We've compiled links to the websites of DC's major attractions, all in one place. Here you can research the attractions you're most interested in visiting, then plan your tour accordingly.
Memorials, Monuments and Attractions
- Arlington National Cemetary
The Army National Military Cemeteries, consisting of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia and Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., are under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army. The Secretary of the Army consolidated authorities and created the Executive Director position to effectively and efficiently develop, operate, manage and administer the program.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself...." iconic words from an iconic president. Learn more about the man, his memorial and his lasting legacy to the Nation.
- Jefferson Memorial
Dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 13, 1943, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial stands in a straight line with the White House. Architect John Russell Pope, influenced by Jefferson's taste in classical architecture, echoed the style seen in Jefferson's two most famous buildings - Monticello and the University of Virginia Rotunda.
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.
- Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. The Library preserves and provides access to a rich, diverse and enduring source of knowledge to inform, inspire and engage you in your intellectual and creative endeavors. Whether you are new to the Library of Congress or an experienced researcher, we have a world-class staff ready to assist you online and in person.
- Lincoln Memorial
The decision to place the memorial at its current location came in 1913, and construction was started the following year. Henry Bacon designed the building, Daniel French sculpted the statue, and Jules Guerin painted the two murals. Working together, they created an iconic symbol of our nation and our ideals.
- MLK Memorial
Located in downtown Washington, D.C., the memorial honors Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy and the struggle for freedom, equality, and justice.
- Mt. Vernon
Mount Vernon is an iconic American landmark - an enduring reminder of the life and legacy of the Father of Our Country. Once a vibrant plantation in the 18th century, the estate is now one of the nation’s most visited historic sites. Combining an authentically interpreted 18th-century home, lush gardens and grounds, intriguing museum galleries, immersive programs, and first-rate dining and shopping, Mount Vernon is an incomparable national treasure.
- Supreme Court of the United States
"EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW" - These words, written above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building, express the ultimate responsibility of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court is the highest tribunal in the Nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States. As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.
- The Kennedy Center
The Kennedy Center, located on the banks of the Potomac River near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., opened to the public in September 1971. But its roots date back to 1958, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed bipartisan legislation creating a National Cultural Center. To honor Eisenhower's vision for such a facility, one of the Kennedy Center's theaters is named for him.
- The White House
Our first president, George Washington, selected the site for the White House in 1791. Every president since John Adams has occupied the White House, and the history of this building extends far beyond the construction of its walls.
- U.S. Capitol Building
The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a symbol of the American people and their government, the meeting place of the nation's legislature. The Capitol also houses an important collection of American art, and it is an architectural achievement in its own right. It is a working office building as well as a tourist attraction visited by millions every year.
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Honoring the men and women who served in the controversial Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial chronologically lists the names of more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in service to their country.
- Washington Monument
The Washington Monument was built between 1848 and 1884 as a tribute to George Washington's military leadership from 1775-1783 during the American Revolution.
- Washington National Cathedral
Whether you’re a Cathedral regular or this is your first visit, we’re excited to welcome you to discover something new. It is our prayer that you feel welcome here and can see a piece of yourself in this house of prayer for all people.
- World War II Memorial
Through stone architecture and bronze sculptures, the World War II Memorial recognizes the ways Americans served, honors those who fell, and recognizes the victory they achieved to restore freedom and end tyranny around the globe.
- Anacostia Community Museum
Located in the Anacostia neighborhood, this museum examines, documents, and interprets the impact of historical and contemporary social issues on urban communities.
- Archives of American Art Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery
With over 16 million items in its continually growing collections, the Archives of American Art is the world’s largest and most widely used resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America.
- Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
The Smithsonian Institution has two museums of Asian art: the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The Sackler Gallery features both permanent and temporary exhibitions from ancient times to the present. The museum is home to an incomparable collection of art, including some of the most important ancient Chinese jades and bronzes in the world. In addition to the exhibitions on display, the galleries feature innovative programming for visitors of all ages, such as lectures, concerts, films, and podcasts that enhance and extend the visit.
- Arts and Industries Building
The Arts and Industries Building has a special role among Smithsonian buildings as the first United States National Museum opened in 1881. After being closed for nearly 12 years, the Arts and Industries Building reopened for special events fall of 2015 and has hosted several activities, including the 2016 Folklife Festival Marketplace and the Asian Pacific American Center’s “Crosslines Culture Lab.” Plans are being developed for the next chapter of this amazing building.
- Freer Gallery of Art
The Smithsonian Institution has two museums of Asian art: the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The Freer Gallery houses one of the premier collections of Asian art, with objects dating from Neolithic times to the early 20th century, as well as the world's most important collection of works by James McNeill Whistler.
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn features international modern and contemporary art in the celebrated Gordon Bunshaft designed cylindrical building, adjoining plaza, and sunken sculpture garden. The museum is a leading voice for contemporary art and culture and provides a national platform for the art and artists of our time.
- National Air and Space Museum
Launch into the history of flight by surrounding yourself with icons of air and space travel. The flagship building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, contains twenty-three galleries exhibiting hundreds of aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, rockets, and other flight-related artifacts. The museum has a planetarium and an IMAX theater for out-of-this-world escapes.
- National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the museum in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of historically significant air- and spacecraft, along with thousands of small artifacts, are on display in an open, hangar-like setting. Other features of the Center include the Donald D. Engen Observation Tower, the Airbus IMAX Theater and the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar, where visitors can watch museum specialists at work restoring artifacts.
- National Museum of African American History & Culture
From Harriet Tubman to Black Lives Matter, journey with us as we celebrate American history through the African American lens.
- National Museum of African Art
The National Museum of African Art is the only national museum in the United States dedicated to the collection, exhibition, conservation, and study of the arts of Africa. On exhibit are the finest examples of traditional and contemporary art from the entire continent of Africa.
- National Museum of American History
Devoted to the scientific, cultural, social, technological, and political development of the United States, the museum traces the American experience from colonial times to the present. The American History Museum’s collection contains more than three million historical objects—including the famed Star-Spangled Banner—and documents that explore the evolution of the American identity.
- National Museum of Natural History
The world's most popular natural history museum is dedicated to understanding the natural world and our place in it. Delve into the fascinating story of our planet, from its fiery beginnings through billions of years of transformation, and explore life on Earth through exhibitions and activities, collection objects and research that happens in the lab and in the field. The museum is larger than 18 football fields and is home to the largest natural history collection in the world.
- National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian cares for one of the world’s most expansive collections of Native objects, photographs, and media, covering the entire Western Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. The museum’s sweeping curvilinear architecture, its indigenous landscaping, and its exhibitions, all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities, combine to give visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America.
- National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian houses one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of its kind. The museum’s sweeping curvilinear architecture, its indigenous landscaping, and its exhibitions, all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities from across the hemisphere, combine to give visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America.
- National Portrait Gallery
With the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery introduces you to the people who have shaped the country—poets, presidents, actors, activists, visionaries, villains...and everyone in between. Its collection weaves together story and biography from precolonial times to the present to tell the American story.
- National Postal Museum
Located in the historic D.C. City Post Office next to the restored Union Station, the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum showcases the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world—including postal stationery, vehicles used to transport the mail, mailboxes, meters, cards and letters, and postal materials that predate the use of stamps. Visitors can walk along a Colonial post road, ride with the mail in a stagecoach, browse through a small town post office from the 1920s, receive free stamps to start a collection and more.
- National Zoo
Always free of charge and open 364 days a year, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo sits on 163 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. Founded in 1889, the Zoo is currently home to more than 1,500 animals across 300 different species. Giant pandas, including cub Bei Bei; Asian elephants; Sumatran tigers; Aldabra tortoises; Panamanian golden frogs; North Island brown kiwi; kori bustards; sea lions; orangutans; meet-a-small-mammal demonstrations and sloth bear feedings daily; Asian elephant training.
- Renwick Gallery
Branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum dedicated to exhibiting American contemporary craft, celebrating makers taking both innovative and time-honored approaches to their work. The Renwick Gallery is located steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington. This National Historic Landmark was designed by architect James Renwick Jr. in 1858 and was the first building in the United States built specifically to be an art museum.
- S. Dillon Ripley Center
Entered from a copper domed kiosk on Jefferson Drive between the "Castle" and the Freer Gallery of Art, the S. Dillon Ripley Center houses the Smithsonian Associates, the Discovery Theater, and the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service.
- Smithsonian American Art Museum
The nation’s first collection of American art offers an unparalleled record of the American experience, capturing the aspirations, character and imagination of the American people throughout three centuries. The museum is home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world, including works by such stylistically diverse luminaries as John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, and Georgia O’Keeffe, housed in one of the oldest public buildings constructed in early Washington.
- Smithsonian Gardens
The many gardens that surround the Smithsonian museums are a “museum without walls.” All have been designed to complement the museums they border and to enhance the overall museum experience of learning, appreciation, and enjoyment.
- Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)
Completed in 1855, the Castle is our signature building and home to the Smithsonian Visitor Center. As such, it makes a great starting point for your journey—here you can get a grasp of the scope and scale of the Smithsonian, see collections highlights from each of our museums, tour the Castle’s 19th-century architecture, see what’s going on today at all the museums, and consult with our in-house experts about what to see and do.
- Smithsonian Museums Home Page
The Smithsonian offers eleven museums and galleries on the National Mall and six other museums and the National Zoo in the greater National Capital Area.