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Washington, DC Culture & history

Our most recommended Washington, DC Culture & history

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

1. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

See the most popular monuments of the U. S. capital illuminated at night on a guided trolley tour. The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and makes three stops for you to get off the trolley and explore the memorials on your own and take photos. Enjoy entertaining commentary from a professional tour guide who will entertain you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. The three stops on the tour are: 1. The Martin Luther King Memorial & the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial 2. The Iwo Jima Memorial (aka US Marine Corps War Memorial) 3. The Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Besides stops at the major memorials, you will also get spectacular views of the Washington Memorial the White House, the National Mall, the Capitol Buildings, the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian Museums and Castle, the FBI & Dept of Justice Buildings, and the World War II Memorial.

Washington, DC: ARTECHOUSE Immersive Art Experience Ticket

2. Washington, DC: ARTECHOUSE Immersive Art Experience Ticket

Explore ARTECHOUSE DC in Washington, DC with an entry ticket and discover multi-sensory digital art. Immerse yourself in the enchanting exhibits with large-scale installations and choose to indulge with a cocktail at the XR Bar. Make your way to ARTECHOUSE DC, located just off the National Mall and nearby Smithsonian museums. Enter the nation's first multi-sensory innovative art destination with exhibitions that intersect art, science, and technology. Admire large-scale installations and witness creative innovation without limits in unique art spaces designed for curiosity seekers of all ages. Take a break and talk about the art on display at the ARTECHOUSE Extended Reality Bar inside the exhibit space. Choose from a list of exclusive cocktails inspired by the art and brought to life by extended reality. Download the ARTECHOUSE XR App to enrich your experience while exploring the digital playgrounds. Staff is on-hand to explain the uses of the app during your visit. ASE: Intangible Forms by Shohei Fujimoto (January 14 – March 5, 2023): Powered by choreographed kinetic lasers, strobes, haze, and moving lights, this audio-visual exhibition features a collection of more than nine real-time, light-based installations that explore the universal connection between all living beings. Discover how the artist offers the opportunity to pause and exist outside of normal space and time. The exhibit is searching for and reveals the elaborate and invisible systems that underlie our reality.

From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

3. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Learn about American history on a tour of Washington DC and Philadelphia, both of which played important roles in the development of democracy in the USA. Visit the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall, Independence Hall, and more on a guided day trip with roundtrip transfers from NYC. Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

New York City: Full-Day Washington DC City Highlights Tour

4. New York City: Full-Day Washington DC City Highlights Tour

Discover the political center of the world on a full-day trip to the Capital City of Washington DC. See the iconic buildings of Capitol Hill and visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Depart from central New York and head south to Washington in comfortable air-conditioned buses or minivans. Pass through New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland before arriving in the nation's capital. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery and stand at the Kennedy family gravesite. Continue to Capitol Hill, and see the Capitol, Senate, and White House. Learn about the buildings and their functions in the US government. Arrive at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, embark on a panoramic city tour before your departure back to New York.

Washington, DC: Big Bus Panoramic Night Tour

5. Washington, DC: Big Bus Panoramic Night Tour

Experience the beauty of DC by night from the unique vantage point of an open-top double-decker tour. Discover the grandeur and significance of the nation's monuments and memorials dramatically illuminated by the city lights. As the official National Park Services tour partner, Big Bus gets you closest to the best DC has to offer: •National Mall •The White House •Lincoln Memorial •Martin Luther King Memorial •Jefferson Memorial •The Capitol Building •WWII Memorial Sit back, relax, and take photos as you learn the history and hidden stories of the Nation's Capital from the entertaining and expert digital commentary (earbuds provided).

Washington DC: Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

6. Washington DC: Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

Explore the hottest sights in Washington DC in an eco-friendly way on this guided bike tour through the National Mall and along the Potomac Tidal Basin. Learn about the war and presidential memorials that you stop to see up close along the route.  Meet your guide at the Wharf DC and get set up with your high-quality bike and helmet. Set off on your family-friendly route to the Washington Monument, Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Engage with history as your guide tells you the store behind sights like the Jefferson Memorial. Get the chance to walk around and explore the each of the memorials. Return to the Wharf DC at the end of your biking experience.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Guided Tour

7. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Guided Tour

Let your guide help you navigate through the over 145 million specimens at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on this tour. Discover an extensive collection of human artifacts, dinosaur bones, preserved plants, and animals. Meet your tour guide outside of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and begin your tour. Go directly to the collection highlights without getting lost. Save time and energy by visiting with a guide that knows the museum well. Listen to additional commentary on exhibits from your guide. See the world's most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts. View dinosaur remains and tools used by early humans. Admire unusual gemstones and ancient mummies.

Washington, DC: African American History Tour

8. Washington, DC: African American History Tour

Travel back in time to some of the most iconic moments from the civil rights movement on an African American history tour of Washington DC. You will pass by the famous Emancipation Statue, the National Council of Negro Women, and more while learning about the history of the city from your guide.  Get picked up at the U.S. Navy Memorial and head to monuments such as the Emancipation Statue, Howard Theatre, and vibrant local black communities. Stand where Martin Luther King stood when he gave his famous "I have a dream" address and feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. After taking a glimpse into the past at the Home of Frederick Douglas, proceed to Howard University - one of the oldest black universities in the United States. On the way to Howard University, you will drive by Lincoln Park to visit the statue of educator, activist, and founder of the National Council of Negro Women - Mary McLeod Bethune. Following your visit to the beautiful Howard University campus, drive through Le Droit Park, Shaw Neighborhood, and Historic “U” Street. Home to the largest urban African American community in the United States in the early 1900s, it created its own “Black Broadway” - a home to entertainment legends from the past and present.  Next, see the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum to discover how the course of the Civil War was impacted by these disenfranchised soldiers. You will then take a journey into downtown DC to the sites of the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Once downtown, enter the Logan Circle historic district to see the historic Metropolitan AME Church and the Mary McLeod Bethune Council house. Finish the tour at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Enter inside and explore the absorbing artifacts and exhibits at your leisure.

Washington DC: Museum of the Bible General Admission

9. Washington DC: Museum of the Bible General Admission

Steps from the National Mall, the Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, and educational institution with the purpose to invite all people to engage with the Bible. Showcasing rare and fascinating artifacts spanning 3,500 years of history, the museum offers visitors an immersive and personalized experience with the Bible, and its ongoing impact on the world. Admission includes access to 7 floors of informative and interactive displays and exhibits including a 12-minute film immersing viewers in the remarkable story of how the followers of Jesus grew into a thriving community and a 30-minute Hebrew Bible experience, where viewers encounter significant narratives including the stories of Noah's ark, the burning bush, and the Passover. This ticket allows you to explore the museum without the crowds with exclusive early access to the Museum from 9 AM, 1 hour before the Museum is open to the General Public at 10 AM (except on Sundays, when there is no Early Access). You also have the option to upgrade your ticket to include the 6-minute “Washington Revelations” Flight Simulator video. Take a dazzling, multi-sensory tour, "flying" past biblical references in and around Washington, D.C., from the Lincoln Memorial to the Library of Congress. Guests must be at least 42” in height to purchase this option.

Washington DC Day Trip by Bus from New York City

10. Washington DC Day Trip by Bus from New York City

Discover the monuments of Washington DC on a day trip from New York City. Learn about the government and dive into key historic moments like the American Revolution and Civil War. See sights like Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Arlington Cemetery.  Depart New York City and travel in a spacious and air-conditioned bus to Washington DC. Relax on the scenic drive and head to Capital Hill once your get to DC to find out where congress meets.  Stop at the White House to see the official home of the President of the United States, including the West Wing where the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, Situation Room, and Roosevelt Room are located.  Admire the memorials to Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and Lincoln who ended slavery in 1860. Visit the Iwo Jima and Vietnam Veterans Memorials to understand how these events changed the country. Visit Arlington Cemetery where over 200,000 soldiers since the Civil War and the Kennedys were buried. Finally, spend some time at the magnificent Union Station.

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What people are saying about Washington, DC

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,402 reviews

This was an excellent overview of what the National Mall has to offer in terms of the monuments and attractions. The information shared was insightful and can inform what you choose to explore later in more detail.

Our Guide Nur was amazing! We were here for a quick weekend trying to pack in quit a bit, this tour allowed us to get through the Natural History Museum in just a few hours.

Anna Marie was knowledgeable and interesting. The sites were absolutely beautiful. I would recommend to anyone wanting to get a great orientation of the area.

Richard was so knowledgeable and entertaining. We hit all the major exhibits. The tour was the right amount of time,

Be prepared to walk. It was great to see things we have missed in DC in the past.