As the United States’ only federal district, it is home to many grand government buildings such as the White House and the Capitol Building, lobbying groups, nonprofits, and trade unions.
D.C is truly a place like no other. Being a federal city, an international metropolis, and a place of rich historical significance, it offers an enormous range of attractions to explore. These are five of the most interesting attractions to visit when staying in Washington DC.
The United States Capitol Building
The seat of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Capitol building is hard to miss with its rising dome that sits 88 feet above the Potomac River level. This icon of the city consists of over 600 rooms, taking up 1.5 million square feet of space, and is a beautifully built example of neoclassical architecture.
Take a guided tour that will walk you through the rich history of the building, including its Crypt, the Rotunda, the Old Supreme Court Chamber, and of course the National Statuary Hall.
To make it even better, all tours, activities, and programs are free of charge, as many of Washington D.C’s attractions. If you are interested in American history then there is no better place to start your trip than in D.C’s centerpiece, alongside the tours there are temporary exhibits, gift shops, and restaurants to explore.
The White House
As the official residence of the President of the United States, The White House is a must-see if you are visiting the area. Recognized internationally, the White House was originally built in 1792, it was reconstructed in 1818 after being burnt down by the British in 1814. It is a symbol of civil discourse and democracy.
Typically, there are two different tours, one of the east wing, and one of the west wing of the building. More commonly people tour the east wing (West wing tours are harder to get on) as this gives you access to the First Families living quarters, the Green, Blue, and Red Room, as well as the State Dining Room, the new Family Theater and Library.
The Washington Monument
Towering 555 feet into the skyline above D.C, The Washington Monument is a unique sight to behold, encircled by the 50 American flags, this obelisk structure was initially approved for construction in 1783 by congress, as a monument to the first President of the United States, but due to periods of political upheaval, lack of funds and the Civil War, the monument was not completed until 1885.
The view from outside the monument alone is impressive, especially when mirrored in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, but you can always take an elevator up to the very top, giving you an aerial view of the mall and the surrounding city.
The Lincoln Memorial
One of the most popular and well-known memorials of D.C is the Lincoln Memorial. Set at the other end of the reflecting pool from the Washington Monument, it’s centerpiece is it’s 19- foot statue of President Abraham Lincoln, constructed from marble. Surrounding the statue are 36 columns (a representation of the 36 states at the time of his presidency).
Like many of the building exteriors around Washington, the Lincoln Memorial is lit at night and powerful sight to see. This accompanied by the pool and monument would make for a great nighttime walk.
The National Museum Of African American History And Culture
The newest addition to the Smithsonian museums and the only museum exclusively devoted to African American culture and history focuses on areas such as American citizenship, equality, and African culture and its history in America. The museum hosts a huge range of ever-changing exhibits and continues to add to its collection of over 36,000 artifacts.
If you are interested in American history, then this is a must-see attraction, the exterior architecture alone is a sight to see, being truly unique alongside the more classical constructions found in Washington D.C. This is definitely an essential part of modern history, and it shows us how far we have come.
Washington D.C is packed with places to see, there are many more museums and places of significance scattered throughout the city, but a great place to start is in the mall area where all of these attractions are located.
Before visiting, make sure to research fees and tickets, most attractions are free but require you to book your tours and viewings before your arrival.
Want to stay longer? Renter data in Seattle, Washington could help!