The District of Colombia is sandwiched between Maryland and Virginia. It is referred to as Washington D.C. and is our nations capital. The town was created by Pierre-Charles L’Enfant and even today you can see a bit of L’Enfant’s road grid designs. The most iconic of them all is Pennsylvania Avenue, which connects the White House to the Capitol Building. L’Enfants vision is further captured by the National Mall, which is home to monuments and museums. The skyline is gorgeous because it is free of skyscrapers due to a height restriction that is put on buildings.
The monuments and museums are open attractions to locals and tourists. The museums are considered to be some of the greatest in the world. You can find people from all over the globe roaming the streets of Washington D.C.. Most of these sites are close to the northeastern section across the mall. The best times to visit Washington D.C. is Spring and Fall when the weather is perfect.
1- United States Capitol and Capitol Hill
Recognized around the globe as a symbol of the United States, the Capitol is the home of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The massive dome, based on the dome of St. Peter’s in Rome, stands out over all other Washington buildings. Much like Washington itself, the construction has developed over the years because the central part was constructed between 1793 and 1812. The previous addition, in 1958-62, expanded the primary place in which presidents take the oath. On the opposite side, a marble terrace offers beautiful views of the mall and town. The interior is resplendent with frescoes and paintings, particularly the rotunda beneath the fantastic cast-iron dome which has a ceiling painting by Constantino Brumidi and enormous paintings of scenes from American history on the walls. Beside it’s the former Chamber of the House of Representatives, together with figurines of top historical figures. The little Senate Rotunda contributes to the beautifully renovated Old Senate Chamber, where the Senate met until 1859, as well as the the Supreme Court before 1935. Free tours, which can be booked online, start at the visitor centre on the lower ground, where there’s an interesting exhibition on the building’s history. Free tours on weekday afternoons investigate the elaborate paintings on the ceilings and walls of the corridors from the Senate wing, made by Brumidi between 1857 and 1859. To pay a visit to the Senate or House in session, you have to contact your Senator or Representative to get a pass; overseas visitors can organize visits throughout the visitor centre.
An underground passage with historic displays leads to the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library, modeled on the Opera House at Paris. You are able to go to parts by yourself, but completely free tours show much more of its exquisite inside. Displayed here are an earlier hand-printed Bible, Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson’s personal library, and galleries full of exhibits focusing on subjects as diverse as the musical professions of the Gershwin brothers as well as the job of editorial cartoonists and graphic artists.
2- The White House
The White House is the home of the President of the United States. The house of every president except George Washington, it was initially constructed by James Hoban in 1792. It was burned to the ground by British forces in 1814 was rebuilt in 1818. Though tours of the inside that includes the East, Blue, Green, and Red Rooms; the Ballroom; and the State Dining Room has to be booked well beforehand through your civic office or embassy.
The free White House Visitor Center, a brief distance off, has exceptional interactive displays that show details about the White House and the presidential households. It features furniture of previous presidents, a version of their house, historic changes, and videos with insights from presidents in their time residing there. The Ellipse, a 54-acre stretch of lawn extending to Constitution Avenue, hosts summer concerts by the US Army Band. Next door to the White House would be the complex 1833 Greek Revival Treasury Building and the 1871 Executive Office Building, among the most spectacular old government buildings in Washington.
3- The Lincoln Memorial
The most loved of memorial in Washington, the Lincoln Memorial stands in the front end of the mall, separated from the Washington Monument by the Reflecting Pool. In its centre is a 19-foot marble statue of President Abraham Lincoln surrounded by 36 columns, one for all the states that existed in the time of Lincoln’s passing. This really is the most well-known work made by sculptor Daniel Chester French. Jules Guerin painted the murals on the inner walls, revealing significant events in Lincoln’s life. Since its completion in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial has become the host of lots of historical events. In 1939, once the all-white Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to allow celebrated African-American singer Marian Anderson to play in a concert at neighboring Constitution Hall, President Franklin Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for her to play an open concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream…” speech in the memorial.
4- The Washington Monument
The 555-foot white shaft of the Washington Monument is a recognizable icon of the National Theater, and also a gorgeous sight, especially if mirrored at the extended Reflecting Pool. Building of the Washington Monument to honor the country’s first president didn’t move smoothly. The strategy was accepted by Congress in 1783, but the ground was not broken until 1848. After the tower attained 156 ft in stature in 1854, political wrangling and lack of funds stopped the job for many decades, with the Civil War causing an additional disturbance, so the tower wasn’t done until 1885, when it was eventually completed by the Army Corps of Engineers. It is still possible to find the different phases of its construction by three changes from the colour of its outer stones; the inside has engraved stones from several nations, cities, foreign countries, people, and civic groups, most of these donors that assisted in its own personal financing phases. You can take an elevator to the very top for aerial views of the mall and a lot of Washington. The base of this monument is surrounded by 50 American flags.
5- National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum is among the world’s most well-known museums, using an assortment of history-making atmosphere and spacecraft that comprises the original 1903 Wright Brothers Flyer, and Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the first airplane to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. More recent flights history are shown here from the Apollo 11 command module to a part of the first manned lunar landing mission. Permanent and changing exhibitions illustrate that the science, history, and technology of aviation and space flight, covering subjects such as using air power in the world wars, the space race, flight leaders, along with up to date flight and space technologies. A number of the displays are interactive and comprise of real historical objects, like a moon stone is possible to touch. Not only do permanent exhibits demonstrate history, they reveal the why and how of flight and space science, describing how things fly and how jet engines work.
6- International Space Station in orbit.
There is the Albert Einstein Planetarium, an IMAX theater, and the Public Observatory on the east coast, where you are able to analyze lunar craters and watch planets and other astronomical attributes through telescopes. Flight simulators let children and adults fly combat missions with airborne maneuvers such as 360-degree barrel rolls or adventure naval aviation within an F-18 Super Hornet. Besides this museum around the mall, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, next to Dulles Airport, has more historic aircrafts and space exploration artifacts, such as a Concorde and the space shuttle Discovery.
7- Underground Moving Walkway in the National Gallery of Art
Housed in 2 different buildings, the National Gallery of Art is among the world’s greatest art museums. There are exceptional permanent collections to emphasize artwork from cultures across the world. One of the highlights will be Ginevra de Benci, the sole Da Vinci painting at any American museum. Others include works by leading French Impressionists — Monet, Degas, and Renoir — along with other masterpieces by Rembrandt, El Greco, and Vermeer. The more recent East Wing has sculptures by Henry Moore, pieces by Alexander Calder, along with other contemporary works.
8- National Museum of American History
Among the most popular of the Smithsonian’s many museums, The National Museum of American History traces the political, cultural, scientific, and technological history of the U.S. from the era of the Revolution. It exhibits significant parts of America, such as Thomas Jefferson’s desk, one of Edison’s light bulbs, and also the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the words to The Star Spangled Banner. But beyond those cherished national artifacts, displays also analyze how people lived, what they ate, where they worked, how they played, what they wore, how they traveled, how they worshiped, and also the way they governed themselves. Illustrating these multiple topics are artifacts which have everything from dresses worn by First Ladies and Julia Child’s entire kitchen from the Muppets and the authentic ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in the movie Wizard of Oz.
9- National Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History explores the natural world with permanent and changing displays. Most well-known displays include the renowned Hope Diamond as well as the magnificent selection of minerals and gems around Ocean Hall with its gorgeous underwater photography as well as a replica of some 45-foot North Atlantic Right Whale; and the Hall of Human Origins, that follows human development over six million years in reaction to a shifting world. Kids will especially enjoy the dinosaur exhibits as well as also the interactive Discovery Room where they could touch and play with assorted artifacts. This museum is entertaining for kids and adults of all ages.
This broad area which creates a broad green belt from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial is also the site of several of Washington’s landmark buildings and temples. Most notable at its centre point is the Washington Monument war memorials contain those to veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a poignant wall inscribed with the names of most American servicemen and women who lost their lives, is among Washington’s most visited memorials. The neighboring Vietnam Women’s Memorial includes a bronze sculpture of three servicewomen assisting a wounded soldier. The Korean War Veterans Memorial comprises 19 steel sculptures of troops. The newest American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial was put up in 2014.
Along with supplying an area for walking, jogging, and picnicking, the mall is a place for festivals and celebrations. Best known of these is the yearly Independence Day celebration with fireworks across the Washington Monument. Also in July, the Smithsonian American Folk Life Festival matches the mall with crafts, music, performances, storytelling, cultural programs, and meals from various areas across the nation. The Smithsonian Kite Festival is held in late March or early April.
11- National Zoological Park
The National Zoo is just another part of the Smithsonian, in which almost 2,000 distinct creatures, birds, and reptiles call home. Of the several hundred species represented here, roughly a quarter of them are endangered. This is one of the world’s greatest zoos, not just for the quality of the customer experience, but because of its leadership in regions of animal maintenance and sustainability. Definitely the most well-known creatures are the giant pandas, a portion of a significant initiative which started in 1972 with the coming of Hsing Hsing in the People’s Republic of China. Other zoo highlights are red pandas, Sumatran tigers, western lowland gorillas, Asian elephants, cheetahs, white-naped cranes, and North Island brown kiwis. From the Amazonia display, it is possible to glimpse the vibrant underwater life of the Amazon, where among the world’s biggest freshwater fish swim under tropical woods. Together with the cheetahs in the Cheetah Conservation Station you can view Grevy’s zebras, dama gazelles, vultures, and red river hogs, and in the popular Elephant Trails, you may observe the multigenerational herd and also find out about the dinosaurs’ life in the wild. Examine the day’s program for feeding times, presentations, educational games, and discussions.
12- Washington National Cathedral
The English-style, Neo-Gothic National Cathedral, is one of the world’s biggest cathedrals. This cathedral took 83 years to build, from 1907 to 1990. It follows the Gothic building design and techniques, together with flying buttresses and solid timber structure of Indiana limestone. Through the palace are artistic details to view, from the stained glass windows into the hand-embroidered keeners that exude war heroes and historical occasions. Special tours, booked in advance, show hidden areas of the building and its artwork; households must request the booklet Research the Peninsula with Children for a scavenger hunt to find wrought iron creatures, tiny structures, and gargoyles. Make certain to search for the gargoyle of Darth Vader high up on the shore tower. The cathedral is the burial place of President Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller and the funerals for Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, and Ford happened here. The top of this 300-foot central tower is the highest stage in Washington.
The Bishop’s Garden, on the south side of the palace, includes plants located in medieval gardens, crops cited in the Bible, along with many others native to the region, and a fish pond.
13- International Spy Museum
The place for 007 mega fans, the museum covers the processes, engineering, history, and contemporary role of spies. A number of displays are interactive, and also in the building is real spy gear, from declassified hardware to film props used in the James Bond series. Pictures, audio visual applications, and special effects combine to provide a photo of approaches and methods supporting covert spy missions. The collections consist of historical spy artifacts in the Revolution and Civil War, along with a wealth of ingeniously hidden and concealed weapons and cameras, even the famous Enigma cipher system which broke the Nazi codes in World War II.
The top floor is dedicated to real life spies Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanson, and John Walker, detailing the actual approaches and resources that they used to spy on the United States, together with movies explaining how the spies were captured. The lower floor goes from reality to fiction, full of information and real props used in James Bond films. Highlighting all these is the Aston Martin DB5 that initially emerged in the 1964 film Goldfinger, outfitted with machine guns, oil jets, a dash radar display, ejector seat, tire slashers, bulletproof shield, and also rotating license plate.
14- Georgetown Historic District
The area from 27th to 37th Streets, between Rock Creek Park and K Street NW, is the town’s oldest, with roots in the early 1700s, before Washington itself. Georgetown University, the nation’s oldest Roman Catholic and Jesuit College, is situated here. Now, Georgetown’s clean streets of historical houses and its boutique shops, cafés, restaurants, and tiny museums make it a favorite. The C&O Canal, the 184-mile waterway paralleling the Potomac River is a nice spot for biking and walking.
Dumbarton Oaks is a 16-acre estate with formal gardens and a precious Byzantine and Christian artwork collection. Federal period Dumbarton House includes Federal-style paintings, furniture, textiles, silver, and ceramics, and is home to one of five original, famous copies of the Articles of Confederation. Tudor Place is an ancient 19th-century mansion constructed by Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Martha Cursis Peter, along with her husband. Things from George and Martha Washington’s Mount Vernon house are revealed here, as well as also the Federal-period gardens which contain trees and plants from the early 19th century. The Kreeger Museum shows a broad collection of artwork from the 1850s to the 1970s such as paintings by Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Chagall, Gauguin, and Picasso.