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Sightseeing in the Nation's Capital by Cleo Gib

Sightseeing in the Nation's Capital by
Article Posted: 03/20/2016
Article Views: 148
Articles Written: 12921
Word Count: 605
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Sightseeing in the Nation's Capital

Travel & Tourism
Washington, DC, is not only the center of the nation’s government, but it has a number of attractions that are entertaining and educational for all members of a family. Sightseeing in Washington, DC, can be quick (a weekend trip) or, if you have more time, spread out over a week for optimal immersion. If you’ve never been to the nation’s capital, here are some of the top sights to add to your vacation planning list.

The United States Capital Building

The Capital is the epicenter where all laws originate. From guided tours to passes for watching Congress in action, there is plenty to excite civics buffs. Keep in mind that the Capital building is secured and closely monitored by the Secret Service. If you plan to stop by the building on your visit to D.C., make sure you are aware of what items are allowed on the grounds and what you should leave in your hotel room.

The White House

The President’s home is a popular tourist attraction, but due to heightened security concerns following 9/11, visitors must plan their tour well in advance. You can no longer just drop in for a tour. Reservations for White House tours must be made at least 21 days in advance and no more than 6 months in advance. All participants of guided tours must have a background check completed before attending the tours; hence the reason for the strict reservation guidelines.

Arlington National Cemetery

Bus tours depart daily for Arlington National Cemetery where John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Robert Kennedy are buried as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Visitors are also welcome to drive their own vehicles through the cemetery. The Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a moving experience and one that should be at the top of your sightseeing list.

The Supreme Court

Are you a legal whiz? Do you imagine yourself sitting behind the bench making decisions that will affect millions of Americans? While you may never find yourself appointed to a seat on the Court, you can watch justice in motion. Daily tours, when the Court is in session, allow sightseers the rare opportunity to listen to arguments being made. While you don’t have to go through the security checks that are required to visit the White House, keep in mind that Court is not in session year-round. Make sure your trip corresponds with the Justices’ schedules. It is usually around late June or early July when the court takes an extended recess, returning to the bench the first Monday in October.

The United States Holocaust Museum

While the subject matter is somber, there is nothing quite as moving as a visit to this memorial that honors the millions of lives lost during the Nazi invasion throughout Europe during World War II. Open year-round, the Holocaust Museum provides opportunities for education and quiet reflection. The museum has two sections, one for adults and a children’s area. While children are welcome throughout the entire museum, the children’s area tells the story of the Holocaust in an age-appropriate manner for children up to age 12.

Best Time for Sightseeing

Anytime is a great time to visit the nation’s capital, but if you’re not a fan of the bitter cold temperatures, you may want to stay away during the winter months. Many tourists prefer to do sightseeing in Washington, DC, in early to mid-spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. If you have particular monuments you want to visit, check their hours and maintenance schedules to make sure special events are not closed.

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