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Washington

America’s capital, Washington, is a hub of activity - from the home of the U.S. president to the museums, memorials and landmarks which give it its world-class fame. Any holiday to Washington will be filled with things to do. As the capital of the country and the home place of the White House, a trip here will need to include a nod to the country’s many presidents. The presidential memorials include the iconic Lincoln Memorial, the peaceful water features of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the magnificent Jefferson Memorial. While not quite a president, Martin Luther King, Jr’s memorial is a must see for the wise words and uplifting atmosphere.

Next you’ve got the museums of D.C. The large majority of museums in Washington are completely free to enter, meaning you can easily get away with touring several over the course of a couple of days. The famous Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum features airplanes, spacecraft and telescopes from WWI right up till the present day, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is home to fascinating exhibits including mummies, fossils, butterflies and even an expansive IMAX theatre. Next you’ve got the National Gallery of Art where you can see world-class exhibits from famous artists like Da Vinci, Sargent, Monet and Rafael.

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For more aesthetics, the breath-taking Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is a mammoth and ornate manmade wonder complete with shines, statues, and mosaics, not forgetting the peaceful underground chapel. Don’t miss a tour of the Library of Congress, another free activity. This incredible feat of architecture features intricately carved walls as well as many historical and cultural exhibits to browse.

When all the sightseeing has got too much, head to one of Washington’s quieter spots like the canals of Georgetown; perfect for an evening stroll or a bite to eat in one of the charming restaurants. Or sit under the cherry blossoms of the Tidal Basin and take in the epic views of the Washington Monument. To top it all off, take a picnic to the gorgeous Rock Creek Park, the city’s favourite natural space. A holiday to Washington is filled with cultural heritage and fascinating history, plus some tranquillity and beauty to boot.

Top 5 things to do in Washington

10 facts about Washington

1.

Rock Creek Park covers an epic 1,800 acres and was built in 1890 by the United States Congress who wanted a tranquil haven to escape the city buzz.

2.

Washington is home to around 200 farmers’ markets which sell everything from fresh fruit to gourmet meats and cheeses and even handmade crafts.

3.

The elaborate National Cathedral is covered with ornate and grotesque gargoyles, but look closely and you may recognise one, it’s none other than Darth Vader.

4.

The Library of Congress is the biggest library in the world with around 162 million pieces, 535 miles of bookshelves and an incredible 12,000 more added daily.

5.

Even the president needs to “go” now and then, and at The White House he has a grand total of 35 bathrooms to choose from!

6.

The Washington Monument was the tallest structure in the world when it was built in 1884. Just five years later, the Eiffel Tower took the title.

7.

The famous cherry trees of Washington D.C. were imported from Japan in the early 1900s as a “gift of friendship” from country to country.

8.

Washington D.C. drinks more wine than any other state in the whole of North America – you won’t be hard pushed to find a good nightcap then!

9.

The famous Lunar Rover used in the moon landing was created in Washington D.C. by Boeing.

10.

Despite being named after him, George Washington never actually lived in Washington D.C. The White House wasn’t finished until a year after he died.

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