When traveling, planning a full itinerary can sometimes seem like the hardest part. If you are looking to tour Washington DC, there are many things to do—so much so that the choices can seem overwhelming. Whether you are looking to go for a day trip or a weekender, there is something to do for everyone. Washington DC is known for its connection to American history, making it a popular destination for history buffs. Beyond this, there are tons of iconic museums to visit. From art to natural history, aerospace and biological sciences, there is truly a museum for every interest. Plus, there’s an abundance of amazing, diverse restaurants and bars to satisfy your cravings after a long day of sightseeing.
If you need a place to conveniently store your luggage, there are also options for that. Whether you are waiting to check in and don’t want to carry around your bags to go sightseeing, or if you have checked out in the morning and don’t want to haul your bags around all day, then there is an easy solution for you to find luggage storage in Washington DC. Once your bags are safe and you are ready to go sightseeing, here are the five best things to see and do in Washington DC.
Made famous by movies and television, the Smithsonian is a must-see when visiting Washington DC. Located in the iconic Smithsonian Castle, you can plan your day trip here starting at 8:30 a.m. when they open. This is a great time to go as it is typically not so crowded, plus it opens before most other museums in the city. Treat yourself to a wealth of natural science and history exhibits while soaking in the fascinating architecture.
Iconic to Washington DC is the Washington Monument. This obelisk is one of the most frequently visited spots in DC and for good reason. The amount of history embedded in the building is truly monumental. You can be taken to the top of the monument to see amazing panoramic views of the city. From the top, you can see the Jefferson Memorial, the Capitol Building and even the White House. When inside the monument, you can spot 192 memorial stones that have been donated from various states, cities, and historical societies.
National Gallery of Art
For art history fans, the National Gallery of Art offers thousands of famous paintings to see. The National Gallery of Art is noted as one of the most famous museums in the world. It houses a collection of art that spans over hundreds of centuries. Inside the east and west buildings, the gallery preserves, collects, and exhibits artwork from thousands of countries and numerous historical time periods.
The collection within the museums features around 141,000 paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and new media. Plus, the National Gallery has art that dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. It also contains pieces from the more widely known periods, such as the Renaissance, Impressionist, Romantic, and Neoclassical ages. It is truly a must-see for any art lover. It is recommended to plan to spend an entire day there as the gallery itself is massive.
The Lincoln Memorial pays tribute to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. This iconic landmark presides over the Reflecting Pool, anchoring the western end of the National Mall. On the left hand side of Lincoln’s statue is a stone etching of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. This is one of the most famous speeches in U.S. history. The right side of the statue is Lincoln’s second inaugural address which he gave just months before he passed. This is an excellent attraction that is educational for all ages.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is one of the largest libraries in the world and is simply breathtaking for all who enter. The library is home to more than 164 million items, including photos, records, maps, books and much more. There is also an adjoining museum to explore with some of the most incredible exhibitions displayed in the Thomas Jefferson building. The classic Gilded Age architecture makes its interior a visual masterpiece.
Why You Should Visit Washington DC
Washington DC is an excellent place to visit, packed with things to do from cultural and historic to pure entertainment. There is enough to fill a week, weekend, or even a full month, so long as you plan ahead and know what you are looking to experience. And if you’re planning for a day trip, make sure to find where to safely store your luggage in DC so you aren’t saddled with bags all day. Whether you are looking to explore American history in the capital of the United States or if you are looking to see art from around the world, there is something for everyone to enjoy.