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51 reasons why you must visit Washington in your lifetime

The White House is the official abode and workplace of the President of the United States. Visitors are able to embark on a tour of the East Wing, the West Wing, and the Executive Residence. Commencing at the White House Visitor Center, located at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue NW on 14th street, is the starting point for all tours.

The Lincoln Memorial is a national monument erected in honor of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The memorial is positioned on the National Mall and comprises a statue of Lincoln seated in a large chair. Visitors can also read the immortalized words from Lincoln’s speeches that are etched on the walls of the memorial.

The Washington Monument is a towering obelisk-shaped monument constructed in tribute to the first President of the United States, George Washington. The monument stands on the National Mall and is the tallest edifice in Washington, D.C. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the monument for a panoramic view of the city.

The Smithsonian Museums are a cluster of museums and research centers in Washington, D.C. that are governed by the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Museums encompass the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and many more. Entry to all Smithsonian Museums is free to the public.

The National Mall is a vast open park area in Washington, D.C. that is home to many of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall also accommodates many Smithsonian Museums and is a well-known site for picnics, concerts, and other events.

The National Museum of American History is a Smithsonian Museum located on the National Mall. It possesses an assortment of over 3 million artifacts that chronicle the tale of America from the colonial epoch to present day. Visitors can behold objects such as George Washington’s uniform, the original Star-Spangled Banner, and the dress worn by first lady Jacqueline Kennedy on the day of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

The National Museum of Natural History is a Smithsonian Museum situated on the National Mall. It comprises a collection of over 126 million specimens and artifacts that recount the history of the natural world. Visitors can explore exhibits on dinosaurs, mammals, insects, and much more.

The National Museum of the American Indian is a Smithsonian Museum found on the National Mall. It exhibits a collection of over 800,000 Native American artifacts, including pottery, textiles, and jewelry. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of Native American tribes from across North America.

The National Air and Space Museum is a Smithsonian Museum located on the National Mall. It showcases a collection of over 60,000 artifacts related to the history of aviation and space exploration. Visitors can view exhibits on the Wright Brothers, Apollo 11, and many other historic events.

The National Portrait Gallery, situated on the National Mall, is a prestigious Smithsonian Museum boasting an impressive collection of over 20,000 portraits of notable Americans. From George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama, visitors can discover the influential figures who have shaped American history and culture.

The National Gallery of Art, another must-see attraction on the National Mall, is an art museum showcasing over 150,000 works of art from around the globe. Visitors can immerse themselves in the masterpieces of world-renowned artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt, among others.

The United States Capitol, the legislative hub of the federal government, is an iconic landmark that should not be missed. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the Capitol, stopping at the Rotunda, the Senate and House chambers, and the Crypt. In addition, visitors can observe debates and committee meetings from the galleries.

The Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and research arm of the United States Congress, offers a unique and informative experience for visitors. The tour includes stops at the Main Reading Room, the Great Hall, and the Thomas Jefferson Building, where exhibits on the library’s rich history, American culture, and more can be explored.

For a scenic stroll, the Tidal Basin, a man-made reservoir located in West Potomac Park, is an ideal destination. This stunning body of water is surrounded by picturesque cherry trees, providing a delightful setting to witness the vibrant cherry blossoms during the spring. Visitors can also rent paddle boats to explore the basin.

The National Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the United States, also known as the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, is an animal lover’s paradise. Visitors can observe a vast array of creatures from around the world, including giant pandas, lions, and elephants.

The National Aquarium, located in the basement of the Department of Commerce building, is a fascinating public aquarium that showcases an extensive range of aquatic life from around the globe, including sharks, rays, and tropical fish.

The National Arboretum, a research facility and public garden located in Northeast Washington, D.C., offers an enchanting and peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can explore the gardens, observing a wide range of plant species, including bonsai trees, azaleas, and rhododendrons.

The National Building Museum is a fascinating museum that investigates the history and impact of the built environment. Exhibits on architecture, engineering, and urban planning provide insight into these fields. Additionally, visitors can engage in hands-on activities and workshops, making for a unique and engaging experience.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts: The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the sole major museum in the world exclusively dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of women in the performing, visual, and literary arts. Artworks by female artists from around the world are on display for visitors to view and admire.

The National Theatre: The National Theatre, located in downtown Washington, D.C., is a historic theatre that presents a diverse range of plays and musicals, including Broadway productions.

The National Symphony Orchestra: The National Symphony Orchestra is the orchestra of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Visitors can attend various concerts, including classical, pops, and family concerts.

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a performing arts centre located on the Potomac River. It hosts a wide variety of performances, including theatre, dance, and music.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum: The Smithsonian American Art Museum is one of the world’s most extensive collections of American art and has a long history. Visitors can see a diverse collection of artworks by American artists, including painting, sculpture, and decorative arts.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture: The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a museum located on the National Mall, operated by the Smithsonian Institution. It showcases a variety of artifacts, including art, textiles, and artifacts related to the history and culture of African Americans.

The International Spy Museum: The International Spy Museum is a privately-owned museum dedicated to the history of espionage and covert operations. Visitors can see a broad range of artifacts, including spy gadgets, weapons, and documents. Interactive exhibits and simulations are also available to allow visitors to experience the life of a spy.

The city’s rich history and cultural heritage: Washington D.C. has a long and fascinating history and a cultural heritage that is significant. Monuments, museums, and landmarks commemorate important events and figures in American history, providing an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn about the city’s past. Places like the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian Museums are some examples.

The diverse range of neighborhoods: Washington D.C. is a city of neighborhoods, each with its unique character. Visitors can explore neighborhoods such as Dupont Circle, Georgetown, and Capitol Hill to experience the city’s diverse culture and architecture.

The plethora of outdoor spaces and parks: Washington D.C. is positively brimming with green spaces and parks, such as Rock Creek Park and the National Mall. Visitors can delight in activities such as hiking, biking, and picnicking in these lush oases, providing a much-needed respite from the bustling city streets.

The city’s thriving food and drink scene: Washington D.C. is famed for its lively food and drink scene, boasting numerous esteemed restaurants and bars. Visitors can savor a myriad of cuisines and dining experiences, from delectable street food to posh fine dining. You’ll never go hungry in this town!

The abundance of festivals and events that take place throughout the year: Washington D.C. is alive with festivals and events all year round, such as the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and National Christmas Tree Lighting. You’ll find yourself fully immersed in the culture and spirit of the city, whatever the season.

The city’s thriving arts and theater scene: Washington D.C. is home to a flourishing arts and theater scene, with world-class venues such as the Kennedy Center and Ford’s Theatre. Visitors can indulge in a range of performances, from dramatic plays and musicals to soul-stirring concerts. It’s like a cultural feast for the senses!

Mount St. Helens, a fiery stratovolcano located in the state of Washington, USA, is the stuff of legends. It made history on May 18, 1980, with its catastrophic eruption – the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Its sheer power will make your hair stand on end!

Ruby Beach, a public beach located in Olympic National Park in the state of Washington, USA, is a feast for the eyes. Its stunning coastal views and red sand make it a must-visit for anyone who loves a good Instagram moment. Explore the tide pools and let the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest take your breath away.

Whale watching is the ultimate activity in Washington state, particularly in the San Juan Islands and along the coast of the Olympic Peninsula. The waters off the coast are home to an array of whale species, including gray whales, humpback whales, and killer whales (orcas). Seeing these majestic creatures up close is an experience like no other.

Juniper Dunes Wilderness, a wilderness area located in southeastern Washington state, USA, is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. You can hike, camp, ride horses, and even take an off-road vehicle for a spin. Its rolling hills and juniper trees make it an idyllic spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Washington state is renowned for its delicious apples, with a bounty of apple varieties to choose from, such as Red Delicious, Gala, Honeycrisp, and Fuji. It’s no wonder the state is a top producer of this crunchy fruit. Whether you bite into a juicy apple or enjoy a slice of warm apple pie, you’ll taste the difference that makes Washington’s apples truly a cut above the rest.

The Jefferson Memorial: A grand presidential memorial honoring the one and only Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and a founding father. It’s located on the picturesque Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. and boasts a 19-foot statue of the man himself, as well as inspiring inscriptions of his famous quotes. A top spot for taking in views of the cherry blossoms during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial: Another presidential memorial located on the Tidal Basin in D.C. This one pays tribute to the 32nd President of the United States and features stunning waterfalls, statues, and inscriptions. Also a popular locale for viewing cherry blossoms, for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial: A national memorial honoring the civil rights leader and hero of the African American Civil Rights Movement. Located on the National Mall in D.C., it showcases a towering 30-foot statue of King and inscriptions of his powerful quotes. Also a choice spot for taking in views of cherry blossoms (yes, again).

The Korean War Veterans Memorial: A national memorial dedicated to the brave men and women who served in the Korean War. Located on the National Mall in D.C., it boasts a mural wall, statues, and a pool of remembrance.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial: A national memorial commemorating the service members who lost their lives or went missing in action during the Vietnam War. Located on the National Mall in D.C., it features the names of over 58,000 service members.

The World War II Memorial: A national memorial honoring the brave men and women who served during World War II. Found on the National Mall in D.C., it features a central pool and fountain, as well as 56 pillars representing the states, territories, and District of Columbia that made up the U.S. during the war.

Washington state: Known for its seafood, particularly the fresh and flavorful Pacific Northwest variety. Thanks to the state’s lengthy coastline along the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find a wealth of seafood options, including salmon, halibut, Dungeness crab, oysters, and clams. Treat yourself to some of the best at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, where you’ll encounter fishmongers aplenty. Or head on over to Westport, where you can partake in some crabbing and fishing yourself.

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival: A yearly happening held in April in the Skagit Valley region of Washington. Known for its beautiful tulip fields, this festival is packed with fun activities, from a street fair and art show to a parade. But let’s be real, the real star of the show is the tulips.

Kalaloch: A charming coastal community located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. This ruggedly beautiful spot boasts plenty of natural scenery, plus the beloved Kalaloch Lodge for tourists and the Kalaloch Campground for those who prefer to rough it. Come for the views, stay for the adventure.

The Olympic Peninsula is a captivating destination that beckons visitors to indulge in the scenic beauty of the Olympic National Park. Offering an escape from the bustling crowds that typify other national parks, the region is a veritable feast for the senses, presenting a variety of landscapes including rainforests, the coast, and mountains.

Located in the northern region of Washington state, the Grand Coulee Dam stands as a mighty hydroelectric dam on the Columbia River, recognized for its imposing concrete architecture and its ability to generate a large amount of electricity. The spectacular natural setting of the dam, with the Columbia River and surrounding hills, provides an impressive sight to behold.

Encompassing the North Cascades region of Washington state, Icicle Ridge has long been considered an alluring destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with its beautiful scenery and remarkable hiking trails providing visitors with captivating views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and rivers.

A visit to Whatcom Falls Park in the city of Bellingham, Washington, presents an opportunity to marvel at the mesmerizing waterfall and picturesque hiking trails that wind through the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

The quaint hamlet of Leavenworth, nestled in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state, is an enchanting sight to behold, with its Alpine village showcasing traditional Bavarian charm that adds to the town’s picturesque appeal.

The Olympic National Park, located in the state of Washington, is a remarkable national park that showcases the splendor of nature in all its glory, featuring diverse ecosystems such as rugged coastline, old-growth temperate rainforests, and snow-capped peaks, all of which make for an unforgettable adventure.