Visiting Washington, D.C. for the first time can be an overwhelming adventure, especially planning for a group. Be sure to plan your time wisely and decide what your group wants to see first. Then come back and visit for many different themed itineraries. To start your visit, be sure to stop by the Visitors Center located in the Ronald Reagan Building to pick up guidebooks, maps and everything else you need for a fun and hassle-free visit. Location: 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004. For more information call (202) 328-4748 or visit their website at www.itcdc.com.
Below is a sample 3 day/2 night itinerary for group visits.
- US Capitol– Seat of the legislative branch of the United States government; the Capitol Guide Service offers a free 45-minute guided tour. Tours are from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday
through Saturday. Free tickets can be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis at the Capitol Guide Service Kiosk located at First Street and Independence Avenue SW. Ticket distribution begins at 9 a.m.
- US Supreme Court– Home of the judicial branch of government.
- Library of Congress– The world’s largest library with 26 million books, films, documents and photographs.
- Union Station– This visually stunning and immensely historic train station houses shops, restaurants, a nine-screen movie complex and both Amtrak train and Metrorail stations. Located on Metro’s red line or by car at 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE.
- National Gallery of Art– The West Wing features a collection of international masterpieces from the 13th to the 19th century, while the East Wing houses a modern collection of 20th century art.
- Smithsonian Institution Museums– Since it is impossible to visit all of the 15 fascinating museums in a single visit, pick a few and save the rest for your next trip. Some of the museums include: National Air & Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of African Art and the National Postal Museum.
- Adams Morgan– Dine in one of Washington D.C.’s most colorful neighborhoods and you’re sure to find a cuisine to suit all taste buds.
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Trace the story of Jewish persecution under the Nazi regime from its beginnings in 1933 to liberation in 1945. Timed passes are required to view the permanent exhibition. Free passes are given out daily on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance passes may be purchased by calling (800) 400-9373 or by visiting tickets.com. A service fee applies.
- Southwest Waterfront– Choose from one of the many restaurants along Maine Avenue and Water Street.
- Jefferson Memorial– A 19-foot bronze statue of the third President of the United States.
- FDR Memorial– Four outdoor “gallery” rooms featuring 10 bronze sculptures depicting the life and times of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt—and his beloved dog, Fala!
- National Mall- Visit the Korean Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial and the Washington Monument. While you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop and take a photo of the White House.
- Arlington National Cemetery- a 500-acre site containing the graves of President John F. Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and his brother Robert, as well as the Arlington House and the Women in the Military Memorial.
- Georgetown-This historic area is a shopper’s and diner’s paradise, home to many fine restaurants, cafés and charming shops.
- Washington National Cathedral– The sixth largest cathedral in the world offering magnificent views of Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia from its 57-acre site.
Lunch and Afternoon
- Dupont Circle – This neighborhood is a wonderful mix of grand mansions, art galleries, sidewalk cafés and unique museums, including the Textile Museum, Woodrow Wilson House and the Phillips Collection.
- International Spy Museum – Explore the craft, practice, history and contemporary role of espionage in one of Washington’s newest museums. Located at 800 F Street, NW, one block from the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station. Tickets are $14 for adults, $13 for seniors, $11 for children and children 4 and under are admitted FREE. For more information, visit spymuseum.org.
- MCI Center – Take in a professional sporting event or concert at this downtown arena. Or enjoy an evening of theatre at one of Washington DC’s finest: the Kennedy Center, National Theatre, Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre or Warner Theatre.
Featured image by Malachi Witt via pixabay.com.