Best Tourist Attractions In Washington DC Worth The Hype

November 23, 2013 7:00 AM

There’s never a shortage of things to do in DC. Every Washingtonian will tell you to check out a variety of attractions from monuments, museums, gardens and buildings. But are they worth the hype? These top five attractions are.

Brookside Gardens
1800 Glenallan Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20902
(301) 962-1400

If you’re looking for a place to relax in Montgomery County, anyone will tell you that Brookside Gardens is the place to go. The 50-acre garden features ponds and a meandering pathway that is popular with tourists and Washingtonians alike. The butterfly garden and nod to Japanese architecture is worth a gander. Be sure to bring your camera to snap the wildlife and garden beauty.

Lincoln Memorial
2 Lincoln Memorial Circle N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 426-6841

The Lincoln Memorial with its stunning Greek temple architecture was built in 1922 by Henry Bacon who designed many of Washington’s most prominent monuments. Take the path of the reflecting pool leading up to the stairs where you’ll find the statue of the 16th president himself, Abraham Lincoln. The landmark is most famous as the backdrop for Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech and was recently the stage for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Smithsonian Museum Of Natural History
10th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20560
(202) 633-1000

The National Museum of Natural History is one of the favorite museums of the Smithsonian collection. Starting with the Woolly Mammoth in the rotunda, the museum’s stunning architecture is only the façade of what lays deep inside. One of the most hidden and stunning treasures is the Hope Diamond. Check out all of the exhibits from the dawn of man to the oceans of today and everything in between. As with all the Smithsonians, the Museum of Natural History is free and open to the public.

Related: A Guide To The Smithsonian’s National Zoo

International Spy Museum
800 F St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 393-7798

In a city of free museums, you’ll still have Washingtonians tell you that the International Spy Museum is well worth the price. From the novelty of assuming a spy role to the historic knowledge of spies that you never would have known, the museum is a highly interactive experience that is fun for kids and adults alike. The exhibits take you from the intricacies of being a spy to the history of spies through the years and beyond.

Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 537-6200

The Washington National Cathedral has been one of the most stunning cathedrals in Washington, DC since it was built in 1907. For those who are visiting for the first time, check out the 30-minute guided tour offered on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and then Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. If you can’t make the guided tour, there are always self-guided tours. There is a $10 requested contribution to the Cathedral.

Related: Weirdest Museums In Washington DC

Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isn’t enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at

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