About Washington, D.C.
Washington is a monumental city. In the middle of traffic circles, on tiny slivers of park, and at street corners and intersections, you’ll find statues, plaques, and simple blocks of marble honoring the generals, artists, and statesmen who helped shape the nation. Of these tributes, the greatest and grandest are clustered west of the Mall on ground reclaimed from the marshy flats of the Potomac—which also happens to be the location of Washington's most striking display of cherry trees.These memorials now look like part of the landscape, but their beginnings were often controversial. From the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, they sparked sometimes-fierce debate over how and why America should enshrine its history. Now, they are icons of unquestionable significance.Visit the memorials on the Mall and Tidal Basin at night for fewer crowds and cooler air. Although you won't get the views, the lighting is particularly beautiful on the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. Inside the Lincoln, lights and shadows play across his face, making him appear even more thoughtful.Across the Potomac, Arlington National Cemetery has a power all its own. Though it pays tribute to great Americans, including John F. Kennedy and his brothers, what's most striking about the cemetery is its "sea of stones"—the thousands upon thousands of graves holding men and women who served in the U.S. military.
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Things You Can’t Miss
Head to U Street for delicious Ethiopian food, which is eaten with your hands by scooping up savory stews with a piece of bread. You’ll love it!
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To save money on a room and avoid a high city tax, stay in Chevy Chase, Md., or Arlington, Va. They’re both on the Metro for a quick trip into D.C.
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The country’s most famous museums, memorials, and monuments are all on show at the National Mall. It goes without saying, but start your sightseeing here.
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Celebrate our nation's heritage at these historical landmarks and memorials.
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When it comes to American history, there is a lot to cover, but this museum doesn’t cut corners. See some of the 3 million artifacts in their collection.
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The 446 acres of this arboretum are enough to keep any budding photographer occupied. Visit in spring to see over 70 varieties of Cherry Trees in bloom.
Joseph Sohm / Visions of America / Corbis
Get insider travel tips to make the most out of your Washington, D.C. vacation from AARP's Washington, D.C. travel guide.
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As you may know, this theater was where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. The still-working theater now serves as a fascinating monument.
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Shared Trips to this Destination
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