Washington D.C. – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots (USA)

Categories: Travel reports, North America, USA, District of Columbia

After visiting Philadelphia yesterday, the last stop of our trip was the capital of the USA: Washington D.C.


Arrival in Washington & our hotel

From Philadelphia, we drove the 220-mile route to Washington, D.C., via Interstate 95 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. We chose the Americana Hotel in the Arlington district as our hotel.

The capital Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States since 1800 and has a population of about 600,000. The metropolitan area is home to more than 5.5 million people. The city is named after George Washington, commander-in-chief of the War of Independence (1775-1783) and the first president of the United States. With the White House as the president’s office and residence, and the Capitol, which houses the Senate and House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court, the top three constitutional powers are in the city. Washington is also home to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Organization of American States.

Many of Washington’s attractions (such as the Capitol, the Washington Monument, or the White House) are centrally located around theNational Mall,the city’s national promenade.

A “Hop On Hop Off Tour” with Big Bus

However, since some sights such as the Jefferson Monument or Arlington Cemetery are a little further away, we decided to do a Hop On Hop Off tour with Big Bus. A large map of the Big Bus Tour in Washington with the different routes can be downloaded here.

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Hop On Hop Off Tour routes in Washington

Travel Guide & Things to Do in Washington D.C.

The White House

First, of course, we looked at the White House, the headquarters and residence of the President of the United States. As we stood at the fence to take photos of the White House, suddenly police officers came and sent all visitors behind a quickly built barrier. It quickly became clear why: the President’s helicopter “Marine One” was approaching 🙂 Shortly after the helicopter landed in the front yard of the White House, the area on the fence was reopened to tourists.

The Washington Monument & National World War II Memorial

Next we walked to the Washington Monument, which is right on the national promenade. The National World War II Memorial is also located here.

The Lincoln Memorial & Reflecting Pool

At the western end of the Mall is the Lincoln Memorial, built in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial is the 618-meter-long Reflecting Pool and the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial was built in honor of the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial & Martin Luther King Memorial

To the west of the Jefferson Memorial is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial,inaugurated on May 2, 1997. Four different areas lead through 12 years of the history of the United States, each area stands for a term of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. If you go a little further, you can get to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. The memorial is reminiscent of the American Baptist pastor, civil rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martin Luther King, who was assassinated in 1968, the history of the african-American civil rights movement and its concerns.

A tour of the U.S. Capitol

Next we went to the Capitol, as we had booked a guided tour online through the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center for 1:30 p.m.

Our tip: It is best to book a tour of the Capitol a few weeks in advance via the official website, as the tours are quickly fully booked!

The National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum is a museum affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, which displays numerous exhibits from the history of aerospace, including the Spirit of St. Louis or rocks from the moon.

Die Washington National Cathedral

On our Hop On Hop Off tour, we also passed Washington National Cathedral, which is the sixth largest cathedral in the world and the second largest in the UNITED States.

Arlington National Cemetery

With nearly 5,400 funerals a year and more than 260,000 burials since its inception, Arlington National Cemetery is the second-largest cemetery in the United States after Calverton National Cemetery in New York. Probably the most famous grave in the cemetery is that of john F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, who was assassinated on November 22, 1963, with an eternal flame.

The U.S. banknotes and their original buildings

We had once seen a picture on the Internet of someone showing half of the US banknotes and completing them with the original building. Since buildings from Washington D.C. are depicted on almost banknotes, we did not want to miss this opportunity, and also try this 🙂

The Starbucks cup from Washington D.C.

We are collecting the Starbucks Mugs from the cities and islands we visit on our travels. Unfortunately, not every city that has a Starbucks store with an own mug. But if the city has an own mug we like to collect them as a souvenir. We only collect city mugs from the "Global Icon Series", which was released in 2008. You can see our complete collection here: Starbucks - Our collection of Mugs from the Global Icon Series

Washington has several Starbucks stores and also its own cup 🙂

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The Starbucks City Cup of Washington D.C.

All travelogues from the USA (2012)

This trip through the USA took us through 10 different states in 17 days. We started with a short stopover in the megacity Chicago. From there we continued by plane to Los Angeles and from there by rental car via Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Salt Lake City and Yellowstone National Park to Denver. For the last leg of our trip we went to the East Coast, where we visited New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. All in all an incredibly varied round trip with really many highlights.
Route USA 2012 » Illinois: Chicago – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots
» California: Los Angeles – Walk of Fame, Chinese Theatre & Hollywood Sign
» Nevada: Las Vegas – Casinos, Fremont Street & the Las Vegas Sign
» Utah: Zion National Park – Attractions & Hiking Trails
» Utah: Bryce Canyon – Navajo Loop, Wall Street & Viewpoints
» Utah: Salt Lake City – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots
» Idaho: Idaho Falls – The Waterfalls & the Yellowstone Bear World
» Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park – Travel Guide & Things to Do
» Colorado: Denver – Travel Guide, Things to Do & The Zoo
» New York: New York in one day? The perfect route to walk through Manhattan
» New York: New York – One World Trade Center & 9/11 Memorial
» New York: New York – Travel Guide for a visit to the Statue of Liberty
» Pennsylvania: Philadelphia – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & the Liberty Bell
» Disctrict of Columbia: Washington D.C. – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots