Local Attractions

National Geographic does not specifically endorse the museums, attractions, tour companies, and guides listed below. However, we hope you will find the information useful in planning your trip to Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., Tourism Bureau

Museums and History:

Smithsonian National Museums and Zoo

  • Includes museums dedicated to Art, Natural History, American History, Space Exploration, and Native American History
  • Free admission
  • Hours

Library of Congress

  • The Main Reading Room is widely regarded as an architectural highlight of Washington, D.C.

  • Free, guided tours are available.

  • Hours


  • A museum dedicated to journalism and newspaper publishing, featuring seven levels of interactive exhibits that explore how news affects our shared experience of historic moments

  • Paid admission

  • Hours

Spy Museum

  • The only public museum in the United States dedicated to espionage and providing a global perspective on a profession that has shaped history and continues to have a significant impact on world events

  • Features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display

  • Paid admission

  • Hours

Parks and Gardens:

National Mall & Memorial Parks

At the heart of the nation's capital, the National Mall and Memorial Parks is home to iconic structures and rich history.

U.S. Botanic Gardens

  • Located on the National Mall, the Garden is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to the well-being of humans and to Earth's fragile ecosystems.

  • Free admission
  • Hours

The United States National Arboretum

  • Established in 1927 by an Act of Congress; administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service
  • Features 446 acres with 9.5 miles of winding roadways and walking trails
  • Hours

Rock Creek Park

  • A large park in the heart of Washington, D.C., with trails for running, biking, and hiking
  • The park is open during daylight hours.
  • Meridian Hill Park
  • A local Washington, D.C., park with a large water feature, benches, and views of the city

Guided Tours:

Additional Resources and Apps:

Excursions to New York City (Manhattan):



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Sandi Tun
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