Touring Washington DC and Great Day Trips from Washington DC, USA
Take a walking tour of Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue or hop on a bike or bus for a tour around the city streets of Washington to see the sights and monuments. Visit the International Spy Museum or take a day trip from Washington to Mt. Vernon and Arlington National Cemetery.
Washington DC: Museums, Monuments And Multiculturalism – Washington D.C. Travel Information
As the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. is certainly not lacking of museums, monuments, exhibits, historic landmarks and a fantastic potpourri of cuisine and nightlife. The District of Columbia is vibrant and alive with thousands of college students, passionate non-profits and swarms of local and international government employees.
Get a taste of this unique social climate when you book your airfare to Washington DC through one of the region’s major airports: Dulles International Airport (Virginia), Ronald Reagan International (Virginia), and Baltimore/Washington International (Maryland).
The city itself coexists as both the District of Columbia and the city of Washington. When the city was established, it was planned specifically to serve the United States as seat of government. A dispute arose between Virginia and Maryland as to which state would be home to the nation’s capital.
Thus, the decision was made to establish Washington DC as an independent, non-state entity. What is most interesting about the city is its inhabitants are rule by the United States Congress, which has ultimate authority over DC and resulting in less government representation for residents than they would enjoy in a state.
The National Mall… but That’s Not All!
Although you will never find yourself short of things to do or see in Washington DC, there are several must visits in the District. A tour of the Capitol Building is a fascinating way to see the several stages of democracy as they emerged over the course of the nation’s history.
The building itself was partially burned, along with the rest of the city, in 1814 by British forces and inside you can still see the remains of the old dome and the surrounding new, taller dome. You can also view the first Supreme Court, then housed inside the Capitol. This tour is most exciting because the building is an active part of today’s government, full of congressional interns, staffers and Congressmen.
Take a walk on the wilder side of Washington DC’s Rock Creek Park and visit the famous National Zoo, which is home to America’s famous pandas. Washington DC also offers the very popular Spy Museum, which covers the history of intelligence, espionage and code breaking in the United States and worldwide.
The world renowned Smithsonian Institution is the most famous collection of museums and galleries, including the National Air and Space Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the recently added National Museum of the American Indian. From the Smithsonian collection you will have the best view of the Capitol and the Washington Monument at either ends of the grassy Mall.
The Bounty Beyond Washington DC
Many of Washington DC’s attractions are beyond the limits of the District. Once you book your airfare to Washington DC on cFares, plan to explore the outlying areas like Arlington National Cemetery, just across the Potomac in Virginia.
Take a bike ride from there down the scenic green waterside of George Washington Parkway to Mount Vernon, the home and plantation of the nation’s first president, George Washington. Washington DC is also surrounded by several National Parks and recreation areas, including Shenandoah National Park and Anacostia National Park.
Find your airfare to Washington DC today and experience the heart and soul of America’s traditions, culture and democratic institutions.
Big Bus Tours Washington DC – Open-Top Sightseeing Tour
Tours Washington DC to discover and explore the famous sights of the nation’s capital. You’ll see all the iconic landmarks and memorials, from the Washington Monument to the White House.
Washington, DC Place To See At A Glance
- Reliable, inexpensive public transportation for quick access around town.
- Tours of government buildings are free and self-guided, but you must get your ticket at least 21 days in advance. This may change so double check.
- Franklin Mint has free guided tours.
- Dozens of parks and national monuments are free. Many have self-guided tours showcasing U.S. history.
- Memorials include –
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
- World War II Memorial
- Washington Monument
- Lincoln Memorial
- Smithsonian Institute has multiple branches around the city, including the National Zoo. These are always free and open every day except December 25th. Confirm in advance whether free and open.
General George Washington, President, Commander and Chief.
It is impossible to reflect on the truly great leadership that has been one of the real blessings of this nation without including the name of George Washington in that list. In fact, in almost anyone’s “top ten” list of truly great presidents, Washington would almost certainly top the list.
His stature in American history is legendary and the respect Americans have for this their first president borders on adoration of myth.
In fact, there is a lot of myth and some humor about our first president that reflects the love people have for this great leader.
From the many quips about his supposed wooden teeth to the thousands of places around the nation that proclaim “George Washington slept here”, to the mythical story of how he threw a silver dollar across the Potomac as a child or his response when he was caught cutting down a cheery tree and responded to the accusation “I cannot tell a lie”, Washington’s myth is strong in the national memory of this great leader.
He was the one who originated the concept of a “citizen president” and he believed so strongly in that concept that he refused to run for a third term because his time as citizen leader was over.
“This tradition was sustained with little exception until it was codified into part of our constitution in the form of the 22nd amendment.
But before Washington was a great political leader, he showed his tremendous leadership skills on the field of battle.
He learned the art of warfare serving honorably in the French and Indian war and his influence and the respect he had earned during that conflict netted him the title of commander and chief of the American Army when the continental congress created that role in 1775.
Small wonder when he ascended to the presidency some years later, he carried the responsibility of commander and chief with him to the presidency where it continues to reside today even though few of our modern presidents have the military credentials of Washington.
When commanding the troops during the revolutionary war, a famous incident that has been captured beautifully by artists was his decision to cross the in New Jersey to stage a surprise attack and win the battle against the British.
It was yet another brilliant maneuver that showed his firm grasp of military strategy and only served to add to his fame and reputation as an outstanding leader of men.
After the war, Washington again was interested in retiring from public life but he was never one to turn away when his nation needed him. And needed him it did as he presided over the Continental Congress to assure the successful drafting of the US Constitution.
Of the many great accomplishments of his life, his ability to provide leadership and inspiration to that assembly to produce this masterpiece of American political ligature would certainly be ranked as perhaps his finest hour.
George Washington was rewarded for his superior leadership skills when he was given the awesome responsibility of serving as the nations first President of the United States.
His wisdom and insight into what the nation needed at east stage of its early development made him the man of the hour for a struggling republic. Few recognize that one of his greatest contributions to the presidency was recognizing that the nation was torn and weary of war.
So using his considerable influence and negotiating skills, Washington signed a number of important treaties that resulted in years of peace that were needed to turn the country from thoughts of war to thoughts of building a great nation.
Washington never tired of providing leadership for two terms as the first American president and it was he who decided not to serve a third term and returned once again to private life.
But his impact on the nation and the world was profound and long lasting.It was the kind of nation shaping influence that truly earned him the title associated to him to this day of
“father of the nation.”