The Smithonian opened it in 1990 using the former City Post Office building.
Postal museum may sounds boring, but with interactive games and videos in addition to the exhibits including stamps, mail boxes from around the world, and a stagecoach, this is a fun place for both kids and adults.
1st St. and Massachusetts Ave. NE.
Near the Union Station
This little museum is part of the Smithsonian complex on "the mall" but doesn't get all the must-see attention that is paid to the biggies. (like the Air & Space, Museum of Natural History, National Gallery of Art, etc.). There was an exhibit in Spring 2003 focusing on "Nature's Jewels" -- a wonderful display of orchids, AND a butterfly exhibit: A self-enclosed area where tropical butterflies are hatched and released. Wear bright colors and you'll feel like a Disney character with butterflies landing on your shoulders, back, hands...it's quite magical! Check out my travelogue called "Nature's Jewels" for more pictures from this exhibit.
The museum houses continuously changing exhibits, so be sure to drop by while strolling the mall, and you will be charmed by something else quite extraordinary!
This place is brand new and SUPER cool! They have the first space shuttle there - the Enterprise. They also have the Enola Gay (the plane that dropped "The Bomb" during WWII), and tons of other military planes. You can watch the planes take off and land at Dulles airport from the Udvar-Hazy museum's viewing tower. VERY cool. To get to the Udvar-Hazy museum, simply buy a shuttle ticket at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum (less than $10/round trip). The average tourist would probably be happy with making this a half-day trip. For the aviation enthusiast, be sure to catch the 9 a.m. shuttle (so you can get to the museum before it opens at 10 a.m.) and take the last shuttle back (I believe it leaves at 4 p.m.). You won't be disappointed!
The National Archives and Records Admin building houses the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights and more than 3 billion records.
Open daily 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. except Christmas; extended summer hours.
Group tours by appointment
Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial
DC looks magical by night. Floodlights make dramatic shadows on all the major buildings, so why not take a romantic evening stroll after the crowds have gone?
The memorials remain accessible 24 hours, but you might feel safer visiting when they are staffed (usually until midnight). A number of places stay open late during the summer months. You can admire the view from Washington Monument until midnight from April through August.
The National Archives, home to the ‘Big 3’ documents relating to American democracy (the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights) stays open until 9pm from April to the first weekend of September.
The shops and stalls in the Old Post Office don’t close until 9pm on Monday-Saturday nights from mid April to mid September, while a glass elevator can take you up its clock tower for fantastic views until 11pm during those same months.
This wonderful collection of modern art is in the former residence of its founder, Duncan Phillips. It was the first museum of modern art in America. It still retains the feel of the original home, with many little surprises to be found throughout. One of my favorite Kandinsky paintings “Succession” is hanging in a stairwell! There is a collection of Klees, Van Goghs, enormous Clifford Styll canvases, and the Impressionists, with the large Renoir “Luncheon of the Boating Party” the premier attraction.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10-5, Sundays 12-7
Free Tuesday through Friday, charge on weekends
The Corcoran Gallery of Art is one of my favorites. You'll recognize some of the portraits in the permanent collection from your american history textbook.
The permanent collection is great and they frequently have good exhibits.
Admission is $5 unless you go on Thursday night when it's free.
The photo is of a neat pattern in the steam between the Corcoran and the Old Executive Office Building one evening after we visited.
This tour is fabulous, and it's at night. It combines a number of stops and drive-by's that show you all of the highlights of DC. You all pack into a big tour bus and go around town. Some places on this tour were: stopping at the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial, seeing JFK's bust in the Kennedy Center, stopping at the Iwogima Memorial, Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and driving by the Watergate Hotel, US Naval Observatory. GREAT tour. These places are really great to see at night. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Terrific new exhibit of orchids and butterflys. What a feeling it is to walk among all those colorful creatures. They land on people...or close by...so you can really see them. It's a marvelous feeling....here is a pic on one large butterfly who landed on my red necklace and stayed for quite a while.
Located at 300 Independence Avenue SW, and entered on C Street between 3rd and 4th Street SW, the Voice of America offers tours on Mondays through Fridays (except holidays) at 10:30 am and 1:30 and 2:30 pm.
VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, informational, educational, and cultural programs every week to an audience of some 94 million people worldwide. Television programs are produced in English and other languages, including Arabic, Albanian, Bosnian, English, French, Indonesian, Mandarin, Persian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.
There are more than 40 radio studios and three television studios, a digital stereo master control with 432 incoming circuits and 360 outgoing circuits, and two centers to record reports from VOA correspondents around the world.
The FBI (as well as the U.S. Marshalls) is the closest thing there is to a national police force in the United States. A tour of their headquarters in the capital is a good experience to see how federal law enforecement works, whether it be busting fraud financial schemes, gangsters, or terrorists.
The FBI has been around for nearly 100 years, and has seen a lot of ups and downs throughout its history. It was made especially famous throughout the 1930s through '60s by its charasmatic, arch-conservative director, J. Edgar Hoover, who busted alleged communist sympathizers, mafia dons, civil rights leaders, while secretly at the same was a closeted homosexual and cross-dresser. Today, the headquarters building is now named after him, but Left-leaning lawmakers on Capitol Hill, aware of Hoover's infamous totalitarian-like tactics, would like to change its name to the Robert F. Kennedy building, the late Attorney General and civil rights advocate. Lawmakers continue to squandor over this controversial name change.
Although you won't see Scully and Moulder hard at work at the FBI, you will get the chance to see crime labs, phone operators, crime files, and confiscated items from some of America's most infamous criminals, all of which are available for the public to tour.
Visiting the FBI is a chance to see law enforcement at work. Free tours are offered throughout weekdays. FBI Headquarters is located not too far away from Ford's Theatre; the building is easily recognizable by its numerous variations of the American flag throughout 230 years around its entrance.
FBI Headquarters, sadly, is presently closed due to renovations since August, 2002. It will open shortly.
Located at 1145 17th Street NW, the National Geographic Society's Explorers Hall hosts an ongoing series of temporary exhibitions of interest to visitors of all ages.
On Passport Fridays the museum offers informal presentations of cultural and natural history. They often feature music, live performances, and story telling..
Here is one of the displays from not too long ago. This is from the Byrd exhibit.
Not in the path of all the Memorials, so some people miss it, but Ford's Theater where President Lincoln was shot is a must-see. You can see the balcony where John Wilkes Booth killed Lincoln and then jumped to safety. It is free.
Also the place where Lincoln was taken and eventually died is right across the street. An odd note, if you look at the trees outside of both places, they are covered in multi-colored gum. Since people aren't allowed to bring gum in, they have created sort of improptu gum art.
There are three tours daily (Monday to Friday) They start at 9:30 am, 10:30 am and 2:45 pm. However, they are by reservation only.
The 45 minute tours take you through the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the Department of State. It is a fine arts tour, not recommended for children. Reservations should be made four weeks in advance.
The Phillips Collection is a nifty little museum just off Dupont Circle. It's often overlooked by visitors to D.C. who concentrate on the better known warehouses of culture along the mall. This gallery is selective; it's based upon the personal taste of a single collector, Mr. Duncan Phillips. It thus has a great deal in common with the Frick in New York or the Wallace in London. It's strength is in 19th and 20th century French painting. (The address is 1600 21st Street N.W.)