The Smithsonian Institution holds thousands of exhibits. Highlights include the National Air and Space Museum, Museum of Natural History and the National Portrait Gallery.
The National Zoo, part of the Smithsonian, is home to more than 2,000 animals. Its most famous residents are the giant pandas, but you'll find everything from alpacas to zebras here, including more than 400 species.
Memorials and Monuments
Washington's presidential monuments---including the Washington Monument and the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials---are must-see icons of the city. Paying tribute to veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War at their respective memorials is a moving experience.
Getting a close-up look at government takes some early planning. To tour the White House, make advanced reservations through your congressional representative. Reservations are not required to tour the Capitol Building, but avoid long lines with advanced reservations (again, made through your congressional representative).
Ride the rails or buses of Washington's convenient Metro system to nearly any point of interest in the District, as well as suburban Maryland and Virginia. If you prefer walking, in 2007 Washington was ranked the number one walkable city by the Brookings Institution.
Article Written By Molly Klinger
Molly Klinger has a degree in communications and has been writing professionally since 1990. She has experience writing about many subjects, including technology, the food and beverage industry, health issues and sports. She has been published in the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal and Pennsylvania's Official Wine & Spirits Quarterly. Klinger holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Scranton.