Washington, D.C. Travel

Japanese cherry trees (Sakura), a gift from Japan in 1965, adorn the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Washington Monument is visible in the distance.
Japanese cherry trees (Sakura), a gift from Japan in 1965, adorn the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Washington Monument is visible in the distance. | Source

Establishment of the US National Capital

Washington, D.C. — officially called the District of Columbia — was created as a result of the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790. The act called for the creation of a capital district for the United States which would be under the jurisdiction of the United States Congress rather than under the jurisdiction of any state. The state of Maryland donated (ceded) 69 square miles of land (179 square kilometers) for the creation of the federal capital, and the state of Virginia donated 31 square miles (80 square kilometers).

The City of Washington, the national capital of the United States, was founded in 1791 from the 100 square miles of land donated by the two states. In 1846, Congress—in a process known as retrocession—returned to Virginia the 31 square miles the state had originally donated.

The residents of the District of Columbia do not have full voting rights and representation in Congress. Because of this, there is a movement under way to return the 69 square miles originally donated by Maryland to the state. The City of Washington—the national capital—would then become part of the state of Maryland, and the residents of the city would gain full voting privileges and local control of their city.

Buildings, Museums, Memorials, Statues, and Monuments

Washington, D.C. has many buildings, museums, memorials, statues, and monuments which are of interest to visitors to this great city. This article includes photographs of many of these venues and showcases two of them — the White House and the National Air and Space Museum.

The National Gallery is discussed in detail in another of my articles and will not be covered in this Hub. The International Spy Museum is also discussed in another article.

White House Tours

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C. 20500

Phone: 202-456-2121

Tour Hours
Sunday and Monday: closed
Tuesday to Thursday: 7:30 to11:00 am
Friday: 7:30 am to 12:00 Noon
Saturday: 7:30 am to 1:00 pm

The White House

The White House — located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest in Washington, D.C. — is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. It is a National Heritage Site, owned by the National Park Service, and is part of the President’s Park.

Self-guided public tours of the White House are available. Tickets requests may be made from three weeks to six months in advance of your visit. Citizens of the United States should contact their Member of Congress. Citizens of other countries should contact their embassy in Washington, D.C.

Joyce Boghosian photographed Marine One, with George and Laura Bush onboard, departing the White House South Lawn on March 8, 2007 en route to Andrews Air Force Base. In the background, on the right, is the Executive Residence of the White House. On the left are the Colonnade and the West Wing with the Oval Office windows visible. Behind that is the Old Executive Office Building.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a photograph taken by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

This is a United States Government photograph of the White House and Marine One in winter.
This is a United States Government photograph of the White House and Marine One in winter. | Source

Aerial View of Capitol Hill and the National Mall

This photograph of an aerial view of Capitol Hill and the National Mall was taken by an employee of the Architect of the Capitol in the course of official duties.
This photograph of an aerial view of Capitol Hill and the National Mall was taken by an employee of the Architect of the Capitol in the course of official duties. | Source

Washington, D.C. / The District of Columbia

A markerWashington, D.C. -
[get directions]

National Air and Space Museum

National Mall Building
Independence Avenue at 6th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20560
202-633-2214

Hours
10:00 am to 5:30 pm —
every day except December 25

Admission
Free

Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, consists of 19 museums and 9 research facilities. Eleven of the museums are located at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. — a national park situated between the US Capitol building and the Lincoln Memorial.

My favorite museum in the Smithsonian complex is the National Air and Space Museum. This museum has the largest collection of aircraft and spacecraft in the world

The entrance hall at the National Air and Space Museum contains the Apollo 11 command module, the Spirit of St. Louis, SpaceShipOne, Sputnik 1, and the X-1 rocket plane.

The entrance hall of the National Air and Space Museum was photographed by Jawed Karim on June 11, 2010.
The entrance hall of the National Air and Space Museum was photographed by Jawed Karim on June 11, 2010. | Source

Buildings in Washington, D.C.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The US Capitol was photographed by CJStumpf on June 8, 2006.The US Capitol, Senate Side was photographed by CJStumpf on June 9, 2006.The US Capitol, House of Representatives Side was photographed by CJStumpf on June 9, 2006.Apotheosis of George Washington, a fresco by Constantino Brumidi (1805 to 1880) in the rotunda of the US Capitol building, was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005.The Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress in the Thomas Jefferson Building was photographed by Carol M. Highsmith in 2009.
The US Capitol was photographed by CJStumpf on June 8, 2006.
The US Capitol was photographed by CJStumpf on June 8, 2006. | Source
The US Capitol, Senate Side was photographed by CJStumpf on June 9, 2006.
The US Capitol, Senate Side was photographed by CJStumpf on June 9, 2006. | Source
The US Capitol, House of Representatives Side was photographed by CJStumpf on June 9, 2006.
The US Capitol, House of Representatives Side was photographed by CJStumpf on June 9, 2006. | Source
Apotheosis of George Washington, a fresco by Constantino Brumidi (1805 to 1880) in the rotunda of the US Capitol building, was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005.
Apotheosis of George Washington, a fresco by Constantino Brumidi (1805 to 1880) in the rotunda of the US Capitol building, was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005. | Source
The Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress in the Thomas Jefferson Building was photographed by Carol M. Highsmith in 2009.
The Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress in the Thomas Jefferson Building was photographed by Carol M. Highsmith in 2009. | Source

Museums in Washington, D.C.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Holocaust Museum was photographed by CJStumpf on June 9, 2006.The Continuum sculpture (1976) at the entrance to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005.The National Museum of the American Indian was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005.The International Spy Museum was photographed on the evening of January 11, 2006 by Kmf164.AgnosticPreachersKid photographed the National Museum of Women in the Arts on October 23, 2008.
The Holocaust Museum was photographed by CJStumpf on June 9, 2006.
The Holocaust Museum was photographed by CJStumpf on June 9, 2006. | Source
The Continuum sculpture (1976) at the entrance to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005.
The Continuum sculpture (1976) at the entrance to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005. | Source
The National Museum of the American Indian was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005.
The National Museum of the American Indian was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005. | Source
The International Spy Museum was photographed on the evening of January 11, 2006 by Kmf164.
The International Spy Museum was photographed on the evening of January 11, 2006 by Kmf164. | Source
AgnosticPreachersKid photographed the National Museum of Women in the Arts on October 23, 2008.
AgnosticPreachersKid photographed the National Museum of Women in the Arts on October 23, 2008. | Source

Memorials, Statues, and Monuments in the District of Columbia

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This statue of Abraham Lincoln (1920) by Daniel Chester French in the Lincoln Memorial was photographed by Raul654 on August 12, 2002.The Lincoln Memorial was photographed by Lorax on October 11, 2004.The Jefferson memorial was photographed by Rdsmith on September 5, 2004.This statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Jefferson Memorial was photographed by Patricksheridan on December 9, 2005.The National World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial were photographed from the tower of the Washington Monument by snty-tact on July 26, 2006.The US Navy Memorial was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005.The Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool were photograohed by Dtcdthingy on April 4, 2005.This map of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was created by Srbauer from a much larger map on March 3, 2005.The Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall was photographed by Lorax on October 13, 2003.Some of the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall were photographed by David Bjorgen on October 24, 2005.Diego Delso photographed the Marine Corps War Memorial on July 29,2007.
This statue of Abraham Lincoln (1920) by Daniel Chester French in the Lincoln Memorial was photographed by Raul654 on August 12, 2002.
This statue of Abraham Lincoln (1920) by Daniel Chester French in the Lincoln Memorial was photographed by Raul654 on August 12, 2002. | Source
The Lincoln Memorial was photographed by Lorax on October 11, 2004.
The Lincoln Memorial was photographed by Lorax on October 11, 2004. | Source
The Jefferson memorial was photographed by Rdsmith on September 5, 2004.
The Jefferson memorial was photographed by Rdsmith on September 5, 2004. | Source
This statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Jefferson Memorial was photographed by Patricksheridan on December 9, 2005.
This statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Jefferson Memorial was photographed by Patricksheridan on December 9, 2005. | Source
The National World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial were photographed from the tower of the Washington Monument by snty-tact on July 26, 2006.
The National World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial were photographed from the tower of the Washington Monument by snty-tact on July 26, 2006. | Source
The US Navy Memorial was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005.
The US Navy Memorial was photographed by Raul654 on May 7, 2005. | Source
The Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool were photograohed by Dtcdthingy on April 4, 2005.
The Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool were photograohed by Dtcdthingy on April 4, 2005. | Source
This map of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was created by Srbauer from a much larger map on March 3, 2005.
This map of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was created by Srbauer from a much larger map on March 3, 2005. | Source
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall was photographed by Lorax on October 13, 2003.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall was photographed by Lorax on October 13, 2003. | Source
Some of the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall were photographed by David Bjorgen on October 24, 2005.
Some of the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall were photographed by David Bjorgen on October 24, 2005. | Source
Diego Delso photographed the Marine Corps War Memorial on July 29,2007.
Diego Delso photographed the Marine Corps War Memorial on July 29,2007. | Source

Have you ever visited Washington, D.C.?

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midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Hello, Daisy, I would definitely love to drop by Washington D.C. when I have the chance to. I have always wanted to see the White House and a visit to the Smithsonian Institution would be great as well! Thanks for sharing, and I will share this too.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Michelle (midget38),

Thanks for reading my article and being the first person to comment. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub.

It's been a number of years since I visited Washington, DC. I still remember my reaction when I first walked into the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. There was so much to see right in the entrance hall! Looking up at the aircraft suspended from the ceiling was incredible!


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

Daisy - Very informative. I've spent much time in D.C. and enjoyed most of it immensely. The Vietnam Memorial wall and the Smithsonian are two places that I can never spend enough time at. My wife refuses to go back to the Washington Monument as the last time there a mass of pigeons few overhead and plastered her with ... well, what pigeons are known for. lol It's a great city during the day, and a place to be wary of after dark. Great Job!


saitam profile image

saitam 4 years ago from Lisbon

Very good hub, I visited Washington DC this year for two days and I liked the city, it is calm and beautiful, specially the National Mall with all the green.

Didn't have time to visit all the Smithsonian museums, only visited the National Museum of Natural History and "The Castle"

I am glad to see this hub and learn more.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Thank you for this very interesting tour. Love the history and the photos. Always wanted to go here.

Your wonderful hub has fulfilled a long-time wish. Just great Daisy!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Rich (rcrumple),

Thanks for reading my article and commenting. As always, I appreciate your continued support of my writing.

Unfortunately, many great cities are not to be visited at night, and the District of Columbia is one of them. When visiting Washington, we usually spend our evenings at one of the entertainment venues in Virginia.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

saitam,

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I'm glad you were able to spend two days seeing the sights in Washington, DC while on vacation in the United States.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Audrey (vocalcoach),

Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. I'm glad you enjoyed my virtual tour of Washington, DC. If you ever have an opportunity to visit the District of Columbia, please don't pass it up.


jimmythejock profile image

jimmythejock 4 years ago from Scotland

Never been there and probably will never have the chance to visit, but your article gives me a great insight to America's Capital, with great pictures thanks for sharing.....jimmy


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Jimmy (jimmythejock),

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and commenting.

I hope you'll have an opportunity to visit the United States one day. You just might be fortunate enough to win millions in a lottery, and be able to tour the entire country!


Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

I have visited Washington DC. You could truly spend a month there and not see everything. We've all seen photos of the Lincoln Memorial, but they don't really communicate how truly imposing it is. Seeing the Vietnam Memorial in person is very emotional, especially to those who lost loved ones in the struggle. The Smithsonian is simply amazing as is the National Gallery. Wonderful hub. Voted up and shared.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Sherry,

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. The first time I visited the District of Columbia, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. Seeing the sun glint on those light-colored buildings was a beautiful sight.


Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Oh I have always wanted to visit and maybe someday we will take the kids. You truly laid it out all so nicely here and loved reading about all the famous places that can be visited there all in one concise place. Great job and have of course voted up and shared all over!!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Janine,

Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub.

The District of Columbia would be a perfect vacation destination when your children are older. There are so many educational, yet fun, places to visit.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very informative hub. Now, I know about Washington DC completely through this hub. I'll put this on my travel list. Thanks for writing and share with us. I love all the pictures above. Voted up!

Prasetio


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Prasetio,

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I hope you're able to trael from Indonesia to Washington, DC some day.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

Awesome and up. Beautiful pics of one of my favorite cities. I'm going to link it to my 2 DC hubs. Shared to.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

The first time I saw Washington on a senior class trip while in high school. I have since been back with my own children several times. I think every citizen of the U.S. should visit Washington. Now, I'd love to go back and see the Vietnam Memorial and other things I haven't seen.

Great Hub with good info and photos.

I voted this Hub UP, etc.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Glimmer Twin Fan,

Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. Thanks, too, for linking my article to your two Washington, DC Hubs and for sharing my article. I appreciate it.

The photographs are all from Wikimedia Commons. Lack of time prevented me from looking for and scanning the photographs I have taken of this great city.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Mary (mary615),

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I was in college the first time I visited Washington, DC. A group of my friends and I drove there for a very long one-day excursion.

I'm hoping that my article will generate some interest in touring the District of Columbia. It's a not-to-be-missed destination.


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

Washington DC has so many attractions to see. I'd like to visit this city someday.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

One of my favorite cities to it because of all the free sites. Voting this Up and Useful.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

agusfanani,

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and commenting. Have you ever traveled to the United States from Indonesia? The city should be on everyone's list of places to see on the east coast.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Aurelio (alocsin),

Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. The fact that many of the sites are free in Washington, DC is a "bonus." What I like is the history associated with the sites.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

The Smithsonian is on my bucket list and hopefully I will see it within the next decade. Thanks for the tour of D.C. It is a place that holds so much history and excitement.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Dianna (teaches12345),

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. The Smithsonian group of museums is a great choice for anyone's bucket list. I'm glad it's on yours. I know you'll enjoy your visit.


velzipmur profile image

velzipmur 4 years ago from Maryland

Hello Daisy, this was a good and informative article. Thanks for the information.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Shelly (velzipmur),

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. Have you ever been to Washington, DC?


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

Beautiful presentation of a pretty much important - for the whole world! - place! The Holocaust Museum is definitely a site one needs to visit, I think... Voted up and shared.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Mike,

Thanks for reading my article, viewing the photographs, and adding your comment. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub.

There are so many "must see" sights in Washington, DC, one needs a few days in order to visit all that the city has to offer.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Dropping in again to say that I'm saving up to visit DC and the Smithsonian institute. The aerial view of the city is beautiful! Sharing!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

I love to visit Washington and yet there is much I have yet to see. Your hub covered some of the best sites and I enjoyed it very much. The pictures were great. I want to go when the cherry trees are in bloom next time. Voted up and shared.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Michelle (midget38),

Thanks for visiting again. How exciting that you're planning to travel from Singapore to Washington, DC!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Pam (Pamela99),

Thanks for reading my article, viewing the photographs, and commenting.

When the Japanese cherry trees were planted in Washington, DC, some were also planted in Newark, New Jersey. I haven't been in Washington when the cherry trees were in bloom, but I have been to the park in Newark when those trees were in bloom. What a gorgeous sight!


jenbeach21 profile image

jenbeach21 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

A lot of good information. All the pictures were really nice and added some great visuals.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Jen (jenbeach21),

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment.

I'm glad you liked the photographs. They're all from Wikimedia Commons, the best source for images for the types of article I write.


DIYmommy profile image

DIYmommy 3 years ago

I absolutely love visiting Washington, D.C. Just prior to my husband's 1 year deployment, with the U.S. Army to Kuwait, he had planned out a nice walking tour of Washington, D.C. for the both of us. By far, my favorite location to visit was the Holocaust Museum. While the museum can certainly be explored at one's own pace, my husband and I spent a considerable amount of time there. I can still remember the area, with the shoes--an unforgettable scent that basically transported one back to that time.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Julie (DIYmommy),

Welcome to HubPages. It's nice to meet you.

Thanks for reading my article and posting your anecdote about visiting Washington, DC. Did you visit the International Spy Museum while you were there? I've written an article about that fascinating museum. I hope you have a chance to read it.


DIYmommy profile image

DIYmommy 3 years ago

Daisy,

Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the International Spy Museum during our last trip to Washington, D.C. It will definitely be on our itinerary next time around though! I look forward to reading your hub about that. According to your profile, you live in California. That's quite a long haul away from Washington, D.C....do you have family that live in the area?


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Julie (DIYmommy),

Thanks for visiting again. I've traveled extensively...to more than 30 countries, island nations, and island dependencies; to approximately half of the states in this country; and to the District of Columbia. I don't have any relatives living in Washington, DC, which is only about five hours away by plane.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 years ago from Dubai

Great hub, after reading your hub I have added Washington DC to my bucket list. The Spy Museum is very interesting, hope to visit some day.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Nithya (Vellur),

Thanks very reading my article and posting your comment. Thanks, too, for tweeting my Hub.

I'm glad you added Washington, DC to your bucket list! It's a great travel destination.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Daisy. What a great hub. I have not been to D.C. in many, many years and I really want to go back soon. This is the perfect guide to the city and what to see and do. This is coming with me when we go. Great job. Voted up, shared, etc....


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Bill (bdegiulio),

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub and for planning to bring the article with you the next time you visit Washington, DC.


travmaj profile image

travmaj 3 years ago from australia

Thank you for this great tour - and the stunning photographs. I feel like I have visited Washington DC - unfortunatelyI haven't. So much to see so much to explore - it is definitely on my bucket list - fingers crossed. Thanks again.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

travmaj,

Thanks for reading my article and taking my virtul tour of Washington, DC. I hope you do get to visit this amazing city some day, perhaps as part of an east coast of the US holiday.


Mommy Needs a Nap profile image

Mommy Needs a Nap 3 years ago from Arkansas

Love D.C.! Nice job describing the city and sharing its history.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Michelle (Mommy Needs a Nap).

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

Wonderful pictures and excellent hub!

Washington is on my wish list and I have to visit it in near future. Your travel guide is definitely going to help.

Thanks! Shared on Twitter!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Chitrangada,

Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. Thanks, too, for tweeting my Hub.

Washington is a beautiful city with so much to offer visitors. I'm glad it's on your wish list.

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