Welcome to MetroGuide Networks' overview of Washington, D.C.-area attractions. The Greater Washington, D.C. area is full of attractions for all ages. Brimming with treasures from American history and a multitude of attractions, the District of Columbia is among the world's easiest metropolitan areas to navigate. Safe, efficient public transportation systems serviced by the Metrorail subway and Metrobus make many attractions and neighborhoods easily accessible. Exploring the nation's capital on foot also can be pleasurable, especially around inspiring monuments and museums on the National Mall and museums, world-class theaters and splendid gardens, squares and circles throughout the District. Guided tours of the city are plentiful for orientation. The 67-square-mile District of Columbia is divided into four quadrants: Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and Southeast. The U.S. Capitol building marks the center where the quadrants meet. Numbered streets run north and south. Lettered streets run east and west. There are no J, X, Y, or Z streets. Avenues named for U.S. states run diagonally, often meeting at traffic circles and squares.
Below is a list of some suggested things to do in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area,
with links to more details when available.
- Basilica - National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Each year, hundreds of thousands from all over the world visit the country's patronal church and Marian Shrine to attend mass and confession, or just to see the magnificent 150-year-old shrine and national treasure.
400 Michigan Avenue, NE. Phone: (202) 526-8300.
- B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum
Numerous cultural programs and exhibitions are presented at the B'nai B'rith national museum, open every day except Saturday.
2020 K Street, N.W. Phone: (202) 857-6513.
- Capital Children's Museum
The Museum is closed for renovation until 2008. (Children can learn how to make Mexican cocoa, see science presentations, learn animation techniques and experience exhibits designed to expand the five senses and provide a deeper appreciation of the world in which we live.)
800 3rd Street, NE. Phone: (202) 675-4120.
- Eastern Market
One of the oldest indoor - outdoor markets in the country, the Eastern Market is comprised of the North, South and Central Halls, plus the Market 5 Gallery which offers not only a venue for artists from all over the world to exhibit and sell their works, but also is where children and adults can learn to paint, sculpt, dance and work with crafts.
7th and C Street (North Carolina Avenue), SE. Phone: (202) 544-0083.
- George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
Tour George Washington's home and grounds, preserved as it was, explore the gift shop and enjoy a genuine 18th century American dinner.
George Washington Parkway, South End. Phone: (703) 780-2000.
- Hillwood Museum and Gardens
Explore the largest collection of 18th and 19th century Russian art outside of Russia, a beautiful collection of 18th century French art and the azalea and orchid collections of the gardens preserved as they were when Marjorie Post first founded the museum.
4155 Linnean Avenue, NW. Phone: (202) 686-5807.
- International Spy Museum
See the largest collection of artifacts and memorabilia related to spies and espionage in the world, housed in one of the older buildings in Washington, D.C. where the American Communist Party was originally headquartered. The kids will love this museum, as many of the exhibits are interactive.
800 F Street. Phone: (202) EYE-SPY-U.
- Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
A unique member of the National Parks system along the Anacostia River, the Aquatic Gardens is devoted entirely to the cultivation of aquatic plants. Started privately in the late 19th century by W.B. Shaw, a Civil War veteran, and taken over by the U.S. in the 1930s, this beautifully preserved natural marsh area is home to all kinds of flowering plants, butterflies, turtles, frogs and many other creatures, and is now in the Register of Historic Places. The adjacent Kenilworth Park is a great place to have a picnic with the kids, where they can enjoy a variety of recreational equipment and natural wide open spaces.
Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, N.E., westernmost end. Phone: (202) 426-6905.
- Laogai Museum
Managed by the Laogai Research Foundation and sponsoed by the Yahoo! Human Rights Fund, the museum is the culmination of democracy activist Harry Wu's efforts to increase awareness of China's gulag, and chronicles the history and activities of the Laogai labor reform system in the People's Republic of China, a penal system created by Mao Zedong to house political dissidents and reform them while providing a low cost labor force for the country, generating scrutiny of consequent human rights violations by the international community.
1109 M Street Northwest. Phone: (202) 408-8300.
- Library of Congress
Take a tour of Congress's own library, the nation's repository of copyrighted works, the federal administrative arm of U.S. copyright laws, and its many cultural programs and galleries of art and photography memorabilia that preserve and illuminate sometimes lesser known but fascinating events, places and people in American and world history.
101 Independence Avenue, SE. Phone: (202) 707-5000.
- National Air and Space Musuem
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Air and Space Museum houses the largest collection of air and spacecraft in the world.
7th and Independence Avenue, NW. Phone: (202) 357-1400.
- National Gallery of Art
The vast collection of America's outstanding art museum and internationally famous Sculpture Garden includes paintings, sculpture and graphics by notable artists from Medieval times to the present.
Between 3rd and 9th Streets at Consitution Avenue, NW, in the National Mall. Phone: (202) 737-4215.
- National Geographic Society Explorers' Hall
Numerous cultural programs and exhibitions are presented at the Society's museum, and travelogs and other lectures are presented in the museum's Grosvenor Auditorium, throughout the year. Call to see what is happening while you are in town.
17th and M Streets, N.W. Phone: (202) 857-7588.
- National Mall
The center of American government and culture is symbolized and celebrated by this national park, commissioned originally by George Washington and on the itineraries of all who visit the nation's capital.
Between Independence and Constitution Avenues. Phone: (202) 485-9880.
- National Museum of Crime & Punishment
Explore the technology and science behind fighting and solving crimes, discover the heroes of law enforcement, and venture into the dark side of the criminal mind through this intensely interactive experience. The National Museum of Crime & Punishment, a Washington DC museum, includes a crime scene lab and the filming studios for America's Most Wanted with host John Walsh.
575 7th Street between E and F Streets Northwest. Phone: (202) 393-1099.
- National Museum of the Marine Corps
Visit state of the art interactive exhibits of technology and Marines history, and tour the 118,000 square foot museum next door to the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia. Free car and bus parking.
18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, VA. Phone: (877) 635-1775.
- National Museum of Women in the Arts
Devoted exclusively to the works of women artists, this museum also sponsors many theatrical and literary performances. Spend a few leisure hours here, and have lunch in the cafe surrounded by works of art.
1250 New York Avenue, NW. Phone: (202) 783-5000.
- National Zoo
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, home to the giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang and hundreds of other species, the best veterinary hospital and endangered species research field station in the country, the National Zoo should not be missed on your next visit to the nation's capital.
3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Phone: (202) 673-4800.
- On Location Tours
Bus tours led by local actors and actresses leave daily to visit more than 30 locations from over 50 sites of TV programs and movies, including Independence Day, Wedding Crashers, Bones, West Wing, Transformers, and more. Advance tickets are required.
1090 Vermont Avenue, NW. Phone: (800) 979-3370.
- The Phillips Collection
Nicknamed "America's first museum of modern art," this exceptional gallery also hosts many cultural programs, social hours with live music, refreshments and a gift shop.
1600 21st Street, NW. Phone: (202) 387-2151.
- Sandy Spring Museum
This museum, just a short drive outside of Washington, D.C., has preserved the town's Quaker and early American roots in its exhibitions and in the original equipment and customs still in use throughout the town.
17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, MD. Phone: (301) 774-0022.
- Sewall-Belmont House
Many famous events in American history, including the Louisiana Purchase and Equal Rights Amendment, were planned and drafted in this house, purchased by the National Woman's Party in 1929 and now a museum devoted to the artifacts and memorabilia of women's rights and suffrage.
144 Constitution Avenue, NE. Phone: (202) 546-1210.
- Smithsonian Institution
Known variously as the "nation's attic" and the "national museum of American history," the Smithsonian fills these roles and so much more. Explore the many museums, take one of the many tours and enjoy some of the many cultural programs presented there during your visit.
1000 Jefferson Drive, SW. Phone: (202) 357-2700.
- Tudor Place Historic House and Gardens
The first mayor of Georgetown, and his wife who was the granddaughter of Martha Washington, built this neoclassic mansion. The spacious gardens and internal furnishings, artifacts and memorabilia have all been preserved faithfully. Enjoy a tour of this amazing property, and step back into old Washington, D.C.
1644 31st Street, NW. Phone: (202) 965-0400.
- U.S. Capitol
Tour this symbol of democracy, recognized all over the world, and see American legislators in action within this architectural marvel.
Between Independence and Constitution Avenues. Phone: (202) 225-6827.
- U.S. National Arboretum
Many species of trees and other plants are grown and studied at this magnificent national outdoor museum, where something is always in bloom. The arboretum is open every day, and provides a cafe and gift shop, so you can take your time and make a day of it.
3501 New York Avenue, NE. Phone: (202) 245-2726.
- Veramar Vineyard
The Blue Ridge Mountains are just about an hour's beautiful drive north of Washington, D.C., where you will find many golfing and mountain hiking opportunities, and one of the better regional wineries stretching along the banks of the Shenandoah River. Enjoy a tasting and a tour of the grounds while you are in the area.
905 Quarry Road, Berryville, VA. Phone: (540) 955-5510.
- Washington Monument
Explore the monument, which can be seen from every corner of Washington, D.C., that stands in tribute to George Washington, the "Father of His Country," who helped determine how America's three branches of government would work together and with the President.
900 Ohio Drive SW. Phone: (202) 426-6841.
- White House Visitor Center
A museum of American history as well as the Presidential residence, the White House tour is highly recommended on your next visit to the nation's capital.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Phone: (202) 456-1414.
- Woodrow Wilson House
Visit the house in which Woodrow Wilson spent is post-presidential years, and explore the art and artifacts of the 1920s era.
2340 S Street, NW. Phone: (202) 387-4062.
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