With its museums, nightlife, history, and culture, Washington, DC isn’t simply the seat of power in the United States, it’s a charming cosmopolitan city in its own right. While the resonance of centuries of political drama saturate the streets and buildings, it’s the people and culture that make this city a world treasure. It’s easy to enjoy a visit right in the heart of the action, with restaurants, sightseeing tours, and hotels near the White House.
The National Mall — As the beating heart of the district, the Mall is the site of some of its most famous monuments, as well as a place for historic demonstrations. View the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, the Capitol building, the monuments commemorating many wars and also gain access to the Smithsonian Museums all from this iconic two-mile stretch of parkland.
The White House — Tours can be booked up to three months in advance. As it’s offered on a first come, first served basis, it’s a good idea to do so as soon as possible. The tour itself is free and covers many of the most historic rooms.
The Smithsonian Museum — Actually comprising several museums, this complex holds treasures from the founding of America, chronicling its historical and scientific achievements through the decades. All museums are free to visit.
The National Zoo — There are pandas, big cats, primates and other species of animals and plants in one of America’s oldest zoos. Admission is free.
Great Falls Park — Just 15 minutes from DC, this national park shows the famous Potomac River to its best advantage with cliffs, rocks and hiking trails and makes a lovely change of pace after sightseeing in the District limits.
Watergate Pastry — Perfect for a small bite to eat or a cup of coffee, this eatery is located at the historic Watergate Hotel.
B Burger Bar — A classic burger joint located right on Pennsylvania Avenue that is frequented by politicos and fans of delicious grilled burgers and French fries.
1789 — If you want to splurge on a meal, this refurbished Federal-style house with antique furnishings serves American cuisine made with produce from local farms.
Grand Hyatt Washington — Elegant, understated and one of the best hotels near the White House, the luxurious Grand Hyatt Washington even has a Metro station in the lobby for the ultimate convenience. The sophisticated rooms are comfortable, and there are several dining options on site.
Hotel Harrington — This historic hotel has been in operation for over a century. It’s right in the heart of DC, half a block from the White House and the Capitol. Its central location makes it the perfect launching pad to explore the city. With free Wi-Fi and cable TV, it’s also a good place to relax after a long day out.
Fly — There are three airports serving the greater Washington, DC area, Ronald Reagan, Washington Dulles and Thurgood Marshall. All three offer convenient bus and some metro routes to popular areas of the District.
Drive — All major rental car companies are represented in DC and easily found at the airport. The I-495 Beltway is the famous perimeter road offering access to points in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Ride — There is Amtrak service into the District and the excellent Metro underground, light rail, and streetcar system covering the District and interstate area.
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