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Travel USA - The Top Ten Places to Visit in Washington, D.C.

Updated on July 16, 2012
Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.
The Capitol
The Capitol
Arlington National Cemetary
Arlington National Cemetary
Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
Fords Theatre
Fords Theatre
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Library of Congress
Library of Congress
National Archives
National Archives
Holocaust Museum
Holocaust Museum
Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon
The White House, south side
The White House, south side

Washington, D.C. is easily one of the most visited, most historic, and most enjoyable cities in all of the world. The single city contains so many monuments, museums, memorials, and historical sites that it is impossible to spend just a couple of days in this beautiful city. I was lucky to spend 4 days in Washington, D.C. recently and noted my experiences in my phone. I thought about it long and hard and here is my top ten places to visit in D.C.

The Top Ten

10. The Capitol - The Capitol is the building where Congress meets and discusses bills and current issues. Congress is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Both sections of Congress have their sides of the Capitol. As you stand and observe the Capitol, you will see that the rotunda and the main footage of the building are in the middle where two identical buildings join on the outside. These two buildings are the House of Rep. and the Senate. When the flag is raised over the building, that means that Congress is in session. I, as well as my group, got to take a tour of the Capitol. It was pretty fun, but most of the good parts were left out. The outside of the Capitol is simply stunning. Perfect for pics!

9. Arlington National Cemetary - The Arlington National Cemetary was probably the most moving experience of the whole trip. To see the gravesites and burials of men and women who fought hard for their country is very powerful. Not only the grave sites, but also the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Every hour, the guards change at the tomb; that is a must see. A great experience all around. Some famous sites to visit here are the graves of the Kennedy family (never ending flame), Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery ampitheater, and the Custis Mansion (the old estate of Robert E. Lee and his wife).

8. Jefferson Memorial - The Jefferson Memorial in D.C. is the large monument with the dome on top. Inside rests the statue of Thomas Jefferson, the United States' 3rd president and one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence. Several famous lines and quotes by Jefferson are ingraved on the walls of the memorial.

7. Fords Theatre - Fords Theatre is titled America's Most Famous Theatre. It is the theatre where President Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed by John Wilkes Boothe. The year is April 1865; Lincoln attends a play at Fords Theatre. Little did he know, Boothe breeched his way up to the overlook where Lincoln was viewing the play. There, Boothe shot President Lincoln in the back of the head. Lincoln was in bad condition, so officials rushed him over to a residence across the street from Fords Theatre. There, Lincoln died the next morning. At Fords Theatre, visitors are allowed to walk the same path Boothe took as well as stand very close to where the President was shot. Standing at the point of impact simply makes one wonder back in time. After touring the small musuem and theatre, visitors are allowed to tour the house in which President Lincoln died, which is right across the street. Again, standing in the very room where President Lincoln died really makes one wonder back in time. Fords Theatre is one of the most historic places in D.C.

6. Lincoln Memorial - Everyone has seen it at least once; you know, the Lincoln Memorial. Still not ringing a bell? Well, the Lincoln Memorial is the large structure that contains the giant statue of President Abraham Lincoln relaxing in a chair. Quotes are ingraved around the inside of the building. From the steps of the memorial, you can look out over the Reflecting Pool and view the Washington Monument.

5. Library of Congress - One word that describes the Library of Congress: amazing. Simply put, the Library of Congress is where Congress, the House of Representatives and Senate, get all their information and knowledge. The building is divided up into 2 massive sections: one portion building a giant foyer lined with small exhibits and museums. The architecture, colors, columns, everything about this massive open area is designed to the specific detail. Words can hardly describe the beauty and the design. The second portion is the actual library, another giant open area with painted wood desks, computers, and books. Ever seen National Treasure with Nicolas Cage? You will recognize this building from that movie. The Library of Congress is a must see!!

4. National Archives Building - The National Archives Building is the home of the founding documents of the United States. The Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, Louisiana Purchase, and other very important historical documents rest in the National Archives Building. It is so remarkable to view the actual founding documents that shaped all of America.

3. The Holocaust Museum - Much controversy has come with building a giant Holocaust memorial. Some people, who believe the Holocaust never happened, have even made bomb threats against the museum. However, this building is one of the vivid and emotion tugging buildings in all of D.C. Walk through 4 stories of Germany history, Hitler regimes, and the horrible treatment of Jewish citizens. Although it is very tough to walk through, the museum serves as a historical memorial and eye opening experience for all ages.

2. Mount Vernon - Labeled the Most Popular Historic Estate in America, Mount Vernon is the home estate of George and Martha Washington. For those of you who do not know, George Washington was America's first president and prominent political leader. Mount Vernon, located 16 miles south of D.C., consists of gardens, buildings, barns, memorials, and the main residence itself. The main living quarters is around 9,000 sq. feet and has 10 bedrooms. Visitors are allowed to walk throughout the house and estate as well as take pictures of all the beautiful landscaping and architecture. Mount Vernon is a must see!!

1. The White House - The White House makes the number one top place to visit in Washington D.C. Due to trees and surrounding buildings, the only sides that produce a clear viewing of the White House are the south and north sides, the north side being the best view. Of course, you can only get as close as the front gate unless you have a scheduled tour. The White House in all its beauty is the resting place of the President of the United States of America. Gather around the gate and make sure you take lots of pictures! The White House, of course, is a must see!

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed learning about the historic Washington, D.C.


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