30 Best Places and Things To Do in Washington, District of Columbia

Washington D.C. is the capital city of the United States and is home to numerous historic landmarks, world-class museums, and diverse neighborhoods. Here are some of the best places and things to do in the District of Columbia:

1. Lincoln Memorial

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The memorial was built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who is known for his role in ending slavery and preserving the Union during the Civil War. The monument features a larger-than-life statue of Lincoln sitting in a chair, with inscriptions of his famous speeches, including the Gettysburg Address and his second Inaugural Address, etched into the walls.

2. National World War II Memorial

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The memorial consists of 56 pillars representing the states, territories, and districts that contributed to the war effort, as well as two arches representing the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of the war. The centerpiece of the memorial is a large fountain, surrounded by bronze sculptures depicting soldiers, sailors, and airmen in action.

3. Jefferson Memorial

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The Jefferson Memorial was designed in the neoclassical style and features a large bronze statue of Jefferson, standing over 19 feet tall, surrounded by inscriptions of his most famous quotes and speeches. The interior walls of the memorial also feature excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, which Jefferson authored.

4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

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The memorial includes a variety of features, including waterfalls, sculptures, and inscriptions of Roosevelt’s most famous quotes. The centerpiece of the memorial is a bronze statue of Roosevelt, seated in a wheelchair, which represents his struggle with polio and his determination to lead the nation through the Great

5. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

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The statue of King is 30 feet tall and depicts him with his arms crossed, gazing out over the Tidal Basin. The memorial also includes a wall inscribed with some of King’s most inspiring quotes, as well as a bookstore and an information center.

6. The National Archives Museum

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The museum includes a variety of exhibits and displays, including interactive exhibits, videos, and audio recordings. Visitors can learn about the history and significance of the documents on display, as well as the process of preserving and protecting them for future generations.

7. International Spy Museum

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The museum includes interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience what it’s like to be a spy, including a simulated spy mission and a chance to crack codes and decipher messages. Visitors can also see real-life spy gadgets and artifacts, as well as learn about the techniques and tactics used by spies throughout history.

8. Smithsonian American Art Museum

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The museum’s collection includes a wide range of art forms, including painting, sculpture, photography, and decorative arts. Visitors can see works by some of America’s most famous artists, including Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Andy Warhol.

9. National Postal Museum

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The museum offers visitors a chance to learn about the evolution of the postal service in America, from its earliest beginnings to its current role in the modern world. Visitors can see a variety of rare and historic stamps, including the famous “Inverted Jenny” stamp, as well as mail sorting equipment, historic mail vehicles, and other artifacts.

10. Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art

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The museum’s collection includes more than 40,000 works of art, spanning over 6,000 years of Asian history and culture. The collection includes a wide variety of art forms, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, and more. Visitors can see works from countries throughout Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, India, and the Islamic world.

11. Albert Einstein Memorial

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The monument consists of a bronze statue of Einstein seated on a bench, with papers and equations scattered around him. The statue was created by sculptor Robert Berks, and is approximately 12 feet tall and weighs over four tons.

12. Dumbarton Oaks

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The museum at Dumbarton Oaks features a collection of art and artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome, and the Byzantine Empire. The collection includes rare manuscripts, paintings, sculptures, and other works of art that provide a glimpse into the ancient world.

13. Vietnam Women’s Memorial

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The memorial consists of three bronze statues depicting three women in uniform, tending to a wounded soldier. The statues were created by artist Glenna Goodacre and are approximately seven feet tall. The statues are surrounded by a low wall that features the names of the women who served in the Vietnam War.

14. National Museum of the American Indian

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The National Museum of the American Indian also features a number of special events and programs throughout the year, including cultural performances, workshops, and lectures. The museum’s on-site restaurant, Mitsitam Cafe, offers visitors a chance to sample Native American cuisine from different regions across the country.

15. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

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The museum’s Sculpture Garden is a beautiful outdoor space that features works by many of the same artists represented in the museum’s collection. The garden covers over an acre and includes sculptures by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Alexander Calder, and Henry Moore.

16. Rock Creek Park

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One of the most popular attractions in Rock Creek Park is the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, a scenic road that winds through the park and offers beautiful views of the park’s forests and streams. Visitors can also explore the park’s many historic sites, including the Pierce Mill, a 19th-century grist mill that is still in operation today.

17. The Kreeger Museum

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The Kreeger Museum’s collection includes works by many prominent modern and contemporary artists, including Picasso, Monet, Renoir, and Calder. The museum also features works by several local D.C. artists, highlighting the city’s rich artistic history.

18. National Building Museum

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The National Building Museum’s collection includes a wide range of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the evolution of architecture and design over time. The museum features permanent exhibits that explore topics such as the design and construction of cities, the history of American architecture, and the role of design in shaping public policy.

19. National Museum of African Art

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The National Museum of African Art’s collection includes over 12,000 works of art, including traditional masks, sculptures, textiles, and contemporary paintings and installations. The museum’s exhibits are organized by region and explore the diversity of African art and culture.

20. National Geographic Museum

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The National Geographic Museum’s exhibits are organized around themes such as exploration, wildlife, and conservation, and include displays on topics such as ancient Egypt, the Arctic, and the deep sea. The museum’s interactive exhibits allow visitors to explore the world’s ecosystems, learn about endangered species, and experience what it’s like to be an explorer in the field.

21. African American Civil War Memorial Museum

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The centerpiece of the museum is the African American Civil War Memorial, which honors the more than 200,000 African American soldiers and sailors who served in the Union Army and Navy during the Civil War. The memorial features a sculpture of three soldiers and a wall of honor that lists the names of more than 200,000 African American Civil War veterans.

22. Heurich House Museum

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The Heurich House Museum is a three-story Victorian mansion that features original furnishings and decor from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum’s exhibits provide a glimpse into the daily life of the Heurich family and the Washington D.C. elite during this period. Visitors can explore the home’s ornate parlors, dining room, and other rooms, which are filled with original artwork, furniture, and decorative objects.

23. The Yards Park

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One of the unique features of The Yards Park is its canal basin, which is a water feature that allows boats to enter the park and dock at its edge. Visitors can rent kayaks or paddle boats to explore the waterways around the park, or simply enjoy the peaceful scenery from the park’s many benches and seating areas.

24. Georgetown Waterfront Park

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The park features a variety of recreational amenities, including a large grassy area for picnicking and playing games, a riverfront boardwalk for strolling or jogging, and a fountain for cooling off on hot summer days. The park also includes a number of seating areas and benches, which provide great spots for taking in the scenic views.

25. Octagon Museum

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The Octagon Museum is best known for its role in American history as the site of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. The treaty negotiations were held at the mansion in August of 1814, and the agreement was signed in the home’s oval drawing room, which is still intact and on display today.

26. National Guard Memorial Museum

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The museum features a variety of exhibits and artifacts related to the history of the National Guard, including weapons, uniforms, photographs, and documents. Visitors can learn about the role of the National Guard in American military history, including its contributions to World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and more recent conflicts such as Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

27. George Mason Memorial

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The memorial features a bronze statue of Mason, seated on a bench and holding a draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. The statue is set on a circular platform surrounded by a fountain and a colonnade of columns. The columns are inscribed with excerpts from Mason’s writings and speeches, highlighting his contributions to American political and philosophical thought.

28. Meridian Hill Park

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The park was designed and constructed in the early 1900s by landscape architect George Burnap. It features a terraced hillside that leads up to a large cascading fountain, surrounded by statues, formal gardens, and walking paths. The park is also home to the historic Meridian Hill Park Lodge, a beautiful Neoclassical building that was once a meeting place for local politicians and civic organizations.

29. Constitution Gardens

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One of the park’s most notable features is the memorial to the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. The memorial features a bronze plaque for each signer, set into a curved wall that surrounds a central plaza. The plaza is also home to a large American flag that flies year-round, as well as a granite map of the original 13 colonies.

30. American Red Cross Museum

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located in a historic building that was once the headquarters of the American Red Cross. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits that showcase the organization’s history and its impact on the world. The exhibits feature artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that allow visitors to learn about the organization’s work and its many volunteers and supporters.

These are just a few of the many attractions that Woodley Park and Washington, D.C. have to offer. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or outdoor recreation, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.