There are so many things to do in Washington. You can easily spend weeks here without spending a cent. Though, food, travel, and accommodation are exceptional. Can’t believe it? It may amaze you to know that attraction like The Smithsonian is absolutely free. Also, The White House tour, the U.S. Supreme Court Building, the U.S. Capital, and many national monuments tours are free. Washington is located on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia. It was set aside as the country’s capital in order to prevent the federal government to be located in a single state. There are dozens of tourist attractions which include first-class museums and significant monuments. Most of these attractions are in or around the northwestern quadrant down the mall. They are best seen on foot, so you may need to do a lot of walking. But, you can save time by planning in advance. Travel through Metro routes to get around the city faster. Take a walk from there. You can also rent a vehicle, or sign up for Zipcar. Here, Summer is quite hot and humid, so try to plan your visit during spring or autumn. Many buildings have strict security checkpoints which do not allow backpacks. So remember to carry as little as you can while touring. You can surely expect a pleasant vacation here. Below are some of the fun things to do in Washington.
Top Things to do in Washington
1.) Visit the US Capitol Building
The US Capitol Building is among the most significant and recognized buildings in Washington DC. It is the seat of the federal legislative bodies, the House & Senate. It is among the oldest structures in the capitol. As both a historical building and a beautiful building, this is surely a place you’ll want to look. Visiting this place is one of the best things to do in Washington. You can stroll around the Capitol grounds, can relax in the Summerhouse. You can take a guided tour, can go to the Capitol Visitor Center, can see Congress in action, and might even meet your member of congress. You can enjoy a meal at the visitor center, and can buy something at the gift shop.
2.) The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is both the world’s tallest obelisk and stone structure. It was the world’s tallest building when its construction was finished. It was the tallest until the Eiffel Tower construction was completed 5 years later. The Washington Monument is located on the east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial. A nice place to include in your list of things to do in Washington. You can see it any day you want to and it’s free. But you’ll have to get free tickets to go inside. Tickets are available at the Washington Monument Lodge. You can buy it online as well. Remember, tickets get sold out fast.
3.) The White House
The White House is the official home of the President of the United States. Getting a tour of the White House is not so easy. It must be reserved in advance through your Congressional office or embassy. For the best possibility of getting a tour, give them a few dates which could work for you. Remember, to do this couple of months in advance. Touring this place one of the best things to do in Washington. Every visitor to Washington would like to see this iconic structure, at least from the outside.
4.) The Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum holds the world’s biggest and many significant collections of Historic aircraft and spacecraft. It is encompassing all features of human flight, along with the works of archival and art materials. It controls 2 landmark facilities which together greet over eight million visitors a year. Such a huge amount of visit has made it the most visited museum in the country. It also is home to the Planetary Studies and Center for Earth.
5.) The National Zoo
The Smithsonian National Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in America. It is the only one in Washington DC. This zoo is known for Smokey Bear, the icon of the forest fire prevention campaign. This bear had rescued from a fire himself. He lived at the National Zoo, from 1950 till 1976 until his death. In spite of this, today the National Zoo doesn’t have any regular bears. But they do preserve around 2,000 animals from 400 different species from all over the world. Many of them are endangered. They are divided into over a dozen exhibits.There is also an area for kids, which includes domesticated animals like Holstein Cows, Goats, Alpacas, Silver-Fox Rabbits, and more. The National Zoo is open round the year (except for Christmas). Plus it has free admission. Visiting this zoo is among the free things to do in Washington.
6.) Step Inside the Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is a remarkable monument. It was built in the honor of President Abraham Lincoln. The statue of Lincoln in his throne is around 19 feet high. If he were to rise, it will make him towering 28 feet tall. Lincoln’s throne is built inside the structure of a Greek temple of the Doric order. The whole memorial stands 99 feet high, 189 feet wide, and 118 feet deep. The Lincoln Memorial has free admission and can be visited 24 hours a day. Around 6 million people visit this memorial every year. In 2007, the American Institute of Architects named it America’s 7th Favorite Architecture.
7.) National WWII Memorial
The memorial opened on April 29, 2004, and is dedicated to WWII. It honors the 16 million who served the U.S. in the armed forces and over 400,000 who died. Also, those who supported the war effort from home. The memorial is a monument to the sacrifice, spirit, and commitment of the American people. It is situated on 17th Street, between Constitution and Independence Avenues, bordering by the Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west. The memorial is managed by the National Park Service. It is open 24/7 for the visitors.
8.) The International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum was opened in 2002. Visiting this place is one of the fun things to do in Washington. It is unique and one of its kind in the whole world. It is dedicated to telling how spies and intelligence have formed the course of history all over the world. Displaying almost everything from the Greek and Roman Empires to the Cold War, to the current day. The Spy Museum includes 20,000 sqft of display room. It has more than 600 exhibition pieces, ranging from the well-known German Enigma code machine to hidden cameras of all types, to empty coins, and much more.
9.) Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn Museum is among the top contemporary art museums in the United States. It has a collection of over 12,000 pieces. The museum was opened in 1974, with a considerable part of the collection donated by Joseph Hirshhorn. At the time of his death, he contributed more art to the museum, almost doubling the collection. The artwork on exhibit at the museum come from many famous artists, including Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, Edward Hopper, Henri Matisse, and many others. The museum also includes an extensive sculpture garden containing works by David Smith, Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, and several other sculptures.
10.) Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon is George Washington’s famous home and plantation. It is located around 16 miles south of Washington. Most important items include the tour of the mansion and Washington’s tomb. There is also a 4-acre demonstration farm for you to learn if you like living history. 3 miles from the mansion, you will find Mount Vernon’s Distillery.This distillery still uses Washington’s innovative whiskey recipe. The estate also has a museum and education center. Here you can walk through numerous galleries, exhibits, and theaters. Know all about the history of the Washington family. You can have a meal at the food court or can dine as well at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant. Mount Vernon often holds special events, so better check their calendar before making your visit.