Travel In and Around Washington D.C.

Grand and mighty, the Washington Monument attracts millions of visitors.


Grand and mighty, the Washington Monument attracts millions of visitors.

The nation’s capital, Washington D.C., is a grand city indeed, with its plentiful museums, sightseeing locations, and scrumptious eateries. Renee F., a student at Kraemer Middle School says, “A cool place to visit!”. With the Capitol building, the White House, National Archives, Library of Congress, and Smithsonian Institute it is an entertaining place to visit

One entertaining place to visit is the Capitol. To tour the Capitol, it is strongly advised that reservations are made in advance, the earlier the better. It is definitely worth it. The inside of the Capitol alone is a work of art. The beautiful interior, art pieces, and mind blowing history are all inside this building. The interior of the dome itself is full of elegant paintings of America’s history, including the landing of Columbus in the Americas all the way to the writing of the Declaration of Independence. This is a must see for anyone who is traveling to D.C.

The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is a place filled with aircraft and space travel history. From models of the Curiosity rover all the way to working flight simulators, this place has some of the most exciting exhibits of many museums out there. There are two sections of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. One is the main museum in Washington, D.C., the other is the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center just outside D.C. in Chantilly, Virginia. In the main building, which is very close to the Capitol Building, there are many historic planes and models. One of those is a real Wright Brothers’ plane. This plane was actually made by the Wrights and used to be able to fly. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center houses the Shuttle Discovery and one of the SR-71 Blackbird supersonic spy planes. The Shuttle Discovery is the shuttle that spent the most time in space in the United States fleet at 365 days in space over its lifetime. It is also the oldest surviving shuttle since, sadly, the others built before it had incidents that were catastrophic. With so much history, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is a visit that cannot be missed if in Washington D.C.

To view the original Declaration of Independence and Constitution, a visit to the National Archives Museum is another extraordinary stop in this expansive city. The National Archives have multiple original documents that are some of the most amazing drafts on this Earth. The mere fact that the original Declaration of Independence is actually there is mind boggling. Sadly, the Declaration was not stored well in the past and once the archives received it, they made sure to care for it in a way to preserve it for future generations. Luckily, way back in the 1700’s, they made a print copy of it to be sent out to each state, so it is preserved in this way as well. Additionally, the original U.S. Constitution is located in this building. Of course, it is not as long as the current Constitution, since so many amendments have been made to it over the years. This is probably one of the best places to learn American history, from George Washington’s letters to the Magna Carta, there is a plethora of information in this museum.

The White House would be a great place to visit, but it is fairly hard to get into, especially during travel season. To get in, the visitor has to request a ticket through your county or state’s congressman as early as six months in advance. If the White House accepts the request, the owner of that request doesn’t know until two weeks before their trip if they will have a tour. The White House is a very neat place, but not the easiest to get into.

Also, there is a place that would be great fun for anyone if they visit in the winter months. This is the ice rink in the National Art Gallery Sculpture Garden. Ice skating is a thrilling experience that few get outdoors here in Southern California. The skater gets to glide across the slick ice, while having the time of their lives. Otherwise, this is a blast for anyone who wants to enjoy the sensation of gliding over the smooth ice, and skating through a winter wonderland.

D.C. has many restaurants to eat at, but one place with delectable food is The Hamilton. The Hamilton’s address is 600 14th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20005, at F and 14th street. This restaurant is a semi fancy eatery with some of the best food in our nation’s capital. From barbeque pork chops and smoked brisket all the way to a fried calamari starter and Mediterranean Sea Bass, this place has it all. If The Hamilton is too fancy, Ben’s Chili Bowl is a hearty alternative. There are three locations within D.C. area that serve delicious hot dogs topped with spicy chili.  

All in all, there are many reasons to visit Washington D.C., from its sights and landmarks to eateries and museums. Be sure to visit these marvelous places when visiting Washington D.C.!