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Top 15 Places To Visit In Washington Dc

Washington, D.c., United States

Being home to some of the most interesting museums and monuments in the world, Washington DC is the capital of the USA and is one place in the U.S. that will definitely excite the history buff in you. It has preserved the country’s long-lost history and all the places to visit in Washington DC reflect that well.

The most important of these is Pennsylvania Avenue, connecting two iconic buildings: the White House and the impressive domed Capitol Building. Alongside and maintaining L'Enfant's vision of an open and spacious city stretches the wide National Mall with its museums and monuments.

Here are the Top 15 Places to Visit in Washington DC, which are worth visiting on a Washington DC trip:

1. Capitol and Capitol Hill

The Capitol is the seat of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The huge dome, based on the dome of St. Peter's in Rome, stands out above all other Washington buildings.

Like Washington itself, the building has grown over the years since the central portion was built between 1793 and 1812. The last addition, in 1958-62, enlarged the main façade where presidents take the oath. On the other side, a marble terrace offers beautiful views over the mall and the city.

The interior is resplendent with frescoes, reliefs, and paintings, especially the rotunda under the great cast-iron dome with a ceiling painting by Constantino Brumidi and huge paintings of scenes from American history on the walls.

2. The National Mall

The National Mall is home to a huge number of museums, monuments, and memorials; along with some beautiful government buildings. This is the first place visitors usually catch up with, and definitely the one you can't afford to miss.

What can be better than a visit to some amazing museums and monuments for free? Yes, you've heard it right. You can explore the National Mall without paying a single penny, just like many other attractions in the city. Bigger than it seems, it requires a lot of walking to cover the areas in the mall.

3. Lincoln Memorial

One of the major Washington DC tourist attractions, the Lincoln Memorial is dedicated to the 16th president of the U.S., Abraham Lincoln. Though it is not its architecture that is the most beautiful thing about it, rather it is its reflection that makes it look more majestic when seen in the pool. This memorial is a perfect place to visit if you wish to start your trip on a historic note!

4. National Gallery Of Art

Treat the art lover within by visiting this art gallery which is also one of the best things to see in Washington DC. The gallery showcases different types of art created by different artists that cover everything from the middle ages to the modern day.

5. Washington Monument

The tallest obelisk in the world, it is impossible to miss the towering Washington Monument if you’re visiting the DC area. Standing tall at 555 ft, the monument honors the legacy of George Washington and his contribution to the American nation.

The obelisk is hollow and Egyptian-styled, with a lift taking visitors to the observation deck, where one gets a bird-eye view of the National Mall and Washington DC. 194 memorial stones from various nations are incorporated within the east and west interior walls. The obelisk is surrounded by 50 American flags, representing the 50 American states. These flags/residents about their time living there.

6. The White House

The White House is the official residence of the President of the United States. The home of every president except George Washington was originally built by James Hoban in 1792, and after being burned down by British forces in 1814 was rebuilt in 1818.

Although tours of the interior that include the East, Blue, Green, and Red Rooms; the Ballroom; and the State Dining Room must be reserved well in advance through your Congressional office or embassy, every tourist to Washington will want to see this iconic building, at least from the outside.

The free White House Visitor Center, a short distance away, has excellent interactive exhibits, which show details about the White House and the presidential families. It includes furniture of past presidents, a model of the residence, historical changes, and videos with insights from presidents about their time living there.

8. National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum is one of the world's most popular museums, with a collection of history-making air and spacecraft that includes the original 1903 Wright Brothers Flyer and Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the first plane to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

9. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Near the Smithsonian museums, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum documents, studies, and interprets the history of the Holocaust with the dual purpose of memorializing the victims and helping the world to confront hatred and prevent genocide.

Permanent exhibits examine the rise of the Nazis and the Aryan ideology, the ghettos, and key events such as Kristallnacht, the concentration camps, and the Nazi atrocities.

10. National Cathedral

Witness the glorious architecture and the rich culture of the American city by visiting the famous National Cathedral. One of the top places to visit in the city, this church offers a peaceful and heavenly environment. So, even if you’re not too religious, make sure you stop by this place to soak in a little bliss.

11. Tidal Basin

One of the best places to visit in Washington DC in summer, Tidal Basin offers spectacular views and is home to some of the famous historic monuments. The renowned National Cherry Blossom Festival is also celebrated here. Also offering boating, it is undoubtedly the best for recreation and peace.

12. Smithsonian's National Zoo

One of the oldest and most prestigious zoos in the States, it was founded in 1889 and is very highly thought of for its excellent research and conservation work. In total, it now impressively contains over 2,700 animals that represent more than 390 species from as far afield as Africa, Asia, and South America. On top of this, interesting talks and live demonstrations constantly take place in the zoo.

Boasting an incredible selection of exotic animals, birds, and reptiles, the superb Smithsonian National Zoo can be found just fifteen minutes drive north of downtown. Sprawled across a huge area, its spacious enclosures and exhibits are home to everything from orangutans and elephants to gorillas, giant pandas, and komodo dragons.

13. Botanic Garden

Right next to the majestic Capitol Building is another very pleasant outdoor space for you to enjoy: the United States Botanic Garden. Lovingly landscaped, its gorgeous grounds and gleaming glass conservatory are a treat to stroll around with pretty plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs wherever you look. The oldest continually-operating botanic garden in the country, it was first established in 1820 with exquisitely manicured lawns and colorful flower beds found next to lovely water features and fountains. Inside the conservatory are scenic sections dedicated to desert plants and orchids, jungle species, and primeval trees with the marvelous Mediterranean and medicinal areas also on show.

14. Potomac River

If you visit Washington DC, then make sure you also head to the nearby gorgeous Potomac River, which is a gateway to various popular attractions of the city. Apart from offering splendid views of nature, the river also offers the activities like kayaking and bicycling. It is undoubtedly the best place to visit in Washington DC in winter to have ultimate fun in the city which looks heavenly in winter.

15. Eastern Market

One should head to the Eastern Market for cheap shopping in Washington D.C. This market is considered the second-best flea market in Washington D.C. as there are so many diverse vendors selling a variety of accessories and clothing options. This market started in the year 1983 and since then it has been a popular flea market from where one can buy varied imported products and vintage items at a surprisingly low rate.

Besides these, there is much more to explore in Washington DC like International Spy Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, Georgetown Historic District, National Archives, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and much more...

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