Washington DC is a city that offers a hip, bustling urban scene as well as a wide array of untouched parks, mountains, bays, and islands.
The state is also known to have a colorful art scene and consists of museums and galleries all across the state.
The trendiest and largest city, Seattle is known for the famous Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. If you are looking for something more adventurous, you have Washington’s state and national parks.
In this article, we will look into some of the best things to do in Washington. This article is particularly written for people who have never visited the state and have no idea what to do next.
What Are the Best Things To Do In Washington?
Now, let us see some of the best things to do in Washington:
1. The White House
One of the first and best things to do in Washington DC is visiting the White House. As most of us already know, this grand building has served as the home to Presidents since the 18th century.
In fact, it has also found itself in the middle of occasional controversies and various other major world events.
Throughout the years, the White House has undergone several restorations and renovations. One of the best ways to view this building is through the fence.
Yes, you can also have an internal tour of the House; however, you will have to book a slot well in advance.
For Washington citizens, the tour can be arranged via a member of Congress; as for foreign nationalities, they will have to contact their embassy to organize a tour.
2. National Mall
The National Mall is ‘America’s Front Yard’ and is run by the National Park service.
This is one of the largest parks in the state and also home to some of the country’s most iconic buildings and sites like the United States Capitol and the Washington Monument.
Some of the most critical events in American history have been hosted in this park, right from the ‘I Have A Dream’ speech by Martin Luther King and the various occasions of the Civil Rights movements to many Presidential Inaugurations.
The National Mall is open around the clock. There is also an additional ranger service available throughout the day.
3. United States Capitol
Built in the 1800s, the United States Capitol stands as the government’s legislative arm and houses both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
While the overall structure of the building was completed in the 1800s, numerous architects were invited to submit structural proposals.
However, these additional structures could not be completed because they were either too expensive or did not fit the purpose.
Sadly, the building was partially damaged by the British 14 years after its completion. While the destroyed parts were eventually rebuilt, you can still make out the destroyed sections of the Capitol building.
Tourists can visit the Capitol building where you will see a gift shop as well as smaller exhibits. The tour is open throughout the week, except on Sundays.
Booking can be done on the day of the tour or in advance.
4. National Archives
If you want to take a look at some of the most important documentation in the world and American history, then you should definitely visit the National Archives.
Some of the most important and priceless documents you will see here include the Magna Carta, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, etc.
The requirement for a safe space to store the documents after most of the papers during the nation’s formative years was lost in confusion and fires, which is the reason why the archives were built.
While you do not have to make separate reservations to visit the National Archives, it is recommended that you do so.
This tour will particularly be interesting for people who want to learn more about American history.
5. National Air And Space Museum
If you are on the lookout for the best things to do in Washington, it is recommended that you visit the National Air and Space Museum, which is also one of the top Smithsonian Museums in the country.
As you can guess by the name, everything you see here is related to aviation and space.
Some of the many great items that are put up on display here include various historical planes, spacecraft, and also Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit.
The museum is divided into two sections – on the right side of the National Mall, you will see the main museum.
On the other side, you can visit the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center (Virginia); the second site has on display larger airplanes. While entry to the museum is free, you will have to book a time slot prior to visiting.
6. Smithsonian American Art Museum
If you are on the lookout for the most extensive collection of American Art, then the Smithsonian American Art Museum is considered the best choice. You will find a wide range of visual art pieces here.
In fact, most of American history has been documented through paintings, arts, photos, and video games.
The art museum is divided into two different locations – the Renwick Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. You can visit both locations for free.
7. National Portrait Gallery
There is no doubt that America is the home of many inspirational individuals, particularly during the formative years.
If you want to view and celebrate the lives of these people that inspired the American way of life, then you can visit the National Portrait Gallery.
This gallery is also the place where you will find the entire collection of all the Presidents of America. Additionally, you can also find traditional painted portraits as well as modern digital images.
8. Lincoln Memorial
One of the most memorable landmarks in Washington DC is the Lincoln Memorial which has been built to honor one of the most loved Presidents of the nation.
Additionally, this monument also has a very significant history – this is the place where Martin Luther King (Jr.) has given his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.
There have been quite some curious cases with Lincoln Memorial – for instance, it is said that the sculptor has designed the hands to spell out L and A in sign language.
The memorial is open throughout the day and is one of the most visited sites for tourists. The area looks particularly beautiful during the spring season.
9. Washington Monument
As you reach the middle of the National Mall, you will find the Washington Monument. This is the world’s tallest obelisk.
This structure has been built in memory of George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. It is an impressive structure made of stone and was the tallest building before losing its place to the Eiffel Tower.
You have the choice to visit the top of the tower via the elevator. Once here, you will have just ten minutes to view the surrounding areas via the observation deck.
It is recommended that you book your tickets before visiting because you would not want to get stuck in the unreasonably long line.
The above-mentioned places are considered the best places to visit if you ever plan on visiting this wonderful city.
Overall, Washington DC is known for its picturesque landscape and a great number of places to visit. It is always better to book your tickets beforehand so that you can avoid standing in lines.
You will not be disappointed with these places.