Top 10 attractions in Washington DC

Explore the capital of the United States of America

by Alisha
united states capitol

Family vacation attraction sites in the USA are present in a rich abundance where people from all over the world come and enjoy the best offerings of one of the best countries in the world. However, if we talk about the capital of the United States of America, Washington DC, you’d be surprised at the level of potential this area has for tourism. We have already talked about the top 10 attractions in Los Angeles, CA, should you want to take a look at them here, so now it seems pretty reasonable not to sleep over on this exceedingly beautiful capital city.

This article will talk about the top 10 attractions in Washington to visit alone or with your family. So, without wasting any time now, let’s get started with this article.

The 10 best attractions in Washington DC

1. The Tidal Basin

the tidal basin

The Tidal Basin

We are going to start with something exquisite here. The Tidal Basin in Washington DC is located inside the West Potomac Park, near the famed Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza. If you’ve never been to this area before, you can expect a soothing aroma that gives off relaxation vibes. The Tidal Basin is named after a beautiful pond that stretches up to 2 miles. The walk on this relatively small waterfront has its charm and experience. In this area, you’ll also find cherry blossom trees. These were gifted to the USA by Japan, and you can witness these trees fully blossoming in spring.

In the background of the Tidal Basin, you can catch the scenery of some other excellent Washington DC sites, should you want to follow the road and see wherever that takes you. Other Tidal Basin highlights include high-quality surrounding memorials, such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. In addition to that, the Cherry Tree Walk housed by the Tidal Basin is simply rejuvenating for the soul, mind, and body. Another memorial called the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, which has an important place in human history. So, if you’re a calm, laid-back kind of guy who prioritizes solitude above everything else, the Tidal Basin is the attraction you’re looking for in Washington DC.

2. National Mall and Memorial Parks

abraham lincoln statue

Abraham Lincoln Statue

Nearby the incredible Tidal Basin is another unique attraction site that will have you drooling over the sheer monumental size. The National Mall and Memorial Parks refer to a sizable area encompassing a landscaped park with several iconic monuments. The site is filled with pools as well, so the experience stays relaxed and pleasurable. At the center of it all stands the legendary Washington Monument which was once known as the tallest structure in the world. You can use the built elevator to get to the top and immerse yourself in a 360-degrees view of the whole city of Washington DC.

The National Mall and Memorial Parks attraction site is not without an abundance of monuments and memorials, as you comprehended by now. However, what perhaps is the most moving of them all is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This is a structured wall that comprises the names of all the US soldiers who either lost their lives in the war of Vietnam or are still missing. Countless families were affected due to this event, and many still haven’t been able to recover completely. The United States of America has paid homage to the war heroes by building this memorial for them, and tourists and fellow citizens don’t ever forget visiting this place.

3. The White House

the white house

The White House

This one needs no introduction, but we will still brief you about it. The White House is where the President of the United States officially resides. To give a little background check on this area, the White House was initially built in 1792 by James Hoban. However, many years after its erection, the invading British troops laid fire to the White House. 4 years later, the structure was rebuilt. The White House can easily be visited from the outside, but if you’d like to get more in on the scene, you will have to contact a unique tourist agency that can take you to the heart of the White House.

If you don’t want to do that, there’s the free White House Visitor Center to incline toward. Many interactive exhibitions include furniture of previously elected presidents and other fantastic details. You can also check out videos from the presidents who’ve had their time in the White House. The videos include insights, educational teachings, and other advice about life from which people can learn a thing or two from. The White House is one of the key highlights of visiting Washington DC, and we think you shouldn’t miss out on something this huge on your trip to this district.

4. International Spy Museum

international spy museum

International Spy Museum

This one isn’t just another one of those regular Joe’s. The International Spy Museum employs the art of espionage and practical artifacts of all the times it has been used in history. As the name depicts, this is the place for those who idolize James Bond and his charismatic ways. Now, realistically speaking, this museum comprises a comprehensive assortment of interactive elements when you can physically check out all used against the United States of America for spying purposes. This field is full of surprises, and after visiting the place once, you’ll see what type of tactics the world always deploys to stay ahead of the game. There are two floors within the museum: the top one is central to factual data and includes information on real-life spies.

However, when you come down to the bottom floor, you’ll catch live in action everything about James Bond, as we jokingly mentioned earlier. In the movie “Goldfinger,” Bond uses a state-of-the-art vehicle with mounted guns and loads of other tricks. That vehicle is up for exhibition in the International Spy Museum and is known as the Aston Martin DB5. Rumor has it that many intelligence agencies have learned a thing or two from this fictional car and implemented its features in their vehicles. The International Spy Museum is well worth a visit if you’re into all this stuff. You really get to check out some cool stuff that isn’t available in other places.

5. The Pentagon

the pentagon

The Pentagon

The world-famous Pentagon is situated in Washington DC. People call it one of the safest buildings in the world to be in simply because of its state-of-the-art security features and consolidated localization. It’s also regarded as the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. The Pentagon comprises the shape of a pentagon, as this site’s name depicts, which is a figure consisting of 5 corners. As for its location, the Pentagon is located across the Potomac River in Virginia and quite near to the aforementioned National Mall.

Visiting this place is no less than a treat. However, you will need to book your visit in advance, and we mean in advance. This is a top-tier place, so anywhere between 14 to 90 days will work. Many areas of the Pentagon won’t have clearance for you to visit, so you will be taken to the famous places that aren’t classified by any means and are free to check out on your regular tour. Inside the Pentagon is also a monumental structure called the Memorial Chapel and the Hall of Heroes, highlighting the efforts and names of those who gave up their lives for the sake of the USA’s good fortune. So do yourself a favor and don’t forget to visit this place on your next trip to Washington DC.

6. United States Capitol

united states capitol

United States Capitol

The United States Capitol is also called the Capitol Building. It is known as the official meeting place of the US Congress and stands tall as a monument that symbolizes the people of America. As for its location, the United States Capitol can be found at the eastern end of the aforementioned National Mall, which is on Capitol Hill. This is where all the politics of the country can be found in action. For tourists, however, this is one of the best places to visit whenever you’re hitting the road for Washington DC. What makes the Capitol desirable to visit also happens to be its most breathtaking feature: the Rotunda.

The United States Capitol’s Rotunda is a large, vibrant circular room located in the center of the Capitol Building. From the outside, it appears dome-shaped and is just sensational to visit, simply because of the beauty of this structure and the work of art it displays to the general public. You can also step inside the Old Senate Chamber from the Rotunda, which used to be a former meeting place of the United States Senate a long time back. If you’re a foreigner and would like to visit the Senate or the House in session, you will have to contact the people over at the visitor center.

7. Arlington National Cemetery

arlington national cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

The Arlington National Cemetery is where the gravesite of John Fitzgeral Kennedy is located – a glorious man who was once the President of the United States. The cemetery lies across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, distant from where the Tidal Basin is grounded. People often visit Arlington to pay their respects to American war heroes, soldiers, and everyone who was formerly a part of this country. The whole land of this area stretches to 1 square mile, so you’ll be walking a lot here.

However, to tackle that problem, there are trolley-guided tours inside the Arlington National Cemetery, which takes you throughout the property while stopping at the most sought-after places of the area. This includes the gravesite of John F. Kennedy and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. That won’t come for free, though, and for adults, the price of one individual is somewhere around $15. So if you’re visiting Washington, don’t forget to stop by the Arlington National Cemetery. Death can teach us a lot about being alive.

8. Smithsonian National Zoo

smithsonian national zoo

Smithsonian National Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoo is one of the hottest tourist sites that Washington has to offer. In this area, you’ll get to experience wildlife like never before. The zoo features a catalog of more than 2,000 animals, including birds, reptiles, and even sizable animals like pandas. What makes this zoo so desirable for tourists is not just because of the fanfare of different types of animals, but because of how well-kept everything is. The management is exceedingly fantastic at this job, and it is for this reason, the National Zoo is home to dozens of endangered species. That is simply because the world knows how carefully the endangered animals will be kept at this place.

Unlike other zoological parks, admission inside this one is free of cost, and this is the best part that tourists love and appreciate the administration for. To shed some light on the exotic end of included animals within the zoo, visitors can see red pandas, western gorillas, and even Asian elephants in all their glory. Other than that, you have the highly ferocious Sumatran tigers and cheetahs to lay your eyes on. Cranes and North Island brown kiwis are also a part of this zoo. If you’re with a family and visiting Washington soon, do not miss checking out the word-wide famous Smithsonian National Zoo.

9. 9:30 club

930 club

930 club

Being called the “Venue of the Decade” is no joke, and amazingly, the 9:30 club was given that title two years back. Furthermore, Rolling Stone—a viral music news and publishing magazinehas deemed this nightclub as one of the ten best live music venues in the whole of America. So if you have had your fill of going to museums and memorials, and you now want to try something different for a change, the 9:30 club is your best bet. It’s located on the 9th and V Street, NW, Washington, DC, and you can even check out their official website for the complete address.

Currently, the 9:30 club doesn’t offer any food, unfortunately. Still, it does have four full-fledged bars that comprise a versatile assortment of drinks, including champagne, beer, vodka, tequila, and a lot more. In addition to that, please be aware that Washington DC has an indoor smoking ban, so anywhere you go in the district, this isn’t something that’s going to be allowed. The 9:30 club has followed suit, and you’ll have to comply. However, the good news is that on most nights, you will be allowed to re-enter the club; if you feel a strong urge to smoke, you can go outside, do your thing, and come right back in.

10. National Air and Space Museum

national air and space museum

National Air and Space Museum

The last attraction site in Washington is the outright ethereal National Air and Space Museum, letting you indulge in outer space for a bunch of hours and paving the way to experience a unique environment. It’s rich in history and includes exhibits of some of the most iconic vehicles in the history of the USA. For instance, you will find the original Wright Brothers Flyer plane and the Charles Lindbergh Spirit of Saint Louis airplane. The latter was the first plane to soar through the Atlantic Ocean.

That’s not all that the National Air and Space Museum hosts. There are real objects from outer space in here, such as a rock taken from the moon. In addition, this place is an excellent site for some academic knowledge on the topic of flight and space science. After learning and interacting with the exhibits, you will get to know what works, why it works, and how it works. This is one of the best attractions in the USA, not because of what you can teach yourself here, but because of the entertainment potential, it holds. Lastly, there’s also an IMAX theater within the museum and an observatory to observe astronomical tidbits through telescopes.


The world is full of elements of wonder, and there’s simply a lot of exploration to do for wanderlusts. If you’re based in the United States, the best place to start would be making discoveries in your own country first. To do that, what better way to commence the journey than visiting Washington DC, the home of the President, and a bunch of other fantastic attraction sites. Even if you’re not already a citizen of the United States, Washington DC has many distinct features to offer to its tourists.

We can almost guarantee that you will love your time in this district. From checking out the International Spy Museum for its wits and antics to exploring culture-rich history in museums and whatnot, Washington DC is the place to go for seeking knowledge and entertainment equally. In this article, we’ve listed 10 of the best attraction sites for tourists, so do give these all a go when the time comes to maximize the benefits of visiting Washington DC. We’d love to hear your thoughts down in the comments section!

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