Arlington and Washington, DC-Area Attractions
As the world's largest museum complex and research organization, The Smithsonian Institution is composed of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo. Gifted to the United States of America by the British scientist James Smithson, the Smithsonian Institute was established for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men."
Admission to all Smithsonian museums in the Washington, DC area and to the National Zoo is free of charge. Several of the museums offer special exhibits and movie presentations that have associated entrance fees. To find out about all the exciting places you can visit, make the Smithsonian Information Center your first stop. The information center is located in the Castle at 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW, and is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Many of the Smithsonian museums span the National Mall, from 3rd to 14th Streets between Constitution and Independence Avenues.
Tired of Walking? Take the Circulator Bus! To help navigate the largest museum complex in the world, the D.C. Circulator bus offers a quick and convenient service to Smithsonian museums.
|Museum||Address||Metro Stop and Line|
|African Art Museum||950 Independence Avenue, SW||Smithsonian, Mall exit
|Air and Space Museum||Independence Avenue & 7th Street, SW||L'Enfant Plaza, Maryland Ave exit
|Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center||14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA||Driving Directions|
|American Art Museum||8th and F Streets, NW||Gallery Place-Chinatown, 9th Street exit
|American History Museum||14th Street & Constitution Avenue||Smithsonian, Mall exit or Federal Triangle
|American Indian Museum||4th Street and Independence Avenues||L'Enfant Plaza, Maryland Ave or 7th Street exit
|Anacostia Community Museum||9101 Fort Place, SE||Anacostia Metro Station exit then board the W2/W3 bus (Howard Road)
Yellow/Green/Blue/Orange Lines and W2/W3 Bus
|Freer Gallery||Jefferson Drive and 12th Street SW||Smithsonian, Mall exit
|Sackler Gallery||1050 Independence Avenue SW||Smithsonian, Mall exit
|Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden||Independence Avenue & 7th Street, SW||Smithsonian, Mall exit
|Natural History Museum||10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW||Smithsonian, Mall exit
|National Zoo||3001 Connecticut Ave. NW||Woodley Park/Zoo/Adams Morgan or Cleveland Park exit
|Portrait Gallery||8th and F Streets, NW Washington, DC||Gallery Place-Chinatown, 9th Street exit
|Postal Museum||Massachusetts Avenue & 1st Street, NE||Union Station
|Renwick Gallery||17th Street at Pennsylvania Avenue, NW||Farragut West, 17th Street exit
|Ripley Center (International Gallery)||1100 Jefferson Drive, SW||Smithsonian, Mall exit
The Corcoran Gallery of Art
The Corcoran Gallery of Art stands as a major center of American art, both historic and contemporary. Founded "for the purpose of encouraging American Genius," the Corcoran's extensive collection of 18th, 19th, and 20th century American art represents most significant American artists. The Corcoran possesses a fine collection of European art as well.
Hours of Operation: Monday and Tuesday-Closed; Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: 500 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Take Metro Rail to the Farragut West (Orange/Blue Lines) or Farragut North (Red Line), then walk south on Seventeenth Street.
Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Holocaust Memorial Museum includes the permanent exhibition, The Holocaust, and other exhibits and collections. The permanent exhibition presents a comprehensive history of the Holocaust through photographs, artifacts, films, oral histories, and filmed eyewitness testimonies. Free, timed-entry passes are required for the permanent exhibition, which is recommended for visitors 11 years of age and older. Other exhibits and resources are open to the public and do not require timed-entry passes.
Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Location: 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW, Washington, DC 20024-2126
Take Metro Rail to the Smithsonian Metro Stop (Orange/Blue Lines), one block from the Museum.
The International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum is the first and only public museum in the U.S. solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on this all-but-invisible profession. It features the largest collection of international spy-related artifacts ever placed on public display.
Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily
Location: 800 F Street, Washington, DC 20004
The Museum is located between Metro Center (Red Line) and Gallery Place/Chinatown (Yellow/Green/Red Lines).
The oldest aquarium in the country has an unlikely home in the basement of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The 70 tanks of various size holds 250 species, including those native to this country and even those that are considered to be non-native or "invasive" species.
Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with last admission at 4:30 p.m.
Location: 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230
The museum is in the lower level of the U.S. Department of Commerce Building on 14th Street between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues, NW. Take Metro Rail to the Federal Triangle Station (Orange/Blue Lines).
National Geographic Museum
At National Geographic's headquarters, past and current expeditions, adventures, and scientific research come to life. Enjoy a variety of changing exhibitions and permanent and interactive displays that reflect the richness and diversity of our world.
Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily
Location: 1145 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
The Museum is a short walk from Metro's Farragut North (Red Line) and Farragut West (Orange/Blue) stations at 17th and M Streets.
Blending five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits, the moving Newseum offers a unique environment that takes visitors behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made.
Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Take Metro Rail to Archives/Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Station (Yellow/Green Lines). The museum is at Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street.
Parks and Recreation
For a complete listing of all parks and historic points of interest managed by the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) in Washington, DC, visit http://www.nps.gov/state/DC/index.htm#.
The National Mall
Officially established in 1965, The National Mall and Memorial Parks include the oldest protected park lands in the U.S. National Park Service. Memorials at The National Mall include:
- Washington Monument
- Lincoln Memorial
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- World War II Memorial
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Location: The National Mall stretches west from the foot of Capitol Hill at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial to encompass the Mall itself, the Washington Monument Grounds, the Tidal Basin area, and West Potomac Park before ending at the Watergate Steps behind the Lincoln Memorial.
The Mall area on the east can be reached using the following Metro stations: Federal Center at 3rd and D Streets, SW (Orange/Blue Lines); L'Enfant Plaza at Maryland Avenue and 7th Street, SW (Yellow/Green/Orange/Blue Lines); Archives-Navy Memorial at Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th Street, NW (Yellow/Green Lines); Smithsonian at 12th Street on the Mall, SW (Orange/Blue Lines); and Federal Triangle along 12th Street between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues, NW (Orange/Blue Lines).
The Mall area on the west end can be reached using the following Metro stations: Farragut West at 17th and I or 18th and I Streets, NW (Orange/Blue Lines); Foggy Bottom/George Washington University at 23rd and I Streets, NW (Orange/Blue Lines); and Arlington Cemetery across Arlington Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River (Blue Line).
Hours of Operations: The public may visit the National Mall 24 hours a day; however, U.S. NPS Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily.
Dedicated in 1976, Constitution Gardens serves as an oasis within the bustling city for visitors, residents, and wildlife. A memorial island in the middle of an artificial lake has stones bearing the names and signatures of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Their pledge to freedom exists as a living tribute within this natural setting celebrating the U.S. Constitution.
Location: Located in West Potomac Park, near the intersection of Constitution Avenue and 17th Street, NW, along the northern edge of the National Mall. There are four Metro stations that provide access to Constitution Gardens all are on the Orange/Blue Lines: Foggy Bottom/George Washington University at 23rd and I Streets, NW; Farragut West at 18th and I or 17th and I Streets, NW; Federal Triangle near 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW; and Smithsonian on the Mall near 12th Street, SW. Each station is about .75 of a mile from Constitution Gardens.
Hours of Operation: The public may visit Constitution Gardens 24 hours a day; however, U.S. National Park Service Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily.
U.S. Botanic Gardens
The U.S. Botanic Garden is almost as old as the city of Washington. Equal parts scientific facility and aesthetic experience, the Garden is a living plant museum. Exhibits at the Garden focus on the role plants play in supporting the earth's ecosystems and enhancing human life. The Conservatory contains permanent collections of plants from subtropical, tropical, and arid regions as well as special exhibits of orchids, medicinal, economic, endangered, and primitive plants. Bartholdi Park, across Independence Avenue, is home to the infamous Bartholdi Fountain and displays the beauty of outdoor gardening.
Location: The Conservatory's main entrance is located at 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20001. The National Garden is adjacent to the Conservatory, with entrances from Independence Avenue, from Maryland Avenue (at 3rd Street), and from the Conservatory Terrace. Bartholdi Park is located across Independence Avenue from the Conservatory, with access from any of the three bordering streets, Independence Avenue, Washington Avenue, or First Street.
Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Batholdi Park is open from dawn to dusk.
Shopping and Dining
Fashion Centre at Pentagon City
The Fashion Centre is a three-story mall containing more than 170 high-end stores and restaurants. Conveniently located at the Pentagon City metro stop (Blue/Orange Lines), the Centre also features a food court that hosts international to exotic specialties.
Old Town Alexandria
DC would not be the nation's capital without a few historical old towns! Conveniently located in the heart of the Washington, D.C. region, Old Town features numerous restaurants, chic boutiques, a thriving art scene, an electric business distric, and diverse attractions. Stroll down the 250-year-old brick-paved streets lined with 18th-and 19th-century architecture.
Georgetown Shopping District
Georgetown shopping district is a fun location filled with high-end retail shops and small businesses. Stop by Georgetown Cupcakes, the popular cupcake shop featured on TLC's "DC Cupcakes". Celebrities like the Jonas Brothers and Stevie Wonder have made visits to this delicious bakery! Who knows, maybe you will visit while they are filming! Take Metro Rail to the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro Stop (Blue/Orange Lines) and catch a DC Circulator bus. Or simply walk from the station!
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