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74 Fun Things to Do in Washington DC

The capital of the United States is an exciting city full of history, monuments, culture and power. If you are not sure where to start your visit, here is a list of the must-see places in Washington, take note!

Irene Quesada

Irene Quesada

38 min read

74 Fun Things to Do in Washington DC

Washington DC | ©Harold Mendoza

The city of the White House and the Capitol has countless monuments and historic buildings that have been witnesses and protagonists of great moments in the history of the United States. To the list is added a large repertoire of important museums with a wide variety of themes.

Washington DC also offers a wide range of leisure activities. It has numerous parks and also neighborhoods with a lot of personality in which you will enjoy discovering its streets and its gastronomy. Its surroundings also have interesting places to visit. I'll tell you all about it below.

1. Take a bus tour of the city

Sightseeing bus with the Capitol in the background| ©eGuide Travel
Sightseeing bus with the Capitol in the background| ©eGuide Travel

The White House, the Obelisk, the Capitol... You've just arrived and these are just some of the iconic places to start discovering Washington DC. This city steeped in history is full of attractions to visit. Its neoclassical architecture will surprise you, present in monuments and museums.

Do you want to have time to see everything comfortably? Undoubtedly, the best way to cover this large city is on a guided bus tour that you can hop on and off as many times as you want. You will visit all the landmarks and get a good knowledge of the metropolis.

If you want to know more, check out this article about the best tour buses in Washington DC

Book a Hop On Hop Off tour

2. Go inside the National Archives

National Archives Museum| ©Viator
National Archives Museum| ©Viator

The National Archives is housed in an imposing neoclassical building. Today they are open to the public and proudly display the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A very interesting visit to learn more about the history of the United States.

Do not leave Washington DC without visiting the most important documents of the country's history. To get the most out of this visit, I suggest this very complete guided tour that, in addition to telling you in detail this visit, includes in its route other stops at emblematic places.

Book a tour of the National Archives

3. Take pictures of the city at night

Night at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool| ©Vince Costanzo
Night at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool| ©Vince Costanzo

Sunset in Washington DC is very popular. A recommended spot to see it is from the Obelisk, as in front of it there is a large pond and you can take a nice picture with the orange sky reflected in it.

Once night falls, it is not time to go home, on the contrary. The illumination in the city is an attraction in itself worth seeing. Want to take pictures of the most iconic buildings lit up? Take a bus tour that will take you around the most beautiful spots and explain everything there is to know.

If you want to know more, check out this article on the best night tours in Washington DC

Book a night tour of the city

4. Visit George Washington's mansion

George Washington's Mansion| ©Paull Young
George Washington's Mansion| ©Paull Young

George Washington was the first president of the United States in 1789. At the age of 20 he inherited the Mount Vernon estate, which was then a plantation. Today it is a historic place to visit. The property with its mansion and gardens is a joy to walk around and it is also very interesting to see the exhibition of objects it houses.

Located 25 km from the city, it is in a peaceful environment surrounded by nature. If you want to combine a day surrounded by greenery and history this is a perfect opportunity. To make the most of it, take a look at this guided tour.

Book a tour to Mount Vernon

5. See the Veterans' Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery| ©Tim Evanson
Arlington Cemetery| ©Tim Evanson

Arlington National Cemetery is across the Potomac River in Virginia. Its peculiarity is that it is a military cemetery where there are veterans of all wars, starting in the Civil War. Among its rows of tombs you can see a very visited one with a flame that never goes out, that of John F. Kennedy.

This imposing cemetery for its size and long rows of white tombstones, is best visited with a guided tour, as you will learn the most important historical facts and curiosities of the famous people buried there.

If you want to know more, take a look at this article about the War Memorials and Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC

Book a tour of Arlington

6. Dinner cruise

Night Cruise on the Potomac River| ©krishanu_seal
Night Cruise on the Potomac River| ©krishanu_seal

The Potomac River separates Washington DC from Virginia. It is crossed by the Long Bridge, which is a group of 3 bridges connecting the two states. It is very fast-flowing so boats navigate it daily. Its waters are very calm and from it you can see beautiful views of the city.

If you are interested in taking a boat tour, choose the sunset time and you will be guaranteed amazing pictures. To complete the plan, I also suggest you to have a gourmet dinner on a cruise. A great plan to enjoy as a couple or with your family.

If you want to know more, check out this article about Cruises in Washington DC.

Book a dinner cruise

7. Rent a bike and explore the city at your own pace

Biking along the Washington Obelisk| ©Tony DeFilippo
Biking along the Washington Obelisk| ©Tony DeFilippo

Washington is a fairly flat place, so it is not difficult to see its citizens and tourists moving around on bicycles. A place I recommend you to go by bike is the National Mall, which is a green area where there are several monuments to famous people and a good number of museums. If you go in spring do not miss the Basin Basin, as you will see its cherry blossoms in bloom. Do you dare to rent a bike? You will have a great day visiting the city at your own pace.

Rent a bike

8. Take a food tour of Georgetown

Food Tour| ©James Schwartz
Food Tour| ©James Schwartz

Georgetown is a neighborhood in Washington DC known for its personality. You will be struck by its old architecture and its many mansions, the Georgetown University, its stores... It is a very picturesque and lively neighborhood because there are many college students and it is easy to find live music in the streets. It is also located on the banks of the river with even a small port. It has it all!

In this neighborhood there are many local restaurants. Would you like to try American food in the restaurants of Georgetown? I propose you a tour that picks the best stops for this. You will taste the local flavors and learn about the history of the city.

If you want to know more, check out this article about food tours in Washington DC

Book a food tour

9. Discover the best of the city in one day

Sightseeing bus through the streets of Washington| ©Elvert Barnes
Sightseeing bus through the streets of Washington| ©Elvert Barnes

Washington DC is a place full of historical sites and monuments. Through them you can learn about the history of the capital and its evolution. You will see that many places are familiar to you as many have been scenes of movies, for starters the White House itself and also the Lincoln Memorial.

If you do not know where to start it is normal, there is so much to see and so interesting! My advice is to book a day to do a bus tour to see the must-sees. This way you won't get tired going from one place to another and you will have a good knowledge of the city in general.

Book a guided tour

10. Enter the Capitol

Capitol Dome| ©Brian Allen
Capitol Dome| ©Brian Allen

Located in the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood, on a hill that makes it visible from any corner of the city, the Capitol is the symbol of American democracy and a must-see on your list of what to see in Washington DC.

This iconic white building with a large dome that ends in an obelisk houses the two chambers of the United States Congress, with the south wing belonging to the House of Representatives and the north wing to the Senate. Here are taken some of the most important decisions that direct the politics of the country and even have repercussions in other parts of the world.

To make the most of this visit, I recommend that you do it with an expert guide who will tell you all the curious and interesting facts about this place.

If you want to know more, check out this article on everything there is to know about visiting the Capitol in Washington DC

Book a guided tour of the Capitol

11. Food, history and art on U Street

U Street| ©Mike Maguire
U Street| ©Mike Maguire

What is it about U Street that makes it one of the most famous streets in Washington DC? Mainly its colors and street art, entertainment and food. It is not only a place to spend an entertaining time, it is also full of historical places that make reference to African American history since at the time this street was known as Black Broadway.

If you go, be sure to try the half-smoke at Ben's Chili Bowl, one of the most emblematic restaurants. Do you want to try other local delicacies and learn all the secrets of this street? My proposal is a guided tour, you will see the best street murals, learn history and try the recommended dishes and drinks, a very complete plan!

Book a guided tour with food in U Street

12. Tour the historic sites in an electric car

View from the Old Post Office Clock Tower| ©Ben Schumin
View from the Old Post Office Clock Tower| ©Ben Schumin

In the United States, everything is big. For example, the Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world. It comprises 16 museums and the zoo. They are along the National Mall which is that big park that goes from the Capitol to the Washington Monument.

In short, great areas to walk around! An alternative and more sustainable way to do it is by taking a tour in an electric car. You'll see the famous monuments and historic sites on a guided tour in a fun way.

Book a guided tour in an electric car

13. Visit John F. Kennedy's grave

Veterans at a ceremony| ©Arlington National Cemetery
Veterans at a ceremony| ©Arlington National Cemetery

Near the Pentagon, on the other side of the Potomac River, is Arlington National Cemetery, the burial place of veterans of all the wars in which the United States has participated since its Independence, as well as other important figures of the nation such as President John F. Kennedy.

Arlington Cemetery became a National Park in 2004 and other places you can visit are the memorials of the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, a memorial in honor of those who died in the Pan Am flight in Lockerbie and another for the victims of 9/11.

Given its enormous extension, to know it in depth I recommend you to take a tour of Arlington National Cemetery.

Book a guided tour in Arlington

14. Admire the cherry blossoms

Spring in Washington| ©Craig James
Spring in Washington| ©Craig James

Did you expect to see a field of cherry blossoms in the middle of downtown Washington DC? Well, there is one, and a real Japanese one at that. It turns out that in 1912 the mayor of Tokyo gave 3,000 Japanese cherry trees to the city. Since then, a cherry blossom festival is held every year between March and April. A highly anticipated event by its citizens and full of activities and performances.

The area where it is located is Tidal Basin and is quite extensive. If you want to see it in depth and also enjoy the nearby historical sites such as Eisenhower and Einstein Memorial I recommend you do it with a guided bike tour. You will be able to move quickly and enjoy the white and pink landscape.

Book a guided bike tour through the cherry trees

15. Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Exterior of the Museum at Night| ©brutus61534
Exterior of the Museum at Night| ©brutus61534

Through the galleries of this museum you can learn about African American history from the 15th century to the present. A very complete tour that includes art, religion and history and that does not leave its visitors indifferent.

It is in Washington DC that Martin Luther King told his listeners the famous phrase "I have a dream". There are many moments and places that witnessed the African American struggle for civil rights that you can learn about on a specialized tour that will take you through these places, in addition to the museum. Don't miss it!

If you want to know more, check out this article on everything there is to know about the Museum of African American History in Washington DC

Book a guided tour of African American History

16. See the haunted sites

Thomas Jefferson Memorial| ©Gage Skidmore
Thomas Jefferson Memorial| ©Gage Skidmore

Nighttime in this city is beautiful with its illuminated buildings and monuments. But like any other place, it also has a dark side and there are real stories and spooky legends with scenarios such as the Capitol itself and the White House.

Do you like scary stories? With the night as a backdrop you can attend a ghost tour, if you dare. You will learn about the history of the city in a different and entertaining way.

Book a ghost tour

17. Go out to eat with a local beer tasting

Beer tasting| ©Meritt Thomas
Beer tasting| ©Meritt Thomas

You may have heard that beer in America is not its best attribute. Well this is changing and changing a lot in recent years with the rise of craft beers. In Washington DC new breweries are emerging, experimenting with processes and flavors, and they are already highly recognized and valued.

Do you want to try these beers? I propose you to know the best places where you can have a tasting accompanied by food. Eat, drink and continue your visit to the city for the rest of the day, a great plan!

Book a beer tasting

18. Cross the city by Segway

Guided Segway Tour| ©David Wilson
Guided Segway Tour| ©David Wilson

In Washington DC there are about 70 historic buildings and a similar handful of monuments, each with its own interest. That means a lot of pictures to take, a lot of information to learn and a lot of miles to travel.

The National Mall alone is 2 miles long and there is a lot to see on it. To move quickly and visit the most recommended places in the city, why not do it by Segway? It's fun, fast, quiet and non-polluting, I recommend it!

Book a guided Segway tour

19. Visit the Natural History Museum

Nam June Paik inside the Museum| ©TimothyJ
Nam June Paik inside the Museum| ©TimothyJ

This particular museum is highly rated as the second most visited of the Smithsonian Institution, which is a collection of 16 museums in Washington DC. You can see everything from mummies to face to face with huge animals.

It is famous for its dinosaur and naturalized mammals of the world rooms, as well as a large collection of gems. No doubt you will enjoy this visit a lot.

If you want to know more, check out this article about the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC: tickets, guided tours and more.

Book your tickets to the Natural History Museum

20. Have brunch on a cruise

Brunch on board| ©Nadin Sh
Brunch on board| ©Nadin Sh

The huge Potomac River is transited daily by hundreds of boats of all sizes. You can take the water cab to get to different parts of the city and you can also cruise it for pleasure and admire the views from it. When the cherry blossoms are in bloom you can see them from the river as well, with the horizon in the background. What a spectacle!

I propose a plan to make the most of the day. Book a buffet brunch on a luxurious cruise ship. An ideal way to spend the morning while you eat and enjoy the city from another angle.

Book a brunch aboard a cruise ship

21. Take an excursion to Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon| ©OG Productionz
Mount Vernon| ©OG Productionz

Perhaps, while planning your trip to the capital of the United States, at first you did not think of doing an excursion to the outskirts of the city because there is so much to see in Washington DC but the occasion really deserves it and I recommend you to reserve a day of your vacation to do this activity because you can meet other interesting places nearby and add new experiences to your travel log. The leitmotiv of every traveler!

During your stay in Washington DC I suggest you take an excursion to Mount Vernon, the former home of George Washington and his wife Martha. This experience gives a very interesting context to get to know the American character and get somehow closer to the historical heart of a nation with only a few centuries of history and learn more about the origins of it and how it was founded.

If you want to know more, check out this article about the Mount Vernon Excursion from Washington

22. Stroll through Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle| ©Sara Cottle
Dupont Circle| ©Sara Cottle

One of the best known neighborhoods in Washington DC is Dupont Circle. It expands in a circular shape from its namesake square and is home to a multitude of embassies and historic buildings. In addition to a modern side, you can see a traditional side, such as the Dupont Farmers Market on Sundays and Gilded Age mansions.

The area is highly rated and numerous restaurants, art galleries and boutiques are housed there. This contrast attracts many people and makes it a very cosmopolitan neighborhood - you should not miss it! To visit the best spots, why not take a guided tour? You will see interesting places and you will also learn about the scandals that hide behind some of the mansions... And that's as far as I can go!

Book a tour to Dupont Circle

23. Reminisce the Lincoln assassination

Abraham Lincoln| ©ElevenPhotographs
Abraham Lincoln| ©ElevenPhotographs

The assassination attempt on Abraham Lincoln' s life took place in 1865 at the entrance of Ford's Theatre. This event had an impact on the history of the country and shocked the American society because he was a beloved president.

While you are at the scene, you can take a guided tour specialized in this topic and learn how this event changed the course of history, the plot and details of the assassination attempt and the pursuit of his assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

Book a Lincoln Assassination Tour

24. Have fun at a magic show

Magic Show| ©Julius Drost
Magic Show| ©Julius Drost

Washington DC's afternoons and evenings are enlivened by many entertainment activities. In the United States they are very much about connecting with the public and that is why live shows are very popular. Would you like to feel like a local and go to a magic and comedy show? I recommend The Magic Duel, a duo with very positive reviews and an impressive staging. Book your tickets and enjoy a great night.

Book your tickets for Magic Duel

25. Visit the National Gallery of Art

National Gallery of Art| ©AgnosticPreachersKid
National Gallery of Art| ©AgnosticPreachersKid

Washington DC is the capital of the United States and not in vain, one of the world's metropolises with the largest sources of scientific and humanistic dissemination. Therefore, another of the essential things to do here is to visit one of the many museums in the city.

The National Gallery of Art is one of the most popular and you can see works by Picasso, Rembrandt, Kandinsky, Renoir and many more. Enjoy a tour of the museum with a guided tour that will take you through the most relevant works accompanied by their history.

Book a guided tour of the National Gallery of Artel

26. Discover the Harlem side of Washington DC

U Street| ©Teddy
U Street| ©Teddy

Washington DC is an area with a lot of personality. This is the birthplace of jazz great Duke Ellington. This is U Street, a street and its surroundings where you can appreciate the influence of African-American culture and music. Are you a vinyl collector? Here you will find the best stores.

In this area you will see many murals on the walls, music bars and restaurants with delicious food. Be sure to go to Ben's Chili Bowl, a lifelong local known worldwide for its half smoke, a different kind of hot dog. If you want to know the most interesting places of this area and its history, let yourself go on a guided tour, you'll love it!

Book a guided tour on U Street

27. Take a guided bike tour

Taking a Bike Tour| ©KnowledgeCommonsDC
Taking a Bike Tour| ©KnowledgeCommonsDC

At this point it will be clear to you that there are many interesting areas to see. The National Mall alone, a two-mile long rectangular park, takes you from the Washington Monument to the Capitol. It is here that you can take a very nice picture, which is of the Obelisk reflected in the pond.

Inside the National Mall there are several memorials of famous people and on its sides are the national museums and the zoo. I just tell you that to move around the National Mall you need a map. To see such a concentration of history and art, I recommend a bike tour with a guide. It will be a fun way to see the city and you'll learn all about it.

If you like to get your legs moving, check out this article on the best bike tours in Washington DC

Book a guided bike tour

28. Visit the houses of the presidency

The White House| ©René DeAnda
The White House| ©René DeAnda

As the home of the White House, dozens of presidents have passed through it and this city. The stay in the capital is not limited to their time in office, these presidents have or had their second homes in the best neighborhoods of Washington DC. In fact, one of them, Grover Cleveland, never lived in the White House.

If you are interested in the trajectory and history of politics in the United States, you can not miss this expert tour of the mansions of the presidents while you learn the most interesting anecdotes in the style of the series The West Wing of the White House.

Book a tour of the Presidential Houses

29. Recreate in historic downtown Alexandria

Visit Alexandria's Old Town| ©Ken Lund
Visit Alexandria's Old Town| ©Ken Lund

No, we haven't gone to Egypt, we are still in the Americas. Alexandria is located about 10 kilometers from Washington DC and is known for being one of the oldest cities in the United States. Its historic center is very quiet and colorful with a well preserved architecture. It is also next to the Potomac River, so it has a nice walk along the river.

King Street Mile is well known for its colorful facades and local stores. It is a highly recommended getaway to continue knowing the American character. Strolling through its streets is like a trip back in time. To optimize your visit, I recommend this tour that will take you there and let you know the most beautiful places and their history.

Book a guided tour in Alexandria

30. Solve the clues in the Escape Room

Escape Room| ©David Hofmann
Escape Room| ©David Hofmann

In the capital of the United States there are many entertaining activities to do. If you are a restless person, you like to play games or you are just looking for an indoor plan for a rainy day, I recommend you to do an Escape Room. Here you can choose an adventure of your choice and test your wits. An immersive and interactive experience ideal to enjoy with friends or family.

Book an Escape Room

31. Meet the women who won the Cold War

Getting to know Georgetown| ©Vicenç Feliú
Getting to know Georgetown| ©Vicenç Feliú

During the Cold War those who were in political command were men, but in reality there is a very important position that women occupied and is not so recognized. It was during this time that the feminist movement began to forge its struggles and achievements in a difficult global era.

On the streets of Georgetown there are several homes of the most influential women of the time. If you want to know this parallel history that is not told in the books, you have a great opportunity with this guided tour that will give you a great and entertaining history lesson.

Book a Women in the Cold War Tour

32. Visit the Bible Museum

The Holy Bible| ©Priscilla Du Preez
The Holy Bible| ©Priscilla Du Preez

Surely the name of this museum has caught your attention. This curious 6-story museum shows not only texts and objects but also immersive experiences and interactive galleries to learn in another way the impact of the bible in the world. Of course, this museum has aroused the most controversial opinions. In any case, it is a very entertaining visit and a museum out of the ordinary.

If you want to know more, check out this article about the best museums in Washington DC

Book your tickets to the Museum of the Bible

33. Go to a Washington Wizards game

Basketball game| ©Markus Spiske
Basketball game| ©Markus Spiske

Here you can not only make cultural visits, another of the most exciting things to do in Washington DC is to attend a basketball game.

Either because you love the sport or because you want to enjoy the enthusiasm and the atmosphere that this sport awakens on the court, you can not miss this experience. In addition, they are very family shows so if you travel with children you can go together to see a Washington Wizards game. They will be thrilled!

Book your Washington Wizards tickets

34. Visit Loudoun Winery

Winery| ©Shutter Runner
Winery| ©Shutter Runner

Loudoun County is a beautiful green area about an hour from Washington DC known for its vineyards and therefore its wineries. The annual grape harvest in Loudon is valued at over $2 million. It is not only quantity but quality, which has won awards at the Governor's Cup Wine Competition.

A visit not to be missed if you are a wine lover. The environment will remind you of the French countryside but even bigger. If you want to visit this vast expanse of vineyards, visit the best wineries and taste their wines, do not miss this private tour.

Book a tour to the Loudoun wineries

35. Try the Hard Rock Café menu

Hard Rock Café| ©Magda Ehlers
Hard Rock Café| ©Magda Ehlers

I'm sure you already know Hard Rock Café from other major world capitals. The world's most recognized themed restaurant is also in Washington DC, located right next to Ford's Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated.

If you are strolling through this central area and you get hungry, take advantage and order a Twisted Mac, Chicken, & Cheese. Although if you want to make sure you get a seat, make a reservation and have a menu at a special price.

Reserve a menu at Hard Rock Café

36. Shiver with the Ghosts of Georgetown

Touring Georgetown| ©Fatma Şenses
Touring Georgetown| ©Fatma Şenses

Located on the banks of the Potomac River, it is one of the oldest areas of the city that was once separated from downtown Washington. Walking through its cobblestone streets full of mansions and houses from another era is like taking a trip to a small town with a very different atmosphere from that of the most monumental part of Washington.

A visit to go for a walk or go shopping is a must, but you also have an alternative way to see it: you can learn about its mysteries, legends and ghosts on a scary tour. Discover the hidden stories behind some of its mansions and alleys.

If you want to know more, check out this article about the best tours in Georgetown, Washington DC

Book a ghost tour in Georgetown

37. Learn about the history of the women of the red light district

Pennsylvania Avenue| ©Will Ma
Pennsylvania Avenue| ©Will Ma

During the Civil War, the famous Pennsylvania Avenue, today flanked by historic official buildings, changed a lot. Back then, bars and brothels quickly sprang up and the area became a red-light district. The women who ran these businesses played a relevant role at this time in society and in some political affairs. If you want to know more, I recommend a specialized tour of this area with an expert guide who will tell you interesting anecdotes and history of this era.

Book a tour of the history of the red light district

38. Visit Little Ethiopia

U Street| ©Brad West
U Street| ©Brad West

Did you know that Washington DC is home to about 200,000 people from Ethiopia? It is the largest community outside of Ethiopia. A good representation can be seen on U Street where you can appreciate their influence in street art, stores and restaurants.

It's no coincidence that many of the top-rated restaurants in this colorful area are Ethiopian. An important part of the city's dining scene, have you become hungry and curious? I propose a tour in which you will walk around the area and go to the best rated restaurants.

Book an Ethiopian food tour

39. Find out about the political scandals

President Obama On Pennsylvania Avenue| ©Chris Grafton
President Obama On Pennsylvania Avenue| ©Chris Grafton

Pennsylvania Avenue runs from the White House to the Capitol. Can you imagine all that has happened on this street over the years since its first president, George Washington? When we talk about politics there are always other parallel issues: corruption, scandals, lies... Sound familiar? Yes, no country is free and in Washington there are some of the juiciest ones.

If you want to learn about the secret and not so secret scandals of Obama, Trump, Nixon, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and more, I recommend you not to miss this guided tour. Super interesting!

Book a scandal tour

40. Attend a baseball game with Washington Nationals

Baseball Field| ©MiguelRomero
Baseball Field| ©MiguelRomero

Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the United States. The Washington Nationals are a beloved team and attending one of their games is an event in itself. The atmosphere is fun and exciting. Don't know the rules of baseball? Don't worry, they are very simple. Don't miss the opportunity to attend a game, you'll remember it forever.

Book Washington Nationals tickets

41. Transfer from the airport

Washington Airport| ©Pixabay
Washington Airport| ©Pixabay

You have already decided your trip to this fantastic city and bought your flights. My first recommendation is to book the transfers between the airport and Washington DC. With all that you have seen to visit, I don't think you want to waste a minute of your trip. If you do not want to complicate checking all the options, you can always choose this private transportation in which you will start to learn about the capital from your driver.

Book a transfer from the airport

42. Meet the celebrities at Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds| ©Mathew Browne
Madame Tussauds| ©Mathew Browne

Madame Tussauds is a famous museum with locations in the world's major capitals that exhibits wax replicas of celebrities and recreations of scenes. What can you see at Madame Tussauds in Washington DC? Its exhibition is different as it focuses more on the historical, not for less in this city. So if you want a date with celebrities, learn and walk through the most famous historical tours, be sure to go.

43. Enter the caves of Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns| ©Sarraf Ahmed
Luray Caverns| ©Sarraf Ahmed

In the United States you can find spectacular natural sites, especially for their large size. Very close to Washington DC, in Virginia, its neighboring state, you can visit Luray Caverns.

It is an amazing place, you can walk through its subway paths and admire the beauty of its stalactites and stalagmites reflected in its clear waters. The illumination enhances even more the beauty of the place. If you feel like getting out of the city for a day and exploring, take this excursion.

44. Curiosity at the International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum| ©Yohan Marion
International Spy Museum| ©Yohan Marion

This very popular museum authentically depicts the practices of espionage and exhibits the methods used in the Cold War and the American Civil War as well as in acts of terrorism. The International Spy Museum is located in the central Penn Quarter. A unique opportunity to learn about the evolution of espionage over the years through objects and projections. If you go with kids or teens they are sure to enjoy it.

45. Say hello to Darth Vader as he enters the Washington Cathedral

Washington Cathedral| ©Mathias Reding
Washington Cathedral| ©Mathias Reding

Can you imagine Darth Vader and a raccoon on top of a cathedral relentlessly watching over passersby below? That sounds a bit unusual but, although it may sound like it, it's not a hoax, it's real!

If you visit the Washington Cathedral you will find them adorning the top of the northwest tower but be warned, you will need a good pair of binoculars to see them clearly. These two peculiar characters were carved on the exterior of the Washington National Cathedral as a result of a children's contest organized by National Geographic World magazine.

However, another reason to see this neo-Gothic style temple in Washington is that it is the sixth largest cathedral in the world and the second largest in the United States. From its towers you will get a panoramic view of the city at more than 100 meters high, one of the best views of Washington DC.

46. Visit the statues of Korean War veterans

Korean War Veterans Memorial| ©Chad Stembridge
Korean War Veterans Memorial| ©Chad Stembridge

This memorial, southwest of the Lincoln Memorial Pond, is composed of a series of 19 large statues representing the components of the military who fought in the war. The scene formed by these sculptures is poignant. Next to it there is a wall with photos of the soldiers who participated and to whom it has paid tribute with this monumental set. Be sure to visit the Korean War Veterans Memorial when you stroll down the National Mall.

47. Enter Ford's Theatre, the site of Lincoln's assassination

Ford's Theatre| ©Nick Castelli
Ford's Theatre| ©Nick Castelli

The Ford's Theatre building was built in 1833, originally as a church. It later became a theater and has since been through several disasters. In 1862 a fire destroyed it, a little later, in 1865 the assassination of Abraham Lincoln took place inside and later, in 1893 part of the building collapsed claiming several lives.

It is now renovated, preserving its historic character. It organizes informative events and exhibitions of the night of the assassination attempt that killed Lincoln. You should definitely visit this place with so much history. Check the calendar of activities on their website.

48. Relax in the botanical garden

Bartholdi Fountain| ©Kelian Pfleger
Bartholdi Fountain| ©Kelian Pfleger

As you may have noticed reading this list, there is no lack of green spaces in Washington. I want to recommend you one of them apart which is the botanical garden. It is very close at hand, just southwest of the Capitol.

There you can see the beautiful Bartholdi fountain and an outdoor collection of a wide variety of exotic plants. You can visit for free any day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. This urban Eden will recharge your batteries for the rest of the day.

49. Come to the White House

The White House| ©David Everett Strickler
The White House| ©David Everett Strickler

This is one of the most emblematic and representative buildings of power in the United States to see in Washington DC next to the Capitol. The White House is the official residence of the president since 1789 when George Washington decided to locate here the capital of the country and chose a country land on the banks of the Potomac River to build an English-style presidential house.

The best place to see it from the outside and take some pictures in front of the trellis is on the north side, from Pennsylvania Avenue. It is the most typical image you have seen so many times in the movies!

However, if you want to visit it from the inside, it requires a little bit of planning as you need to apply through the U.S. Embassy of your country of origin, whose approval can take from 6 months to 21 days.

In case you don't have time to apply for the authorization, you can always go to the Visitor's Center at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, next to the White House. Here there are several exhibits about the famous mansion and its illustrious inhabitants that may interest you if you like history. They are open to the public every day of the week until 4 PM.

50. Visit the National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery| ©Amy-Leigh Barnard
National Portrait Gallery| ©Amy-Leigh Barnard

The portrait museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution, a reputable network of museums that is also responsible for education and research. It is next to Ford's Theatre, in the heart of downtown. The National Portrait Gallery collects portraits and photographs from all periods and in different techniques of the faces of artists, politicians, scientists... A different way to learn about history from ancient times to the present.

51. Greet the giant pandas at the Zoo

Giant panda| ©Bruce Hong
Giant panda| ©Bruce Hong

In the northern part of the city is the Zoo, why not go for a walk? It is one of the best rated. Enjoy the special events they organize throughout the year, educational activities and of course, admire the more than 1500 animals that live there. Admission is free but reservations are required. Find out about the activities on their website and have an entertaining afternoon.

52. Soak up history at the National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian| ©Ronny Rondon
National Museum of the American Indian| ©Ronny Rondon

This museum, just a few minutes from the Capitol, will surprise you even from a distance thanks to its spectacular modern facade with curved edges. Inside the National Museum of the American Indians you can see the exhibition that reflects the origins and evolution of the many indigenous peoples of the Americas. Don't leave without taking a look, and admission is free. Ah! I recommend you to visit the buffet restaurant inside.

53. Be amazed by contemporary art at Renwick Gallery

Renwick Gallery| ©Enrique Alarcon
Renwick Gallery| ©Enrique Alarcon

This gallery, located next to the White House, is one of the most important contemporary art exhibitions. The interior of the Renwick Gallery is very sophisticated and elegant, which contrasts nicely with its exhibition of modern art objects and paintings.

Both its permanent and temporary collections are usually full of color and surprise its visitors. It is not a very big museum so it is perfect to integrate it into your walk around the vicinity of the White House. You're sure to get some great photos.

54. Find your show at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts| ©Clay Elliot
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts| ©Clay Elliot

This center has a photo op location as it sits right on the banks of the Potomac River. Depending on where you look it looks like it floats on the river. It was built in honor of John F. Kennedy and inside it is very multidisciplinary as inside you can find several theaters, an opera house and concert hall and other spaces dedicated to the arts. There is even a jazz club.

Check out the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts program to find a show to attend or just go inside and visit the grandiose interior.

55. Visit the museum of the famous National Geographic magazine

National Geographic Museum| ©Haut Risque
National Geographic Museum| ©Haut Risque

Are you a fan of the world famous nature, history and science magazine? You're in luck, because in the heart of the city you can visit the National Geographic Museum. Here you can see their best photos and historical exhibits. Visit their website to keep up to date on temporary exhibits. Come in and travel through the history of the world.

56. Spend Sunday at Eastern Market

Eastern Market| ©Ctac
Eastern Market| ©Ctac

This market has been active since no less than 1873. If you happen to be there on a Sunday, come and browse through the antiques and handicrafts, browse the local produce and grab a bite to eat at one of the many stalls. In the surrounding area you will find other markets, forming a traditional and festive atmosphere. You will feel like a local. Check out their website for more information.

57. Surround yourself in luxury at Hillwood Estate

Hillwood Estate| ©Ashley Hajimirsadeghi
Hillwood Estate| ©Ashley Hajimirsadeghi

This decorative art museum is located in a mansion in the northern part of the city, where Rock Creek, an impressive park, begins. It is the Hillwood Estate. It is known for its collection of French and Russian works, including some of the famous Fabergé eggs.

The exhibition is not limited to the works on display but also to the luxurious rooms of the mansion and its gardens. There is a large collection of orchids and exotic plants. Being a little further away from the center is a haven of peace where you can quietly enjoy a garden-museum that transports you to another era.

58. Jump into a concert at 9:30 Club

9:30 Club Concert| ©Sebastian Ervi
9:30 Club Concert| ©Sebastian Ervi

If you like live music and nightlife, I definitely recommend you to go to the 9:30 Club. Active since the 80's, it is one of the most famous live music venues in America. It has played greats such as Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Bob Dylan, Adele... The room has a great sound. A tip, if you arrive with time you can sit in the upstairs area, it has better views. Check out their website to check the concert schedule and have a great night.

59. Get lost in Rock Creek Park, the oasis of the city

Rock Creek Park| ©Hannah Tu
Rock Creek Park| ©Hannah Tu

There are many reasons to visit this park. This oasis in the city has many hiking trails, a golf course, an amphitheater and more recreational activities. Rock Creek Park was founded in 1890 with that in mind, as a place of respite and entertainment for the citizens.

Why not explore it on foot or by bike and have a picnic? You can even see the stars in broad daylight, as one of the facilities is a planetarium. One more thing, there is a hidden civil war fort called Fort DeRussy. To find it you will have to ask for it, but be careful, not many people know about it.

60. Travel to Asia through the Freer Gallery

Asian Art| ©Alex Kalligas
Asian Art| ©Alex Kalligas

This gallery, also known as the Asian museum, is located on the National Mall. It houses millenary objects from various parts of Asia such as ceramic pieces, manuscripts, screens, sculptures and paintings. If you go you will be amazed by the peacock room, a room decorated entirely in gold and blue, considered a masterpiece.

Its exterior is characterized by a beautiful Italian Renaissance façade with large arches. Inside you can enter a hidden subway gallery. Admission is free and it's quick to see, it's worth it!

61. Photograph the Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Thomas Jefferson Memorial| ©Yeon Choi
Thomas Jefferson Memorial| ©Yeon Choi

Thomas Jefferson is considered one of the most influential people in the formation of the United States of America. You can visit his memorial in a beautiful part of the city, on the banks of the river in the Tidal Basin. If you go in spring you will see it accompanied by cherry blossom trees. The monument itself is worth a photo thanks to its many columns and its dome, spectacular both during the day and illuminated at night.

62. Taste the best food in Union Market District

American Food| ©Dex Ezekiel
American Food| ©Dex Ezekiel

This market of food stalls from around the world is very popular with the citizens of Washington DC. If you are a foodie, I recommend you visit it as it is like a showcase of the most varied styles of food. Including local, of course. The hard part will be to choose.

In Union Market District you will find art and culture in addition to gastronomy. When the weather is nice there are tables outside as well. It is not a place very visited by tourists, take the opportunity and enjoy a meal in the best atmosphere.

63. Find the statue of Joan of Arc in Meridian Hill Park

Joan of Arc Statue| ©ZEBULON72
Joan of Arc Statue| ©ZEBULON72

In the north of the city is this nice rectangular park with a beautiful staircase with waterfall. A very quiet and beautiful place to spend some time in nature and recharge your batteries. In Meridian Hill Park there are several sculptures that you will find on your walk. I tell you a curiosity, one of them is Joan of Arc on the back of a horse with a sword. However, you will only be able to see her empty hand because the sword has been stolen and it keeps happening every time it is replaced.

64. Travel back in time at the American History Museum

Abraham Lincoln| ©Garry T
Abraham Lincoln| ©Garry T

Have you made it a point to visit all the museums at the Smithsonian Institution? You've got 11 of them on the side of the National Mall alone - at least they're close to each other! One of them is at the Museum of American History. It's super entertaining, you can even see inside from Batman's car to the hat Lincoln wore on the day of his assassination.

If you are interested in a tour of American history you should not miss this museum, the collection of curious objects will surprise you. Check their website to keep up to date with their activities.

65. Relive the Battle of Gettysburg

Gettysburg| ©S Pakhrin
Gettysburg| ©S Pakhrin

If you love war movies or are a fan of history, I recommend you visit Gettysburg National Park. Here was fought during the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, which lasted 3 days but was one of the bloodiest.

Today it is a national park that preserves information about this moment of war through tours, a museum and a visitor center as well as tributes and monuments to the fallen. A visit that will not leave you indifferent.

66. Transport yourself to the future with Artechouse's immersive exhibition

Artechouse| ©Richard Hirajeta
Artechouse| ©Richard Hirajeta

This exhibit is located south of the National Mall. The immersive experience offered by Artechouse will take you out of reality and into a colorful future world in a unique experience. If you go with your family it will be a plan that will please everyone for sure.

67. Visit the Navy Memorial

Navy Monument| ©Mark Tegethoff
Navy Monument| ©Mark Tegethoff

As you have already seen, this city is full of tributes. One more that I recommend you to visit is the United States Navy Memorial. It is located in a plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue, north of the National Mall. This building is entirely dedicated to the tribute of the navy and naval veterans by displaying artifacts, sculptures, documents and more. Include it in your visit to expand your repertoire of tributes.

68. Learn about the Nazi Holocaust

Nazi Holocaust artifacts| ©Tiffffney
Nazi Holocaust artifacts| ©Tiffffney

This museum shows the different phases of the Nazi Holocaust through its collection of artifacts, photographs and projections. It also commemorates the victims and survivors of it. It has a large permanent collection and other temporary ones that you can check on their website.

It is remarkable the educational and informative work of the museum that also makes the visitor feel part of the experience. Come in to see it, it will not leave you indifferent.

69. Be impressed by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Basilica of the National Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception| ©Nik Guiney
Basilica of the National Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception| ©Nik Guiney

Northeast of downtown is located this impressive basilica of enormous size, inaugurated in 1959. It is among the 10 largest in the world. That along with its colorful dome will leave you open-mouthed. It is worth visiting its equally spectacular interior, with its stained glass windows, mosaics and paintings. An essential visit.

70. Stroll through the sculpture garden of the Hirshhorn Museum

Hirshhorn Museum| ©Raulbot
Hirshhorn Museum| ©Raulbot

The Hirshorn Museum exhibits modern and contemporary art and you can visit it on the National Mall. You will recognize it from the outside because it does not have the neoclassical style of its neighboring museums, on the contrary, its circular facade stands out among the others. You will like its collection of alternative art and there is also a surprise on the outside. Take a stroll through its garden and you will find an open-air exhibition of large sculptures of different styles that you will love.

71. Get to know the Smithsonian Institution's Castle

Smithsonian Institution Castle| ©Sara Cottle
Smithsonian Institution Castle| ©Sara Cottle

The first building of the Smithsonian Institution is also known as the castle. It is located in the center of the National Mall and you will recognize it by its red brick. It was created as an institution for research and outreach and from there began to create all the museums that today are part of that body.

Enter and learn about its history and that of its neighboring museums at its visitor center. It is a good way to start your excursion in the most cultural area of Washington DC.

72. Admire the great art collection of the Phillips Museum

Works on display| ©Brcunel
Works on display| ©Brcunel

The Phillips Museum has been in existence since 1921 and was very groundbreaking in its time, as it has always exhibited works by the most modern and avant-garde artists. In its rooms you can also see great classics such as Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso and many more.

It is in the area of the beautiful Dupont Circle neighborhood. So take the opportunity to go in and see it when you pass by. You are sure to enjoy the visit, it is one of the most highly rated art museums in the world.

73. Visit the Martin Luther King Memorial

Martin Luther King Memorial| ©Dineda Nyepan
Martin Luther King Memorial| ©Dineda Nyepan

The well-known activist Martin Luther King advocated for the civil rights of black people in the United States whose struggle was key.

On the shore of the Tidal Basin, near where he gave his famous speech that began with "I have a dream" there is a monument that you should not miss. It is an impressive statue almost 10 meters high. You will like it both during the day for its location in the park surrounded by cherry trees, and at night, with its beautiful lighting.

74. Take advantage of the Washington Sightseeing Pass

Sightseeing Pass| ©MolaViajar
Sightseeing Pass| ©MolaViajar

In a big city like Washington DC with so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming. But to avoid being overwhelmed, I recommend that you plan your itineraries well and you will get the most out of your trip. As a tip, I suggest you purchase a sightseeing pass.

The Washington Sightseeing Pass is a great option if you want to save money, as it has discounts of up to 60% in many attractions and you save time because you will avoid the long lines to get tickets to the monuments.

If you want to know more, check out this article about Washington Sightseeing Pass.

Buy your Washington Sightseeing Pass