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Make this your day on Capitol Hill, where you'll have the option of visiting the Capitol, the U.S. Botanic Gardens, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Call your senators or congressional representative (or your country’s embassy, if you are a visitor from outside the U.S.) for passes to see Congress in session. You can also venture into one of the congressional office buildings adjacent to the Capitol, where congressional hearings are almost always open to the public. (Visit www.house.gov and www.senate.gov for schedules.) Likewise, check the Supreme Court's website (www.supremecourtus.gov) for dates of oral arguments. If you arrive early enough, you might gain admission for either a short (three-minute) visit or the full morning session.