Being the home to famous historical monuments, Washington WC is one of the most favorite places for history and culture enthusiasts. However, this special city has so many surprises. From unexplored islands to magnificent waterfalls, Washington could be the perfect place to spend your vacation. In the following, we have handpicked some of the top things to do and best places to visit in Washington state:
Built to honor George Washington, the first president of the USA, this monument is one of the most visited tourist spots in this city. This monument was built between 1848 to 1854 and made of granite, marble, and bluestone gneiss. This 555 feet tall monument welcomes over 650,000 visitors every year. You can visit Washington Monument from 9 am to 10 pm, every day. The entry fee ticket cost $1.50 per four individuals which is not refundable. You can make a reservation online in advance to enjoy this one of the top tourist attractions in Washington DC.
Lincoln Memorial is one of the very popular places to visit in Washington DC. This US national memorial was built to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Stands at the end of the mall, Lincoln Memorial is separated from the Washington Monument by a pool called ‘Reflecting Pool’. In the middle of the Lincoln Memorial, you will find a 19 feet tall statue of President Abraham Lincoln. This historical memorial has been attracting a large number of tourists since its foundation, in 1922. There’s no entry fee to visit this place and the memorial is open for the whole day.
National Gallery Of Art
The National Gallery of Art is one of the unique places to visit in Washington state for art lovers. This museum has two separate buildings and a collection of various sculptures, paintings, and decorative arts. National Gallery of Art has Ginevra de Benci, which is the only painting of Da Vinci in an American museum. Besides this, other famous collections of this art museum are Degas, Renoir, and Monet that are created by French impressionists. You can see sculptures by Henry Moore in the east wing. On the other hand, you can enjoy a free concert on Sunday evenings. National Gallery of Art is open from 10 am to 5 pm, every day and there’s no entry fee.
Smithsonian Zoological Park
If you are not that interested in history and art, you can visit a Zoological Park in Washington. Being the home to over 2000 species, Smithsonian Zoological Park is one of the popular places to see in Washington. The most famous animals in this zoo are giant panda, red panda, Western lowland gorillas, Sumatran tigers, white-naped cranes, and cheetahs. Moreover, you can enjoy the colorful underwater life in the Amazonia exhibit. There’s no entry fee for Smithsonian Zoological Park. The park remains operational from 8 am to 7 pm.
The National Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world and a tour of this masterpiece is one of the best things to do in Washington state. However, the most surprising thing about this Neo-Gothic cathedral is it takes around 83 years to build it. There are various things to explore in this building including the Bishop’s Garden and some hidden places. Another key attraction is the burial of Helen Keller and President Woodrow Wilson. The central tower of this church is the highest point of Washington. This cathedral is open from 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays and for a longer time on weekends.
Every tourist in Washington loves to see the iconic White House, the official residence of the President. This building was founded by James Hoban after being burned down by the British army. However, you need to have advance permission from your embassy. With the permit, you can get a Blue, Green, Red, and East rooms tour. There’s no fee for visiting the White House. On the other hand, tourists can enjoy an exhibit in the free White House Visitor Center. Here, you can get the details of presidential families.
National Museum of Natural History
If you are visiting Washington with your children, don’t miss the National Museum of Nature History. This museum has some fantastic natural and permanent changing exhibits. Some of the best exhibits are Ocean Hall’s underwater photography and Hope Diamond. Additionally, don’t forget to explore the Hall of Human Origins; a representation of human evolution. For children, this museum has the Discovery room where they can play with artifacts. The dinosaur exhibits are also loved by children. The entry fee of the National Museum of Natural History is free.
The United States Capitol and Capitol Hill
The United States Capitol and Capitol Hill is one of the best representations of American history. The huge dome that is based on St. Peter’s in Rome gives a picturesque appearance of this building. The interior of the building is enriched by various paintings, reliefs, and frescoes. The main attraction is a ceiling painting by Constantino Brumidi. You will see statues of historical personalities. You can reserve a free tour online that begins on the lower floor. Moreover, you can explore numerous historical exhibits in the United States Capitol.
National Air and Space Museum
Washington has so many famous museums, and we can’t leave National Air and Space Museum. If you are a fan of aviation and space, this is the ideal place for you. The National Air and Space Museum features Wright Brothers Flyer and Spirit of St. Louis. Additionally, this museum has Albert Einstein Planetarium that will give you an exceptional experience. Currently, this museum is undergoing a make-over that will add 23 galleries. You don’t need an entry ticket to visit the National Air and Space Museum.
Jefferson Memorial was built in memory of Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the USA. Based on the Roman Pantheon, this beautiful memorial attracts thousands of tourists every year. The main attraction of this place is a 19 feet tall statue of Thomas Jefferson. This monument is standing at the far end of the Tidal Pool that reflects the beautiful design of the building. You will find numerous cherry trees in the surrounding. That’s why the Cherry Tree Walk is very popular here. Just like other historical places to visit in Wahington, you don’t need an entry ticket to visit Jefferson Memorial.
Mount Rainier National Park
If you want to reconnect with nature in Washington, have a trip to Mount Rainier National Park. It takes around one hour from Seattle to reach this beautiful national park. The park is focussed on the highest mountain of Washington; Mount Rainier itself. You can visit this national park throughout the year. Although access to some parts is limited during winter due to heavy snowfall. On the other hand, it’s an ideal place for hiking which is one of the top 10 things to do in Washington state this weekend. Plus you can do various activities including glacier climbing and mountaineering. The entry fee of Mount Rainier National Park starts from $15 per person. Although there are several entry fees based on different segments.
The above-mentioned tourist attractions in Washington are some of the best in the lot. Now you know what to do in Washington, you can plan your tour with utmost enthusiasm. If you are planning to explore nearby places to visit in Washington then don’t forget to check our USA travel guide.
About Author – Ruchira Sarkar is the founder of India Travelpedia, a writer by passion and profession. Besides writing, she’s a travel buff, foodie, and culture enthusiast.