You have eagerly waited for the day to come and unbelievably it is finally here. Months of preparations, number of documents, plans and to-do list all come down to the following days. You are only one plane away from visiting Washington DC the capital of the United States of America and one of the most visited cities with more than 20 million annual tourists.
So you wonder, how to plan your road trip? Places to see? Things to do?
No worries, we got you covered. With this simple yet practical list, you will slowly but reassuringly get to know Washington DC and create some unforgettable memories.
- The White House and the Washington Monument
First things first, Washington DC comes with an undefeatable reputation for a political center, therefore, visiting The White House and the Washington Monument is a must. They are the ultimate symbols of the free world. The Washington Monument was finished in 1884 and with its 555 feet and 5 inches was the tallest structure in that time. You can use the glass-encased elevators to enjoy a 360-degree view from the top. Consider spending one or two hours.
- The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is just another monument in honor of the 16th President of the United States. Historical quotes and a symbolic number of 36 Doric columns for the 36 states at the time Lincoln passed away might be interesting for the history buffs.
- National World War II Memorial
National World War II Memorial was built in 2004 and dedicated to the brave 400,000 Americans who lost their lives in the war. An impressive circle created of 56 pilings (resembling the 56 states and territories) looking over the Rainbow Pool. Try to visit this place during spring or summer in order to see its full glow with all of its waterfalls and fountains.
- S Capitol and the Library of Congress
U.S Capitol and the Library of Congress is The Place to witness politics in action. Inside you can see members of the Congress debating and creating laws and national policies. Without a doubt, it is the most magnificent and breathtaking building in Washington D.C. You can explore the north and the south wings and its circular centerpiece: The Rotunda and get lost among all of the frescoes, sculptures depicting famous scenes, hall houses paintings, and the remarkable 150-year old cast iron dome.
Here you can also visit the largest library in the world with more than 164 million books, sound recordings, sheet music, photographs, maps, and manuscripts. The ultimate gig`s heaven.
- Washington National Cathedral
The construction on the Washington National Cathedral first began in 1907 but it was completed until 1990. It is the sixth largest in the world and represents an Episcopal church. It was used for the 9/11 memorial ceremonies and for the funerals of three US presidents. Merely said, this Gothic designed exterior together with the intricate glass-stained windows interior, with its impressive surrounding gardens is unusual yet stunning with and most definitely worth visiting.
- National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art is a recommended place to visit even if you don’t consider yourself profoundly connected to art. It is composed of two parts, The East Building that is holding more modern works such as Mark Rothko and Henri Matisse and The West Building that is holding older works such as Claude Monet and Sandro Botticelli. Both of the buildings are truly diverse and are joined with a spacious tunnel that runs under the 4th street.
- The Smithsonian
The Smithsonian is a collection composed of 19 world-class museums, zoo, and 9 research centers. You should put this on your to-do list because you will find something interesting that will intrigue you. Some of the most popular and most visited museums are American History Museum (dig deep into the American History), Postal Museum (adequate for stamp collectors), Air and Space Museum, and Natural History Museum.
- Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is every young boy`s dream attracting millions of people each year. It contains valuable objects of popular aircrafts such as Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Vega 5B, and Orville Wright`s 1903 Wright Flyer. Different exhibits will keep you entertained you and your kids for hours, for example, the IMAX Theater, the flight simulator, the Einstein Planetarium, or the three-level gift shop. Plan your visit to be as early as you could possibly get there in order to avoid the heaviest crowds.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History attracts millions of visitors each year hence of a large number of artifacts to display-roughly 126 million. There is a great chance that the highlights of your visit might be the O. Orkin Insect Zoo or the giant whale replicas in the 23,000-square-foot marine life section, or you the marvelous colorful Butterfly Pavilion. No visit to the Natural History Museum would be complete without visiting the Human Origins exhibition by David H. Koch. This exhibition will leave you speechless with the life-size models of how the evolution of the human species happened over the past 6 million years. If you are more of an archeology fan you can view some dinosaur fossils in the exhibit “The Last American Dinosaurs: Discovering a Lost World”
- Smithsonian`s National Zoo & Conservation
Smithsonian`s National Zoo & Conservation and Biology Institute is a home to more than 1,500 animals scattered across more than 163-acres you can see everything from great apes and Asian elephants to sea lions. The pleasant natural surroundings together with the broad section of species are the perfect recipe for an unforgettable family day.
All of this sounds incredible right? So many things to visit and see, so many things to do. If you are still wondering whether to visit Washington D.C. or not just make a quick scroll to this list and in a matter of seconds you`d want to be there, it will be an experience of a lifetime. There are two ways that you can legally enter the USA. The first way is to check if your country is included in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) i.e. ESTA VWP Countries meaning you can travel to the USA for business or tourism and stay nothing more than 90 days without first obtaining a visa. The second way is to apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa that will allow you to travel to the United States.
Wait no more to fulfill your dreams and head for a journey of a lifetime!