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10 Best Things to Do in Washington D.C.

Suny Errot

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Escape your every day and come to a place abundant in life and color. Washington D.C. has so much in store for you; you just have to explore it.

Read on to learn about the best things to do in Washington D.C. You know you need it.

1. Visit the Iconic Home of America’s President

The White House | Photo credit: Diego Cambiaso via Flickr

The White House is known as the United States’ President’s official residence and workplace. George Washington, America’s first president, was the one who chose the site for the White House in 1791. It was built by an Irish-born architect named James Hoban. The beautiful residence was completed after eight years of construction, allowing then-President John Adams and his wife to move in 1800.

Facts about the White House:

  • You’ll need 570 gallons of paint to cover the whole outside surface.
  • The White House has five full-time chefs, and the kitchen can also serve dinner to more than 140 guests and hors d’oeuvres to more
  • than 1,000.
  • There are approximately 6,000 visitors a day.
  • The White House has 132 rooms and 32 bathrooms. There are also more than 147 windows, 7 staircases, and 412 doors.
  • The White House tour is free of charge. To join one, you must submit a public tour request through a Member of Congress.
  • Self-guided tours are allowed and are generally available from Tuesday to Saturday, except during federal holidays.
  • There are many facilities available in the White House. It has a jogging track, a swimming pool, tennis court, movie theater, a bowling lane, and a billiard room.

2. Get up Close and Personal With the Wax Figures at Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds
Source: Madame Tussauds

Do you think history is b-o-r-i-n-g? Well, if you visit Madame Tussauds, you’ll realize it’s more glam than bland. Learn about historic and iconic people, from your favorite Hollywood A-listers and athletes to musicians and the political elite!

Get up close and personal the wax figures. Come and meet:

A-List Party

  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Zac Efron
  • George Clooney
  • Brad Pitt
  • Angelina Jolie

Music

  • Whitney Houston
  • Taylor Swift
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Beyonce
  • Rihanna
  • Justin Bieber
  • Marvin Gaye

Cultural Icons

  • Juliette Gordon Low
  • J. Edgar Hoover
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Rosa Parks

Not sure if your favorite artist has a wax figure at Madame Tussauds? Don’t worry. There are a lot of icons here.

3. Check out Espionage Artifacts at the International Spy Museum

If you are an aspiring spy or detective, you’ll find that one of the best things to do in Washington D.C. is visiting the International Spy Museum. The museum is dedicated to lifting the veil of secrecy, as well as explore the success and failures of the hidden world of intelligence. There’s more to it than you know.

What to expect:

  • You can take on an undercover mission and test your spy skills while traveling to the Museum’s exhibitions.
  • You’ll be tested as to whether you’re a strategic thinker if you have nerves of steel and strong memory.

General Admission

  • Adult ages 13-64 – $24.95
  • Kids ages 7-12 – $14.95
  • Senior, Military, Law Enforcement, Intelligence Community, or a College Student (with valid ID) – $19.95
  • Children 6 and under – FREE

Address: 700 L’Enfant Plaza, SW Washington DC 20024

4. Discover the National Gallery of Art

Check out the most beautiful and most vital art of this world-renowned museum.

The National Gallery of Art has over 141,000 paintings, photographs, drawings, and sculptures. These masterpieces are from numerous countries and historical eras, with some stretching back to the Middle Ages.

What’s inside?

  • Sky-lit tower galleries
  • A rooftop terrace with a blue rooster sculpture and 500 works of art
  • Multiverse installation (with 41,000 LED nodes)
  • Sculpture Garden Ice-Skating Rink

Note: Admission is always free.

5. See the Statue of Albert Einstein

Statue of Albert Einstein
Source: Statue of Albert Einstein | Have Camera Will Travel

When in Washington D.C., you shouldn’t miss the monumental bronze statue depicting Albert Einstein. The statue shows the German-born theoretical physicist seated with manuscript papers in hand. Its sculptor, Robert Berks, is well-known for his works for the US Presidents, Nobel Laureates and other celebrities. Similar to what he did with his other works, Berks humanized the Albert Einstein sculpture using rough-hewn texture.

What you should expect:

  • The statue is tucked away among the trees just outside the National Academy of Science, and near the National Mall, Vietnam, and Lincoln Memorials.
  • Try to rub Einstein’s nose. Who knows? Some of his intelligence might just rub off on you.

6. Munch on Artisan Food at the Union Market

Union Market in Washington
Source: Union Market | Dan Cunningham

The epicenter of culinary creativity can be found in Union Market. It is said that this place is where businesses scale and grow, and a place where people from all walks of life come to find a community they can call their own.

Try all the delicious dishes by over 40 local vendors (and much more to come). Come see the following:

  • O-Ku Sushi
  • Coconut Club
  • Dolcezza Gelato
  • Pluma
  • Biowell Restaurant
  • St. Anselm
  • The Village Cafe
  • Shouk
  • Masseria

7. Try the Local Foods and Crafts at Eastern Market

Eastern Market
Source: Eastern Market | Flickr/Zach Stern

The original premier foods and art market housed in a brick building is just located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Check out everything they have to offer: fresh food, community events, local farm-fresh produce, and handmade crafts! The Eastern Market continues to attract visitors from all over the world and it’s only fitting you find out why.

8. Join a Pentagon Tour

Pentagon
Source: Pentagon Tour | Getty Images/Hisham F. Ibrahim

First of all, really? Is the United States Department of Defense allowing visitors to roam their walls and learn their military history? Apparently, yes.

Join a Pentagon Tour and experience a different kind of engaging fun in your trip for once. All you need to do is submit a reservation request in advance (at least 14-90 days before the tour) and wait for the confirmation.

The tours are conducted from Monday to Thursday (10 am to 4 pm) and Friday (12 pm to 4 pm).

9. Enjoy a Cocktail Cruise at the Potomac River

What’s better than cruising the Potomac River and enjoying the view of the Capitol City? We’ll tell you what – nothing.

You’ll find snacks, soft drinks, alcohol, and even delicious dishes while you tug along. It’s best if you go on a cruise during the warmer months of the year just so you can take in the spectacular views.

10. Appreciate the Exhibits at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum The Real Wright Flyer
Source: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum – The Real Wright Flyer

Connect with air and space in a place that’s dedicated to that alone. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum showcases rockets, missiles, aircraft, and other flight-related artifacts that will fuel the mind of aspiring astronauts or air fighters.

Many love to get a glimpse of these treasures:

  • Spirit of St. Louis – the airplane used by Charles Lindbergh to complete the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1903 Wright Flyer – the world’s first airplane.

No matter the season, you’re sure to have loads of good times if you come to explore Washington D.C.

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