Located on the country’s East Coast in the District of Columbia, Washington DC is the capital of the USA, and among the popular places to visit in America. The cosmopolitan city is home to many diverse cultures, interesting museums, and many iconic landmarks that will definitely excite history buffs. Many of these monuments are located within the beautifully landscaped parkland known as the National Mall, one of the most visited tourist places in Washington DC. In addition, the city is also renowned for the cultural style it embosses with its buoyant nightlife, appetizing dining experiences, interesting art galleries, and trendy shops. Check, here our list of some of the top places to visit in Washington DC that will offer you a true glimpse of this historic city and its culture as part of the USA tour packages.
Stands at the west end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial is a national memorial built in 1922 in honor of the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who is credited with abolishing slavery and modernizing the US economy. Separated from the Washington Monument by the Reflecting Pool, it is one of the most visited tourist places in Washington DC. The memorial was built in the form of a Greek Doric temple and was designed by Daniel Chester French. The 30-foot large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and his two famous speeches etched onto its walls are the famous attractions of the memorial. There are also murals painted by Jules Guerin on the inside walls showing important events in Lincoln’s life. Also, the memorial has been the site of several famous speeches, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech delivered on 28th August 1963. The exterior of the memorial is also made fully of marble, surrounded by 36 Doric columns that signify each state that existed at the time of Lincoln’s demise attracting many history buffs and art lovers as part of Washington Tour Packages.
A National Heritage Site, the White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. Originally built by James Hoban in 1792, it is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and among the must-include places in Washington Tour. The site for the White House was selected by George Washington, the first president of the United States, but President John Adams was the first to live in it. It was burned down by the British forces during the war in 1812 but later reconstructed in 1818. Designed in neoclassical style, the modern-day white house complex comprises the Executive Residence, the West Wing, the East Wing, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (the former State Department, which now houses offices for the president’s staff and the vice president), and Blair House, a guest residence. If you want to take a guided tour, you must request through their congressman’s office 21 days to six months in advance. Tours of the White House include the three parlors known as the Blue, Red, and Green rooms, as well as the State Dining Room.
Opened in 1888, the Washington Monument is an obelisk-shaped building built to honor the very first President of the United States of America, George Washington, whose name later also inspired the city’s name. The Washington Monument is one of the top places to see in Washington DC and the tallest in the district with a height of 555 ft. The obelisk is hollow and Egyptian styled, with a lift taking visitors to the observation deck situated at 500 feet height, from where one gets a birds-eye view of the National Mall and the entire city of Washington DC. Around 194 memorial stones from various nations are incorporated within the east and west interior walls of the monument, and the base is surrounded by 50 American flags, representing the 50 American states.
U.S Capitol Hill
Located at Capitol Hill, the United States Capitol is arguably the most magnificent building in Washington DC. This is the seat of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Built between 1793 and 1812, it is recognized around the world as a symbol of the United States. The huge dome, based on the dome of St. Peter’s in Rome, stands out above all other Washington buildings. Also, the building houses some marvelous paintings, frescoes, the Statue of Freedom, and sculptures that reflect American history. One can also visit the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and the U.S. Botanic Garden on the same hill. To tour the Capitol building, visitors need to get passes, which can be obtained from their congressmen’s office.
National Air & Space Museum
The National Air & Space Museum is the fifth most visited museum in the world, and among the prime places to visit in Washington Dc. Established in 1946 and opened in 1976, the museum provides an insight into the history of planes and aircraft. The museum houses a collection of over 60,000 items covering everything related to air and space. Some of the highlights include Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Vega 5B, the Apollo 11 Command Module, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, and Wilbur and Orville Wright’s 1903 Wright Flyer. In addition, the museum also houses other objects like rockets, balloons, equipment, satellites, and engines. The National Air & Space Museum offers plenty of hands-on activities for kids.
With a long strip of the grassy park and pond area, National Mall is the most famous urban park that receives millions of visitors every day as it is home to some of the most famous museums and monuments in Washington DC. Some of the top attractions include the Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Museums, the Washington Monument, the National Gallery of Art, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the National World War II Memorial. A portion of the National Mall lies along the Tidal Basin, where you can go for boat paddling, or if you’re lucky enough to attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival where you’ll get an outstanding view of pink cherry blossoms blooming in full swing. Beside Tidal Basin, you’ll find the stunning Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
National Gallery of Art
Founded in 1937, the National Gallery of Art is one of the premier art museums in the world and among the best museums in the United States. The museum is divided into two separate buildings connected by a tunnel that displays a vast collection of masterpieces of European and American paintings, decorative arts, and sculptures. Some of the highlights include the masterpieces of Da Vinci, Rembrandt, El Greco, Monet, Renoir, Vermeer, Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, etc. Also, the museum hosts several temporary exhibitions and free concerts that lure a large number of visitors, especially art lovers. Besides, a recent addition to the National Gallery of Art is the Sculpture Garden which covers an area of 6.1 acres and houses around 21 modern and contemporary sculptures.
National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History is one of the popular Smithsonian museums located in the National Mall premises in the city of Washington DC. The museum traces the political, social, scientific, cultural, and technological history of the United States from colonial times to the present. The museum displays some important articles and historical objects related to the evolution of the American identity. Some of the highlights include the famed Star-Spangled Banner, Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Thomas Jefferson’s desk to one of Edison’s light bulbs. Apart, the exhibits in the museum also examine how people lived, where they worked, what they wore, what they ate, how they worshiped, where they worked, and how they governed themselves. Thronged by thousands of visitors, it is one of the best historical places to visit in Washington DC.
The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, commonly known as Washington National Cathedral is the 6th largest cathedrals in the world and among the top places to visit in Washington DC. The construction was started in 1907 and opened to the public after 83 years in 1990. Built in the Neo-Gothic style, it is the second-largest church building in the United States, and the third-tallest building in Washington DC. The cathedral is the seat of both the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Bruce Curry, and the bishop of the Diocese of Washington, Mariann Edgar Budde. The building of the cathedral also impresses visitors with its artistic details, high vaults, and stained glass windows. As one of the major cathedrals in the city, it is often used for presidential funerals and memorial services.
National Museum of Natural History
Administered by the Smithsonian Institution, the Natural Museum of National History is one of the biggest and best museums in Washington DC. Lies along the National Mall, the museum is home to a great collection of over 140 million artifacts, exhibits, and specimens that look at everything from Ancient Egypt and Korean culture to dinosaurs, epidemics, and meteorites. Some of the highlights include tarantula feedings in the O. Orkin Insect Zoo and the replicas of giant whales and other marine life in the 23,000-square-foot Sant Ocean Hall. Also, visitors can wander through the colorful butterfly pavilion or catch a show in its IMAX theater. Attracting millions of visitors, it is one of the fascinating places to explore with kids during the Washington Trip.
National World War II Memorial
Located in the National Mall premises, the National World War II is a popular memorial built to honor the people who sacrificed their lives during World War II. Flanked by two triumphal arches, the memorial consists of 56 columns, standing for the 48 states and various territories under the US at the time of the war. You can also pay respects at Freedom Wall, which has 4,048 stars, each signifying 100 American lives lost during the war. Apart, the site also has a splendid fountain at the center and several symbols of victory that adds beauty to this place.
Smithsonian Zoological Park
Founded in 1889, the National Zoological Park is one of the oldest and most prestigious zoos located in Washington DC. Spread over an area of 163 acres, the park is home to more than 1500 animals, birds, fishes, and reptiles including lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, giant pandas, and some endangered species. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, then spotting these creatures and being around them is one of the top things to do in Washington DC. Apart, live demonstrations and interesting talks will constantly takes place in this zoo that attracts a large number of tourists.