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Visit Free Attractions in Washington D.C.

Updated on May 27, 2015

Visiting Washington D.C. is a must for anyone interested in the history of the United States.

Although you will have the cost of lodging, there are plenty of attractions that are available with free admission.

An alternative to the possible high cost of staying near the museums and monuments would be to find accommodations outside of the city and use public transportation. The city’s system has stops near most attractions and in several surrounding communities to make this a viable option.

Whatever your choice, the National Mall and the Arlington National Cemetery should be a top priority for any journey to the area.

The National Mall has a variety of museums to satisfy the tastes of any tourist. There are several different art museums, but for those traveling with children, the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History are two of the best choices.

The Air and Space Museum has a large collection of flying machines. Included in the collection are The Spirit of St. Louis flown Charles Lindbergh and the Friendship 7 capsule piloted by astronaut John Glenn.

Lindbergh completed the first solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927.

Glenn was part of the Mercury Program and in 1962 was the first person to orbit the Earth in the spacecraft on display.

In its current structure since 1910, National Museum of Natural History has many items representing animals, fossils and rocks as well as other items.

Charles Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris in 1927. The plane is on display at the National Air and Space Museum.
Charles Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris in 1927. The plane is on display at the National Air and Space Museum.
The Friendship 7 capsule that John Glenn used to orbit the Earth in displayed in the National Air and Space Museum.
The Friendship 7 capsule that John Glenn used to orbit the Earth in displayed in the National Air and Space Museum.
The Hope Diamond has been on display at the National Museum of Natural History since 1958.
The Hope Diamond has been on display at the National Museum of Natural History since 1958.

Once you have visited your choice of museums, a stroll through the monuments is next on the agenda.

The iconic Washington Monument is the tallest structure at nearly 555 feet, which honors George Washington, the first President of the United States from 1789-1797. At the other end of the Reflecting Pool is the Lincoln Memorial that was constructed to pay homage to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States from 1861-1865. In between, there are several areas honoring veterans of wars in American history.

If you have the time, another must see free site is the National Archives just a few blocks from the National Mall. Important documents in American history are located there with the highlights being the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

The view of the Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The view of the Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Viet Nam Memorial
Viet Nam Memorial
National Archives
National Archives
The Declaration of Independence on display at the National Archives.
The Declaration of Independence on display at the National Archives.

Located in Virginia and established during the Civil War, the Arlington National Cemetery is amazing and the resting place of some of the greatest heroes in the history of the United States.

Watching the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns is a somber and uplifting occurrence that is an incredible scene to witness.

The Eternal Flame marking the graves of John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States from 1961-1963, and his family is a highly visited area as is Memorial Amphitheater and the United States Marine Corps War Memorial depicting the flag raising on Mount Suribachi during the Korean War.

Among those who served the United States in some capacity that are interred at Arlington, there are so many stories. Items are available in the Welcome Center to help finding the areas you would like to go to see.

Congressional Medal of Honor winner and actor Audie Murphy along with another famous actor, Lee Marvin, are buried there. World champion boxer Joe Louis and his wife are next to Marvin.

After viewing these famous attractions, the White House, Capitol Building and the United States Supreme Court are among other important governmental sites that could be visited during an extended stay in Washington D.C

The entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.
The entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.
The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery
The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery
Audie Murphy's grave at Arlington National Cemetery.
Audie Murphy's grave at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Eternal Flame honoring United States President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Eternal Flame honoring United States President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.
The grave sites of Lee Marvin and Joe Louis at Arlington National Cemetery.
The grave sites of Lee Marvin and Joe Louis at Arlington National Cemetery.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery

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