Washington DC: Top Ten Things To Do

Large full moon rises through the haze over the Capitol building in Washington DC with Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument aligned
Large full moon rises through the haze over the Capitol building in Washington DC with Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument aligned. Photo: Shutterstock

Next stop on our USA blog week is Washington DC, which is the nation’s capital. Many pub quizzers have fallen at this hurdle in the past. Here are our top 10 list things to do when in town:

1. The Washington Monument

An absolute must-see whilst in Washington, the monument is a giant obelisk that commemorates George Washingtont. The surrounding grounds also contain a memorial to Abraham Lincoln. Forest Gump fans: you should recognise the view from the Lincoln Memorial back toward the obelisk....

2. The International Spy Museum

Bond, James Bond. Rarely has a literary character (well, originally anyway) captured the imagination of a generation like Ian Fleming’s creation. He revolutionised – and popularised – the espionage world. The museum is a fantastic place to learn about the history of spying, see (and use) some gadgets and do a spot of shopping.

3. Mount Vernon

Slightly outside the city, Mount Vernon is well worth a visit. It is where George Washington lived and essentially where democracy, as we know it today, was founded.

Mount Vernon, Home of George Washington - Washington DC.

4. John F Kennedy Center

The John F Kennedy Center for performing arts is the place to catch a show in Washington. Book well in advance, as shows here are very popular. 

5. The Phillips Collection

Home to 4,000 pieces of art, the Van Gogh collection is a definite highlight. The collection explores the creative process behind the genius, and features of his lesser-known works.

6. Arlington National Cemetery

A somewhat sombre inclusion on the list, it is well worth visiting to this impressive cemetery to pay your respects to the nation’s war dead.

 Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington DC. The Memorial honors the Marines who have died defending the US since 1775 and a prominent tourist attraction in Washington DC. Photo: Shutterstock

7. Capitol Hill

Dominated by the iconic Capitol Hill building, this area is actually home to the oldest residential area in the city. It’s also home to the nation’s congress, with which House of Cards viewers will be very familiar.

8. National Geographic Museum

A very visual experience, we are sure that this museum will appeal to all our readers. There is currently an Indiana Jones and Yellowstone exhibition, with the latter being free of charge.

9. The Mansion on O Street

Eccentric, quirky and opulent are three words that come to mind when describing the Mansion on O Street. Essentially a hotel, but also a function area, the mansion explores the creative process with hands-on exhibits.

10. The White House

Last but by no means least, no visit to Washington DC is complete without a visit to the White House. To be vacated by Barack Obama later this year, the presidential home is one of the most popular sights in the USA.

The White House.

Insight Pocket Guide Washington is a handy pocket-sized guide that contains listings, maps, photos and top attractions for Washington. Its content and compact size makes it the ideal travel companion!

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