"Highlights of Washington" Washington D.C. by Africancrab

Washington D.C. Travel Guide: 5,737 reviews and 15,385 photos

Home to some of the World's most famous Memorials

I have been in Washington for the last 5 weeks and will be for the next 2 weeks, giving me a total of 7 weeks here. To say I have loved and enjoyed my stay here is to understate it. The name Washington is synonymous with the District of Columbia so much so that when we talk of DC, we are really referring to Washington the city. Well, there is no city like Washington and no state like the District of Columbia. Home to some of the world's most famous monuments and memorials, it gives travelers a run for their money. Together, all the monuments and memorials honor an event or a person, and show case the history of the United States. I was a student of history and Political Science; I cannot begin to express the excitement seeing the very monuments I read about in history class in high school and college. My family will be in the area for two more weeks, and the adventurer in me has come up with what many would consider an unreasonable list. I do not think so, and I will let you be the judge of that. Here is the list of the many attractions I want to see before I return to Arizona.
Of course I may not be able to see all of them, but as long as I have a target, I work towards that and it is much easier to check off one at a time than tour randomly and miss out on important attractions. I have prioritized which ones I want to see first, and those that I would not lose sleep over, last. Some top of the list attractions are not in the DC area, but about 30 minutes to 2 hours out of DC, this naturally puts me in another state altogether. Gettysburg, Alexandria, Baltimore Inner Harbor and Annapolis are in other states but close enough for me to make day trips to and from. Why leave for tomorrow what you can do/ accomplish today? I try not to, I hate regrets!

1. US Capitol Building
2. Washington Monument
3. World War II Memorial
4. Jefferson Memorial
5. FDR Memorial
6. Boat Cruise Up the Potomac River
7. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
8. Lincoln Memorial
9. Korean War Memorial
10. Marine Corps Memorial Iwo Jima Statute
11. The White House
12. Arlington National Cemetery
13. FBI Building
14. Washington Mall
15. World War I Memorial
16. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
17. The Pentagon
18. Smithsonian National Museum of American Art
19. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
20. Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building (Closed unfortunately)
21. Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
22. Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
23. Smithsonian Institution Information Center/ Castle
24. Smithsonian Arthur M. Sackler & Freer Galleries
25. Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
26. Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
27. Smithsonian National Museum of American History
28. The Kreeger Museum
29. National Postal Museum
30. Congressional Office Buildings
31. Theodore Roosevelt Island
32. Kennedy Center
33. Watergate Complex
34. Georgetown University
35. DC Waterfront
36. International Spy Museum
37. Martin Luther King Memorial
38. National Museum of Crime and Punishment
39. Koshland Science Museum
40. George Washington’s Estate & Gardens (Mount Vernon)
41. National Portrait Gallery
42. National Zoological Park
43. African American Civil War Memorial
44. Air Force Memorial
45. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
46. Corcoran Gallery of Art
47. Discovery Theater
48. St. Matthew’s Cathedral
49. Washington National Cathedral
50. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
51. Franciscan Monastery
52. Islamic Mosque & Cultural Center
53. Folger Shakespeare Library
54. Library of Congress
55. National Gallery of Art
56. Great Falls Park
57. National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

An Unplanned Stop at Arlington National Cemetary

After a brief meeting with Mark and Lena the day before, we agreed to meet for dinner today. Mark had sent me a note on Travbuddy about meeting him and Lena at a bar downtown DC where they were watching a soccer match between Sweden and the United Kingdom. But we had made prior arrangements to meet with my sister's friend who came all the way from Uganda. As luck wouldhave it, the traffic jam from Herndon to DC was so bad that it took us a little over an hour and fifteen minutes to get to town. The change in route that Mark took, put as close to Du Ponte Circle where Mark and Lena where. So we decided to make a stop anyway, not sure if they were still there; to our surprise, they were just gettingready to leave so we met briefly.

This morning,we decided (well,more like what I wanted) to go downtown DC with the mind to see as many monuments as we could. Mark hadbeen preped for this way before we ever boarded a plane to come here. I told Mark that one of the things I wanted to do was to see most of the monuments, visit Arlington Cemetary and dine at some of the finest restaurants in Washington. Well he said that the only thing that would stop us from doing everything on our list would be time. Time alone will be the enemy, otherwise everything is possible given time. With his schedule changing in the coming weeks, we haveto work around it, so that he does not miss out on family time, and timeto tourthe city as well while we are here. Since I have time on my hands (well,when I'm not tending Desire and Alexander), I put together a 'to do list' and will continue to add to it as I find recommendations.

We left Herndon a little later than we wanted to because I awoke late. The night before we had agreed to start off at 9:00 am latest; we would go to the Food festival in Herndon, then head on to Washington. However, the plan fell apart with my late wake up, that aside, I did not really want to go and join a crowd of people waiting for food. It was a quarter to noon when Mark left the parking garage of the Ave Residences for Washington. The drive was beautiful and traffic was flowing with no delays. I could not get over how green DC is, everything looks manicured except for the unscenly construction cranes and blocks being used to built pypasses.

As we approached the city center over one of the bridges over the a Potomic River, I decided I wanted to start at the Lincoln Memorial, Mark was glad to oblige me, howeverbecause of the heavy traffic around that exit, he decided to go further down then make an exit. This decision was not regretted as it put as on the far side of the bridge, right to the entrance of Arlington Cemetary. At this point, Mark asked if I wanted to tour Arlington seeing us we were already by the entrance, I was quick to agree, because it was one of the top attractions on my list. We proceeded to Arlington Cemetary where we spent an hour and a half touring. Check out my review of the cemetary.

Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument

From Arlington, we proceeded to see two other memorials before dinner; the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Memorial. I have written seperate reviews for the same, take a look at them if you would. Dinner was scheduled for 7:00 pm; Travbuddy Mark and his wife Lena of Anapolis agreen tomeet us for dinner, well they would be running late, but that was no problem.

PS: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

  • Last visit to Washington D.C.: Jun 2012
  • Intro Written Jul 23, 2012
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Comments (3)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Thanks for the great tour of Washington D.C. I have been there several times, both as a child and as an adult, but my last visit was thirty-some years ago. Several of the newer monuments did not even exist at that time.

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    What a stunning D.C. page! I am hoping to get back there later in the year, and your beautifully written (and photographed) tips will be top of my list.
    Looking forward to reading more ...

  • giampiero6's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Cool page! Thank you


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