Your Destination Guide to Washington DC

Destination Guide DC - Your Destination Guide to Washington, DC

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Because of its position as a capital city, many of DC's most interesting places are prefaced with the word "national" -- the National Mall, the National Archives, the National Zoological Park...but there are many, many other impressive and meaningful places to visit as well. Among them are the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, the largest museum complex and research institution in the world, as well as Union Station, an exquisitely-architected masterpiece that is a must-see whether you're taking a train or not. Here is a rundown on the coolest places to not miss.

Washington DC | Sightseeing

Airforce Memorial
  • Airforce Memorial
  • One of the most symbolic and evocative memorials in the country, the United States Air Force Memorial visibly takes off, its three spires painting an arc in the sky. The memorial, completed in 2006, honors those who have served in the United States Air Force, 54,000 of which have died in combat.
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Arlington House
  • Arlington House
  • Arlington House, home of the famous Confederate general Robert E. Lee and his family, is located in the Arlington National Cemetery, 200 acres of which was originally owned by the Lee family.
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Capitol Building
  • Capitol Building
  • The majestic dome and Rotunda marking the heart of the U.S. Capitol Building not only symbolize the power of the legislative branch of the greatest democracy in the world, but also determine the...
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  • Few presidents have exemplified strong leadership through periods of national despair and dignity to the extent that Franklin Delano Roosevelt did during the Great Depression and the Second World War.
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Lincoln Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • In 1922, a racially segregated audience watched President Warren G. Harding preside over the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial, a structure that celebrates President Abraham Lincoln's dexterous preservation of the Union and principled commitment to abolishing slavery.
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Mount Vernon Estate
  • Mount Vernon Estate
  • Mount Vernon Estate is the family home of the nation's first president George Washington. Located along the shores of the Potomac River in Virginia, the grounds and home have been lovingly...
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National Archives
  • National Archives
  • Democracy starts here. That is the motto of the National Archives, created in 1934 to house the country's most important historic documents and to centralize federal record keeping.
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National Mall
  • National Mall
  • The National Mall's two-mile span, from the steps of the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, is Washington DC's resounding response to the "grand avenues" of the European cities: a central...
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National Zoological Park
  • National Zoological Park
  • Orangutans nonchalantly drape themselves across cables 45 feet above the heads of passersby, taking a break as they traverse the O-Line – an orangutan transit system that connects the Great Ape House to the Think Tank at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.
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Smithsonian Institution Building
The Pentagon
  • The Pentagon
  • The five-sided, five-story Pentagon building is the headquarters for the Department of Defense and in every way, the operative adjective is "immense." Billed as being "virtually a city in itself,"...
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The Willard Hotel
  • The Willard Hotel
  • An elegant and historic fixture in Washington, the Willard Hotel has been hosting dignitaries and the rich and famous for more than 150 years. The hotel is centrally situated to the degree that it may seem as if it is a government building itself, two blocks east of the White House.
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Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • This memorial to Thomas Jefferson, the nation's third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, was built during the second term of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a great admirer of the statesman.
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Union Station
  • Union Station
  • Most states in the United States boast at least one "Union Station" – a train station where two or more railway companies share tracks and amenities – though not all are still in use. But Washington D.C.'s Union Station is more than an amalgamation of train tracks.
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Washington Monument
  • Washington Monument
  • The Washington Monument is a 555-ft. marble obelisk that stands as a sentinel and memorial to the nation's first president. It is the most prominent landmark in Washington DC, and anchors the National Mall.
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Washington National Cathedral
  • Washington National Cathedral
  • Conceived in 1792 by Pierre l'Enfant as a "great church for national purposes," actual planning and construction of the National Cathedral didn't begin until a century later, and it was not until a...
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White House
  • White House
  • The White House, while planned by President George Washington and city architect Pierre l'Enfant, was never lived in by Washington, but has housed every single U.S. president since his successor John Adams moved in 1801.
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