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Washington, D.C.

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Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

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Washington Monument

Washington Monument

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Alexander Calder Sculpture

Alexander Calder Sculpture

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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

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Forks Are So Overrated
Forks Are So Overrated

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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Image Credit

Eranyardeni / iStockimage

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Save a Few Pennies
Save a Few Pennies

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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Image Credit

Jason Edwards / Getty Images

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Top 5 Washington, D.C., Monuments

Celebrate our nation's heritage at these historical landmarks and memorials.

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Age Fotostock / Getty Images

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Visit the National Museum of American History
Visit the National Museum of American History

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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G. Jackson / Arcaid / Corbis

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10 Budget-Friendly Trips

Phoenix, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., are just a few of our favorite cities that won’t break the bank.

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Take Some Snaps at the National Arboretum
Take Some Snaps at the National Arboretum

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.

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Image Credit

Joseph Sohm / Visions of America / Corbis

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Washington, D.C. Itineraries

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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National Geographic Image Collection/Alamy

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Catch a Show and a History Lesson at Ford’s Theatre
Catch a Show and a History Lesson at Ford’s Theatre

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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Image Credit

Bettmann / Corbis

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