Washington D.C. is an important destination to learn about the U.S., its historic past and eventful present. Tour monuments and museums and appreciate nonpolitical aspects of this impressive city.
The National Mall and Memorial Parks is a good place to begin, with a 2-mile (3-kilometer) stretch of attractions. Stand on the steps of the Lincoln Monument and remember Lincoln’s actions in freeing slaves and establishing a path to race equality in the U.S. Gaze over the reflecting pool to see the tall Washington Monument for the nation’s first president at the center of the mall and the dome of the U.S. Capitol in the distance.
View poignant memorials recognizing American veterans of the Vietnam War, Korean War and World War II near the reflecting pool. Monuments to Franklin Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr. surround the Tidal Pool just south of the mall. Take a paddleboat across the water for different monument perspectives. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is just east.
The Smithsonian has 13 sites along or near the National Mall. Stop at the Smithsonian Castle visitor center to plan your days of exploration, whatever your interests. Among the options are the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, the American History Museum, the American Indian Museum, the African American History and Culture Museum and the African Art Museum.
North of the National Mall is the president’s residence, the White House. For tours of the White House or observations of sessions in the U.S. Capitol, contact your member of congress or country embassy well in advance of your trip to D.C.
Other attractions in Washington D.C. include the National Gallery of Art, the Newseum, filled with interactive stories about freedom and free expression, and the Library of Congress,recognized asthe world’s largest library. Ford’s Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated, is now a working theater. Enjoy outstanding performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. See professional football, baseball, hockey and basketball in nearby venues.