Washington D.C. is the capital of United States. The city exudes character from its tree-lined streets, welcoming parks, elegant buildings and luminous monuments. Its public face is marked by marble memorials and politics, but behind that is a culture-seekers haven, filled with music, museums and fine dining.
Best Time to Visit
There is never really a bad time to visit the city, but the best may be during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring. The weather is fresh and warm and the trees blossom into a gorgeous sea of white and pink. Although the blooms rightfully take center stage, the festival also features Tidal Basin boat rides, evening walks by lantern light, hundreds of performances and a six-block Japanese Street Festival with taiko drummers, kimono-clad dancers and dozens of food vendors.
Top Places to Visit in Washington D.C.Top Places to Visit in Washington D.C.
1. National Mall
Nearly all D.C. tourists begin their exploration of the city at the National Mall and for good reason. The beautiful two-mile stretch of parkland is home to the Smithsonian Museums and an intense concentration of monuments. It is the heart of the nation’s capital and a great place for both picnicking and protesting.
2. Washington Monument
Major attractions in the National Mall include the Washington Monument, a tribute to the nation’s first president and the capital’s tallest structure, and the Lincoln Memorial, a hallowed shrine to the 16th president that sits peacefully across the Reflecting Pool.
3. Smithsonian Institute
The other hallmark of the National Mall is the Smithsonian Institute, a collection of 14 galleries and museums featuring more than 137 million objects, including scientific specimens, historic artifacts, cultural exhibits and works of art. Admission is free, and there is truly something for everyone.
4. Smithsonian Museum
The most popular Smithsonian museum is the National Air and Space Museum, where visitors can see the Apollo 11 command module, the Wright brothers’ flyer and Lindbergh’s Sprit of St. Louis. The Natural History Museum is another favorite, home of the 45-carat Hope diamond and an 80-foot long dinosaur skeleton. The American History Museum is another big draw, featuring over 3 million artifacts that tell the story of the country’s history, including the Star-Spangled Banner and the ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”