10 Must-Sees in D.C.

First things first, I am a total history buff, so I absolutely loved visiting Washington D.C. for the first time. I, of course, did not have enough time to see everything (I think that would take a lifetime to soak in everything D.C. has to offer), but I am still in awe of the things I was blessed with experiencing, so I thought I would pass on the things I believe to be must-sees for your first trip to D.C.

1. Try to plan your trip around D.C.’s cherry blossom trees.

Washington D.C. is famous for their beautiful cherry blossoms and they are surely guaranteed to bless your trip with calendar-worthy pictures. They bloom in the spring in March or April and last about a week; however, if you miss it, D.C. is still sure to give you Instagram-level selfies and stories.

2. The National Mall at Sunset

There is nothing like seeing the Lincoln Memorial reflecting across the pool at sunset and walking around it to see the National Monument reflecting back on the other side; however, I do suggest going on a weekday night to avoid some of the crowds.

3. The Newseum

If you adore your freedom of speech, press, religion, or assembly you must go to the Newseum. If you remember or have heard of 9/11, The Berlin Wall, Stonewall, or some very infamous FBI cases, go the Newseum. If you appreciate journalism and the fight to keep the public informed, then please do yourself a favor and go to the Newseum. It will be well worth the trip and there is so much to see your ticket is good to two consecutive days for just $25.

4. See a play in Ford’s Theatre

Watch a musical or play in the very theater President Lincoln was assassinated in. The feeling is surreal and surly something you will never forget. Arrive early to walk through a museum preserving the memory of the infamous death and see the gun with your own eyes.

5. Take a trolley ride down to King Street.

With delicious food, live entertainment, and a strong sense of community you will fall in love with this little piece of town! It is just on the water’s edge of the Potomac River and sure to delight!

6. Guided tour of the Nation’s State Capital Building

Request a guided tour with your local House Representative or Senator to experience the State Capital Building in a more intimate way with an intern who works there and is privy to special stories and quirks you would never notice without them. Ask them about the Ghost Cat Prints.

You can also request a tour of the White House from the same representative but do it well in advance because slots fill up quick!

7. Get an official Library Card at Jefferson’s Library of Congress

Literally, every inch of this building is decorated and absolutely stunning and you will be amazed regardless if you get a library card or not, but trust me, you will want to. A library card gets you access to the Library of Congress’s famous Reading Room. It is free to get the card and only takes about ten minutes total, but ten minutes to try you luck at finding “The President’s Book” from National Treasure: Book of Secrets? Yes please! Not a reader? That is just fine; simply revel in the fact that you are in an exclusive part of the Nation’s capital that not many people experience.

8. Enjoy a meal in the oldest tavern in D.C.

Old Ebbitt Grille is a decadent restaurant with incredible food and a warm, historical ambiance. It is the perfect way to dine out in D.C., and while it might be a little pricy, the food is well worth it and the waitstaff are delightful. Splurge a little, it will be worth it!

9. Visit the Nation’s archives.

In the National Archive Building, reside America’s most treasured documents: The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution of the United States of America itself. Come and witness vital pieces of our history and national identity.

10. Visit the Jefferson Memorial at water’s edge.

This breathtaking monument is well worth the stop, especially if you go while the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Take a paddle boat out on the calm water and see the memorial and pieces of the National Mall from a unique view.

Whatever you do in D.C., will be phenomenal, so make this trip your own! Read up on what you would like to see and experience because there is so much more to do than what is on this little list. Please, go out and explore! Experience the world and learn an appreciation for culture, history, and different people.

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