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Family Vacation: 5 Places to Visit in Washington, D.C.

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There are so many places to visit throughout the United States. One of the areas in the country that is filled with history, politics, and beauty is Washington, D.C. As the nation's capital, the city and surrounding areas are filled with sights that will educate and entertain during a family vacation.

washington dc capitol.jpg

5 Places to Visit in Washington, D.C.

From museums to monuments, there are countless places to visit throughout the D.C. metro area. The city and surrounding areas are filled to the brim with opportunities to learn about this nation's history, as well as take in the beauty of the sights.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington County, Virginia, is directly across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial. This cemetery, whose 624 acres have been laid casualties, and deceased veterans, of the nation's conflicts, will leave you breathless. Walk the grounds to see the gravestones, the Eternal Flame over the grave of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and the changing of the guard. The guards change every hour on the hour (the cemetery closes at 7:00 p.m.) so make sure you time your visit to the cemetery. You won't want to miss this event since it's definitely a very powerful sight to see.

changing of guard

Air and Space Museum

All of the Smithsonian Museums are amazing. Plus, they are free! Head to the National Mall and you will be surrounded by the museums. You can simply walk into any Smithsonian Museum and check out all of the artifacts. The Air and Space Museum is one that the whole family will enjoy. There are so many aircrafts to see throughout the entire museum and they have fun activities that will keep every member of the family entertained.

Mount Vernon

George Washington called Mount Vernon home for more than 40 years. Situated long the Potomac River, you can visit the Mansion, more than a dozen original structures, Washington’s Tomb, and nearly 50 acres of his extensive plantation. The estate also includes a working blacksmith shop and the Pioneer Farm. You can walk the beautiful grounds and even take a tour of his home.

mount vernon

Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre is a historic theatre in Washington, D.C. used for various stage performances beginning in the 1860s. It is also the site of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. After being shot, the fatally wounded president was carried across the street to the Petersen House, where he died the next morning. Plan a visit to the Ford's Theatre campus, which includes the museum, theatre, Petersen House and Center for Education and Leadership. You can also see a performance since Ford's Theatre produces plays and musicals reflecting America's rich cultural heritage.

Monuments and Memorials

Washington, D.C. is definitely known for all of the beautiful monuments and memorials that honor our past presidents and wars. You can walk the National Mall and see a majority of the monuments and memorials but the tour might take you all day since there is a lot of ground to cover. Instead of walking, why not rent a bike or go on a segway tour? The perfect time to see the monuments and memorials, believe it or not, is at nighttime. There are very little tourists who are out and about. Plus, the lighting on the monuments can be very moving and powerful. When planning your tour, be sure to include the following sights (and you can see them in this order as well):

  • Capitol
  • Washington Monument
  • WWII Memorial
  • Lincoln (you'll ride right along the Reflecting Poll on your way to Lincoln from the WWII Memorial)
  • Vietnam Memorial
  • Korean Memorial
  • MLK Jr Memorial
  • FDR Memorial
  • Jefferson Memorial

washington dc monuments

What's your favorite spot in Washington, D.C.?

Photos courtesy of Flickr.

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Comments

One Response to “Family Vacation: 5 Places to Visit in Washington, D.C.”

  1. Annette says:

    We did spring break in DC in 2013. I learned the best thing to do when planning a trip to DC is to call you Congressman or Senator. Congressman Chaffetz’s office gave us a tour of the Capitol Building Our guide took just two families on the tour. Tours arranged through the capital tourist office have 200 people and they don’t care to stop at the state specific items. Senator Hatch’s office worked to get us tickets to various other sites that we couldn’t. And in the end your congressman or senator are the only people that can get you into the white house tour. If planning a trip to DC, start with these offices. You may even get to visit your reps personally and that is an unforgettable vacation.

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