Washington D.C. is filled with the illustrious history of our great nation, which it showcases through monuments, memorials, museums, and other historical buildings. It is important that you witness the greatest of these during your trip to feel connected to the past. You will not only remember the lives that were lost but gain a new understanding of what it took for us to reach this era of prosperity.
We have listed some of the most important places in Washington D.C. that will immerse you into the culture. They will transport you back in time and show you the foundation that this nation was built upon. Keep reading to learn about ten things you need to see during your trip to Washington D.C.
10 10. The National Archives
This museum is free to visit and houses the most important documents of our nation. They do offer guided tours if guests are interested, or if you are short on time it is easy enough to walk yourself around the area. You can see the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and the Magna Carta within its glorious walls.
Your history senses will be tingling as you stand face to face with the documents that shaped our lives today. It showcases the beginning of an era that has continued to thrive through good times and bad as it brought us to the modern-day.
9 9. Washington National Cathedral
Whether you are religious or not this is always a great place to visit during a visit to D.C. due to the astounding architecture. You can walk inside and encounter vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, and other historical facts that can only be uncovered by going on one of their many tours.
Learn stories about its cryptic past or climb to the top of the tower and look out upon the entire city. Your heart will be filled with joy as you learn how deep the roots of Washington extend into the past.
8 8. National World War II Memorial
This is one attraction that is best experienced at night as you gaze upon the numerous states illuminated by the lights. It honors the armed forces who served in World War II and helps others to remember them in solace.
You can learn about different parts of the war's history from the plaques, quotes, and pavilions that are part of this memorial. There are usually rangers in the area to help answer any questions and there is no fee to visit this historic area.
7 7. Korean War Veterans Memorial
The Korean War Memorial takes you through multiple sections that help us remember the brave soldiers who fought overseas in this war. You will first come upon the 7-foot statues that are standing amidst paddy fields which signify the clothing they wore and the weapons they carried.
Next, you will come upon a wall filled with murals etched into granite which depict photos from the war that were retrieved from the National Archives. Then you will come across the pool or remembrance where people come to remember those they lost during this time. The final aspect is the United Nations Wall which has engraved markers for all of the nations that sent troops.
6 6. Washington Monument
This was built in honor of George Washington and it stands at 555-feet tall. It has just reopened for tours as of September 2019, but make sure to check the list of things you can bring before showing up for your tour.
There is an observation deck 500 feet in the air and on the way back down you can view some of the commemorative stones on the interior of the structure. If heights aren't your thing it is still educational to walk around the area and admire the architecture of the obelisk.
5 5. Library Of Congress
This is another free venue that history buffs must add to their itinerary. There are three separate buildings that make up the Library of Congress, but guests are instructed to go to the Thomas Jefferson Building first.
There is a free one-hour walking tour of this particular building, but there are several other tours available that you can also schedule depending on your interests. If the early Americas or women's suffrage is more your thing than that is also an option for guests who visit this amazing building.
4 4. Lincoln Memorial
This is a memorial that commemorates one of the greatest presidents to be elected into office. It is free to visit and the feel of the air itself will transport you back in time to the days of the Civil War.
Lincoln himself is 19-feet-tall and surrounded by marble columns that commemorate the date of his death. You can read the words he spoke at the Gettysburg Address, as well as his second Inaugural Address that was given shortly before his death.
3 3. The White House
This is the place that everyone wants to go when they visit D.C. as they hope for a glimpse of the President, whether they like him or not. You can tour this establishment if you plan far enough in advance for a tour.
They are free and self-guided, but you have to submit a request through your local Congress member before you are granted entry. It is an amazing sight to see as you walk the same halls as past and present presidents and look upon furniture and decor that has been there since before many of us were born.
2 2. Arlington National Cemetery
There are so many places to visit in Arlington National Cemetery that will connect you to your historical roots. You can walk through the Memorial Amphitheater, view the eternal flame at the John F. Kennedy Grave Site, and lay your eyes upon the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
This is one of the biggest attractions as the infamous changing of the guard happens here every hour of every day. They protect the grave of the unidentified American soldier from World War I, and more crypts exist to the west with unknown soldiers from World War II.
1 1. U.S. Capitol Building
This is not only a monument, but it also serves as a working office building. Guests can walk through the visitor center and look at the temporary exhibits, or they can schedule a tour.
The tours include views of the Crypt, Rotunda, and National Statuary Hall, but unfortunately, you can't visit the Senate or House galleries without a special pass. This does not cost anything, so it is the perfect way to spend a day learning about the vast history of our great nation.