Immerse yourself in the proud heritage of a nation on your tour of Washington, D.C. See the famous memorials and sights of America's capital city and explore the icons that speak realms about the country’s remarkable history.
Things to do in Washington, D.C., USA
Washington sightseeing should arguably begin at the iconic White House, home of the President. Walk around and take pictures as you admire the architecture and gardens, and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the First Family!
For more than 2 centuries, the US House of Representatives and the Senate have met under the roof of The United States Capitol building in Washington D.C, on top of Capitol Hill. It is here that the Presidential inaugurations are held every 4 years.
The striking Washington Monument was built to commemorate President George Washington. Currently the tallest stone monument in the world, at 604 feet, the design is that of an Egyptian obelisk. The first elevator to be installed was steam powered and took 20 minutes to reach the top. Now, it takes only around 70 seconds to take visitors to up to experience some of the most magnificent views that Washington D.C has to offer. At ground level, there are 50 flags flown at the base of the monument designed to represent the fifty states of the US.
Washington’s National Mall is one of the most recognisable areas of the city based on its proximity to a number of more famous Washington attractions and institutions including the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol building. The Mall is actually a National Park and represents a beautiful open space in the centre of Washington DC that visitors are free to explore at their leisure and at once be exposed to centuries of American history.
Washington’s National Mall is also host to some of Washington’s best museums and memorials. The National Museum of American History, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and the National Museum of the American Indian all have their place here for visitors to learn about the dual legacies of American history, through both the eyes of the European settlers and the Native Indians.
Reflect on the country’s most turbulent days at the Lincoln Memorial and the sombre World War II memorial. The Lincoln Memorial, designed as a tribute to the 16th President of the United States, was built by the architect Henry Bacon and was completed in 1922. The first stone was laid to coincide with Lincoln’s birthday on February 14th in 1914. The Memorial was designed in the style of a classical Greek temple and the 36 columns that it displays are meant to represent every state that was a part of the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death.
The World War II monument in Washington commemorates the 16 million Americans who participated in the war, including the 400,000 members of America’s armed forces who died in the fight against fascism. More than 4 million people visit the memorial annually to pay their respects to features of the memorial such as the Freedom Wall which displays 4,048 stars, each one representing 100 of the Americans who died in the war.
Jefferson’s Memorial, dedicated to the 3rd President of the United States, was completed some years later in 1943 under the supervision of the architect John Russell Pope. The open plan memorial contains 19 foot tall statue of the President as well as an inscription of the Declaration of Independence that he helped to forge in 1776. Both memorials are tributes to 2 of the greatest figures in American history and inspire countless millions of visitors each year with their messages of truth and liberty. They are open to the public 24 hours a day.
Visit Arlington National Cemetery to pay respects to the American heroes who have their final resting place there. Presidents, veterans and explorers alike are all immortalised in Arlington among the 300,000 graves that make up the 612 acre site. John F. Kennedy is buried here and, at the request of his wife Jacqueline, an eternal flame has been burning since it was first lit in 1963 by the Kennedy family. Monuments to other great Americans include a tribute to the crew of the Space shuttle Challenger and those who lost their lives on board the USS Maine.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorials in Washington are dedicated to the memories of those men and women of America’s armed services who were lost fighting in the Vietnam War of 1959 – 1975. The memorials are located in Washington’s Constitution Gardens. Spend some time reading the names of the 58,159 fallen that are inscribed there.