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Your Home Base for Visiting Washington DC Attractions

Your Washington DC vacation will enable you to see some of the best visitor attractions in the country. Here is some info about things to do in Washington DC to help you make the most of your visit with us.

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Washington DC Colleges and Universities

Washington DC Comedy Clubs

  • Capitol Steps – Political Comedy every Friday and Saturdays at 7:30pm at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

 

Washington DC Convention Hotels and Venues

Washington DC Courts

  • Supreme Court – Chief Justice and 8 associate justices make up the Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority in the U. S. This court decides whether actions of Congress, the President, the states and the lower courts follow the principles of the Constitution. Only about 100 cases are heard. Curious about how it functions and operates, take a tour here.

Washington DC Libraries

  • Library Of Congress – The largest in the world and the oldest federal cultural building.  Beautiful architecture, worth seeing it. This is more than a library, collections, art, and much more.  Make sure to have a picture ID with you when visiting.

Washington DC Newspapers and Magazines

Washington DC Shopping

  • Old Post Office Pavilion – Specialty shops, food court and entertainment – near the White House and Smithsonian Museums
  • Retale.com – is a free online and app-based resource for local shopping. Based on your location, you can view the newest deals and sales in weekly ads from your favorite retailers. Retale also helps users easily locate the items they want in stores closest to them, and find useful shopping information like store hours and addresses.
  • The Shops at Georgetown Park Mall – This shopping mall with a variety of mid and high end stores in a beautiful setting is located in the middle of Georgetown almost at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street.
  • Macy’s – Everything in one place
  • Leesburg Premium Outlet – This designer outlet center has 110 stores – 35 miles away
  • Mazza Gallery – High end shops such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store and more.  Friendship Heights Red Line Stop.
  • Marshall’s Store – Fashion Outlet Store with great prices on designer clothing near this Washington DC Inn.
  • The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City – Just a couple of miles from the Smithsonian museums and monuments, across the Potomac River onto Arlington, VA.  Pentagon City Metro Stop.

 

Washington DC History & Museums

Washington DC, as our nation’s capital, is filled with history and historic places. Here is a brief list of places to see and museums to visit while you are in town staying with us. In addition to this list, you may want to read our more detailed reviews on our Washington DC Activities Blog.

History in Washington DC

  • Historical Tour of the White House – Tours are open to all but you must contact your congressman or embassy a few months in advance to get a ticket.
  • Woodley Park Historic District – Visit restaurant row on Connecticut Avenue.
  • Dupont Circle/Kalorama District – Museums, Historical Homes, Private Galleries, and several restaurants.
  • Jewish Synagogue – First Jewish Congregation founded in DC.
  • Lincoln’s Cottage – President Lincoln’s seasonal home from June – November 1862-64.
  • The Heurich Mansion – Brewmaster’s Castle, the country’s most intact Victorian House in DuPont Circle built around 1892.
  • Old Stone House – Built in 1765, is the oldest residential house in Washington DC, located in Georgetown, preserved to show how ordinary people lived during that time.
  • Tudor Place –  Tudor Place’s mission is to educate the public about American history and culture. Home of Martha Washington’s granddaughter and six generations of her descendants, the Custis-Peter family.

Washington DC Museums

  • Air and Space Museum – A favorite amongst all of the Smithsonian museums in DC. Free Admission. Free Tours. Cafeteria on site.
  • Museum of Natural History – This is a must see for the whole family.  Free Admission.
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum – All forms of art from the 18th century to modern day.  Free Admission.
  • Museum of American History – This is such a wonderful place to visit time and time again, a place where you can see and compare how much progress we have made as a people, society and as a country.  Free Admission.
  • Textile Museum – This museum expands public knowledge and appreciation of the artistic and cultural importance of textiles and it is located a short walk from the American Guest House
  • Newseum – This place is amazing but be ready to spend to pay and spend at least 3 hours here.
  • Lincoln’s Cottage – President Lincoln’s seasonal home from June – November 1862-64.
  • National Building Museum – This museum is about architecture, engineering and design and it offers  Free access to the Great Hall and historic building tours.  There is a museum shop, & cafe and lots for children to do.
  • National Postal Museum – Served as Washington, D.C. post office from 1914 through 1986.
  • U.S. Navy Museum – Open Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing – This is where the U. S. Dollar is printed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Free Admission.
  • Holocaust Museum – Hitler’s horrific acts against the Jews.  Free Admission.
  • Corcoran Art Museum – It opened in 1869, the oldest art museum in Washington, DC and a major center for American art.
  • Jewish Museum – The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington and its Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum.
  • The Pentagon – Is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. It employees about 23,000 military and civilians and it is the largest office building in the world.
  • Mount Vernon Estate – George Washington’s home for about 40 years – You will enjoy seeing how the First American President lived. Located about 14 miles south of American Guest House.
  • Octagon Museum – Oldest Museum in the U.S. Watch out for the resident Ghosts…
  • National Cathedral – Is the sixth largest in the world and is used for all sorts of national purposes, such as President Wilson’s funeral. Free tours to U.S. citizens, ask your congressman to arrange it for you. Beautiful stained glass windows and best view of the city from its observation deck on the 7th floor.
  • The Anderson House – A 50-room mansion built in 1905 and owned by Larz Anderson III born into one of Cincinnati’s most prominent families.  It is now home to The Society of the Cincinnati,  a vibrant community of fellowship and high purpose, dedicated to the memory of the heroes who secured the independence of the United State
  • National Museum of African American History – To be located on a prominent area of the Mall in Washington DC and expected to open in 2015.
  • Botanic Garden – Located on the National Mall between the Capitol and National Museum of the American Indian.  Here you can enjoy the beauty of exquisite orchids, fruit plants from all over the world and endangered species.  Very interesting place to visit.  Lots to see and learn. No food shop.  Free Admission.

Washington DC Paid Attractions and Activities

  • National Geographic – 10 new species discovered in 2010, one being a pink fish that can ‘walk’ and it has ‘hands’?
  • Madame Tussauds – Impress your friends, take a picture next to Obama and the First Lady.
  • Tidal Basin Paddle Boats – Take a break from touring and do some paddling, enjoy the Jefferson Memorial and the Cherry Blossoms from a water view on your own paddle boat.
  • Spy Museum – Very popular with the boys.
  • Museum of Crime & Punishment – My boys, husband and 15 year old loved this place.
  • Newseum – This is a great place to visit, plan to spend at least 3 hours here because there is just too much to see and lots of interactive stuff.

Washington DC Monuments

  • DC War Memorial – World War I took the lives of 116,516 Americans who died in defense of democracy overseas and 26,000 of those were local DC residents.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt – The monument is on reclaimed land from the Potomac River
  • George Washington Monument – Dedicated to the First U.S. President. Awesome place to visit, fantastic view of the city, specially the White House, however it is not easy to get a tour ticket during the busy spring and summer months, but not impossible.
  • Lincoln Memorial – Dedicated to the 16th president of the United States whose calling was to end slavery in this country. This is also the site from where Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech.
  • Martin Luther King Memorial – $114M of the $120M required to begin construction has been raised, site has been chosen and ground breaking ceremony happened in October 2011.
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial – Or the ‘Wall’ in honor of the men and women who fought in the Vietnam War.

Historical Neighborhoods in Washington DC

  • Capitol Hill – The construction of the majestic Building started in 1793. The building was originally designed by a Dr. William Thornton, a Scottish-trained physician living in the British West Indies, not an architect at all.
  • DuPont Circle – Historical district is primarily residential and houses beautiful mansions built around 1895 and 1910.
  • Georgetown –  One of the oldest neighborhoods in Washington, DC is a vibrant community with upscale shops, bars and restaurants. Many of the homes are 200 year-old restored row houses . Georgetown is also a college town due to its close proximity to two major universities, Georgetown and George Washington.
  • Kalorama – Has been home to presidents, senators, secretary of defense, embassy Row and ambassadors and much more.

 

Washington DC Parks

Washinton DC Kayaking

  • Atlantic Kayak Company – offers kayak instructions, rentals and guided tours of Georgetown and Piscataway Creek, situated across the river from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate.
  • Potomac Paddle Sports – This kayak school offers lessons, trips, and skill clinics in the Potomac River and C&O Canal on the Maryland side of the Potomac River
  • Jack’s Boat House – Located in Georgetown, tours and rentals.

 

Washington DC Art Galleries

  • National Gallery of Arts – A special place for art lovers, plus free live music on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm. Concerts feature opera music, choral, Afghan, and lots more. Presentations are done in the West Building (6th St. & Constitution Ave, NW entrance). Seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 6pm. You cannot get in after 6:30pm.
  • The Phillips Collection – Modern Art, concerts, programs, events, and special exhibitions
only 10 minutes by foot from the American Guest House.
  • Corcoran – Gallery of American Art.
  • Aaron Gallery – This art gallery is located in DuPont Circle and it displays the finest Abstract Expressionist paintings and sculptures.
  • Freer & Sackler Galleries – Asian Art at the Smithsonian.
  • National Portrait Gallery – Portraits of famous Americans, President’s Hall of Fame.
  • Marsha Mateyka Gallery –  A leading contemporary art gallery for paintings, sculptures, photography and art on paper.

Washington DC Theaters

Washington DC Musical Entertainment

Washington DC Movie Theaters

 

Washington DC Public Transportation

  • Washington DC Metro/Bus planner – Use this to find out which bus/metro/subway to take, how much the trip will cost and how long it will take.
  • Metro/Subway – Tips and Tricks to ride the metro stress free.
  • Taxi Rates – Know before you go.
  • Capital Bike Share – This is a great way to know the city and visit the sites. Rent a bike and enjoy your stay. There is a bike station just a couple of blocks away from the American Guest House and the rate is about $7 per 24 hours.
  • Bus 42/43 - Buses stop a few feet from this Washington DC Bed and Breakfast, every 5 to 10 minutes and also stops at DuPont Circle Subway Station, Adams Morgan, Farragut North station. Farragut West station. McPherson Sq station. Metro Center station, Gallery Pl-Chinatown station.
  • Bus H1 – Bus stops a few feet from the American Guest House and service these locations: rookland-CUA station, Columbia Heights station, Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle station, Foggy Bottom-GWU station, Potomac Park/State Dept.
  • Bus Line X3 - Serves these locations: Minnesota Ave station, Benning Rd. N.E., Hechinger Mall, H St. N.E. (X1), Government Printing Office (X1), Federal Triangl(X1), Potomac Park/State Dept. (X1), Foggy Bottom-GWU station (X1),
    Gallaudet University (X3), New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U, station (X3), U St/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/, Cardozo station (X3), Reeves Center (X3),
    Adams Morgan (X3), Woodley Park-Zoo/, Adams Morgan station (X3),
    McLean Gardens (X3)

Washington DC Airports

  • Reagan National Airport (DCA) – This is the closest airport to Washington DC, about 3 miles to the White House and Smithsonian museums and monuments and 5 miles to the American Guest House. Ground transportation options are taxi, mini van shuttles, metro/subway and sedan/limousines.
  • Dulles International Airport (IAD) – 26 miles to Washington DC. Most international flights land here and there are plenty ground transportation such as: taxi, mini van shuttles, sedan/limousines, and express bus/metro connection.
  • Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) – 32.3 miles to Washington DC. Ground transportation options are: taxi, mini van shuttles, sedan/limousines, train and bus/subway.

Washington DC Bus Service to Philadelphia & New York

  • MegaBus – Tickets as low as $1 from DC to New York and New York to DC. Free wifi service.
  • DC2NY – $30 one way/$60 round trip from DuPont Circle and Union Station to Penn Station in New York. Free Wi-Fi service, clean bathrooms.
  • Chinatown – $20 one way, $35 round trip. Washington DC to New York and New York to DC.

Washington DC Tourist Itinerary

  • 1 Day Itinerary – One day is definitely not enough to enjoy all DC has to offer but we have put together a list of some of the things that you could enjoy on the run.

Washington DC Tours

  • Boomerang Tours – Washington DC Party Bus and Washington DC Party Boats for hire.  Offering Night Life tours, Neighborhood Tours as well as Wine Tours.
  • CIA – The CIA museum is located inside the CIA compound, and it is not open to the public, but there is a Virtual Tour available on the web site.
  • Capital Segway Tours – This is a great way to tour Washington DC but you must be at least 16 y.o.
  • Chocolate Tour in DuPont Circle – Do you love chocolate or perhaps wants to know how it is made, then this is the tour for you.
  • Cultural Tourism DC – List a broad range of activities and special events for all ages and interests.
  • DC By Foot – They offer Food Tours, Bike Tours, Bus Tours, Ghost Tours, Group Tours and even some try out Free Tours.
  • DC Metro Food Tours – Food lovers be aware! Don’t eat before the tour, there will be plenty to eat as you tour the neighborhoods.
  • DC WalkAbout – Free, Tip-Based Capitol Hill Walking Tour – 10am-12pm Monday thru Friday.
  • Dinner Cruises – Wine and dine in elegance while you enjoy 3 hours of unique Washington DC sightseeing.
  • Dupont Circle Food Tour – Over 50 countries are represented in neighborhood.
  • FBI – No more tours until further notice, but there is a lot of great information about crime prevention awareness and Scams in general.
  • Ghost Tour – This tour is great for ghost hunters and for the ones that may be a bit curious about haunted history and places.  Ghost tours are also a great way to learn history in a “scary” and funny way.
  • Hop-On-Hop Off – Open Top, Double Decker Bus –  Do you want to tour DC but only have a few hours or just in town for a day.  Tour buses offer great tours of the city and this is the easiest and best way to see Washington, DC in a nut shell. There is a stop at the Washington Hilton Hotel which is just a few feet away from the American Guest House.
  • Monuments at Moonlight – This tour will give you a night view of Washington DC.
  • Old Town Trolley – Fully narrated tours that entertain and provide very interesting facts about Washington, DC and the United States history.
  • Tours and Ticket Prices - Long list of tours and price in Washington DC and surrounding areas.
  • Tour the U. S. Capitol – Plan your visit and book a tour online – Watch senators debate and vote on pending legislation.
  • TV and Movie Sites Tour – Would you like to see the mall where No Way Out was filmed and much more, then this tour is for you.
  • White House Tours – The White House is only 1 mile to the American Guest House. For tours, if you are an American citizen please contact your congressman for tickets and if you are a citizen of a foreign country, please contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request.
  • Walk of the Town – This is a great way to see all the sites in Washington, DC.

 

Special Events in DC

  • Annual Museum Walk Weekend –  In the Dupont-Kalorama area. This is an yearly event that happens yearly in early June.  It is a way to showcase museums and art galleries that are located in the DuPont Circle and Kalorama neighborhoods.  It includes museums such as Anderson House. Fondo del Sol, The Phillips Collection, National Geographic Museum, and much more.  This is really a great deal with Free museum admissions and Free shuttle between sites.
  • Adams Morgan Day – is celebrated the 2nd Sunday of September around 18th Street. The festival will feature:  arts, multicultural specialty items, crafts, a variety of food and drink, Arts on Belmont, a Kids Fair, a youth basketball tournament at Marie Reed School, and two large music stages…
  • Capitol Steps – The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them.
  • Cherry Blossoms –  Bloom Watch will begin on March First, click on the link to see the best time to visit. Come enjoy the beauty of the blossoms, the festival, the parade and ultimately DC.
  • Concert at Pentagon Row – Every Thursday evenings from June – August from 7-9PM enjoy FREE summer concerts at Pentagon Row, where food, shops and music are all at your finger tips.   From American Guest House take the metro at DuPont Circle and get off at the Pentagon City station.
  • Concert at Rock Creek Park – FREE concerts from June 15th thru September 1st
  • DC Filmfest – This is an yearly event and it is loved by Washingtonian movie buffs.  Large array of International Films and political comedies.
  • Film Festival – Another free event in DC, normally happening around September of each year.
  • Fourth of July – There is no better place to celebrate Independence Day than the Nation’s Capital City.
  • Francophonie Cultural Festival – Yearly March 1st thru April 13 – celebrates the diverse and rich French heritages, language, passions, music, cuisine all here at the National Mall in Washington DC.
  • Marine Corps Marathon – October 27,  2013 in Washington, DC – Voted the best marathon in the USA.
  • Martin Luther King Day - It is celebrated yearly on the 3rd Monday in January.
  • Memorial Day Concert – Beautiful live concert on the Capitol’s ground
  • Memorial Day Parade – Come out and watch this incredible show, you will be glad you did.  Many celebrities participate in the parade and it is a great way to honor our veterans and fallen angels.  The parade starts on Constitution and 7th Avenues and ends on 17th Street.
  • Memorial Day Rolling Thunder – This is an American tradition started in 1987 as a demonstration to bring awareness to the POW and to those missing in action (MIA).  Over 250,000 motorcycle riders participates in this yearly demonstration
  • Nations Triathlon – This yearly event happens at the beginning of September.  It is more than just a race, it is a weekend full of events,  9/11 and much . Athletes must be at least 18 to participate.
  • National Book Festival – It happens yearly in September at the National Mall sponsored by the Library of Congress.  Meet your favorite writer, get your book signed.
  • National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony -This is really a great treat for the whole family. Great music and entertainment. It is really a great way to start the Christmas season. It happens in early December so watch out for the date. Tickets are required. (202) 208-1631.
  • National Shamrock Festival – A March event. The largest Saint Patty’s Festival on the East Coast at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds in Washington DC
  • National Marathon – An yearly event in March in Washington DC.
  • New Year’s Celebrations – Washington, DC is a party town, visit our Blog for more options to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
  • National Capital Barbecue Battle – Annual competition between Washington DC area restaurants and around the country – Not only you can savor the best barbecues in the country but there are many activities for the whole family including live rock, R&B, jazz, and blues bands.
  • Pink Tie Party- This is a great event to kick off the Spring Season and it happens in March before the Cherry Blossom blooms.
  • President’s Day – Is celebrated since 1971 on the 3rd Monday of February with many festivities throughout the Washington DC and Virginia.
  • Presidential Elections – Every 4 years in November.  Who will be our next president?
  • Run Amuck – Quantico, VA  in June –  4 mile challenge, fun, dirt, obstacles, through the trails and hills.  Run Amuck is open to participants 8 years old and older.
  • Smithsonian Folk life Festival – International exposition of living cultural heritage on the grounds of the National Mall.
  • Saint Patrick’s Day – It’s Green and it’s fun for the whole family
  • Washington DC Calendar – Check it out, there are plenty of reasons to visit Washington DC anytime of the year.
  • White House Easter Egg Roll – If you have young children, if you don’t, borrow 1 from a neighbor, because this event is really neat.  You will be rubbing shoulders with a lot of celebrities and of course the First Family will all be there to host the celebrations, read to the children and head many attractions.  About 35,000 people join together on the South Lawn of the White House every year for this wonderful celebration.  To attend of course you’ll need to apply and win the lottery, so keep on checking back for the Lottery date which normally starts around the 1st of March and last about 5 days.
  • White House Spring Garden Tour – It normally happens at the beginning of April – We will keep you updated.
  • Women Suffrage Parade - In 1913 Inez Milholland and 5000 other activists marched down Pennsylvania Avenue for women’s right to vote and to run for office.

 

Washington DC Embassies

Click Here to view area restaurants.