Things to Do in Washington DC
Washington, D.C. is one of the most famous cities in the world, with countless cultural and captivating activities for all ages. As the capital of the United States
, Washington, D.C. is home to the president, the federal government and dozens of national memorials and monuments. It is a popular and important tourism location, welcoming over 16 million visitors each year. Most people come to Washington, D.C. for its preservation of history. Washington, D.C. is progressive enough to not be a boring destination. The city has a dazzling night life, world-class shopping, and kid-friendly hang outs. In Washington, D.C., it's hard not to find something excited to do.
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No trip to Washington, D.C. would be complete without a trip to see the national monuments and landmarks. Plan to wear comfortable shoes when walking through the National Mall. The National Mall is a park that stretches between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol building. Another famous monument in the National Mall is the Washington Monument, the world's tallest obelisk, and the tallest building in Washington, D.C. It stands at 555 feet, 5.5 inches high and was built to memorialize the country's first president, George Washington. Another presidential memorial is the Jefferson Memorial, in honor of Thomas Jefferson. This scenic memorial lies on the Tidal Basin of the Potomac River. Another beautiful presidential memorial is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. This memorial contains statues of the 32nd president, and a lovely, hidden waterfall. The White House, on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is a living monument of sorts. It is the most famous address in the world, as the home of the sitting US president. Tours of the White House can be arranged through one's Member of Congress.
Two must-see memorials in Washington, D.C. honor soldiers in past wars. The Vietnam Memorial, inside Constitution Gardens, is north of the Lincoln Memorial. It honors soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War, and contains a list of 58,256 names of those who died. The Korean War Memorial is located south of the reflecting pool in the National Mall. This memorial contains 19 statues of soldiers in war.
There is an abundance of museums in the nation's capital. One of the most famous museums in Washington, D.C. is the in Smithsonian. The Smithsonian has a collection of museums, including Natural History, American Indian, African Art and American History. A little further from the National Mall is the Frederick Douglas House on Cedar Hill. Frederick Douglas was one of the most influential black figures in American history, as a well-known abolitionist and suffragist.
While in Washington, D.C., be sure to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. This important museum documents the atrocities of the Jewish Holocaust in Nazi Germany and is provided at no charge.
For more educational experiences, travel to the Library of Congress and the National Archives. The Library of Congress is particularly exciting, as the world's largest library. It contains more books than any other place on earth.
For some fun, visit the International Spy Museum, where visitors can pretend to be spies and complete top secret missions. Another fun museum is Madame Tussaud's, where patrons can take pictures beside life-size, wax celebrities.
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For activities that the kids are sure to approve of, visit places like the National Zoo and the Albert Einstein Planetarium. Both are part of the Smithsonian collection. The zoo offers free admission. The planetarium charges a tiered rate for entry.
Rent a 4-person paddle boat for a journey down the Tidal Basin for around $16. Not only is the scenery gorgeous, but the work-out will also ensure a good sleep for the kiddies.
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Washington, D.C. is filled with many shopping areas. A popular shopping area is in Georgetown, which features high-end boutiques. Visit the mall at Pentagon City for a "shop 'til you drop" experience.
Shubert Ciencia, Flickr
One of the best locations to eat in Washington, D.C. is on the Potomac River. The Dandy Restaurant Cruise serves dinner, lunch and Sunday brunch. It is most breathtaking in the evening. And, Chinatown is a small, but engaging strip in the heart of the city. There's sure to be a restaurant here to satisfy any Chinese food craving.
Jacqueline Thomas is an award-winning writer and poet. She studied creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and has written critically acclaimed pieces for over 20 years. Thomas is published in both traditional and online press, and has articles that reached the Digg Front Page.
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