Washington D.C. is more than just political monuments and famous museums, but you will likely visit these places, so we have gathered the top places to see and things to do while you’re there. From the Washington Monument, to the Lincoln Memorial, you will notice a theme of big, dense, and awe-inspiring stops in the city of governance. We recommend that you build your trip around these sites with a tour guide in-mind, so that you can absorb all the important history around them while you get to experience it in-person. Without further ado, here are our picks:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
The newest addition to D.C.’s museums of American history, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only one of its kind, dedicating every inch of space to the life of African Americans throughout history. This isn’t some candy-coated telling of American history, it is raw and visceral, honest and oftentimes brutal. Because of its significance and high praises, the museum visit will need to reserved well in-advanced. You can buy your tickets at the beginning of each month, with up to six purchases at a time.
The Smithsonian Institution
This is a collection of 19 museums, altogether. You’ll find a historic timeline over a wide range of subjects, cultures, and traditions. You’ll probably never get to see all of there is to the Smithsonian Institute, so it is advised that you plan the exhibits in-advanced, in order of the ones that you find to be most interesting or exciting. Keep an eye out for the critically-acclaimed exhibits that may seem pedestrian at first glance, as there are some great interactive portions that are often overlooked, like the History of Flight and the Natural History museums.
Visit the White House
Of course, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the most powerful house in the country, and in some ways, the World. In order to get the full experience of visiting the White House, you should request a tour through the official application process. It’s worth the effort, as the public visitor’s center is a lot less impressive and interesting. You will mostly learn factoids that pretty much anyone can get through a short travel video online. White House tours also provide the ability to rub shoulders with some of the most revered men and women of the government.
Washington D.C. is more than just old government buildings and museums, it has a lot to offer with its natural surroundings. The Potomac River is a beautiful and refreshing visit for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. The sounds of the rushing water provides an experience to meditate and enjoy yourself. You can take up a bit of hiking and kayaking at the Great Falls National Park, even if you have no previous experience. The river provides a moderate challenge for kayakers; you can join a tour in the park, if you feel safer traveling in a group.
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