There is no need to spend a ton of money when visiting Washington.
There are many must-see activities and places that are free and offer visitors priceless art masterpieces, historically notable artifacts, and impressive symbols of the nation's heritage.
I've chosen five for you to explore on your next visit to the capital of the United States.
Supreme Court of the United States
The United States Supreme Court's building was designed by architect Cass Gilbert and completed in 1935.
It is inspired by the Corinthian style and characterized by large columns, nine ornate statues outside, large bronze doors, and features two marble spiral staircases.
There are no organized tours inside the Supreme Court, but you are welcome to take self-guided tours of the public areas.
Check the court docket to see what cases will be heard while you are visiting, and maybe you can attend a court session!
You can also join one of the several education programs available, like courtroom lectures and court-related selection of exhibitions.
National Archives Museum
The National Archives Museum is where you can admire America's Founding Documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Here you will also find one of the four original 1297 Magna Carta documents.
The William G. McGowan Theater, a 290-seat theater located on the lower level of the National Archives Building, shows a film history of the museum by day and documentary films by night.
This museum is an excellent place for everyone, but in particular for students and history enthusiasts.
Children will love hands-on activities with replica documents at the Boeing Learning Center, plus, the museum organized monthly themed storytimes and family days with activities for the whole family.
Check the National Museum Archives before visiting to see what will take place during your visit!
Photography is not allowed in order to protect documents from camera flash damages.
National Zoological Park
Located in Northwest Washington, D.C., the National Zoological Park is the perfect attraction to head to if you are visiting the city with children.
It features a variety of mammals, including elephants, great cats and primates, reptiles, insects, aquatic animals, and amphibians, from all over the world in a 163-acre park. Your children will love the Zoo's most famous residents, the giant pandas.
The Smithsonian Institution Museums
An extensive collection of historical items from around the world can be found in Washington, D.C., thanks to the Smithsonian Institution.
Made up of 19 museums, mostly located in the capital city, it is the world's largest museum complex.
Most museums and exhibits are free, like:
- the Smithsonian American Art Museum, one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world housed in one of the oldest public buildings constructed in the city;
- the National Museum of Natural History, where you can admire over 145 million specimens of animals, plants, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and artifacts;
- the National Portrait Gallery.
The White House
Given its name by President Teddy Roosevelt, the White House is the 55,000-square-foot official residence and workplace of the U.S. Presidents since 1800.
Most important decisions on World Wars, crises, and other political actions have taken place behind its walls.
The White House complex includes the six-level Executive Residence, the West Wing, the East Wing, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and a guest residence, the Blair House. It also features a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, movie theater, billiard room, and bowling alley.
It owns a total of 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms! Plus everything necessary to welcome leaders and dignitaries from all over the globe.
Public tours of the White House can be scheduled through a congressional representative, while the White House Garden Tour is available twice a year over weekends in Spring and Fall.