Practical Politics – 7 Things You Have to Do in Washington, DC

So, you’ve made plans to visit Washington DC; the most powerful capital-city in the world. As a tourist, you’d be interested in seeing and doing things that would make your trip memorable. Washington DC has a lot to do and see, and the best part is that most of the hot spots are centrally located and have no entry fee.

You can never get bored in the city, as there are a lot of things of interest to keep you occupied. Take a tour of famous monuments that are steeped in history, go for leisurely walks in parks dotting the city, enjoy nightlife at the finest clubs and shop.

Here is a list of top tourist attractions that must be on your itinerary when you are in Washington DC –

Smithsonian Institute Building

Visit the famed Smithsonian – the world’s largest museum. The complex houses an incredible 19 museums and 9 research centers. It’s a treasure trove of valuable objects; from items with historic significance to pieces of art. Catching an IMAX movie at the (NHM) National History Museum or the (NASM) National Air and Space Museum are highly recommended.

Houses Of Government

A visit to Washington DC would be incomplete without a visit to the White House, the US Supreme Court and the US Capitol Building. These three are the highest seats of government machinery in the United States. While these are magnificent buildings that’ll make lovely backdrops for your photographs it is a good idea to plan ahead so you can take a scheduled tour of the buildings.

National Monuments and Memorials

The city boasts of some stunning monuments like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument which can be seen via a guided bus tour. However, the monuments and memorials dotting the city must also be viewed at night, when they are illuminated.

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Popularly known as the C&O Canal this historic park is the’ place to visit if you are a nature lover. C&O offers some spectacular scenery that you can capture on camera. It’s a great place for enjoy kayaking, biking or just walking.


The historic Georgetown waterfront is the quintessential touristy spot, always bustling with activity. It’s a great place to shop and for picking up souvenirs. The streets here are lined with cafés and restaurants that present cuisine from different parts of the world.

Mount Vernon

You’ll need to keep a day free to explore the sites at Mount Vernon. This is one historic trip you don’t want to miss. The highlight here would have to be a guided tour of George Washington’s estate. The 500 acre property has a 14 room mansion that was recently renovated and refurbished, and opened to visitors. The mansion has on display original artifacts dating back to the 1740s. The outhouse on the estate includes buildings that once served as slave houses, stables, the coach house, the smokehouse and the kitchen.

Great Falls Park

Located just 14 miles from Washington DC is the 800 acre Great Falls Park, a nice place for a picnic with family and friends. The adventurous can enjoy activities like rock climbing, kayaking and horseback riding. The cycling and hiking trail along the Potomac River offers some amazing views.

So enjoy your trip to Washington DC as you explore its history and soak in its natural beauty.