Below you will find information about many monuments, museums and other attractions in Washington, DC. Click on the links for more information. My office can arrange tours for the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the White House, the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, the Supreme Court, the Kennedy Center and the National Archives. For information about how to apply for those tours, please visit my tours page.
National Mall and Monuments
Washington, DC is home to many national monuments, many of which are located on, or nearby, the National Mall. A list of these attractions is available at the National Park Service website. Click on the link above to learn more about visiting the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and other iconic memorials. Guided walking tours of these monuments are offered year-round by the National Park Service and other private companies. In addition, a number of private companies in DC also offer guided bus, bike, and even segway tours.
Contrary to popular belief, the Smithsonian is not just one museum, but consists of 19 separate museums, galleries, and the National Zoo, spread out over the city. If you devoted an entire summer to exploring every one of these facilities, you still would not be able to experience them all! The most popular museums located on the National Mall include the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the American Indian Museum, the Hirshorn Museum, and the National Gallery of Art. All of these museums are free and open to the public year-round. Follow the link above to learn more about all the Smithsonian has to offer.
A few blocks from the National Mall sits Ford’s Theatre – the theatre where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. Tour the theatre itself as well as the museum across the street which is full of artifacts documenting Lincoln’s presidency.
The nearest metro station is Metro Center on the red/blue/orange line.
Arlington National Cemetery
More than four million people a year travel to Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects to the more than 260,000 service men and women laid to rest here. Arlington is also home to the Tomb of the Unknowns. Three soldiers, one each from WWI, WWII, and the Korean War, are interred here. An unknown soldier from the Vietnam War was also interred here, but later exhumed after DNA testing determined his identity. The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by the U.S. Army.
Arlington National Cemetery is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. April through September and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. October through March. The guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns is changed every half hour from April through September and every hour on the hour from October through March.
The nearest metro station is Arlington Cemetery on the blue line.
Tours of the State Department take visitors through the Diplomatic Reception Rooms. These rooms are used by the secretary of state, the vice president and Cabinet members for meeting and entertaining both foreign and domestic dignitaries. The Diplomatic Reception Rooms are furnished with historic American furniture, all provided through donations from private citizens.
Guided tours of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms are available by reservation only. Please submit your request at least three months in advance as tours fill up quickly. Tours are conducted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 2:45 p.m. and last approximately 45 minutes. The State Department is a secure building and all visitors must present photo identification. You can request a tour online at the link above.
The nearest metro station is Foggy Bottom – GWU on the blue/orange line.
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the Department of Defense and one of the world’s largest office buildings, has conducted tours since the Nation’s Bicentennial in 1976. The free tours are conducted Monday through Friday, except federal holidays, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and last approximately one hour. Reservations are required and may be booked from eight to 90 days in advance.
The Pentagon’s website provides detailed information about the tour, including the personal security information required. To schedule a tour, follow the link above, and click on the Request a Tour button. My office can also submit a tour request on your behalf using the Pentagon’s online booking process. We will need to gather the same information on our form that the Pentagon requires on theirs.
Please read the Pentagon’s Security Information page carefully as there are no exceptions to the security requirements. Please also be aware that there is no public parking available at the Pentagon, and visitors are advised to use the Metro. The nearest metro station is Pentagon on the blue/yellow line.
Holocaust Memorial Museum
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is dedicated to "presenting the history of the persecution and murder of six million Jews and millions of other victims of Nazi tyranny from 1933 to 1945." The museum houses a permanent exhibit, as well as a children's exhibit, and regular special exhibitions. The Holocaust Memorial Museum is recommended for children 11 and older.
The Holocaust Memorial Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. with extended hours of 10:00 a.m. – 6:20 p.m. from March 26 through June 8. Free passes for the permanent exhibition, The Holocaust, are required March through August. Passes are not required September through February. Passes for a specific tour time are distributed on a first come, first served basis on the day of your visit. A limited number of passes are available in advance for a small fee. Details on this service are available on their website.
The nearest metro station is Smithsonian on the blue/orange line.
White House Visitors Center
Located at the southeast corner of 15th and E Streets, NW, the White House Visitors Center features many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders, as well as a thirty-minute video. The Center is currently in an interim facility while the main center is under renovations, and is open daily from 7:30am to 4:00pm. No tickets are required to tour the Visitors Center.
The nearest metro station is Federal Triangle on the blue/orange line or Metro Center on the red/blue/orange line.
Please note, the Visitors Center is separate from the White House itself. To request a tour of the White House, please visit my Request a Tour page.