Words by Deborah Dickson-Smith
Washington DC is home to more than 20 museums, each one telling a different story of modern history and political machinations, or natural history and scientific innovation. There are also world-famous monuments to see, such as the Lincoln Memorial and the White House. And the best news for visitors is that all offer free entry.
The city is relatively small and easy to navigate, which makes cycling a great way to get around. Grab a bike from one of the bike rental outlets or bike-share stations around the city and head to the Lincoln Memorial. Looking out over the National Mall from the top of the steps, the view of the Reflecting Pool, WWII Memorial and the Washington Monument is spectacular.
As you cycle along the National Mall you’ll pass several museums along the way. Be sure to visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, a history of flight with exhibits including Charles Lindburgh’s Spirit of St Louis and the Apollo II Command Module Columbia.
Loop around the National Mall and down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House, but first stop at the International Spy Museum for an insight into the history of espionage, with over 5000 artefacts on display – everything from lipstick guns to shoe phones.
Have lunch at the famous Willard Hotel, where every U.S. President since Grant has dined, and where important political discussions have been held. The Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved in one of the restaurant’s booths, and Martin Luther King Jnr’s ‘I have a dream’ speech was written in another.
There are many other museums worth visiting in DC, including the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, so allow for a few days exploration.
If you would like to visit the USA, and Washington DC contact a Travellers Choice agent to book.