Founded as the United States’ capital in 1791, Washington D.C. has long been revered for the history and power it represents. If you want the ultimate American experience, visiting this city is an absolute must. In addition to its history, D.C. also has mind-blowing museums, gorgeous scenery, and plenty of interesting attractions.
Spring Has Sprung
The best time to visit the nation’s capital is during the spring. The weather is sunny, the temperatures are mild, and there is almost no humidity. Most appealing though, are the breathtaking cherry blossoms that bloom in early April. To celebrate, the city hosts the National Cherry Blossom Festival where events dedicated to promoting the beauty of nature, arts, and environment take place. In 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gifted 3,000 cherry trees to the city, so much of the festival also commemorates the friendship between the U.S. and Japan.
During March 20th through April 14th, you’ll find huge dance productions in the streets, a parade, concerts, parties, cherry blossom themed artwork, fireworks, races, gatherings of people flying kites, street fairs, and boating events. This is only a preview of all the events taking place. For more information, visit this website.
The Jefferson Memorial during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Washington, DC
The Best Things In Life Are Free
D.C. has more free world-class attractions than any other major city. Despite the city’s expensive reputation, it is completely possible to get a full experience while staying on a budget. Check out the large number of free museums, monuments, and memorials in this full list here. A favorite of the free attractions are the Smithsonian museums. These are world-renowned institutions and research complexes with 17 museums and galleries and the National Zoo. The organization is nicknamed “the nation’s attic” because 154 million historical items such as George Washingtons’ uniform, the first American flag, Dorthy’s ruby slippers, a Hurricane Katrina door, and more are showcased. Some of the most popular Smithsonian museums are the Natural History Museum and the Air and Space Museum.
Smithsonian Institution Arts & Industries Building – Summer in Washington, DC.
See You In Court
Not only do you have the chance to see the grandiose Supreme Court Building, you can also observe the Court when it is in session for free. The Supreme Court is the highest judiciary authority in the United States and hears approximately 100 cases per year. Visitors are free to enter the building from the Plaza doors in the front of the building, beneath the main entrance staircase. Once inside, you can watch a film about its history, explore exhibits highlighting the past, and listen to a court case. To attend a live session, arrive early (around 6 am, or earlier for monumental cases) and ensure you are one of the first 50 people in line. To listen to a sample of an oral argument you may hear, click here.
United States Supreme Court Building in Washington DC, USA.
If you love James Bond or Jason Bourne, you’ll love the International Spy Museum. Here you can learn about all the gadgets and famous spies you can think of. Some of the most interesting objects displayed include facial masks used in disguises, a model of how to sneak at least three people across a border by car, radio transmitters disguised as dog droppings, cigarette guns, pocket drones, glasses with cyanide capsules hidden in them, and much more. They also have sections highlighting famous movies such as James Bond. Behind the scene footage plays and you can look at artifacts from the movie. So if you are fascinated by the C.I.A. or just want inspiration on how to prank your roommate, this museum is for you.
Security laser system alarms
If you need a reason to smile after all of the intensity of the Supreme Court and Spy museum, look no further than the Smithsonian’s National Zoo panda exhibit. Currently, the exhibit is home to Bei Bei, Tian Tian, and Mei Xiang. You can watch the three of them roll around in the snow, cuddle with each other, munch on bamboo, and take naps. Here, the pandas are studied by American and Chinese scientists in hopes of finding ways to help conserve and better understand the species.
If you would like a preview of what you could see in person, check out the live Panda Cam here.
Curious panda cub is exploring the playground
Land of the Free and Home of the Best Attractions
As you can see, D.C. is more than just powerhouse politicos you see on television; It is an extraordinary city with a rich history and plenty of attractions that will certainly expand your mind and melt your heart. If all of the above sounds appealing to you, book your trip online and experience it for yourself. Have a wonderful travel experience!
Washington DC city view at a orange sunset, including Washington Monument from Capitol building