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The Kennedy Center is a must-see for any visitor. The center consists of Concert Hall, Eisenhower Theater, Family Theater, KC Jazz Club, Opera House, Terrace Theater and the Theater Lab, which show productions that include plays, operas, ballets, concerts and films. Among the center's highlights include the Shakespeare Festival produced by the Shakespeare Theatre. Free tours introduce visitors to the Hall of States, Hall of Nations, the main theaters and gifts from many countries honoring the 35th president.
Established on May 29, 2004, the World War II Memorial is the first national memorial to honor the American troops who fought in the war. The design by architect Friedrich St. Florian marks the Pacific and European Theaters of World War II with magnificent arches and remembers the Americans who died with 4,048 stars along the Freedom Wall. It is located on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
An integral part of the West Potomac Park, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is an impressive memorial honoring the life and glory of the legendary civil rights activist. The memorial, which is an extension to his valiant, dignified and equality-seeking identity, is based on the very foundations of justice, hope, and democracy. Laden with motley inscriptions and quotations from his speeches, including the iconic 'I Have a Dream', the memorial site is also home to a 30 foot (9 meters) statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., a pristine white sculpture signifying pride, equality, and an indelible political legacy. Fashioned from white granite, the structure is awash in Social Realist style and has been the subject for artists and critics alike. The crowning glory of Washington D.C., this iconic memorial has ignited a strong sense of political, social and historic integrity among the global audience.
This Washington landmark has been serving up hot dogs with chili, fries, hamburgers and shakes since 1958. Even the president has been known to grab some chili laden goodness at Ben's Chili Bowl. A wide range of hot dogs is served here, from the traditional dog to half-smokes and turkey dogs smothered in onions, cheese and chili. Fries and onion rings, cream pies and shakes are also offered, and breakfast is served six days a week.
Best known for its vast collection of azaleas, (a popular porch-flower), this 446-acre (180-hectare) garden park has much else to offer. Fountains, pools and open space separate a series of focused gardens at the United States National Arboretum. The National Bonsai Collection, a gift from Japan, is a fascinating exhibit of tiny trees. Other notable sections are the aquatic garden (filled with lotuses of many varieties) and the National Herb Garden.
A frequent site of nationally significant memorial services, the National Cathedral is open to worshipers of all denominations. Under construction for most of the 20th Century and completed and consecrated in 1990, this Gothic cathedral is Washington D.C.'s fourth-tallest structure. Flying buttresses, gargoyles, crypts, a 98-foot (30-meter) vaulted ceiling and intimate chapels contribute to this architectural masterpiece. The grounds invite exploration with curving walkways, well-kept hedges and spacious lawns.
The Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of the soldiers who gave their lives in service to the country. Two of America's former presidents, John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft are buried here. The crew of the Challenger space shuttle, civil rights leader Medgar Evers and film star Audie Murphy are among the many honored here. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, containing remains of unidentified soldiers from World Wars I, II, and the Korean War, are protected by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment or the Old Guard 24 hours a day. The changing of the guard ceremony is a moving tribute to them.
Set among the fashionable Foxhall Road estates in upper northwest Washington, the former residence of Carmen and David Kreeger holds a marvelous collection of 19th and 20th-century art. Artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Kandinsky and Rodin are represented, among many other artists. A fine collection of African art is also housed here. The Kreeger Museum's grounds also feature a sculpture garden. However, the museum requires some advance planning to visit since reservations are required to join the docent-led tours, but the effort is well worth it.
An iconic theater, Ford's Theatre is recognized as the place where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14th, 1865. A century later on January 1968, the theater was reopened again for a performance after being under the management of numerous government organizations including the United States Department of War and National Park Service. Also found within the Ford's Theatre is a Lincoln Museum that displays artifacts from the assassination, including the gun Lincoln was shot with. Mementos from Lincoln's life are also on display.
A landmark in the city, the Eastern Market is a bustling marketplace where one can find everything from hats and scarves to decorations, photographs, poultry, produce, fruits and vegetables. A hub of activity, it is centered around a historical building that used to be the site of the old market. Today, the market has overflowed onto the roadside as well, with vendors displaying their goods to daily shoppers. On Saturdays, there are often events and cultural performances here along with a flourishing flea market.
With a diverse range of retailers and suppliers providing a wide array of artisan food products, Union Market is every foodies heaven. Everything from gourmet coffee, specialty ice-cream, gelato, artisanal bread, baked goods, florists, delis, food stalls and much more are available here. A great place to pick up local products and souvenirs, Union Market is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. While wandering around the huge warehouse, you may stumble across local artists displaying their work. While it is accessible via Metro, driving here is a better option, especially in the evenings.