In December of 2012 I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Washington D.C. in the U.S. of A!! I loved every second of my time spend in the city – read my post 12 hours in Washington D.C. – I only had 12 hours to go around and explore but Chad Siemer had a few more recommendations, after reading his guest post he wrote for my blog I wished that I have done better research and gone to see some of these interesting places on his list.
Must See Places in Washington DC:
Traveling to the nation’s capital may seem like a history lesson to some but once you arrive you feel like you are a part of it. There are a few must see destinations in Washington DC that I highly recommend you do when you arrive. There are plenty of free things to do throughout the city but what really separates your everyday tour are some of these ultimate destinations when you arrive.
Book a White House Tour:
Take your family to a tour of the most popular address in Pennsylvania Avenue. The White House Tour is a must for anyone who is into government and would enjoy taking a tour of the home of many of the past presidents and of one current. Tickets can be reserved for up to 6 months in advance. If there is an opportunity to visit the White House do not hold off on doing so. It is a first come – first serve service if you plan on making it in time for the tour. Their tours start at 7:30 am and the latest until 1:30pm through Thursday. You do not want to hold off on getting your tickets for the tour because you may not be able to go if you arrive late in person. They are very strict about the times so if you miss out you will have to come on another day.
National Zoological Park:
One of the best destinations for the family that isn’t a museum and a firsthand experience of seeing wildlife animals that you may not see somewhere else first hand is the National Zoological Park. With many different species available for viewing you will be able to educate and introduce your kids with many animals from around the world. There are over 2,000 individual animals and 400 different types of species to check out. Plenty of different locations within the Zoo to eat and explore with your kids, it’s an all-out experience that can be entertaining for the entire family. With 163 acres of park located within Rock Creek National Park you will have plenty to do throughout your day.
Museum of Crime & Punishment:
General Admission Adults $18 / Children $14
One of the most unusual experiences you will have when you visit Washington DC is the Museum of Crime & Punishment. It is going to provide you with a history of crime in America along with a section in the museum called America’s Most Wanted which is based on the show hosted by John Walsh. This museum does not glorify criminals, but provides an education of the many different instances when different crimes happened throughout American History. CSI education workshops are also available for fans that would like to see how crime scenes are investigated first hand. It is a very interactive and entertaining experience for all, especially if you want to learn about the history of some of America’s most well-known criminals like Ted Bundy, Bonnie & Clyde, Billy the Kid, and John Dillinger. With forensics workshops and CSI summer camp it provides the kids with a firsthand experience on how a crime scene is set up, provide education in the justice system, and provide kid’s safety tips.
Tidal Basin Paddle Boats:
2 Passengers – $14 an hour; 4 Passengers – $22 an hour
This is a great visual experience if you are traveling with a loved one or with your family. This can be a nice relaxing time for the parents or a way to relax after traveling to a variety of different locations. The Tidal Basin Paddle Boats provide a great view of the popular cherry blossoms and the Jefferson Memorial. Being able to jump in the paddle boats can let you recharge and reminisce on the different things that you have already done in Washington DC and where you plan to visit next. You can enjoy people watching as you make your way around in the water and enjoy the great view that is all around you. It is definitely a “wow” moment you do not want to miss.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing:
One of the most interesting locations to check out is the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. This is the location where the bills you have in your pocket are made. Enjoy a 30 minute tour Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm where you can see just how money is printed, stacked, and cut. They provide a tour that shows you how the process is done and many other items that are actually printed here. Security is always heightened and can always change if Homeland Security Levels are adjusted. With a heightened level of security you may not be able to visit on certain days. Being able to see how money is printed is an experience that many people do not seek out but can be an enjoyable tour once you get inside. If your kids ever ask you about where and how money is made you can take them to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and they will be able to see it in person.
With a good mix of museum and memorials you really get to experience the Washington DC area differently. With plenty of family friendly destinations you can end up spending way less than you think when you are making your way throughout the city. Your family can enjoy all the different avenues of entertainment but also provide a memorable trip that will be talked about for a long time.
When not on the golf course, Chad enjoys researching and writing on exciting travel destinations that are fun for the whole family. Thank you so much Chad for sharing with us the MUST SEE places – I hope to visit this interesting city again in the future and would definitely make sure to check out the places you recommended. I personally LOVE anything historical, that is why I really enjoyed my time in D.C. – I found everything SO VERY interesting. The Museum of Crime & Punishment is exactly my cup of tea – I’ll definitely write about it if I ever get the chance to visit it!!!
Have you been to Washington D.C. yet? What do you recommend other see and do in the capitol city? Please share with us all in a comment below!!