Whether you lean towards the left or the right, there is no better way to explore what it means to be an American than by visiting our nation's capitol – Washington D.C.
Start your tour of D.C. with the various monuments that celebrate our heritage in the National Mall. The National Mall is America’s most-visited national park.
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial offers four outdoor "rooms," where statues and murals stand to represent issues from the Great Depression to World War II.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial consists of 19 statues of soldiers representing a squad on patrol, drawn from each branch of the Armed Forces.
Standing as a symbol of liberty, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial holds a bronze statue of Jefferson and the walls are inlaid with excerpts from his letters, speeches and the Declaration of Independence.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors members of the U.S. armed forces who fought, died in service or were listed MIA during the Vietnam War. It has three parts: the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and the iconic Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
Dedicated in 2011, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial pays tribute to the famous American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and best-known leader in the civil rights movement.
The World War II Memorial celebrates the spirit and sacrifice of the 16 million men and women who served overseas and the more than 400,000 that perished.
Built to honor George Washington, America’s first president, the Washington Monument stands today as the world’s tallest freestanding stone structure.
A favorite, the Lincoln Memorial is a neoclassical monument to America’s 16th president. A 19-foot statue of Abraham Lincoln sits overlooking the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument from his permanent seat.
The Smithsonian Institution consists of 17 museums, galleries and a zoo. These include the National Zoo, Natural History Museum and Air and Space Museum. Explore and learn about everything from the origins of man and the future of flight to the history of art across multiple continents. And the best part? It's free.
You know spring has sprung in Washington, DC when the cherry blossoms appear. See the blossoms from the water when you hop in a two- or four-person paddleboat. Cherry blossoms also line the pathways of the 10 acres of gardens at Dumbarton Oaks, an historic estate in Georgetown.
More museums to explore:
Check out the wax figures at Maddame Tussauds D.C. This museum is a uniquely interactive and allows visitors to take a journey through American history. Rub shoulders with all 45 U.S. Presidents in the Presidents Gallery! www.madametussauds.com/washington-dc/en/
Ever wanted to be James Bond? Visit the International Spy Museum. The fun-filled Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains Exhibit allows you to meet Bond’s villains, uncover their evil schemes, and explore their exotic lairs and weapons.
Operation Spy, an immersive, interactive experience is where you are the spy! Decrypt secret audio conversations, penetrate and escape from a high-security compound, and interrogate a suspect agent in your mission! www.spymuseum.org
Located between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, a visit to the Newseum is a conversation-starter. Take a 90-minute private tour through the galleries and studios. A tour guide will share stories of the power of the First Amendment and free expression. See how the Berlin Wall could keep people in – but couldn’t keep free press out; how a young girl’s protest redefined free speech rights; and how student leaders launched the sit-in movement. www.newseum.org
For over 30 years, Old Town Trolley has provided Washington DC sightseeing tours, highlighting the best of the city while offering guests a stress-free way to see it. Choose from options including the Hop On Hop Off Day Tour, Monuments By Moonlight Tour, DC Ducks Tour, or the Arlington National Cemetery Tour. www.trolleytours.com/washington-dc
After all that sightseeing you'll be hungry! Stop in at the Floriana Italian Restaurant where owner Jamie will welcome you with delicious food! Try the Lasagna, Muscovy Duck Breast, Black Gnocchi, and as dessert, Tiramisu or the Chocolate Mousse! http://florianarestaurant.com
Finally, if you are looking for a unique night out check out first rate snarkists Mark Phillips and Brian Curry as they battle for the title of Best Magician in The Magic Duel. This show is full of funny magic that will fool you and it involves the audience from start to finish. www.catchmeshow.com
Visit D.C.! It's an amazing experience!