If you’re planning at trip to Washington, D.C., but don’t have lots of time to spare, you may be wondering just what spots to hit. There are so many interesting attractions in our nation’s capital it can be hard to decide which ones are a must-see. If you find yourself in this position, and have just a little time to spare, here’s a list of the places you must visit during your brief stay. This one-day itinerary is contained within just a few square miles of downtown Washington, D.C., but will leave you with plenty of memories and stories to share.
Start your day with a visit to Lincoln Memorial. You absolutely must stand on the steps in front of the statue of our 16th president of the United States and gaze out at the National Mall towards the stunning Capitol Building. The vistas from the memorial will undoubtedly bring to mind many important moments from our country’s history, including the Revered Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech or even the famous scene from Forrest Gump.
Off the north side of the Lincoln Memorial you’ll find the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, sometimes known as the “Wall”. Pause and reflect on the thousands of names that have been etched into the black granite, representing the men and women who gave their lives during the conflict in Vietnam.
Once finished at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, head east along the Reflecting Pool until you arrive at the National World War II Memorial. You will undoubtedly encounter one of the many veterans who visit the memorial every day.
Head on foot or taxi to the Air & Space Museum, where you’ll see the Washington Monument along the way. It’s not necessary to stop here as the building has been closed since an earthquake damaged the structure in 2011. You’ll also see the Jefferson Memorial before arriving at the Air & Space Museum, one of Smithsonian’s greatest museums. Admission is free. Once inside, head directly to the 1903 Flyer, the plane that took the Wright Brothers on their first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Marvel at all the planes, aircraft and space capsules hanging from the ceiling throughout.
Now head up Capitol Hill to the U.S. Capitol Building. You can opt to take the hour long tour or simply admire the building from the outside. The Supreme Court building is located across the street.
Take a taxi to the National Museum of American History, which is sometimes lovingly referred to as “America’s Attic”. Here you’ll see all sorts of items from America’s history, including the top hat President Lincoln was wearing the night he was shot and the red slippers worn by Dorothy in the movie The Wizard of Oz.
The White House is just a short walk away from the museum. Stroll along the fence and pose for photos in front of the President’s home.
No doubt you are exhausted from your day of sightseeing, so head to nearby Blue Duck Tavern for dinner and drinks!