You can not say you’ve seen the U.S. without seeing Washington D.C. Although hotels are costly and parking a challenge, the nation’s capital is full of free attractions and things to do.
The White House And The Pentagon
Entrance to President’s Park is free and gives the frugal traveler great views of the White House. The visitors center has some very nice permanent exhibits. Tours of the White House can be arranged for groups of 10 or more. However applications have to be received at least six months in advance.
Tours are also available of the Pentagon. These also have to be arranged well ahead of time.
Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument
The National Mall And Memorial Parks contain some of the U.S.’s most important monuments. These include The Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument within walking distances of each other. The Mall itself is a great place to picnic and people watch. Entrance is free
When I think of the Smithsonian, I think of the Smithsonian Castle, the first building. Entrance as with all of the 17 Smithsonian buildings and the National Zoo is free. There are also free tours available. The building itself is beautiful. The exhibits? It’s the Smithsonian.
National Museum of Natural History
Another Smithsonian Museum, the National Museum Of Natural History is a favorite with kids. They have tarantula feedings, dinosaurs, and preserved animals. As with all the Smithsonian Museums, the National Museum Of Natural History is free.
National Museum Of American History
Another free Smithsonian Museum, the National Museum Of American History showcases American culture and history. From Dorothy’s ruby red slippers to full sized locomotives, think of an American icon and you can likely find it in this museum.
Washington D.C. is full of free tourist attractions with American politics, history, and culture as the focus. The Smithsonian Museums alone, a great rainy day alternative, can take weeks to explore. The city is a must see for both American visitors and residents.