What to See and Do in Washington DC - an Informative MMP

I’ve lived in the Washington DC metro area for over 32 years now, much longer than I ever lived anywhere else. It should feel like my “home” yet I still look fondly on times I lived in Michigan and Delaware. But that will be for another post! One huge attraction of the area, though, is the overwhelming amount of places to visit and things to do.

To start with, there are the many parts of the Smithsonian Institution, not all of which are on the National Mall, btw. They are all FREE—no fees are charged to enter them, that is. The National Zoo is also a part of the Smithsonian and free as well. Here is the website for the Smithsonian. The National Gallery of Art is free as well. Only a few museums in the area charge entrance fees. The monuments/memorials are all free to visit as well. The one caveat about visiting them, however, is to take the Metro (subway)! Parking is close to non-existent downtown DC, and what can be found is expensive. Metro is the way to go, although you will have to purchase a SMARTTRIP card to get out of their parking lots/garages!

There is a very large and diverse theatre community in the area as well, including the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap Farm (in Northern Virginia), the Folger Theatre; the venues stay booked most of the year!

With all these museums, monuments, etc., and the over thirty years I’ve lived in the area, you’d think that I would have seen most of them at least once, right? Wrong! There are two very specific places that I’ve never been: The White House for a tour, and the Capitol Building for a tour. If you want to go on a tour of the White House, the best thing is to contact your congressional representative and ask for tickets. This must be done well in advance of the planned date, of course, and even then you still must wait in line for the tickets the day of the event. To tour the Capitol Building, you simply queue up at the ticket booth early that day. Each place has a very specific list of what can and cannot be taken inside, especially for the tour of the White House . I have to confess, I have always wanted to do that White House tour at Christmas time!

I’ve only just touched the surface of things to do in the DC area, but hope that this has brought a bit of brightness to your early March Monday morning.

Okay, sorry for posting this so early Monday morning - but the night crew should be here (I hope!); I also might not be able to get back to the thread until late Monday afternoon. Hoping that it will go well!

Am I first? Yay!

ETA: Okay, now that I’ve read the OP, I can say that I’ve been fortunate to see the White House several times, including twice at Christmas, when I was there singing with a chorus for the Congressional Ball; we got to wander around the main floor unescorted, it was so cool! And then when my MIL and niece were visiting a few years ago, a friend who works for the Senate gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the Capitol. It is well worth seeing; it alternately seems very large and very small. But definitely impressive.

My personal favorite is the Smithsonian American History Museum. I’m not sure if it’s reopened yet – it was closed for a couple years for renovations, but should be reopening soon if it hasn’t yet. The one I haven’t seen yet and really need to is the Smithsonian American Indian Museum. We’re definitely going to be doing that this spring since I can walk again!

Yes you are, I got lost at the Smithsonian! Very good OP herbs, and I am enjoying the links.

It’s still early here, everyone is still up. Yee haw.

I’ve never wanted to go to Washington, DC before, but you’ve done a great job with the OP. It sounds much more enticing now. Those links are great! Thanks for the OP, herbs.

~waving~ to the night crew!

I like it when the OP is actually up on Monday morning :slight_smile:

And a very nice one, too!

I’ve actually been to the capitol; there’s a really cool effect in the (old) House chambers – it’s right under the dome, in the rotunda so there’s a pair of “whisper spots” in which anything said at one spot can be heard at the other. Apparently, John Quincy Adams knew about this and set his desk at one of the spots (and made sure everybody knew not to talk while at his desk!)

I’ve been to the main Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, too.

I honestly don’t remember when I was there :o It was probably during a two-year stint in the US in the years 1980-1981 (as I remember being there with my parents), but I’m not actually completely sure of this!

Other than that, I got nuttin’. Hope y’all have a survivable Monday (I went through my own Monday yestarday…)

ETA: Hi Roo! I see the new “stealth” mode is working :slight_smile: “Stealth Kangaroo” – band name!? :smiley:

:: drive-by::

I love D.C. but I haven’t been there in a loooong time. More about that later.

I wasn’t feeling too good last night so I’ve got to catch up on paperwork this morning.


Great OP Herbs! I’ve never been to D.C. I have no idea why, just haven’t. It’s on the “one of these days” list. Yet another reason to become filthy stinkin’ rich, so’s I can go to all the places on the “one of these days” list.

Up and caffienatin’ here. I’ll motivate towards purtification in a bit. Hopefully more caffiene will spur motivation. It’s also nice out this mornin’. Looks like ‘twill be around 80 degrees Amurrkin today. Spring is definitely peakin’ out around here. OOH, speakin’ of Spring, I saw a lizard on my back porch yesterday. That’s a big sign of Spring, the lizards movin’ back in. Perhaps soon I shall witness hot lizard lovin’ bein’ as apparently lizards will just do it right out in the open so anybody can see.

Ok, enough of that. Later Y’all!

Great OP, tarra!

I’ve never been to Washington DC, but would love to go sometime.

Lunch is made, need to get ready for work and get myself outta here…

Happy Monday, everyone!


Morning all! Thanks for the good words on the OP, too; I hoped that the links would provide some good surfing.

MamaTigs, the Museum of American History is still closed, still renovatin’! I think that’s my favorite too, but I also love the Natural History Museum. So hard to choose which one. I haven’t seen the newer museums yet - the African-American and American Indian ones.

I’m caffeinating, almost ready to leave for work. Won’t be back until later this afternoon, so have a good day all. :slight_smile:

And to anyone still thinking about coming to visit Washington DC, come on down! :slight_smile:

I was stationed at Andrews AFB for 2 years and would go to the museums and stuff on my days off. My favorite was the Air and Space Museum.

Mornin’, y’all.

Boring weekend. I went to a triage exercise Saturday morning. No much to tell about that, 'cept at one point when the [del]victims[/del] kids were resetting for the next team to go in and do their thing, a couple of buzzards were circling overhead.

Caffeine #1 down; time to forage for bacon and eggs, and consume caffeine #2.

I’ve lived in the area for about 18 years, and there’s still stuff I haven’t seen/done, and plenty of things I still enjoy doing again and again.

It’s nice to be able to bop down to the Mall and go to the museums with my kids.

I also work just a few blocks away, so on nice days (like today!), I can take a quick walk at lunch and get that “I’m standing halfway between the Capitol and the Washington Monument” view that’s so nice.

I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so I still get a kick out of things like that.

Oh yeah, and the Cherry Blossoms are going to be blooming soon!

I’m not reading or posting to this thread for another 3-4 days.

Morning. Working all day, with a meeting :rolleyes: in the middle. See you on page 2.

Great OP, Herbs. I want to go to the Air and space museum some day.

I love taking the DC Metro. Of course, I love subways in general. I think they’re so cool. Yes, I am a country girl, can you tell?

I don’t think I want to go on a White House tour, though. Not even with a new family there. It just seems…dull. A Capitol tour might be more fun, especially if Congress is in session.

Speaking of, Petercat just yakked up his breakfast under my bed. Excuse me, I have to make a new fur rug.

Good morning!

I feel all generous and stuff. I bought a toaster for the office (a cheapie WalMart one!) and I brought in bagels and butter and cream cheese. I snuck the stuff in 'cause not many people get here before me, so they’e all gonna be like “who brought the toaster?”


Have a good one!

ETA: I forgot to compliment the OP! It was good! My son and I took the train to DC from Baltimore when he was about 6 or 7, while my husband-at-the-time was in a training class. The main site I remember was the Space and Aeronautical Museum (is that the name?) - very cool!

Howdy y’all.

I’ve been through DC quite a few times, but have only visited once. That was in the mid-80’s, when some guys I knew and I went up there to meet up with some loose women they knew. As I recall, all I got that weekend was a smashed in fender from an accident I had in Georgetown.

Oh wait, I also went up there to see a concert at the new 9:30 club. Some frineds of mine were opening for Ben Folds Five. That was in the late '90s. Generally good times on both trips into the city, so thanks for the reminder, herbs

I didn’t have a chance to stop in last week, and probably won’t have too much time to visit this week. I got a couple government contracts I’m working on this week, and a lot of other things to tie up before I head for Indiana next week. Greenwood, to be exact.

Caio, y;all.

Good morning, everyone. Great OP, herbs! I’ve been to DC twice but the most I’ve done is go to the Lincoln Memorial. And to one of the museums. One of my best friends live there and she loves it when I visit because she doesn’t have to really take me anywhere. Heh.

Yesterday I had a talk with my mom and had a breakdown over the phone - I think I’ve been more stressed out than I realized. My mom freaked out, understandably, and insisted that I come home for a year while I’m applying to PhD programs. For the first time it seemed like a tempting option - I really don’t want to go back to Seoul, but on the other hand it would be such a RELIEF to be able to stop stressing over how the hell I’m going to stay in the country and support myself for the next year (since I’ll need a new visa for EVERY school I work for, which is a problem when you’re working as a part-time college instructor). Also my mom pointed out that once I start a PhD program and settle down in the US I won’t be able to see her and my dad very often - once a year at the very most. I feel really bad about not being able to play the traditional Korean daughter role (ie, settle down with a Nice Korean Boy and live near my parents so I can take care of them in their old age) and while they’ve always supported my lifestyle it can’t be easy for them. I feel like I almost owe it to them to go back for this one year. And it’d only be a year.


When come back from Naptown, bring pie. Have you been there before? Since I lived in Indy for 20+ years, I can give you a few pointers on places to go and things to do…

I like Greater Indianapolis much more than DC, but Indiana doesn’t have any of the Smithsonians…

Morning. DC sounds like fun! One of the Husbands (the one who’s married to someone else, and they’ll be Nat’s godparents) lived in Washington. I think they quite liked it. And then they moved to the exciting metropolis of South Bend, Indiana. For school.
We had a successful and awesome family reunion/baby welcoming party/birthday party for my aunt on Saturday, and took Nat to Mass yesterday. The toddler in front of us really wanted to pat and cuddle him. “But Mommy, he’s looking at me! He wants me! Let me hold him? Can I pat him? Mommy!”. It was really cute.

Watching the toddlers makes me believe it may be a lot easier to take a six week old than a toddler… well, anywhere.
This week isCooking and Cleaning week. After today. Today is Pajama Day. The weekend was very busy.