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Washington

 

Discover the top Washington attractions. Don't miss the best places to visit in the city.

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Thomas Jefferson Memorial commemorates: third U.S. president, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia. Modeled on Rome’s Pantheon, designed by John Russell Pope and dedicated in 1943, the memorial sparked controversy when it opened because it resulted in the removal of a swath of Washington’s beloved cherry trees. The 19-foot tall, five ton bronze statue of Jefferson in the center of the building looks toward the White House. Due to metal shortages during World War II, the statue was added four years after the memorial’s dedication. Source: thedistrict.com

How to get to: Jefferson Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Built in white stone with 36 iconic columns, The Lincoln Memorial is one of the most recognized structures in the United States. The memorial is at the west end of the National Mall, in West Potomac Park, and is an example in Neoclassical architecture. It features a solitary, 19-foot-tall statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting in contemplation, which is flanked on both side chambers with inscriptions of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and arguably his most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address. The statue is 19 feet high and weighs 175 tons. The National Park Service estimates that the memorial draws roughly six million visitors per year. Source: washington.org

How to get to: Lincoln Memorial

Martin Luther King Memorial

Martin Luther King Memorial

Located on the Tidal Basin, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial creates a visual line of leadership between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. The memorial is an engaging experience conveying four fundamental and recurring themes throughout Dr. King’s life – democracy, justice, hope, and love – and uses natural elements such as water, stone, and trees. A 450-foot inscription wall features more than a dozen Dr. King quotes engraved in granite which serve as a lasting testament of Dr. King’s humanitarian vision. The memorial includes the “Mountain of Despair” and the “Stone of Hope,” which features a 30-foot sculpture of Dr. King. Source: thedistrict.com

How to get to: Martin Luther King Memorial

Smithsonian Castle

Smithsonian Castle

The Smithsonian Castle, officially named the Smithsonian Institution Building, houses the administrative offices and the Information Center for the world class museums in Washington DC. This Victorian style, red sandstone building was built in 1855 and designed by architect James Renwick, Jr. It was originally the home of the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, Joseph Henry, and his family and is the oldest building on the National Mall. The Smithsonian Castle is centrally located on the National Mall and serves as good place to start a tour of the Smithsonian museums. You can view a 24-minute video on the Smithsonian and learn about other Washington, DC attractions as well. Source: dc.about.com

How to get to: Smithsonian Castle

The Pentagon

The Pentagon

The Pentagon, located across the river from Washington, D.C. in Arlington, Virginia, is more than a power center assigned to the defense of the nation. It’s a small city in itself. About 23,000 military and civilian employees work here, walking 17.5 miles of corridors, drinking 4,500 cups of coffee, and making more than 200,000 telephone calls. The World War II era building is one of the world’s largest, with three times the floor space of the Empire State Building. Visitors can view the September 11 crash site and memorial; the Hall of Heroes, which lists all recipients of the Medal of Honor; and a display on the role of Native Americans in the U.S. military. Three sections of the dismantled Berlin Wall are also on view. Source: thedistrict.com

How to get to: The Pentagon

The White House

The White House

The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical style. It has been the residence of every U.S. President since John Adams. When Thomas Jefferson moved into the house in 1801, he (with architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe) expanded the building outward, creating two colonnades that were meant to conceal stables and storage.

How to get to: The White House

The U.S. Capitol

US Capitol

Following his one term as president, John Quincy Adams served in the House of Representatives for 18 years. If you visit what is now called Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol and stand on the plaque that marks where his desk once rested, you’ll discover that you can hear everything people say — even whisper — from clear across the room. Legend has it that Adams eavesdropped on everyone else in the House without ever needing to stand. The truth is that when the House met in Statuary Hall, there were carpets covering the marble floors, which probably killed the “whispering hall” effect. But the plaque really is where Adams sat, and the Hall really was the meeting place for the House of Representatives until 1864. Source: thedistrict.com

How to get to: The U.S. Capitol

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

At 555 feet, 5.5 inches, the Washington Monument is the tallest stone structure in the world. It is also the tallest structure of any kind in Washington, D.C., meaning that at some point during your visit — after the fifteenth or twentieth glimpse of it from a lot farther away than you’d have guessed you could see it — you’re bound to start wondering what the city looks like from the windows at its top. Source: thedistrict.com

How to get to: Washington Monument

Washington National Cathedral

National Cathedral

One of the most visible landmarks in Washington DC, the Washington National Cathedral evokes admiration for its breathtaking architecture. First conceptualized in 1791-though it was more than a century before construction actually began-the National Cathedral took an astounding 83 years to complete. With 231 stained glass windows, 112 gargoyles, a central tower 30 stories high, and a total weight of 150,000 tons, it is a building to be reckoned with. For a spectacular view of the city, climb to the top of the gallery that spans the two west towers.

How to get to: Washington National Cathedral

World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial

The National World War II Memorial opened to the public in 2004, after three years of construction and 17 years of planning. The memorial occupies the former site of the Rainbow Pool on the National Mall and consists of several elaborately encoded components. Surrounding a fountain retained from the Rainbow Pool are: a wall of 4,048 stars, each representing 100 American soldiers who died in the war; two massive arches, one dedicated to the Pacific theatre and one the Atlantic; and 56 pillars engraved with the 48 states and various territories that contributed soldiers to the U.S. war effort. The site spans almost seven and a half acres, and more than 4 million people visit it each year. Source: thedistrict.com

How to get to: World War II Memorial