Washington, D.C. Tour Information
Are you planning a trip to our nation’s capital soon? Washington, D.C. is a remarkable place full of history and exciting attractions. If you’re thinking about a visit, please refer to this page for an overview of some of the places you can see. Many of the locations on this page are free, open to the public, and require no reservation ahead of time.
In addition, please know that my office is here to help you with booking tours at other Washington, D.C. locations that may require more advanced notice, such as the White House and the Pentagon. If you’d like to learn more about those tours, please click here to visit my tour request page.
Please also note that Washington, D.C. has a large public transit system, with a metro subway and bus network that can take you to locations throughout the city. To learn more about it, including fares and maps, please visit the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the National Mall is a National Park. According to the Park Service, the National Mall is made-up of more than 1,000 acres of green space with walkways and grass between the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.
The National Mall is also home to some of our country’s most iconic monuments, including the World War II and Vietnam War memorials. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week, the National Mall is a wonderful place to wander, take pictures, or bring a picnic.
Along the National Mall you may find:
- Lincoln Memorial
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Washington Monument
Note: The Washington monument is currently closed for renovation
- World War II Memorial
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
- United States Navy Memorial and Visitors Center
- Korean War Memorial
The Smithsonian Institution offers 19 different museums and galleries along the National Mall and throughout the greater Washington, D.C. metro region. These attractions include the American History Museum, the National Portrait gallery, the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, and much more.
Please note that due to high demand, the new National Museum of African American History and Culture currently requires a pass for entry, but other Smithsonian museums do not. According to the Smithsonian, their museums are open every day of the year except Christmas, unless indicated otherwise.
The Botanical Gardens, also along the National Mall, is a living plant museum. The garden was a part of George Washington’s vision for the capital city of the U.S. and shows the importance plants to the “well-being of humans and to earth’s fragile ecosystems.”
Admission is free and is open from 10am to 5pm daily, including weekends and holidays.
Located in the Woodley Park neighborhood outside of the city’s center, the Smithsonian National Zoo is a leader and conservation and a great place to see rare and wonderful animals including Elephants, Pandas, and Orangutans. It’s a great place to bring children and explore. The Zoo is free of charge and is open 365 days a year.
Additional Museums and Attractions
One of the most emotionally moving locations in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is a solemn memorial to the millions of people who were tragically killed during the Holocaust. The Museum is open every day from 10:00 AM to 5:20PM.
The Department of the Interior is responsible for protecting many of our nation’s public lands – from forests to deserts and everything in between. Their mission of their museum is to “inspire and educate” their employees and the public about our country’s wildlands. The museum is open Mondays-Fridays, 8:30AM- 4:30PM.
Visit the location of one of the most infamous assassinations in U.S. History. Ford’s Theatre and Lincoln museum contains exhibitions about Lincoln’s presidency, his assassination, and about the Civil War. The museum open from 9 am – 4:30 pm.
The National Archives is home to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The Archives also contains permanent records created by the United States Congress, the White House and other federal agencies. Museum hours are every day from 10:00AM to 5:30PM.
The National Geographic Museum details the history of National Geographic, its explorations, and adventures. It is open 7 days a week, from 10 am – 6pm.
The Newseum showcases the importance of the press and the First Amendment through its exhibits on the history of the news. Museum hours are Monday through Saturday, 9:00AM to 5:00PM and Sunday, 10:00AM to 5:00PM.