Washington, D.C is a great place to live. No matter what your interests are, there is a lot to see and do.
Here are some suggestions:
The National Mall is a must destination for every visitor or resident. The Mall is surrounded by the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, and various Smithsonian museums (see below). It hosts a number of celebrations and events that are free to participants. If you are in town for July 4th, don’t miss the concerts and fireworks. A Cinco de Mayo celebration, a folklife festival, and a kite-flying contest are among other annual events available to you. It is a favorite for joggers as well.
The Smithsonian Museums offer something for everyone. There are too many of them to describe in detail, but I will mentions a few of the favorites. Unlike most museums, they are free.
The National Museum of Natural History is a family favorite. It offers dinosaurs and other fossils; the Hope Diamond and other gems; a butterfly farm; and an aquarium to delight children and adults. They also have displays which are kid friendly, that is, they are ‘touchable’.
The National Air and Space Museums are also attractive to families. The original Air and Space Museum is on the Mall. You can see the history of flight, walk in a space capsule, learn about the exploration of the moom, and enjoy a space experience in the IMAX Theater. Closer to home is second Air and Space Museum – the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport. This features a number of planes including the famous stealth fighter plane. Adults and kids love these museums; you will, too.
If you are an art lover, you can try out the National Gallery of Art. This museum has both an east and west wing. You can find the traditional and contemporary art, prints, photographs, and sculptures here.
The National Zoological Park or National Zoo, is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. Located in the Mount Pleasant area, it is perfect for a nice one-day excursion. Giant pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, are favorites, but the zoo is home to great apes, Asian elephants, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, aquatic animals, small mammals, and many more!
Not far from the National Mall, East and West Potomac parks offer a walker’s guide to American history. The full walking path is about 3 miles, but it is full of wonderful things to see and discuss. You can see the Lincoln, Jefferson, and Martin Luther King memorials. You will also find memorials to US soldiers in the Korean War Memorial, World War II memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial. This area is surrounded with Cherry Blossom trees and is the scene of the National Cherry Blossom festival. This year it is March 20 – April 13, 2014. Don’t miss it!
Another DC park is Rock Creek Park. It features the Carter Barron Amphitheater which offers Shakespeare in the park as part of its summer venue. Check out the website for further details.
Closer to home is Great Falls Park. This Virginia park is a great place for picnics and birdwatching.
With so much to enjoy, the only question is, “Where will you go first?”