Last week I barely scratched the surface of wonderful things to do while you’re in D.C. Here are a few more…some of these take some advance planning unlike last week’s recommendations. Others are great to do anytime. So here goes…
The Monuments: The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam Veteran’s Wall, National WWII Memorial, and Korean War Memorial are all worth seeing. My recommendation — to maximize your time — is to walk this end of the mall at night. The Korean Memorial in particular is HAUNTING at night. We stumbled on it the first time at night, and it’s still my preferred way to introduce folks to it. Al the others are pretty stunning that way as well. Think all the white marble against the dark sky. And they are lit and staffed into the night, where the Smithsonians and other buildings usually close at 5.
If the kids are joining you, then go to the National Zoo — you can get there from downtown on the metro — the subway will be your friend anyway, so you might as well ride it to the zoo. The zoo is very well done. We loved going there.
And a tour of the Capitol is pretty neat, too. To book a tour, you need to work through your congressman or senator’s office. You can access the visitor’s center without a ticket, but will need a ticket for a tour. It’s best not to wait and hope to get one on the day you hope to tour. The White House tour is amazing, but again, you need some lead time to arrange – but it never hurts to call and see if you can squeeze on a tour. The link takes you to information on that.
Wow! That’s a lot to see and do — and all of those things are FREE! Well, your tax dollars at work. So be sure to take advantage of them — and there are at least a dozen free options I didn’t mention. These are simply the must do’s on my list.
The one place I haven’t been that I’d love to go is the Spy Museum. Imagine that! There is an entry free (it’s not cheap– $18 for adults), but I’ve heard it’s great.