Things To Do In Washington D.C.
You could spend a lifetime traveling the United States, and still not see everything. When you’re faced with opportunities ranging from the fluffy snow of the Rockies to bustling cities and even the ultimate of tropics like Hawaii, there are not shortage of options. There are some things, and cities, that you simply must see. One in particular, and the focus of this article is Washington DC.
We’re going to break down 9 things about the nations capital that you simply must do.
- The Monuments
If you’ve never been to DC, let me prepare you for one thing, it’s full of monuments, old and new and everything in between. If you’re flying in internationally, it’s likely that you’ll fly into Dulles, and when you drive across the bridge from Virginia into the District of Columbia the first thing you’ll start to see are monuments.
Frankly, we could write a whole to do list solely on the monuments. But, in this article we’ll inform you of a few of the must sees.
The Lincoln Memorial is something you cannot miss. It is extravagant, beautiful, and when you visit must sure you take the time to read the inscriptions on the walls and take a few moments to sit on the steps and gaze over the reflecting pool. Also, don’t forget to walk over to the Washington Memorial, which cannot be missed, it is the huge spike sticking up just South of the White House. You may want to preplan your trip and book yourself a tour to go to the top of the spire.
There are countless other monuments and your hotel should be able to provide you with a guide to all of them.
- The White House
The world renowned and most famous political residence, the White House, is possibly D.C.’s most magnetic attraction. It, of course, houses the first family along with centuries of culture and history.
Little known to travelers is that you can actually go inside of the White House, and if you plan in advance you can take a tour of this historic residence. If you are a U.S. citizen you can contact your Congress person to gain admission, or if you are a foreign national, you can contact your countries embassy and they can assist you with admission to this once in a lifetime tour.
One of the favorite things about D.C. for travelers is not only is there so much history and so many museums, but so much of it is free. Washington is full of museums that are not only amazing and historic, but are federally funded, leaving them with no price of admission. A few examples would be the Smithsonian, the American History Museum and the National Archives. While there are also many paid museums, be warned that their contents a very similar to the free options. Do not let the price tag convince you that they have more to offer.
- The National Zoo
A great attraction that many tourists fail to visit is the National Zoo. We have often heard that people simply are not interested in something they can find anywhere else. However, the National Zoo is a massive complex that has incredible expositions that comparable zoos of its size around the country do not have. If you can battle the parking, the National Zoo is an experience that everyone who visits D.C. will love. If you have children, the National Zoo is a must.
- The Pentagon
You will have to cross the bridge into Virginia to see the most secure building in the world. But, it is worth the short trek to Pentagon City to see a modern day military wonder.
Once you arrive at the Pentagon, you will be greeted with plenty of parking. There is an amazing 911 memorial that you can go and photograph. The only caution is to ensure that you take your pictures and dedicated areas. The security is very strict and any unauthorized photography will meet you with police presents before you know it.
- Capital Hill Tour
If you were not able to get yourself tickets to the White House, an easier tour that you can take is of Capital Hill. This tour will include a visit to the original Supreme Court, the tour of historical documents of the United States and if you are lucky, a glimpse at the Congressional floor.
If you can, try and convince your tour director to help you board the underground trains that commute between the houses of Congress and the Congressional offices. This train ride is very sobering as many world leaders have taken the same short journey towards making world impacting decisions.
- Ford Theatre
One of D.C.’s most forgotten places, Ford’s Theatre is a venue where you can see a show, or you can simply stand on the side of 10th Street and take a moment to view the exact location where President Lincoln was assassinated.
Whether you see a show or not, make sure you at least take the time to visit this important site that played a massive role in American history.
- The 9:30 Club
If you are feeling a little youthful, D.C. has a small but prevalent concert venue that some of the greatest of greats have and will continue to play. The 9:30 Club is a favorite venue among many popular artists that takes you outside of the historic, political D.C., and thrusts you into the historic music scene of D.C.
While waiting to enter your show, be sure to check out many of the artisan restaurants that surround the 9:30 Club. The food and drink district surrounding the venue will leave little to be desired.
- Peking Gourmet
This maybe the most unheard of attraction on this list, but it also maybe one of the most important. Peking Gourmet is a gem in the rough that is D.C. It is a restaurant that serves food so incredible that Presidents and celebrities alike flock to make reservations.
Even locals are often unfamiliar with this eatery, but if you are visiting the District you would be selling yourself short not to make a reservation at Peking Gourmet. A favorite of the Bush family, this is not to be missed. You will have to take a cab across the bridge to Norther Virginia, but your meter fee will be worth every cent. Make sure to try the Peking Duck, and make sure to make a reservation, or you will not eat.
We hope you enjoy your trip to D.C. Take these tips and it will be amazing.