It’s easy to ride the Metro or hop on a bike and explore all that the nation’s capital has to offer. The backbone of the city is built on arts and culture. Enjoy awe-inspiring art galleries, unmatched museums, thriving performing arts and music scenes and so much more.
Presidential residence from the time of John Adams. Photo ops from north and south gates. Self-guided public tour requests must be submitted through a member of Congress at least 21 days ahead. Tours Tu-Th 7:30 am-11:30 am, F-Sa 7:30 am-1:30 pm. The visitor center at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave.
The entryway to the U.S. Capitol with exhibits, artifacts, replicas of Capitol Hill, an 11-foot-tall model of the Capitol dome and interactive kiosks. No passes required to enter the center. Guided one-hour Capitol tours (M-Sa 8:40 am-3:20 pm) begin with a 13-minute film.
The nation’s highest tribunal. Justices convene October through June in public sessions. Lines form to hear whole argument (seating starts at 9:30 am) or three-minute portion (seating starts at 10 am). Lines re-form after lunch. M-F 9 am-4:30 pm. Free. When court isn’t sitting, lectures on the half-hour from 9:30 am-3:30 pm.
With five million visitors annually, this museum is one of the Smithsonian’s most popular. As a repository for the country’s cultural, scientific and technological heritage, it holds a collection of more than three million fascinating artifacts, including Thomas Jefferson’s desk, Kermit the Frog, Julia Child's kitchen, a piec
At the Tidal Basin, John Russell Pope’s neoclassical marble monument for the third U.S. president and main author of the Declaration of Independence. Accessible 24 hours. Rangers on duty to answer questions daily from 9:30 am-10 pm. Bookstore. Parking (south side).
Exhibits tracking the natural world since prehistoric time (anthropology to zoology). In the Rotunda, taxidermic African elephant Henry in a replica Angolan habitat. Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals (Hope Diamond), Ocean Hall, Hall of Human Origins. Butterfly Pavilion ($6.50-$7.50; Tu free with timed tickets).
A living memorial to President John F. Kennedy offering performances in the Opera House, Concert Hall, Eisenhower and Terrace theaters plus the Family Theater and Theater Lab. Millennium Stage hosting free shows daily at 6 pm. Tours weekdays. Gift shops and roof terrace with sweeping city views.
George Washington's hilltop home by the Potomac River, with 14 rooms furnished per a 1799 inventory. The first couple's tomb, gardens, a blacksmith shop, 16-sided treading barn, reconstructed slave cabin. High-tech Ford Orientation Center and Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center. Fred W.
One of the world’s finest collections of American and European paintings and sculpture dating from the 13th century, including “Ginevra de’ Benci,” this hemisphere’s only da Vinci painting. M-Sa 10 am-5 pm, Su 11 am-6 pm. Free. Gift shop, cafés, sculpture garden.
Founded in 1889, a 163-acre zoo with more than 2,000 animals like giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang plus female cub Bei Bei. Elephant Trails exhibit with a wooded exercise trek. Asia Trail with giant sloths and clouded leopards. American Trail with North American species (sea otters and seals).