You can’t say you’ve seen the United States without seeing Washington DC Although hotels are expensive and parking is a challenge, the nation’s capital is full of free attractions and activities.
The White House and the Pentagon
Entrance to President’s Park is free and offers the frugal traveler a breathtaking view of the White House. The visitors’ center has some very beautiful permanent exhibitions. Tours of the White House can be arranged for groups of 10 or more. However, applications must be received at least six months in advance.
Tours of the Pentagon are also available. These should also be organized well in advance.
Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument
The National Mall and Memorial Parks contains some of the most significant monuments in the United States. These include the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument within walking distance of each other. The mall itself is a great place to have a picnic and people watch. Free entry
When I think of the Smithsonian, I think of the Smithsonian Castle, the first building. Admission as with all 17 Smithsonian buildings and the National Zoo is free. Free tours are also available. The building itself is beautiful. The exhibitions? It’s the Smithsonian.
National Museum of Natural History
Another Smithsonian museum, the National Museum of Natural History is a children’s favorite. They have tarantula, dinosaur, and animal foods preserved. As with all Smithsonian museums, the National Museum of Natural History is free.
National Museum of American History
Another free Smithsonian museum, the National Museum of American History showcases American culture and history. From Dorothy’s ruby red slippers to full-size locomotives, think of an American icon and you can probably find it in this museum.
Washington DC is full of free tourist attractions focused on American politics, history and culture. The Smithsonian Museums alone, a great alternative for a rainy day, can take weeks to explore. The city is a must see for visitors and American residents.