Library of Congress
202-707-5458
Location: Jefferson Building, 1st Street and Independence Ave, SE
Metro stops: Capitol South
Millions of scholars, readers and tourists visit the Library of Congress annually, the world's largest and most open research library. The Library contains over 75 million volumes. Open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tours run at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. They begin at the ground floor of the Jefferson Building, 1st Street and Independence Avenue, S.E. The Library asks that groups over 10 make a reservation. 

Washington Monument
202-426-6840
Location: On the Mall at 15th Street, NW
Metro stops: Smithsonian
The Washington Monument is the city's tallest structure. Standing at 555' 5", the Monument is a tribute to our nation's first president. There are 897 steps that the public may walk down. To reach the top, however, elevators must be used. The lines tend to be long, but they generally move quickly. Your wait will be rewarded by a panoramic view of the nation's capital from the top of the Monument. Open daily the day after Easter to Labor Day from 8:00 a.m. to Midnight and from Labor Day through March from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In order to enter the Washington Monument, tickets are required. The ticket system is administered through the National Park Reservation Service (NPRS). Reservations for the Washington Monument may be made between 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM EST by calling 1-800-967-2283 or over the Internet at http://reservations.nps.gov. 

Jefferson Memorial
202-426-6822
Location: South end of the Tidal Basin at 14th Street, NW 
Metro stops: Smithsonian
This monument is in honor of Thomas Jefferson, our nation's third president and author of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. You may rent paddleboats at the Swan Boathouse and cruise the Basin. Open 8:00 a.m. to Midnight every day but Christmas. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial
Location: Between the Potomac River and the Cherry Tree Walk of the Tidal Basin
Metro stop: Smithsonian
This memorial is a tribute to both President Roosevelt and the time in which he lived. There is a sequence of four outdoor rooms, each representing one of FDR's four terms in office. Park ranger talks and daily tours are available upon request. 
Lincoln Memorial
202-426-6895
Location: West Potomac Park at the foot of 23rd Street, NW
Metro stops: Foggy Bottom
This monument is in honor of Abraham Lincoln, our nation's sixteenth president. It overlooks the Reflecting Pool toward the Washington Monument and the US Capitol. Open 24 hours daily. 

Vietnam Veterans Memorial
202-634-1568
Location: Henry Bacon Drive and Constitution Avenue on the Mall, NW
Metro stops: Foggy Bottom
Constructed of black granite to honor all Americans who served in the Vietnam War. There are over 58,000 names inscribed in chronological order in the marble wall. Open 24 hours daily. 

The U.S. Supreme Court
202-479-3030
Location: 1st Street, NE and East Capitol Street (directly east of the U.S. Capitol)
Metro stops: Capitol South and Union Station
This impressive building of white marble houses the highest court in the land. Guided tours are available, when the Court is not convening, Mondays through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except Federal holidays. No tours are given during August. 

National Archives
866-325-7208
Location: 7th and Pennsylvania Streets, NW
Metro stops: Archives/Navy Memorial
Home of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and thousands of important historical documents, the National Archives provides visitors with an opportunity to view American history up close. The Rotunda of the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, DC, reopened on September 18, 2003. The Rotunda is open 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (April 1 through Friday before Memorial Day); 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day); and 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Labor Day through March 30). The Archives is open every day but Christmas. 

Botanical Gardens
202-225-8333
Location: Independence and First St, SW
Metro stops: Federal Center SW or Capitol South
At the foot of the Capitol, under 29,000 square feet of glass, surrounded by ornamental pools this conservatory has more than 8,000 different types of exotic fruits, flowers and plants. Admission to all public areas of the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) is free. The Conservatory is open 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily. The Conservatory main entrance is on Maryland Avenue, SW. Visitors are welcome in Bartholdi Park from dawn until dusk and can access it from any of the three bordering streets - Independence Avenue, Washington Avenue, or First Street. 

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
202-488-0400
Location: Just south of Independence Ave, SW between 14th St and Raoul Wallenberg Place
Metro stops: Smithsonian
The Holocaust Museum serves as a national repository for Holocaust related artifacts and materials. The permanent exhibition is recommend for those over the age of 11. Open 7 days a week except for Yom Kippur and Christmas. Tickets are needed for entrance into the Museum's permanent exhibit. They can be purchased on the Internet at http://www.tickets.com or by phone at 1-800-400-9373 (service fees apply). 

Smithsonian Museums
202-357-2700
Location: National Mall 
Metro stops: Smithsonian
As the world's largest museum complex, the Smithsonian holds over 139 million artifacts of American history, including the Air and Space Museum, Arts and Industries, Museum of Natural History, and Museum of American History. Open year round from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

National Gallery of Art
202-737-4215
Location: National Mall between 3rd and 7th Sts, NW
Metro stops: Smithsonian or Archives/Navy Memorial
The National Gallery of Art is one of the world's largest marble structures, measuring 780 feet in length and containing more than 500,000 square feet. Open year round Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day except Christmas and New Year's Day.

National Museum of African Art
202.633.4600
Location: 950 Independence Avenue, SW
Metro stops: Smithsonian or L'Enfant Plaza
The Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art fosters the discovery and appreciation of the visual arts of Africa, the cradle of humanity. Open year round from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Ford's Theater and Lincoln Museum
202-426-6924
Location: 10th Street between E & F Sts, NW
Metro stops: Metro Center, Gallery Place, or Archives/Navy Memorial
The building is open every day between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. with the exception of Christmas. The Peterson house, where President Lincoln died, is across the street and free tours are available. 

Arlington National Cemetery
703-607-8052
Location: Memorial Drive and Hwy 110, Arlington, VA
Metro stops: Arlington Cemetery
Open daily October through March from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and April through September from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. View the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every hour on the hour and every half hour during the summer months. See the Amphitheater, the Custis-Lee Mansion, and the graves of Presidents John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft. Free admission. 

Washington National Cathedral
202-537-6200
Location: Massachusetts & Wisconsin Ave, NW
Metro stops: Tenleytown Station to "30" series Metro bus
The National Cathedral is the second-largest Gothic cathedral in the United States. From the Cathedral, you may view the nation's capital or simply enjoy the peaceful gardens and the beauty of the Cathedral. Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., except during services and special events. Tours are from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. 

National Zoo
202-673-4717
Location: 3001 Connecticut Ave, NW
Metro stops: Woodley Park or Cleveland Park
Visit the new panda exhibit, see the orangutans swing or tour the heritage gardens and wetlands. This visit takes a minimum of three hours; parking charges are per hour. The grounds are open daily from May 1 to Sept 15 from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Buildings are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and September 16 to April 30 from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Buildings are open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). 

The Department of Treasury
202-622-0896
Location: Next to the White House on 15th Street, between F & G Sts, NW
Metro stops: Metro Center
Due to the heightened security in Washington, D.C., tours of the Department of Treasury have been suspended until further notice. 

The Bureau of Engraving & Printing
202-283-2646
Location: 14th & C Sts, SW
Metro stops: Smithsonian
See how United States currency is printed. Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Closed weekends, Federal holidays and December 24 through January 3rd.

Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.