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Top 10 Places to Visit in Washington DC

United States Capitol
Photograph by Martin Falbisoner, via Wikimedia Commons

#1 United States Capitol

The United States Capitol Building is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The meeting place of the nation's legislature is a working office as well as popular tourist attraction. Admission to visit the Capitol is free. The guided tour includes visiting the Crypt, the Rotunda, and National Statuary Hall. The tour does not include visiting the Senate and House Galleries, which require separate passes. Capitol Visitor Center located underground on the east side of the Capitol features temporary exhibits, gift shops, and dining. Visitors can enter the Capitol building through the Capitol Visitor Center or the main entrance located beneath the East Front plaza of the U.S. Capitol at First Street and East Capitol Street.

Lincoln Memorial
Photograph by Carol M. Highsmith, via Wikimedia Commons

#2 Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial was built to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Greek temple style memorial facing the reflecting pool is 190 feet long, 120 feet wide, 99 feet tall constructed with a Colorado-Yule marble. Notable feature of the memorial include Lincoln Memorial steps, 36 fluted Doric columns representing 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death, and the names of 36 states and the dates in which they entered the Union. The Lincoln Memorial interior has north, south, and central chambers. The interior includes mural portraying Lincoln's life and statue of Lincoln.

National Mall and Memorial Parks
Photograph by Matti Blume, via Wikimedia Commons

#3 National Mall and Memorial Parks

National Mall and Memorial Parks is home to many of country's iconic memorials. National Mall features landmarks, museums and other attraction including African American Civil War Memorial, American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, District of Columbia War Memorial, George Mason Memorial, John Ericsson Memorial, and National World War I Memorial. The park includes number of museums, art galleries, memorials, fountains, sculptures and statues throughout the downtown area.

The White House
Photograph by Ingfbruno, via Wikimedia Commons

#4 The White House

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the the President and First Family of the United States. Self-guided tours available Friday and Saturday. The White House tour is free of charge. The White House Visitor Center exhibits feature about 100 historical artifacts, interpretive panels, looping videos of photos and archival footage, and interactive elements. Visitors can explore over 90 artifacts from the White House collection, and view the 14 minute film, "White House: Reflections From Within.".

Washington Monument
Photograph by Jmarcosny, via Wikimedia Commons

#5 Washington Monument

Washington Monument was built to honor George Washington, the United States' first president. Built in the shape of an Egyptian obelisk, the Washington Monument is prime attraction for visitors. The monument made of marble features 500 foot observation deck with view of the Capital and surrounding areas of Virginia and Maryland. The Washington Monument is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with last tour at 4:30 pm.

National Air and Space Museum
Photograph by David Bjorgen, via Wikimedia Commons

#6 National Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is the world's largest aviation and space artifacts museum. Collection of the museum include over 60,000 artifacts showcased in exhibitions on aviation, space exploration, and planetary science. It includes all historic aircraft and space artifacts, such as the 1903 Wright Flyer and the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia. Other artifacts include engines, rockets, uniforms, spacesuits, balloons, artwork, documents, manuscripts, and photographs. National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution is a center for Earth and Planetary Studies.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Photograph by Quadell, via Wikimedia Commons

#7 Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History located on the National Mall is the most visited natural history museum in the world. Admission to the museum is free. Collection of the museum include 145 million specimens: fossils, minerals, and rocks, plants and animals, tools and artworks. Current exhibits of the museum include African Bush Elephant & Rotunda, African Voices, Bone Hall, Butterfly Pavilion, David H. Koch Hall of Fossils - Deep Time, David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt, Garden Lounge, Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals, Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals, O. Orkin Insect Zoo, Objects of Wonder, Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World, Sant Ocean Hall, Sea Monsters Unearthed: Life in Angola's Ancient Seas, and Birds of DC.

National Museum of African American History and Culture
Photograph by Frank Schulenburg, via Wikimedia Commons

#8 National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) located on the National Mall is the world's largest museum dedicated to to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. Admission to the museum is free. Collection of the museum includes over 36,000 artifacts. The 10-story building has five stories above-ground and five stories below-ground.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Photograph by Quadell, via Wikimedia Commons

#9 Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Smithsonian's National Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It is most popular tourist destination with more than 2 million visitors from all over the world. Admission to the zoo is free and it is located at Rock Creek Park. The 163 acres zoo is home to 2,700 animals representing more than 390 species. The zoo exhibits include American Bison, American Trail, Asia Trail, Cheetah Conservation Station, Elephant Trails, Great Cats, Kids' Farm, Primates, Reptile Discovery Center, Small Mammal House, and Smokey Bear.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Photograph by Joe Ravi, via Wikimedia Commons

#10 Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial to the Thomas Jefferson, Founding Fathers of the United States. The monument is located in West Potomac Park on the shore of the Potomac River Tidal Basin. The memorial building is a circular open-air structure supported by 26 Ionic columns. The memorial constructed of white Imperial Danby marble rests upon a series of granite and marble stepped terraces. The interior of the memorial has a 19 feet tall bronze statue of Jefferson.