I recently had the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital on my way back from attending Firefly Music Festival. It was an incredible experience. While you could easily spend a week here exploring something new every day, I made a list of some must-do’s (or at least what I did and think you should do too).
Capitol Building – Home to the Senate and House of Representatives. The architectural beauty of this building is absolutely stunning. I can’t imagine what it took to build this in the 1790’s. Pure talent. This was as close as we could get, but there are tours offered!
Botanic Garden – We stumbled upon this when leaving the Capitol building. Established in 1820, it is the oldest botanic garden in North America. It is chalked full of exotic plants from around the world. I wanted to take them all home! There is also a butterfly garden, which unfortunately wasn’t open while we were in town.
Smithsonian Museums – The Smithsonian has 19 museums, galleries, gardens, and a zoo. We picked two: Air and Space Museum and Natural History Museum. I honestly think you could spend a day in each just reading all of the plaques and looking at every display. We did the quick tour version, but I still learned a lot! The bottom photo is of the African American Museum which just opened in September of 2016.
Washington Monument – This monument built to honor George Washington, the first U.S. President, is actually made of two different shades of marble. Where you see the change in color is when construction stopped due to lack of funds and the outbreak of the American Civil War. So crazy! Also, this photo was taken up-side-down while laying in the grass.
World War II Memorial – This memorial honors the 16 million Americans who served during WWII. I think it is so special that each state/territory receives their own pillar. There is also a Freedom Wall with 4,048 gold stars, each representing 100 Americans who died in the war.
Lincoln Memorial – Normally, there is a reflecting pool leading up to this memorial; however, it was partially drained while we were there. For some reason this left bikers to feel the need to do laps in the empty part (as pictured below). You can still get the idea though. On the exterior of the memorial are the 36 states that were in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death. Inside is a giant Lincoln statue and inscriptions from his second inaugural address and the Gettysburg Address.
Vietnam Veteran Memorial – This wall holds the names of over 58,000 dead and missing soldiers. It is a sobering experience to walk alongside it.
The White House – Unfortunately, I do not have a picture. We drove past it on the way out of town, but I hope to be back soon. The United States has an incredible history, and D.C. is the perfect place to learn about it. A day here only scratches the surface.
Picture credits: The handsome and talented Jon Stamper