Follow Sam
Simple, Easy, Free, How To Do It Articles
Surfer Sam Online + A Little Magazine
  Welcome, we're glad you're here. Life's a beach!
  HOME FUNNY PICTURES FUNNY STORIES FUNNY JOKES SELF LIFE SPORTS ECARDS GAMES HOROSCOPE
  WEB DESIGN ARTICLES BUSINESS HEALTH TRAVEL INVESTING COLLEGE BIOGRAPHY TECH FOOD MONEY

20 vacation spots in washington dc

20 Vacation Spots in Washington DC
Enjoy Sightseeing in Our Nation's Capital


Washington, D.C., our nation's capital, is a cosmopolitan city rich in history. The many vacation spots to see in Washington DC, history, government in action, architecture and memorials, make Washington D.C. a popular destination for tourists. But traffic is hectic inside the city. When you want to see the sights, it is recommended you park your car and travel to vacation spots around Washington by the Metro subway, taxi, Tourmobile, Old Town Trolley Tours and tour buses. The Metro color-coded subway system is clean, safe and easy to learn. Many of the museums, government buildings and tourist sights are located downtown in the area around the National Mall, a large green space two miles long between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive. You'll be surprised that there are no skyscrapers in Washington, D.C. The original city planners made a law that no building can be taller than the dome of the U.S. Capitol, 110 feet.

Vacation Spots in Washington DC
  1. About Sightseeing in Washington DC
  2. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Smithsonian Museums
  3. Vacation Spots In Washington DC: National Museum of American History
  4. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: National Museum of Natural History
  5. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: The White House
  6. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Lincoln Memorial
  7. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Smithsonian American Art Museum
  8. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: The National Zoological Park
  9. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Freer Gallery of Art
  10. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  11. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: National Air and Space Museum
  12. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: National Museum of African Art
  13. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: National Museum of the American Indian
  14. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  15. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Jefferson Memorial
  16. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Washington Memorial
  17. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Other Memorials
  18. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: U.S. Capitol Building
  19. Vacation Spots in Washington DC: National Postal Museum
  20. More Vacation Spots in Washington DC


vacation spots in washington dc About Sightseeing in Washington DC



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
Lincoln Memorial
Before we talk about the vacation spots in Washington, here's a little information about the city itself. The largest industry in Washington DC is the government. The second-largest industry is tourism. Because of the crowds, plan your visit for sometime other than June, July and August. If you can schedule your visit for the winter months, November through March, so much the better. In winter, Washington usually doesn't have much snow, but you'll need a winter coat. Summer is hot in this southern town and during August many residents leave for vacation.


Vacation Spots in Washington DC
Jefferson Memorial
with Cherry Trees in Bloom
The cherry blossoms blooming along the Tidal Basin are a popular vacation spot. To see them, schedule your trip for late March or early April. Spring and summer are the peak seasons for tourists. Tourist sights are busier on weekends and less crowded on Monday. And try to visit the museums early in the morning or later in the day when the lines are shorter. Avoid rush hour traffic, particularly on Friday, for your own sanity.

Admission to many museums is free because the federal government pays a large part of the bills. You can get free tickets to the popular exhibits at the National Gallery of Art's East Building. Pick up your free time-stamped tickets at the Ticket Counter, and return later in the day to visit at the time shown on the ticket. However, there is usually a fee for special exhibits, IMAX films, theatrical performances, and privately-owned attractions. A group should register a month or more in advance to arrange a guided tour of a museum.

Allow at least two hours to visit each museum, but if you're like me, a half-day won't be enough to do a museum justice. The quality and historical significance of the exhibits makes every moment spent worthwhile. Outdoor memorials are popular with visitors to Washington. Tourists enjoy the memorials at day or at night under dramatic lights. The memorials are supervised by the National Park Service.

Hours of operation may change with the seasons. At each attraction, pick up the printed guides with floor plans and schedules of special events. Many museums have free activities, special programs, movies, children's crafts, tours, story time and actors in period dress. They sometimes put on special performances and demonstrations. There are often free outdoor concerts during the summer months. Check the Washington Post Weekend magazine to find the special events and exhibits scheduled during your trip.

Generally no food and drinks are allowed at the exhibits inside the museums, except for bottled water. Many of the museums have one restaurant, and some have two. Metal detectors are everywhere, but don't let them bother you. Be ready for them, with your metal items all in one bag, and your packs unlocked. For your own safety be cautious. Certain neighborhoods are not safe for tourists on foot, day or night.

vacation spots in washington dc Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Smithsonian Museums


The Smithsonian is a major vacation spot. It is an enormous complex of museums and a zoo. Many of the Smithsonian museums are conveniently located on the National Mall. Admission is free, but a small donation is appreciated. The web site, gosmithsonian.com includes exhibits and floor plans.

The Smithsonian was begun by James Smithson who bequeathed 105 bags of gold sovereigns to establish an institution for the increase and diffusion of knowledge. With 137 million artifacts, 19 museums and galleries, plus the National Zoo, it is one of the world's major toruist attractions. The Smithsonian "Castle" on the National Mall is where you'll get visitor information, with lots of interactive, kid-friendly video displays about things to do. Don't miss it. The Castle also has the crypt of James Smithson, and the Children's Room. Nearby is the Enid A. Haupt Victorian Garden.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots In Washington DC: National Museum of American History



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
National Museum of American History
Uniform of George Washington
The National Museum of American History is a famous part of the Smithsonian. This vacation spot is sometimes called "our nation's attic." The museum collects and displays anything that defines our lives. The National Museum of American History captures the culture, scientific and technology of America over our 200 years. It was remodeled in 2008. You can see the flag Old Glory, the Star Spangled Banner that inspired our national anthem. The museum displays costumes from famous Broadway musical shows like “The Lion King,” Kermit the Frog, Dorothy's ruby slippers, Edison's light bulb, photography, quilts, team uniforms and money, the gowns worn by First Ladies in the White House. Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves, Seinfeld's puffy shirt, Julia Child's kitchen, lunchboxes, the Willy's Jeep from World War II and the Huey helicopter from Vietnam, an electric streetcar and steam locomotives. The museum also provides hands-on science activities for kids and two restaurants.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: National Museum of Natural History



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is the most-visited museum in the world. Like the other museums of the Smithsonian, this museum is free. Inside is a soaring six-story atrium and two restaurants. The Mammal Hall has over 250 lifelike specimens standing in natural habitats, stuffed hippo, leopard, zebra, white rhino, elephant and so on, some of them shot by President Theodore Roosevelt on safari. Upstairs at the O. Orkin Insect Zoo you can hold a hissing cockroach, watch bees in their hive, study armies of ants. Children love this vacation spot because they can crawl through the replica of a termite mound and see a lot of unusual critters.

In Dinosaur Hall you will meet skeletons of stegosaurus and triceratops. Lots of dinosaurs, fossils, bones, and prehistoric animals, plus a 70-million-year-old-dinosaur egg are included in the exhibits. There are also other exhibits dedicated to African, Asian and Pacific cultures and family life. The Discovery Room has a crocodile head, a preserved rattlesnake, and lots for children to touch and feel.

The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals has lots about rocks and mining, along with precious lodes of gold and silver. The moon rock brough back by the astronauts is on display here. The star of its collection of precious jewels is the Hope Diamond, a 45 and 1/2 carat blue diamond with a fabled history and worth $100,000,000. It also has the diamond earrings worn by Marie Antoinette on her way to the guillotine. In the Discovery Center, you can watch 3D movies about the natural world at the IMAX theater. The National Museum of Natural History has interesting gift shops, and Friday night jazz performances, too.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: The White House


The White House is northeast of the National Mall. You can tour this vacation spot if you make reservations through your U.S. Representative or Senator at least 30 days ahead of time. The self-guided tour gives you access to the ground floor and the East, Green Blue and Red rooms, the State Dining Room, Cross Hall, North Entrance Hall and the Oval Room. You'll see period furnishings, historical memorabilia and portraits of the First Ladies. Stop first at the White House Visitor Center, 15th and E Streets, for exhibits about its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and famous visitors, as well as a thirty-minute video. When the President is in town, a flag flies over the White House.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: Lincoln Memorial



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial shows the sixteenth President seated thoughtfully. Made of limestone and marble, this historic vacation spot is located at the west end of the National Mall. The Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address are carved into the walls, along with civil war murals. The architect Henry Bacon was inspired by a Greek Doric temple. The sculpture of Lincoln was made by Daniel Chester French. Underneath the memorial is a small museum of the important events that took place at this site. Martin Luther King delivered his "I have a dream" speech here. Marian Anderson sang here when she was barred from Constitution Hall by the DAR. To the west, the memorial overlooks the Potomac River, and to the east is a long reflecting pool and the Washington Monument.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: Smithsonian American Art Museum



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
Smithsonian Art Museum
This vacation spot, the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, also nicknamed the Smithsonian American Art Museum or SAAM, opened in 2006 at 8th Street and F Street NW. SAAM has a breathtaking collection of the best in American painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, folk and decorative arts. Here you'll see the American masters of painting, Gilbert Stuart, John Singleton Copley, Charles Wilson Peale, Childe Hassam, Marry Cassatt, Homer, Whistler, Sargent and George Caitlin. There is also contemporary art and folk art. Look for the remarkable sculpture made out of bottle caps. And would you believe the Preamble to the Constitution spelled out with license plates? You'll also find two restaurants and a very interesting gift shop.

vacation spots in washington dc Vacation Spots in Washington DC: The National Zoological Park


The National Zoological Park is also part of the Smithsonian. With 5,000 animals, 163 acres and many rare and endangered species, the Washington Zoo is a major vacation spot. The Zoo is on Connecticut Avenue NW, near the Metro, and admission is free. Visit in the morning when the animals are active. Stop at the information kiosk to find out when animals eat, bath and train and other zoo activities. The pandas and the baby animals are always a big hit. And say hello to the cheetas, bald eagles, red pandas, giant salamander, as well as the huge variety of other large wild animals, birds, rodents and invertebrates. At the Think Tank, visitors watch while orangutans show off their language, tool use and problem-solving skills. Amazonia is a warm indoor exhibit of the biodiversity of a rainforest. Kids Farm gives children hands-on time with chickens, donkeys and goats. The Zoo also includes lots of fast-food dining areas and a charming Zoo Store.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: Freer Gallery of Art



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
Freer Gallery of Art
Peacock Room
The Freer Gallery of Art is a vacation spot on the Mall just west of the Castle. Charles Lang Freer made a bundle building railroad cars and used his money to collect art. He was a patron of American artist James McNeill Whistler. The Freer has 1,200 Whistler paintings, the largest collection in the world. The Peacock Room, with Whistler's fantastic dining room wall murals, is also installed here. Freer also collected Asian art that spans 6000 years, sculpture, bronzes, pottery, silk screens, blue and white porcelains, a collection so vast that only 10% of the permanent collection is out on display. Conveniently, the Smithsonian station of the Metro is adjacent.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
Hirshhorn Museum
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is another vacation spot on the Mall near the Smithsonian Castle. The mining magnate Joseph Hirshhorn donated his enormous collection. This is the fifth-most-visited art museum in the United States. The circular donut-shaped building and the fabulous outdoor sculpture garden display mostly 20th century art. You'll see works by Calder, Cales Oldenburg, Rodin, Degas, Matisse, Thomas Eakins, de Kooning, O'Keeffe, Pollock, and much more. Children especially enjoy this museum.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: National Air and Space Museum



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum is a huge, exciting museum dedicated to flight and space. It's also located on the Mall, four buildings east of the Castle. You'll see famous airplanes and spaceships piloted by Charles Lindbergh, John Glenn, Chuck Yeager and the first airplane, the 1903 Wright Flyer. Amelia Earhart's airplane Vega is also there. The museum presents history of the Space Race, and Apollo 11 on the moon. You'll learn hands-on how things fly, how to use an astronomer's tools, and how astronauts live and eat in space. You can climb into a full-size Cessna with operating controls, marvel at huge pictures from space. Then buy tickets to the IMAX Theatre inside for several movies including the unforgettable movie "To Fly."

As if that weren't enough, the National Air and Space Museum includes the Albert Einstein Planetarium. Buy your ticket to tour the sky and space, with sound and special effects. The planetarium also has a free daily show called "The Stars Tonight." The restaurant was designed especially for the museum. Also stop by the gift shop, where they sell freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches along with a great selection of educational souvenirs.

Only 10% of the museum collection is in this building. If you want to see more about air and space, check out the large Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. It's best to take a car to the location near Dulles Airport, with an observation tower for to watch planes at the airport. You'll see famous historic airplanes like the Enola Gay, the Warhawk, the Blackbird reconnaissance plan and a flight simulator, theater, restaurants and gift shops. Admission to the Udvar-Hazy Center is free, but parking is not free.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: National Museum of African Art


The National Museum of African Art is the only museum dedicated solely to African art. Here at this vacation spot, you'll see carved wood masks, fertility dolls, a big gong and cultural treasures. The Walt Disney Co. - Tishman Collection, which inspired the creation of the movie Lion King, is also on display. Occasionally the museum has special programs, workshops, films and storytelling to introduce children to African culture and literature. It is located on the Mall, underground, next door to the Castle.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: National Museum of the American Indian



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian, on the north side of the Mall, concentrates on the culture, traditions and history of the Native Indians, of North, Central and South America. Opened in 2004, it exhibits artifacts, paintings and sculpture from about two dozen tribes. Introductory film, a remarkable buffalo headress, arrowheads, weavings, beading, pottery, baskets and native dolls, plus vignettes depicting tribal life.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington DC
Angel of Death Detail
The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery specializes in Asian and Near Eastern Art. This vacation spot is an underground museum complex directly behind the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall. Its collection includes ancient Chinese bronzes, Asian sculpture and Persian manuscripts. ImaginAsia is a popular art activity designed for school-aged children. It connects with the National Museum of African Arts. Outside is the Enid A. Haupt Garden with a geometric parterre of shrubs, a moon gate and a waterfall.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: Jefferson Memorial



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
Jefferson Memorial
with Cherry Trees in Bloom
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial shows our third President and author of the Declaration of Independence. Some of his writings are engraved on the walls. It was built in 1943 near the Potomac River in an area called the Tidal Basin. The Jefferson Memorial was fourth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture. From the steps you can see The Capitol, White House, Washington Monument and Lincoln Momument. Nearby are the cherry blossom trees that line the Tidal Basin where the annual spring National Cherry Blossom Festival is held. Admission is free.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: Washington Memorial


The Washington Monument is an obelisk over 555 feet tall made of marble and granite, where you will have a spectacular view of Washington DC. To enter, you must have a timed ticket, which costs $1.50. Climbing up the steps is not permitted anymore, but there is a "Down The Steps Tour." The Washington Monument is at the west end of the National Mall.

vacation spots in washington dc Vacation Spots in Washington DC: Other Memorials

  • The World War II Memorial is near the Washington Monument
  • The Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are near the Lincoln Memorial.
  • The Franklin Roosevelt Monument overlooks the Potomac River on Ohio Drive near the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
  • Arlington National Cemetery, the largest U.S. military cemetery, where 216,000 Americans are buried, is just across the Potomac River. At night, the Eternal Flame at the John F. Kennedy gravesite can be seen from Washington.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: U.S. Capitol Building



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
Capitol Building, Interior
The U.S. Capitol Building is east of the National Mall. To tour this vacation spot, get a free ticket for the same day at the ticket kiosk at First Street SW and Independence Avenue. The north wing is for the Senate, and the south wing for the House of Representatives. Start at the Rotunda, tour Statuary Hall with many statues of presidents, statesmen, legislators, justices and inventors, and sit in the chamber balcony while laws are made. If a flag is flying or a light is burning over the House or the Senate, you know it is in session.

vacation spots in washington dcVacation Spots in Washington DC: National Postal Museum



Vacation Spots in Washington DC
National Postal Museum
The National Postal Museum covers postal history from the time when Ben Franklin was postmaster, through the days of stage coach mail delivery and airmail airplanes. How the mail actually gets sorted and delivered is an interesting presentation. The large collections of stamps, stamp designing and personal letters will fascinate collectors. The National Postal Museum is on Massachusetts Avenue next to Union Station.

vacation spots in washington dc More Vacation Spots in Washington DC


I've mentioned more than the top twenty vacation spots in Washington, D.C. But who's counting? If you have time, there's are more vacation spot to see in Washington. The National Gallery of Art, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the International Spy Museum, the National Archives with the Declaration of Independence, the Constituion, and the Bill of Rights, the Newseum, American History Museums, National Air and Space Museum and the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Kennedy Center, the Phillips Collection, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art are just a few more of the attractions that draw people to Washington, D.C. I hope this brief travelogue will help you plan a wonderful trip to Washington, D.C., the nation's capital.

I hope you have a memorable vacation.
I wish you a very happy day.

Enjoy more exciting places to travel

Thanks for sharing!
You make good things happen.
Free and Easy
How To Do It Articles - Health, Money,
Success, Investing, Business, Happiness,Technology, Music, Books, Biography,Celebrities




  FRONT PAGE FUNNY PICTURES FUNNY STORIES FUNNY JOKES Q & A
QUOTES VIDEOS MUSIC VIDEOS GUESTBOOK TAXES MILLION $ BLOGS