Formally referred to as the District of Columbia, the nation’s capital is the home to the Federal government’s three branches; the Capitol, White house and Supreme Court. It thereby houses all of the Nation’s top leadership. The capital also hosts some of the biggest diplomatic names from around the world almost on daily basis. Whether it’s Prime Minister Netanyahu checking in to discuss the Gaza situation or President Enrique Peña Nieto from Mexico inquiring about ‘the Wall,’ you’ll be sure to find the streets of the nation’s capital flooded with dignitaries’ security details.
The city is not short of tourist attractions however. It is beautifully lined with striking neoclassical edifices capped by the three buildings housing the government of the United States. The iconic Kennedy Center Museum and arts venue is another top mention in the Nation’s Capital. Not to forget the spacious National Mall.
In this piece, we explore 15 of the best attractions that will most definitely entice you to D.C. The vacation is more comfortable in spring or autumn though as the capital city can get really hot in the summer.
14. Georgetown Historic District
The commercial and entertainment district to the northwest of Washington D.C. was actually in existence even before the nation’s capital. Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1967, the history-rich district next to the Potomac River is characterized by tidy streets, malls and Roman-style architecture. The Dumbarton Oaks for instance include the beautiful Byzantine building with astounding Christian artistry. The district – incorporated into the nation’s capital in 1871 – is bounded by the Rock Creek Park and Glover-Archbold Parkway. The astounding Roman-style Georgetown University is the oldest Jesuit College in the nation. Also feel the pounding of the C&O Canal waterway running parallel the Potomac River and winding down up to 184 miles.
13. International Spy Museum
Enter the double-0-7 world right in the center of the nation’s capital. In the International Spy Museum, you find the technology, history, and contemporary sense of the undercover world. The audio and visual programs, photographs and special effects portray the approaches to the secret spy world. Ingenious developments in the espionage and spyware are documented in the renowned museum. Also present are captured spy equipment from the war era alongside declassified hardware. Most relevant for the James Bond enthusiasts are the incredible props that were commonplace in the 007 blockbusters. The top floor is finally dedicated to the prolific contributors to espionage.
12. Washington National Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of St. Peter and Paul is an Episcopal Church in the nation’s capital. Its Gothic design and stained-glass windows makes the cathedral look archaic and historical. The artistic design alongside its child-friendly environment makes for a perfect family holiday site at one of the world’s largest cathedrals. It is also the burial site for President Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller. Finally, the Bishop’s Garden comprises some magnificent plantations in a magical landscape. Also notable is the fact that the Tower at the Cathedral is the tallest in the nation’s capital – at 300-feet.
With the promotion of freedom of expression key in its agenda, the interactive Newseum documents the Press and the First Amendment. The museum is home to prints and exhibits of newspapers from iconic events in history. Film recreations of significant national days like the 9/11 are also availabled. Lastly, head to the building’s terraces and secure splendid views of the Capitol building. Other photograph and video recreations you expect to find here are the Berlin Wall and Presidents J.F Kennedy and Lincoln.
10. Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin
Based on the Roman Pantheons, the dome-topped white memorial houses the Memorial to the US’s third President. Standing inside is the astonishingly huge statue of President Jefferson. Also evident in the Memorial compound are the beautiful purple cherry trees all the way from Japan. Furthermore witness the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, with displays of the struggle the President endured to get the country out of the Great Depression and the Second World War.
9. National Zoological Park
The nation’s capital also its wild side. As part of the Smithsonian, the Zoo is inhabited with over 2000 different animals includingbirds, animals and reptiles. It is lauded as the world’s best zoo for both the range of creatures available on display and the care accorded to the wildlife. Highlights of wildlife here include pandas, Sumatran tigers, Asian elephants, cheetahs, the western lowland gorillas among many, many others. You could also check the feeding timetable to see if you could maybe get involved in the fun feeding affair.
8. National Mall and Memorials Park – Downtown of the Nation’s Capital
The administrative location for the National Park Service (NPS),the National Mall also houses memorials and iconic monuments to the nation’s veterans. Millions throng to this enchanting location yearly to celebrate the nation’s undying commitment to freedom and equality. Some of the Memorials present at the historical grounds include the Korean and Vietnamese War Veterans Memorials. Here you find the humongous sculptures of the honorable servicemen.
7. National Museum of Natural History
Administered by the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum offers the biggest blue diamond in the world as the chief highlight of the over 124 million objects on display. The neoclassical dome-topped Natural History Center in the Nation’s Capital also offers sights and travels through the Human evolution. This can be seen at the Hall of Human Origins. Correspondingly you get to witness the incredible underwater photo of the huge right whale from the North Atlantic.
6. National Museum of American History
Another of Smithsonian Museums at the National Mall, Museum of American History includes the history of America’s key institutions. Trace through the American political, cultural, technological and scientific developments from collections going back the time of Thomas Jefferson. However, the display doesn’t only stick with the most conspicuous historical elements. The exhibition extends all the way to the basics like the lifestyles of the early people that inhabited the regions. Excitingly, the artifacts include pieces like the slippers worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz film.
5. National Gallery of Art
Also located on the National Mall, the National Art Gallery and Sculpture garden features over 120,000 works from more than 13,000 artists. Ranging from pop art to Byzantine altar items, explore familiar artifacts and discover interesting new ones. The Gallery – housed in two buildings joined by a tunnel – offers both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Highlights include the rare Ginevra de Benci painting as well as a sculpture from the famous Henry Moore. Other interesting places to check out include Freer Galley, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The National Museum of African Art displays exquisite exhibitions of rich African styles.
4. National Air and Space Museum
Highlighted by the first ever aircraft to explore the airs of the Atlantic Ocean – Spirit of St Louis – The National Air and Space Museum is one of the most popular museums in the world. Some more of the classic pieces lying idle at the National Space Museum include a revolutionary Concorde and the Space Shuttle Discovery. Flight simulations at the Museum offer kids and adults the chance to experience naval aviation in an F-18 Super Hornet. Don’t forget a short trip to the Albert Einstein Planetarium.
3. The Lincoln Memorial
Located at the end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial is the most captivating of all the Washington Memorials. The conspicuous sight of the 19-foot sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln stands in the Center of the giant memorial. It is surrounded by pillars representing the 36 states that were part of the Union when the President died. The step of this famous Memorial was the location for Martin Luther King Jr’s timeless “I Have a Dream” speech. This further cemented the rich history of this scenic Memorial, a centerpiece of the attractions in the nation’s capital.
2. The White House
This home is only one of the two federal government buildings that can be accessed by guests. It is – needless to say – home to the world’s most powerful man. The history of the most prestigious presidential abode in the world stretches all the way back to the 18th century. Now you can make a reservation through your embassy or congressional office to tour the magnificent building. Or you can see the iconic building from outside the lawns.
The White House Visitor Center just a few miles away is however free to access, displaying interesting exhibits and documents of Presidents’ families. The Ellipse, Treasury Building, Executive office building and Lafayette complete your immaculate sightings in a royal home.
1. United States Capitol and Capitol Hill
A famous name in Hollywood blockbusters and a recognized symbol of the US, the Capitol Hill hosts the legislative government of the US. Standing over everything else in Washington, the dome-shaped colossal edifice also houses the world’s largest library – the Library of Congress. The best way to access the most visible edifice in the nation’s capital is via guided tours through the humongous iconic structure. This must be the reason the nation’s capital is also called The American Rome. The magnificent paintings in the interior are also visible during the informative guided tours.
Images via Planetware
Originally posted 2017-05-09 08:36:03.