I can’t find the reason why it took me more than a year to post my Washington DC trip. I guess I should blame it to my laziness plus I have thrown away all my maps and accidentally deleted my useful notes to share to everyone my itinerary – I have already forgotten the details of my trip last summer of 2014. What I do remember is that there are lots of places to visit in Washington DC and my 1.5 days were definitely not enough to see everything. I also did remember the muscle pain I got after walking around the National Mall instead of taking the train. From the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol, the White House, National Air and Space Museum, I seriously wandered around by foot in just a day and a half; indeed I was dead tired at night. Here are some tourist attractions I have visited which I believe should be on your list too when you visit Washington DC. Just make sure your list is longer than mine. .*wink*
- Washington Memorial – A monolith built in commemoration of George Washington – the first president of the United States of America. This was the first attraction I visited because the moment I exited the subway station, this was the first thing I saw. This is located in the middle of all the significant structures of Washington DC like Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Capitol and the museums.
- National World War II Memorial – from the Washington Memorial, I walked towards the direction of the Reflecting Pool and dropped by this attraction. The fountain is surrounded by 56 pillars each representing the US states and territories during WW II plus two pavilions located at the north and south ends of the plaza.
- Lincoln Memorial Reflection Pool – a long rectangular pool that I followed to reach my next destination which adds drama to the Washington Monument when you take a photo of it from the Lincoln Memorial.
- Lincoln Memorial – the giant statue of seated Abraham Lincoln as we see in movies. His famous speeches are engraved unto the walls of the memorial. I can’t help but stare at his giant stoney eyes.
- The White House – nope, I was not able to see the insides. As you know, the White House served as the office and residence of all the Presidents of the United States (except George Wasington). The tour inside this edifice of democracy requires a Public Tour Request submitted through the Member of Congress 6 months in advance. The request is also subject to last minute cancellation.
- The Library of Congress
- The Capitol – This famous dome is what I’ve always mistaken as the White House until I saw the map during my visit. Hihi. . While the White House is for the Executive branch of the US government, the Capitol houses the Legislative arm – United States Congress. And I’ve learnt that it was Thomas Jefferson who coded the building as the Capitol rather than calling it House of Congress.
- United States Botanic Garden Conservatory – walking past the Capitol going to the Air and Space Museum, I passed by this prominent glass structure. I didn’t go in as I was too excited to see the spacecrafts in the other museum but the flora peering from the glass walls and windows makes me think it is worth visiting.
- National Air and Space Museum – The place where I actually stayed longer, I have imagined myself as a 7 year old in an educational excursion. The planes and spacecrafts, learning all the cosmic bodies, or touch a moon rock have been the interest of my toddler self compared to zoos or artsy museums.
- National Museum of Natural History – because I’m in a hurry to go to Pentagon, I didn’t have the chance to visit this Smithsonian Institution administered museum. The admission is free all year round. As the museum’s name imply, it exhibits historical natural wonders such as dinosaurs, human origin, evolution of man, and geology to name a few. It is supposed to be a great learning experience for geeks like me.
- Smithsonian Castle
While in Washington DC, you must also include these important establishments located in Virginia. You can take the subway from Washington DC National Mall to Pentagon.
- Pentagon – this is located outside the Washington Mall which I, of course, don’t intend to miss during my visit in District of Columbia. Unfortunately, taking pictures around the Pentagon is strictly prohibited as soon as you reach the Pentagon subway station(which I only learnt after taking the photo below).
- 9/11 Pentagon Memorial – obviously, this is built in commemoration of the victims of the 9/11 attacks in NYC.
- United States Air Force Memorial – the 3 spires, of different heights, represent the core values of the United States Air Force – “integrity first”, “service before self”, and “excellence in all we do.”
Though I was only at the outside for some in the list, I was still literally some sort of starstruck when I saw these iconic structures I only used to see in movies. The city manifesting the amazing architecture with Greek columns are just mesmerizing, I could only wish I have stayed longer and brought a decent camera with me.