Top Tourist Attractions in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is the capital of the USA and jam-packed with wonderful things to see and do. Aside from housing the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the government, the National Mall is home to scores of world-class museums and many marble-clad monuments and memorials.

The dynamic metropolis, which is its own federal district, is located on the east bank of the Potomac River, sandwiched between Virginia and Maryland. While the rest of the city is worth exploring due to its vibrant food and nightlife scenes, most visitors stick to the National Mall, which houses practically all of Washington, D.C.’s top tourist attractions.

1: Washington Monument


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The stunningly bright white Washington Monument, one of DC’s most iconic and distinguishing landmarks, rises impressively over the National Mall below. The massive obelisk, which stands 555 feet tall, honors the First President of the United States and his major military accomplishments during the American Revolutionary War.

The world’s largest monument column, towers above the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, creating a magnificent spectacle. You may visit the spectacular marble structure’s lofty observation deck in addition to taking images of it. Many are important and impressive landmarks, museums, and memorials can be seen from here, and the vistas are just breathtaking.

2: United States Capitol


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Congress meets in the United States Capitol. When the House of Representatives in session, the chambers are available to the public. Free passes are required for visitors, which may be obtained through their congressman’s office. They can also receive passes to tour the Capitol building at the same time, although guided tours do not allow them to see visiting legislators in action.

The Capitol was one of the first structures built by the new United States government after the Revolutionary War. Construction began in 1793, and the first legislative session was held there in 1800. The rotunda, which is located beneath the dome, is the heart of the Capitol building. This is where dignitaries, such as presidents, are laid to rest.

3: White House


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The White House performs a variety of functions. It is here that the President of the United States works and resides with his family. It is also a symbol of the United States. It is here that the President holds official meetings with foreign leaders and conducts state dinners for them.

The place for the White House was chosen by George Washington, the nation’s first president, but it was President John Adams who was the first to dwell there. During the War of 1812, the British set fire to it, although it was afterward rebuilt. For guests who plan ahead, self-guided tours are available. They must schedule a tour with their congressman’s office 21 to six months ahead of time. Also read Best Things to Do in Curacao.

4: Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial pays honor to the 3rd President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, and incorporates many of his architectural ideas. Its stately style is reminiscent of Rome’s Pantheon. This design sparked debate since it appeared too similar to the Lincoln Memorial to some. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who lay the cornerstone in 1939, ended the argument.

It is a memorial honoring Jefferson’s beliefs as a politician and philosopher, and it is located on the National Mall. It has a statue of Jefferson looking toward the White House. The memorial necessitated the removal of Japanese cherry trees, so it now hosts Washington’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

5: Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is now the world’s largest library. It was founded in 1800 to hold early United States records that were relocated from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., although it had poor beginnings. It was primarily a reference library for Congress for the first 100 years, but it now houses 158 million objects, including 36 million books in 460 languages and 69 million manuscripts.

It has North America’s greatest collection of rare books. The library is open for the public, although visitors are encouraged to look up the library’s contents online before coming so that research items are easier to find when they arrive. The Sacred Room is the main reading room, and it is very stunning. Also read Best Things to Do in Las Vegas.

6: Washington National Cathedral

The USA does not have an official national cathedral since it prefers to keep church and state distinct, but if it did, it must be the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is regarded as the nation’s spiritual home.

This Neo-Gothic building, also known as Washington National Cathedral, is the world’s sixth largest cathedral. Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, and Ford all had funerals here. The cathedral’s worship services are free, but there is a fee to visit the remainder of the building.

7: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

The outstanding Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is another of the largest and best museums in not only D.C. and the United States, but the entire world. Its nearly limitless halls, which run the length of the National Mall, are loaded with awe-inspiring artifacts, displays, and specimens covering everything from Ancient Egypt and Korean culture to dinosaurs, diseases, and meteorites.

The huge museum, which now has a collection of 145 million pieces, is a treat to explore and is a firm favorite with families. At addition to witnessing reconstructions of huge whales and triceratops skeletons, you can watch tarantulas being fed in the Insect Zoo, stroll through the colorful butterfly pavilion, or enjoy a play in the IMAX theater.

8: National Gallery of Art


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The National Gallery of Art, largely regarded as one of the top museums in the United States, is a must-see for everyone visiting Washington, D.C. It features masterpieces by everyone from Raphael and Rembrandt to Monet, Picasso, and van Gogh, and is jam-packed with magnificent paintings and pictures, sculptures, and prints.

The museum was founded in 1937 on the National Mall and comprises three buildings: the neoclassical West Building, the stunningly modern East Building, and a beautiful outdoor sculpture garden. Each one focuses on different artistic mediums and epochs, including not only current and contemporary art, but also medieval art, with incredible works by European masters and American painters shown throughout.

9: World War II Memorial


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After the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, the large and spectacular World War II Memorial is one of the most famous. It is located at the eastern end of the Reflecting Pool and honors Americans who served in the military and civilians who supported them on the home front throughout WWII.

Granite pillars representing each state and US foreign territory, as well as two triumphal arches for the Atlantic and Pacific theaters, surround an oval plaza and fountain. You can pay your respects at the Freedom Wall, which is devoted to those who lost their lives during the war, in addition to taking photos of classic moments from the battle experience etched on bas-reliefs. Also. read Best Things to do in Anchorage.

10: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial


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Another monument worth seeing while in town is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, which is located on the southern edge of the Tidal Basin. The four outdoor ‘rooms’ dedicated to the 32nd President of the United States depict each of Roosevelt’s terms in office, stressing the significant problems he and the country faced in the 1930s and 1940s.

With a single huge drop and cascading waterfalls reflecting the Great Depression and World War II, water is featured significantly throughout the memorial’s different outdoor sections. Stones etched with his speeches and sayings, as well as magnificent sculptures of the President, the First Lady, and their dog Fala, are scattered throughout the serene gardens.

11: United States Botanic Garden

The United States Botanic Garden, located right adjacent to the stately Capitol Building, is a very nice outdoor spot for you to enjoy. Its beautifully maintained grounds and glistening glass conservatory are a delight to stroll through, with lovely plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs everywhere.

It was founded in 1820 with exquisitely manicured lawns and colorful flower beds alongside lovely water features and fountains, making it the country’s oldest continuously operating botanic garden. There are scenic sections dedicated to desert plants and orchids, jungle species, and primeval trees inside the conservatory, as well as magnificent the Mediterranean and medicinal areas.

12: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The outstanding Smithsonian National Zoo, which houses an extraordinary collection of exotic animals, birds, and reptiles, is only 15 minutes north of downtown. Its spacious enclosures and exhibits are home to everything from orangutans and elephants to gorillas, giant pandas, and komodo dragons, and are spread across a large region.

It was formed in 1889 and is well regarded for its exceptional research and conservation activities. It presently boasts over 2,700 creatures representing over 390 species from all over the world, including Africa, Asia, and South America. In addition, the zoo hosts intriguing presentations and live demonstrations on a regular basis.

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