Entertainment & Things to Do in D.C.
As our nation’s capital, Washington isn’t known for being a particularly cool place, or somewhere to go for art, culture or excitement. Despite all that, the city is an amazing place to live and work. It’s well run, pretty to look at and has enough going on to keep anyone happy. Here are just a few examples.
UNITED STATES CAPITOL
No visit to Washington would be complete without a visit to the United States Capitol. Even if you don’t care about government, it’s a seat of power unlike any other. Taking a tour gets you inside and it’s well worth doing, whether there are sittings or not.
THE NATIONAL MALL
The National Mall allows you to stroll leisurely and see the Lincoln Memorial, wander along green gardens, enjoy the antique carousel and spend time admiring the vision of the French architect of the original city.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY
The National Museum of American History is on the Mall and has still got the shine from its recent renovation. It’s a huge collection of our country’s history, including Lincoln’s hat. It takes a while to take in everything and much more than a day to appreciate it all, but it’s a well-conceived celebration of what made us what we are today.
U.S. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is also just off the Mall and is a sobering but inspiring memorial to the Second World War. It isn’t for everyone, but many visitors will find the exhibits and exhibitions both enlightening and humbling.
INTERNATIONAL SPY MUSEUM
The International Spy Museum is more lighthearted and offers a glimpse into the hidden world of spies. It has exhibits of weapons, communications devices, Navajo codetalkers and lots of things to see, watch and hear. If you liked James Bond, you’ll love this.
WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL
The Washington National Cathedral is a masterpiece of gothic architecture. One of the few examples in the country and well worth a visit, whatever your denomination. Built in 1907, it is now officially the National House of Prayer and offers tours of the building every day.
Another “National” something, this time the National Zoo. Run by the Smithsonian, the zoo is home to a huge range of animals from across the world, including Giant Pandas. Look up to see orangutans swinging 40 feet above you and pet smaller animals at the petting farm. It’s an easy, fun day out for the whole family.
U Street is where you go to find bars, restaurants and stores that aren’t full of politicos, frat boys or tourists. It’s cool, contemporary and irreverent and very much worth a visit. It is eight blocks of entertainment in Shaw, where Duke Ellington was born and Louis Armstrong used to hang out.