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Washington D.C. Last Minute

Named for President George Washington, Washington D.C. represents the very best of America culture, a process 200 years in the making. Serving as the seat of the government of the United States, this city boasts famous monuments, incomparable museums and one of a kind attractions. From the Mall to the steps of the Capitol, D.C. boasts a number of sightseeing opportunities for the last-minute traveler, showing that this city has grown into an area as diverse as the nation it represents.

You won’t want to miss the majestic Capitol building; it stands at the center of the city, allowing unobstructed views of the best-known attractions and centers of government. The giant open space of the Mall is marked off by the various museums of the Smithsonian Institution, the largest cluster of museums in the world. If you look past the mall, you’ll catch a glimpse of the Washington monument, towering at 505 feet above the city! The nearby reflecting pool and the memorials for Lincoln and this nation’s war veterans are a dramatic backdrop sure to have a profound effect.

The offices of the various government agencies take up much of the remainder of the city, and most offer free tours to the public, as does the White House. But visitors be warned: the lines to view this “people’s house” can sometimes stretch around the adjoining block. Across the river in Arlington, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier stands amidst the somber majesty of Arlington National Cemetery, where John and Robert Kennedy are also buried.

If you’re especially fond of history, The National Museum of the American Indian pays tribute to the original American settlers. Nearby, the National Holocaust Museum hosts millions of visitors each year. Celebrating the nation’s achievements in flight and space exploration, the National Air and Space Museum features captivating exhibits, the Wright brothers’ first biplane to the Apollo moon mission and beyond. Other great places to visit are the Natural History, American History, and Science Museums, where you can go to explore the wonders of history, science, and technology, and to view the famous Hope Diamond. Don’t forget the Smithsonian Institute, which includes the world-renowned Sackler, Freer and Hirshborn galleries. The National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of Art will definitely be on your list if you appreciate fine art.

Looking for more lively entertainment? Try to catch a performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which presents an unmatched variety of theater and musicals, dance and ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music, and multimedia performances for all ages. You’ll enjoy these performances by some of the greatest artists from across America and around the world.

And if that doesn’t quench your thirst for high energy entertainment, head to a performance by the Washington Ballet, which hosts shows at a number of venues in and around Washington DC. Considered one of the country’s finest ballet companies, The Washington Ballet is recognized nationally and internationally for its high standards, artistic integrity, and unwavering commitment to presenting the very best in ballet. Or you could enjoy a moving performance by the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Around for four and a half decades, this world-class company plays to standing room audiences.

Washington is full of activity besides just politics. Washington’s theater life is thriving; it is second only to New York in the number of theater seats. The National Symphony and other musical companies play full schedules. As a temporary home to diplomats from around the world, Washington’s restaurant offerings are among the finest and most diverse in the country.

The beauty and grandeur of this capital city continue to captivate visitors to Washington, D.C. each year. What are you waiting for?