Monuments, memorials, museums, green-spaces, there is a lot to see and do in the US capital that makes millions of tourists flock to Washington DC every year. In fact, the abundance of tourist attractions makes it quite confusing for a foreigner to explore the place. So, to help you out, below is a list of the must-visit places in DC that you should include in your tour itinerary without any fail.
Not just one or two, there are 19 Smithsonian museums in DC, and you can visit them all if time permits. The network of museums includes everything from the Museum of Natural History to the American History Museum. You can visit the museum according to your interests. A surprising fact is that entry to all the museums is free.
Located to the National Mall’s Southside, the Tidal Basin is a serene reservoir where you can head over to get a stunning picture for your DC memorabilia. Surrounding this inlet, there are famous monuments like the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. You can enjoy paddling around the pond during warm weather.
Head over to Georgetown for some good dining and shopping experience. In this commercial neighborhood, there are high-end stores like Zara and Brooks Brothers and classic eateries such as Fiola Mare and Clyde’s. In fact, some notable people, such as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Graham Bell, and John F Kennedy, were once the residents of Georgetown.
The National Zoo
The National Zoo is a branch of the Smithsonian Institution and this is a good place to visit especially if children are accompanying you on your Washington DC tour. You can see a whole lot variety of animals in the zoo, from elephants and lions to Amazonian frogs. However, more famous members in the zoo are the four beloved pandas.
Located in DC’s Northwest quadrant, this place is little or barely heard, but only until a few years back when some travelers visited the place. Named after the Shaw Junior High School, this region is highly popular for highlighting the colorful side of DC with artisan bars, boutiques, and restaurants.
H Street NE
H Street NE is the best place to escape from the busy city rush. This place is also known as Atlas District because of the Atlas performing Arts Center, which is home to an collection of restaurants and bars, from Toki Underground and Maketto to the Rock and Roll Hotel. The best time to visit this place will be when the H Street festival is held in the fall season.
As the name says, you can go through the history of the Holocaust in this artistically beautiful museum building. The main exhibitions here are Hall of Remembrance, Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story, Stephen Tyrone Johns Memorial, and permanent exhibitions that mainly focus on promoting human dignity, preventing genocide, and strengthening democracy.
The Potomac River borders Virginia and DC and this is a great place to go if you like water sports. During pleasant weather, you can see adventurous water activities by rowers, kayakers, and stand-up paddle boarders. If you visit the place on July 4th, take a sightseeing cruise that becomes ultimate when the fireworks hits the sky.
The John F Kennedy center is a performing arts center located in the banks of Potomac River. In this center, programs like opera, rotating acts and plays, and National Symphony Orchestra plays are held. In addition, you can consider visiting any one of the free cultural activities conducted there every day.
Washington is not much known as a baseball city, but Nationals games are highly popular in DC. National Park is a ballpark having a waterfront setting, and providing affordable tickets. Even though you may not be a baseball fan, the national game is worth for its fun and the food (you can try local food like crab cakes and half-smokes).
Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan, and it looks nothing less than mesmerizing when it blooms. If you are off to DC in the spring season, you can see these beautiful flowers lining near the Potomac River. In fact, the city goes all crazy about the flowers during the two-week-long Cherry Blossom Festival, to the point that you may see these flowers on your glass of cocktail or even on your cupcakes.
Maybe some of you may think why we need to visit the Supreme Court as a tourist spot. Actually, the Supreme Court of the US is built in a Neoclassic architectural style which itself is a sight to behold. Apart from this, oral arguments are open to the visitors (from October to April). Additionally, you can also see around the court to view the beautifully decorated building and its portrait collections.