Fun things to do in Washington D.C.

  • Martin Luther King Sculpture
    Martin Luther King Sculpture
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    Interior decor
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    Iwo Jima Memorial
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Washington D.C.

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    George Mason Memorial

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Jul 20, 2013

    Just a stones throw away from the Jefferson Memorial, this is a tribute to one of the founding fathers. It has a statue of Mason on a large concrete bench, overlooking a circular pool. That's about all there is to it. It would be a nice place to reflect, but that is made hard to do since it is in close proximity to a very busy road :)

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    Summerhouse

    by antistar Written Jun 15, 2013

    Easily overlooked in the great expanse of the National Mall is the Summerhouse. It was partly designed that way - the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted didn't want the building spoiling the overall design. But he also recognised the need for visitors to have somewhere to rest and recuperate. The small structure is thoughtfully designed, with each arched doorway giving a different view. One of the windows is covered by a grille and looks into a tiny grotto complete with waterfall. It's a cool, relaxing place to escape the heat and crowds if you know where to look.

    Summerhouse, Washington D.C. Summerhouse, Washington D.C. Summerhouse, Washington D.C.

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    Foggy Bottom

    by antistar Written Jun 13, 2013

    One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, the curiously named Foggy Bottom is believed to have got its name from the smoke that billowed out of the factory chimneys that once lined its streets. Today it is a leafy university suburb with red brick townhouses and a riverside location. The George Washington university engulfs the neighbourhood and fills its streets with students who mingle with the many workers at the US Department of State. It has one unique sight: The American Meridian. Before finally giving in to the idea of a timezone delimited by a line passing through Greenwich, London, the Americans tried, like the French, to create their own. The line can still be seen in Foggy Bottom today.

    If you want to get off the National Mall and see a bit of the living city, this is a pleasant, relaxing place to stroll.

    Foggy Bottom, Washington D.C.

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    Old Lock Keeper's House

    by antistar Written Jun 11, 2013

    There were once canals on the National Mall. What is now Constitution Avenue was once part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal system and used for shipping goods in and out of the city. By the late 19th century the railroads were ascendant, and the canals no longer needed. As the canal in central Washington had become a repository for the population's garbage, nobody was upset to see the back of the stinking waterway. Today all that is left of this canal is the pretty Potomac Bluestone Lock Keeper's House.

    Old Lock Keeper's House, Washington D.C.

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    Squirrels!

    by antistar Written Jun 10, 2013

    Not everyone likes the squirrels. Some describe them as tree rats with bushy tails. But kids love them and the parks of Washington are awash with some of the tamest squirrels you can find anywhere. I swear they'd eat out of your hands if you are patient enough. Though it's probably best not to due to the small chance that they might have rabies.

    The current squirrel population, like much of the humans of Washington D.C., were transplanted there a century ago. The original population was wiped out by hunters, who may or may not have eaten them. I wouldn't want to cast aspersions on the original inhabitants of this great city. Maybe they just wanted them as trophies!

    Squirrels! in Washington D.C. Squirrels! in Washington D.C. Squirrels! in Washington D.C. Squirrels! in Washington D.C. Squirrels! in Washington D.C.

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    National Museum of African Art

    by GentleSpirit Written May 22, 2013

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    Part of the Smithsonian institution it is located on the independence avenue side of the Smithsonian Castle. It is one of the smaller of the Smithsonian museums, focusing on African art, from the traditional to the modern. It focuses on the collection of Mr Tishman, which was mainly from Western and Central Africa.

    Hours-10 am-5:30 pm daily except December 25
    Admission- Free

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    CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS FOUNTAIN

    by alyf1961 Written Apr 22, 2013

    The Christopher Columbus fountain stands at the entrance to Union Station in Washington DC. The fountain was created by Daniel Burnham and Lorado Taft. The dedication ceremony was on 8th June 1912.
    The ceremony was watched by the then President William Howard Taft. A great parade took place with Knights of Columbus representatives attending from all over the world.

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    2nd Division Memorial

    by GentleSpirit Updated Apr 4, 2013

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    This memorial honors the sacrifice of the 2nd Infantry Division of the US Army. Originally it was intended to honor losses in World War I and was originally dedicated by President Franklin D Roosevelt in 1936. Later on it was expanded to honor losses in the Second World War and the Korean War. Significant battles that the division participated in In World War II are on the West panel and those from the Korean War are on the east panel.

    The18 foot tall flaming sword guards the gateway. The depiction of the flaming sword has been around a long time, One famous reference is the flaming sword put in the hands of the cherub once Adam and Eve had been banished from the Garden of Eden. In this particular case the flaming sword is meant to symbolize the defense of Paris from the German advance (in world war II.)

    2nd  Infantry Division Memorial Second Division Insignia
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    Independence Day

    by alycat Updated Mar 15, 2013

    If you are in the capital on 4th of July, get some snacks, find a nice spot near the Lincoln memorial or any national monument, squat on the grass and enjoy the fireworks, its a great outdoor activity and its free!!

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    U.S. Air Force Memorial

    by Yaqui Updated Feb 2, 2013

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    This memorial is dedicated to all the sacrifices of the men and women of the United States Air Force and including the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps; the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps; the Division of Military Aeronautics, Secretary of War; the Army Air Service; the U.S. Army Air Corps; and the U.S. Army Air Forces.

    More than 54,000 airmen have died in combat while serving in the Air Force and these historical service arms of the military, the second highest of any of America’s four armed services.

    Designed by James Ingo Freed, which features three stainless steel spires that reach for the sky and the tallest is 270 feet. It represents the airstreams of the United States Air Force Thunderbird Demonstration Team.

    These three spires also represent the three core values of the Air Force - integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all that is done - and the Air Force’s total force - active, guard and reserve, which you can see etched into some beautiful black granite.

    The wonderful bronze Honor Guard statue sculpted by Zenos Frudakis. There are many granite walls with many inscriptions located at either end of the central lawn. There is a another beautiful Glass Contemplation Wall that honors fallen airmen.

    Restrooms are located towards the end of the lawn towards the back of the building.

    OPERATING HOURS
    The Memorial is open every day of the year. Hours are 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. April 1 – September 30 and 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. October 1 – March 3

    IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a very small area designated just across the street as visitor parking. It is easily missed because the parking is just next to the Handicap parking and the signs are Blue with White lettering like the Handicap Parking. Warning: The rest of the parking you need passes or you will be towed. So really look.

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    Presidential Inauguration 2013

    by GentleSpirit Updated Dec 14, 2012

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    On January 21, 2013 President Barack Obama will be inaugurated for his second 4 year term as President of the United States.

    During the last Inaguration in 2009 there were 1.8 million people on the Mall. They are expecting somewhat fewer visitors this time, probably in the neighborhood of about a million. However the challenges of putting together an event for that many people seem daunting to me.

    Hotels- right after the election hotel rooms in Washington were selling for twice their normal price. Fancier hotels naturally are much more expensive. I heard that some hotels were charging up to 600 dollars a night during the Inaguration (with packages). Needless to say, if you haven't made hotel arrangements by now you will either have an enormous amount of money in which case it wont make any difference OR you will end up having to stay a good ways away.

    Transportation- unless you are coming in on a charter bus (who will arrange the drop off/pick up) you will most likely have to depend on public transport since downtown DC just doesn't have sufficient parking for that many people. Parking at Metro. Metro has 60,000 parking spaces spread out over 42 stations, unless you park at metro very early you wont find a space. Be prepared for waits that could last hours on the Metro.

    Eating- you will always be able to get a hot dog on the Mall, but restaurants! Oh mercy...that will be challenging.

    Finding a cab- too many street closures and preparations. Will be difficult, to say the least.

    Besides that,, there are security regulations. Last time out you were not allowed to bring strollers onto the Mall. No backpacks, large cases etc.

    To all the visitors that will be coming to Washington for this great event- thank you for coming, please be as patient as possible. A huge crowd like that sort of stretches things to the limit.
    Have fun and take lots of pictures:)

    the reviewing stand for the Inaguration Inaguration 2013
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    My Fair Lady

    by alycat Written Dec 11, 2012

    If you are interested in theater then you must watch My Fair Lady, which is a musical play. It is an adaption of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.

    Manna Nichols plays the main protagonist, Eliza Doolittle, and is the soul and spirit of the play. Not far behind is Prof. Henry Higgins, amazingly played by Benedict Campbell.

    Sign up with the Arena Stage for special deals and offers and watch the play at a discounted rate. It runs for approximately 3 hours with a 10 minute intermission.

    It runs till January 6, 2013.

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    District of Columbia War Memorial

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 4, 2012

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    Originally dedicated in 1931 to honoring the service in World War I of citizens of the District of Columbia, the national capital. It is one of the lesser known memorials, located in West Potomac Park, the only District monument on the National Mall. In the cornerstone you will find the names of 499 Washingtonians who lost their lives in the Great War. The last surviving US veterans of World War I petitioned Congress that the DC War Memorial be expanded to serve as a memorial to World War I for the nation.

    The memorial was refurbished and reopened on November 10, 2011 after a year of work.

    The DC War Memorial
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    West Potomac Park

    by Africancrab Written Aug 15, 2012

    The West Potomac Park is National Park in Washington administered under the US National Park Service. It is located adjacent to the National Mall and easily accessible. I believe we walked the length of it as we toured the many outdoor monuments and attractions; it stretches to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, from the Lincoln Memorial and the grounds of the Washington Monument.

    The park hosts most of the outdoor attractions/ monuments/ statutes, including the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the surrounding land on the shore of the Tidal Basin. In the nineteenth century, an artificial inlet of the Potomac River was created and it links the Potomac with the northern end of the Washington Channel.

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    Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Udval-Ha

    by Africancrab Updated Aug 10, 2012

    FREE parking after 4:00 pm was exciting news since we did not want to pay for parking. Located near Dulles Airport, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Udval-Hazy Center opened in 2003 and was named in honor of its major donor. It is also a companion to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington; together they feature the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world. From Herndon, it is literally 10 minutes away, there was no reason for us not to go, besides I really wanted to see the shuttle discovery.

    The museum features two large hangars; the Boeing Aviation Hangar and the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar. The center piece here is the shuttle discovery which is drawing huge crowds. We spent most of the 3 hours at the museum in this hangar; other space artifacts we found fascinating were the mobile Quarantine Unit made from a manufactured home, the Gemini VII Space capsule, the Gemini heat shield.

    The Timeline wall was quite engaging to me; it chronicles all major events in the history of the center, included are photographs to back up the information.

    The Boeing hangar has interesting aircrafts like the retired Concorde, the first Boeing, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and the super fortress Enola Gay.

    After all the exciting touring, if you get tired, hungry or thirsty, you can refresh at the food court, well more like the McDonalds next to the gift shop. It was a great afternoon for the entire family.

    Retired Space Shuttle Discovery 1 2 3 4
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