.
It also serves as the primary research center of the US Congress and the country’s Copyright Office. If you love books and knowledge, this place is your utopia in Washington DC.
6. Lincoln Memorial
Washington DC has lots of grandiose and historical monuments. However, the Lincoln Memorial stands out because of its beauty. It offers a vantage point that lets you view the reflection poll and the Capitol building.
You can find the inscription of the great president Lincoln’s two most famous speeches here. These are the second inaugural address and the Gettysburg address. If you want to pay homage to Honest Abe, this place offers that and more.
7. National Gallery of Art
This place boasts a vast collection of artworks from various places in the world. This includes art pieces made by Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, and Leonardo da Vinci to name a few.
If you’re into modern art, go to the East Building. Otherwise, the West Building is home to older artworks. This means you’ll have a fun time marveling at art, regardless of your tastes.
Most of the time, you’ll see lots of art students trying to paint throughout the building’s premises. Some of them show promise, and you’re free to watch but not stare. Also, while you’re in the vicinity, don’t miss the sculpture garden.
8. National Archives Museum
This historical structure contains important documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the American Constitution. It also has one of the few remaining authentic copies of the Magna Carta in the world. If you’re fond of history, you’ll enjoy the building’s informative panels.
9. DAR Constitution Hall
This concert hall was first opened in 1929 by the Daughters of the American Revolution. It served as a place for its yearly convention. Now, it’s a major cultural center of the city, considered as the largest auditorium in the area.
If you need parking at Constitution Hall, click the link to reserve a parking space in advance. It’s a great way of ensuring that your vehicle stays safe, especially when you have places to be. That way, you won’t have a hard time looking for a parking space during concerts and sporting events.
Make Your Washington DC Stay Memorable!
These are some of the unique places with lots of things to do in Washington DC. Use this to plan your trip and ensure that your Washington DC stay is wonderful and worry-free.
Are you on a cross-country road trip? You may end up visiting other states for the first time. Check out our other travel guides for more great tips on making the most of your trip.