Visit The National Mall!

Visit The National Mall! The best way to see most of Washington’s monuments and museums is to stroll down the Mall, a greenway crowned by the Capitol and lined with treasure all the way to the Lincoln Memorial. Start by taking the Metro there (orange or blue line to Smithsonian; take the Mall exit out of the station), as parking is impossible. Then choose your own adventure, rambling in and out of museums and staying only as long as you’d like. If you have kids with you, take a break at the old-fashioned carousel in front of the Arts and Industries building, about halfway down the Mall. Or duck into the sculpture garden at the Hirshhorn Museum nearby. There’s a lot to see, so you’ll have to prioritize — or chill out and assume you’ll be back one day.
The National Museum of American History is one museum not to be missed on the Mall. Reopened on Nov. 21, 2008, after a two-year renovation, it is a massive collection of all things American — from Abraham Lincoln’s top hat to the Nintendo Game Boy. Another sure thing on the Mall, the National Museum of Natural History has something for everyone in the family, from the femme to the fierce. The Hope Diamond is here, along with an insect zoo, an IMAX cinema and a hall full of dinosaurs.
Things to skip: the National Museum of the American Indian, which feels like a museum designed by committee, and the World War II Memorial, an eyesore that offers little to inspire.

The National Mall is located at 900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC; 202-426-6841

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Visit the Capital!

View of The Capital in DC with visitors looking

Go check out our Nation’s Capital! To get inside, you have 2 choices: You can go on an official tour after getting tickets from a kiosk just outside the building or you can contact your state Senator or Representative to get a pass to the gallery and watch the place in action — or inaction, which is equally interesting. There are 540 rooms and almost as many lawmakers, all connected by winding halls, tunnels and an underground train.
For lunch and politico-spotting, crash one of the surprisingly decent, low-priced cafeterias in the Rayburn House Office Building or the Longworth House Office Building on Independence Avenue, or get a glass of wine and pasta at the upscale Sonoma on Pennsylvania Avenue, right behind the Library of Congress. (Metro: orange or blue line to Federal Center SW)
The United States Capitol is located at 1st Street SW & South Capitol, Washington, DC; 202-225-6827
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