One of the most visited attractions, the Capitol Visitor Center is the starting point for tours of the Capitol and where you’ll discover a plethora of historical treasures, including a table used by Abraham Lincoln during his 1865 inaugural address. Crowds in spring and summer can number in the thousands, so plan for at least three hours here. The five-football-fields-size underground complex is a destination in itself, with the model of the statue of Freedom, a 530-seat dining room that serves the famous Senate bean soup, and exhibits on the Capitol. Tours of the Capitol run Monday through Saturday from 8:50 to 3:20. Allow extra time to go through security.

To visit the Capitol, you'll need to either reserve tickets online at or contact your representative or senator.