Must See Washington, DC!
Restaurants! As an international city, DC is known for having every type of cuisine imaginable. The Local Arrangements Committee has put together this excellent Restaurant Guide to help you choose whatever suits your pallet and budget.
National Mall: See all the major monuments and memorials, including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, National World War II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and many more!
- See the National Mall in all of its fall beauty with DC by Foot, a walking tour company that hosts free, kid-friendly tours (gratuity recommended). You'll enjoy taking in the sights while learning monument-themed fun facts and trivia.
U.S. Capitol Building: Visitors are welcome to enter the building through the Capitol Visitor Center, located underground on the east side of the Capitol, where you can begin your Capitol experience at the Visitor Center by visiting the Exhibition Hall.
- To tour the historical areas of the Capitol beyond the Capitol Visitor Center, you must participate in a guided tour. U.S. residents can go directly through the offices of their Representative or Senators. Many Congressional offices offer their own staff-led tours to constituent groups of up to 15 people, and most can assist you in reserving a general tour.Tours can also be arranged directly through the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center using an online reservation system.
Smithsonian Museums: Visit one of the many prized Smithsonian institutions located around DC! When you visit the Smithsonian, you're entering the world's largest museum, education, and research complex, with approximately 154 million artifacts and specimens in its trust for the American people. Admission to all these museums is FREE.
- The National Air and Space Museum which contains the largest and most significant collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.
- The National Museum of Natural History which contains more than 126 million artifacts and has numerous activities and exhibits including tarantula feedings, replicas of giant whales, the Butterfly Pavilion, and an IMAX theater.
- The newest gem in the Smithsonian is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in September 2016 and is in high demand (timed passes are required in advance and are free – tickets for October are released on July 5, 2017). This museum is the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture and contains more than 36,000 artifacts.
- The National Museum of American History is the largest American history museum and explores America's cultural, political, and scientific past.
National Zoo: It's not all elephants and donkeys in DC. At the National Zoo, visitors can find all sorts of animals that don't subscribe to party lines. Lions, tigers, giraffes and the zoo's beloved giant pandas are just some of the 2,000 animals that call the 163-acre park home. Admission to the zoo is FREE.
National Gallery of Art: The National Gallery of Art, one of the world's preeminent museums, preserves, collects, exhibits, and fosters the understanding of works of art at the highest possible museum and scholarly standards. The Gallery's collection includes some 141,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, decorative arts, and new media tracing the development of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. Starting October 22, see the landmark exhibition of "Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry". Admission is FREE.
Newseum: See for yourself why the Newseum is a top destination in Washington, D.C. As the only museum dedicated to free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — it's a conversation-inspiring experience you won't find anywhere else. The Newseum's seven expansive levels feature unique artifacts, interactive exhibits and multimedia galleries. Experience thrilling stories of First Amendment freedoms in action and discover how they continue to shape and connect our world every day. Tickets are $24.95 for Adults, and $14.95 for Youth (ages 7-18).
Library of Congress: Established in 1800 by an act of Congress, "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress". Today the collection contains a mind-boggling 158 million items. Its buildings house more than 36.8 million cataloged books; 68.9 million manuscripts; millions and millions of prints and photographs, audio holdings (discs, tapes, talking books, and so on), movies, and videotapes. Admission is FREE.
Rock Creek Park: Become one with nature this fall with a visit to Rock Creek Park. Let the kiddos release some pent-up energy at one of the many playgrounds found throughout the park, followed up by a refuel with lunch at one of 30 picnic locations. For an additional fee, you can enjoy a horseback ride, or rent a bicycle and feel the crisp breeze take over as you coast down one of the paved bike paths. Another option: spend an afternoon playing 18 holes at the public golf course.
Arlington National Cemetery: Arlington National Cemetery serves as a cemetery and a memorial to America's persons of national importance, including presidents, Supreme Court justices and countless military heroes. Visit Arlington National Cemetery to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The ceremony is held every hour on the hour.
Georgetown: The beauty of Georgetown's cobblestone sidewalks, grand homes and peaceful C&O Canal are only part of the draw to this tree-lined historic neighborhood – as home to some of the city's top shops, tastiest restaurants and most luxurious hotels, Georgetown is a favorite of tourists and locals alike. And it's easy to see why: Though M Street may be best known for a wide-ranging retail scene. The neighborhood is also home to a solid selection of upscale home design stores, independent small businesses and many of the city's best fine art galleries.
For more information on things to do in Washington, DC, visit https://washington.org.