17 Best Places to Visit in Washington Dc (2024)

4. National Museum of American History

National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History is a special place where you can learn all about the history of the United States.

It has many interesting things to see, like old artifacts, famous objects, and exhibits that show how people lived in the past. This museum helps us understand how America has changed over time and why certain events are important in our country’s story.

It’s a fun and educational place for everyone to explore and discover more about American history.

Key Point

Things to do
  • Visit the “Star-Spangled Banner” exhibit, featuring the original flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem during the War of 1812.
  • Discover the “The First Ladies” exhibit, which highlights the contributions and influence of America’s First Ladies throughout history.
  • See the “Price of Freedom: Americans at War” exhibit, which displays artifacts and stories from various conflicts in American history, including the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World Wars, and more.
  • Visit the “Within These Walls” exhibit, which offers a glimpse into American domestic life through various household artifacts and settings from different time periods.
  • Check out rotating special exhibits, which cover a range of topics related to American history and culture, providing fresh perspectives and insights with each visit.
Entry fees
  • No entry fee
Timings
  • 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Places to stay
  • Hotel Harrington
  • Salamander Washington DC
  • Waldorf Astoria Washington DC
  • Holiday Inn Washington Capitol – Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
  • Architect Hotel
  • JW Marriott Washington, DC
  • Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant
Tourist Attractions
  • Star-Spangled Banner
  • The First Ladies Collection
  • The American Presidency
  • Transportation
  • The Price of Freedom
  • Innovation Wing
  • American Stories
  • American Enterprise
  • The Dolls’ House
  • Sports
Location
  • 1300 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

5. National Air and Space Museum

Best Places to Visit in Washington Dc

The National Air and Space Museum is a cool place where you can see awesome planes, rockets, and learn about space. It’s like a big playground for anyone who loves flying and exploring the stars.

When you visit this museum, you’ll get to see real spacecraft, historic airplanes, and hear amazing stories about astronauts. It’s a place where you can dream big and imagine what it’s like to soar through the sky and into outer space. Come check it out and get ready to be amazed!

Key Point

Things to do
  • Explore the Milestones of Flight exhibit, featuring iconic aircraft such as the Wright brothers’ Flyer, Spirit of St. Louis, and Apollo 11 command module.
  • Visit the Space Race gallery to learn about the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union to explore outer space.
  • Experience the immersive IMAX theater, showcasing captivating documentaries and films about space exploration and aviation.
  • Discover the fascinating world of space exploration in the Space Hall, featuring artifacts from various space missions, including moon rocks and space suits.
  • Engage with interactive exhibits and simulators to experience what it’s like to pilot an aircraft or journey into space.
  • Attend educational programs, lectures, and special events hosted by experts in aviation and space exploration.
Entry fees
  • No entry fee
Timings
  • 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Places to stay
  • The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum itself does not offer accommodation as it is primarily a museum.
  • Visitors looking for places to stay near the museum can explore various hotels in the Washington, D.C. area.
  • Some nearby hotel options include The Hay-Adams, Willard InterContinental Washington, and JW Marriott Washington, DC.
  • Alternatively, visitors can explore Airbnb or other rental options for accommodations in the vicinity of the museum.
Tourist Attractions
  • Wright Brothers Flyer
  • Spirit of St. Louis
  • Apollo 11 Command Module
  • Space Shuttle Discovery
  • Mercury Friendship 7
  • Hubble Space Telescope Model
  • Lunar Module (LEM)
  • SR-71 Blackbird
  • Space Capsule 007
  • Bell X-1
Location
  • 600 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

6. Smithsonian Zoological Park

Best Places to Visit in Washington Dc

Welcome to the Smithsonian Zoological Park! This special place is like a big home for lots of animals from all around the world. It’s a place where you can see amazing creatures like lions, elephants, and even pandas.

The zoo is a fun and exciting place to learn about animals and their habitats while having a great time with family and friends. Come along and explore the wonders of the animal kingdom at the Smithsonian Zoological Park!

Key Point

Things to do
  • Explore the various animal exhibits, including lions, tigers, elephants, pandas, and more.
  • Attend animal feedings and keeper talks to learn about the animals and their behaviors.
  • Take a stroll through the scenic grounds and enjoy the beautiful landscaping and architecture.
  • Visit the Giant Panda Habitat to see the iconic pandas and learn about conservation efforts for this endangered species.
  • Discover the Amazonia exhibit, featuring a diverse range of rainforest species including monkeys, birds, and reptiles.
  • Check out the Elephant Trails exhibit, home to Asian elephants and providing insights into elephant behavior and conservation.
  • Visit the Great Ape House to see gorillas, orangutans, and other primates up close.
  • Explore the Kids’ Farm, where children can interact with farm animals and learn about agriculture and animal care.
Entry fees
  • No entry fee
Timings
  • 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Places to stay
  • Lion and Tiger Viewing Lodge
  • Jungle Safari Cabins
  • Treehouse Retreat
  • Savannah Safari Tents
  • Penguin Point Chalets
  • Aquatic Aviary Cottages
Tourist Attractions
  • National Zoo Giant Pandas
  • Great Ape House
  • Elephant Trails
  • Amazonia
  • Reptile Discovery Center
  • Think Tank
  • American Trail
  • African Savanna
  • Bird House and Bird Garden
  • Small Mammal House
Location
  • 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA

7. National Cathedral

National Cathedral

A National Cathedral is a special building in a country that holds great importance for its people. It’s not just any church; it’s a place where important ceremonies and events happen, where people come together to pray, celebrate, and remember important moments in their country’s history.

National Cathedrals are often impressive structures, with beautiful architecture and designs that reflect the culture and values of the nation they belong to. They stand as symbols of unity, faith, and heritage for the entire country.

Key Point

Things to do
  • Guided Tours: Explore the architectural marvel and historical significance of the National Cathedral through guided tours, available for individuals and groups.
  • Attend a Service: Experience spiritual nourishment by attending one of the many religious services held regularly at the Cathedral, including traditional and contemporary worship.
  • View the Art and Architecture: Marvel at the intricate craftsmanship and stunning stained glass windows that adorn the Cathedral, showcasing both traditional and modern artistic expressions.
  • Participate in Special Events: Check the Cathedral’s calendar for special events such as concerts, lectures, and exhibitions featuring a diverse range of topics and performers.
  • Visit the Gardens: Take a leisurely stroll through the Cathedral’s beautifully landscaped gardens, offering tranquility amidst the bustling cityscape.
  • Climb the Tower: Ascend the Cathedral’s tower for panoramic views of Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area, providing a unique perspective on the nation’s capital.
Entry fees
  • Adults: INR 824
  • Teens: INR 549
  • Children: Free
Timings
  • Monday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Places to stay
  • The Line Hotel DC
  • The Embassy Row Hotel
  • Washington Marriott Wardman Park
  • Omni Shoreham Hotel
  • Kimpton Glover Park Hotel
  • The Churchill Hotel Near Embassy Row
  • American Guest House
  • The Kalorama Guest House
  • The Normandy Hotel
  • The Fairfax at Embassy Row
Tourist Attractions
  • Gothic Architecture
  • Gardens and Grounds
  • Stained Glass Windows
  • Choir Performances
  • Tower Climb
  • Historical Exhibits
  • Regular Services and Events
  • Crypt and Memorials
  • Gargoyle Tour
  • Visitor Center and Gift Shop
Location
  • 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016, USA

Author

  • EVE Arnold

    EVE Arnold is a Blogger in the USA Travel section at Best Places to Travel where he writes and edits travel guides, tours and articles.

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