Ok, confession time. Washington, D.C. has recently become one of my favorite U.S. travel destinations, and with good reason. The city is AMAZING!
Washington has something to offer every visitor. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an art or music enthusiast, or you’re just looking for a great family vacation spot, this city has you covered.
A huge portion of entertainment can be found in one convenient location – Washington, D.C.’s National Mall. This area of the city is not only beautiful and full of history, it offers visitors a wide variety of sight-seeing venues. The best part? Most are FREE or low-cost. Free is not a word you often hear when on vacation. Take advantage!
Let’s take a look at the possibilities available on the Mall.
Washington D.C.’s National Mall
This gorgeous castle…yes, castle, is home to the Smithsonian Visitor’s Center.
National Air and Space Museum (Part of the Smithsonian Family)
Did you know the actual plane the Wright Brothers flew still exists? Yes, it does. It’s in the National Air and Space Museum. The history of all things aeronautical can be found in this fascinating museum. There is even an IMAX theater and a planetarium. Air and space enthusiasts could easily spend half a day at this venue. Oh, and it’s FREE!
National Gallery of Art
I must admit, I was quite surprised at the collection this gallery houses. Da Vinci, Renoir, Monet, Manet – all of the greats. This amazing selection offers visitors the opportunity to view some of the most impressive works of art in the world. I could have spent the entire day in the museum. Did I mention there is a beautiful garden themed restaurant? Seriously, this museum is indescribable. Their is no admission fee.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Holocaust was a bleak time in the world’s history. This museum brings awareness by teaching visitors about the atrocity and remembering those who lost their lives. Admission to the venue if FREE; however, it may be best to arrive early as tickets are time stamped.
Natural History Museum (Part of the Smithsonian Family)
Dinosaurs, diamonds, and ducks abound in this history of natural wonders. There is truly something for everyone at this museum. You could easily spend almost an entire day wandering around this substantial venue. It’s FREE, by the way. That makes it even better! Please do be aware that some special exhibits will require a fee for admission.
American Indian Museum (Part of the Smithsonian Family)
The history of Native Americans in the United States is beautifully displayed throughout this museum. The art, artifacts and education in this venue are outstanding. The collections on display gives visitors insight into the role Native Americans played in establishing the United States.
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Smithsonian Family)
These galleries house an impressive collection of Asian artworks. Between the two venues, the collections range from early Greek parchments of Biblical manuscripts to modern ceramics and paintings. Admission is FREE to both venues.
National Museum of African American History and Culture (Smithsonian Family)
This museum is not scheduled to open until September 24, 2016. That’s a little over one month. If you are planing a visit to D.C. in the foreseeable future, this museum will be a must-see for your itinerary. From politics and music to segregation and slavery, the collection at this location will give visitors insight into the lives and culture of African-Americans.
National Museum of African Art (Smithsonian Family)
From ancient carvings to modern paintings, this museum offers visitors a fascinating look at the art that has emerged from African culture. It is FREE to visit!
U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Want to see how paper money is printed? Ummm….yes, please. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is the place to be if you want to see actual U.S. bills being produced. While admission to the venue is FREE, you will need to get to the site early to get a ticket, as they go quickly.
Well, that wraps up Part 1 of Washington D.C.’s National Mall – A Great Vacation Destination. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the last installment of this two-part post.
Have you visited any of these amazing places in D.C.? I would love to hear your thoughts. Be sure to leave them in the comment section.