Washington, in the federal protectorate of the District of Columbia, is the site of the capital of the United States of America. Tourism is the 2nd major industry in Washington, the 1st being government. Most visitors to the city will want to see the many famous national icons, like the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, or spend some time in the Smithsonian Institute museums or the National Gallery of Art. One great way to see Washington is to take the cycling tours offered by Bike the Sites (www.bikethesites.com).
The city has innumerable performing arts venues to enjoy, from the big, Broadway-style shows at the National Theater, Washington, D.C.’s oldest continually running theater, to the small but world class classics produced at the incomparable Shakespeare Theater. Washington is also famous for its fantastic jazz clubs. Blues Alley Jazz, for example, bills itself as the nations oldest continuous jazz super-club.
There are outdoor adventures to be had in and around Washington, D.C. Rock Creek Park offers opportunities for hiking, biking and horseback riding on its rustic 1,754 acres. The Potomac River is an interesting and scenic route for kayaking enthusiasts to enjoy. The historic C & O Canal allows visitors to travel back in time and take a 1-hour narrated barge-trip, pulled along by mules in the old-fashioned way. Cyclists can use the C & O towpaths and hikers can wander away from the canal into one of the many side-parks.
Washington DC is the proud home of the Washington Redskins NFL football team. The world’s largest mahogany chair towers 19 feet over Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in Anacostia on V Street in Washington DC. Architect Pierre L’Enfant’s design stipulated that no building should exceed the United State’s Capitol in height, and to this day there are no sky-scrapers in Washington, D.C.
If you’ve got an interest in US history, then Washington DC is the place to be. But that’s not all that’s going on. The town offers a diverse range of live performances, dining, nightlife and things to do outdoors.
This guide to the best attractions in Washington DC will help you get the most of your upcoming visit to the nation’s capital. Here are the top things to do in DC.
Take Pride in America’s Past at the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian houses vast collections from America in its 15 specialty museums. It would take months to adequately cover all the Smithsonian museums, but of special interest are the American Art Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, the American History Museum, the American Indian Museum and the African American History & Culture Museum.
Remember our Heroes
There are many memorials in Washington DC, and each tells a story starting with the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. These memorials are also worth your time and have something to teach us:
Be Awed by Greatness
We’re not talking about sitting in on a session of congress here, that’s for sure. Instead, we suggest touring the National Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art or the Washington National Cathedral. You’ll see immense talent applied in the art, architecture and sculpture on display.
If this is what you love, you’ve got plenty of additional options. Top Washington DC attractions in this category include the Hillwood Museums, the Newseum, the Phillips Collection, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Christian Heurich House Museum.
Relax and Unwind
Exploring all that greatness can be inspiring for sure, but tiring too. Your relaxation opportunities include a roster of highly rated restaurants with cuisine from around the world.
Due to the changing nature of the restaurant business, we won’t mention specific eateries. Just know you’ll find something tasty whether you’re in the mood for Indian, French, Italian, Mexican, American, Thai, Chinese, Belgian, Middle Eastern, Greek, Mediterranean, African, Brazilian, South American and more.
If you’d like an adult beverage and a dance floor to de-stress on, DC nightlife in neighborhoods like Adams Morgan, Chinatown and Georgetown is always lively.