Located at the west end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial is one of the principal landmarks of Washington DC, its stately form overlooking the Reflecting Pool, a gleaming stretch of water that lays sprawled before its base. Daniel Chester French's 19-foot (5.7-meter) statue of Lincoln, seated and deep in thought, watches over the nation he helped create, alongside the carved text of the Gettysburg Address, providing a glimpse into a weighty period of American history. The memorial itself draws inspiration from the Greek architectural style, its 36 Doric columns representative of the number of states in the union at the time of Lincoln's death. Surrounded by greenery, on the banks of the Potomac River, the Lincoln Memorial makes for a soul-stirring, picturesque sight; a fitting ode to one of the nation's most revered Presidents.
From El Greco's "The Visitation" to Byzantine and pre-Columbian artworks, jewelry and mosaics, Dumbarton Oaks is filled with elegant treasures. Built in 1801, the estate achieved its height of glory in the wealthy 1920s when it served as the high-society showpiece of Robert Bliss and his heiress wife, Mildred. The gardens occupy 10 acres above Georgetown and include terraced lawns, winding footpaths and elaborate fountains.
The Phillips Collection retains the 19th-century grandeur enjoyed by the Phillips family. The collection was opened to the public in 1918 while the family was still living in the home. The collection displays mostly 19th- and 20th-century American and European paintings. Significant works by Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Bonnard and Klee are on display. One can browse at leisure and perhaps, catch an art student working on a sketch. A cafe is also on site.
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.
Also known as "America's attic," for its spectacular collection of nearly 154 million artifacts, the Smithsonian Institution is one of the the world's largest museum complexes and research organizations. The administrative office of the esteemed institution is housed in a magnificent red sandstone 'castle', that also houses a visitor information area and research chambers. Within this building is also the final resting place of the Smithsonian Institution's founder, James Smithson, with his tomb being preserved in the crypt in the north entrance. Apart from the main building, the institution features as many as 17 museums and galleries within its sprawling complex that represent exhibits across the myriad fields of science, history, zoology, and art. Some of the most notable Smithsonian landmarks include the Natural History Museum and the African American Museum.
Spanning 538.55 acres (217.99 hectares) of land, Wheaton Regional Park is a natural oasis just north of Washington DC. The park, which was established in 1960, has three distinct sections that all offer different activities, from a train ride through the Shorefield area, to an informational nature walk at the Brookside Nature Center in the Glenallan area. The park also has many hiking trails that show off the park's natural beauty, as well as many picnic areas that are perfect for a sunny afternoon.
If you are looking for a cheap night filled with friends, tasty food, and a whole lot of karaoke, then look no further than The Meeting Place. This restaurant-bar has been operating for many years and continues to draw crowds with its wild Friday night karaoke sessions. Also popular is the weekday happy hour, where you can get drinks at a discounted price before dancing the night away.
Dupont Underground is housed in an abandoned tunnel in Washington. The walls of the tunnel are adorned with works of contemporary art and they organize regular exhibitions of photography and art. The venue is also available for small-time music performances and other events. The space is home to many local artists and they are working towards transforming the space into a hub for arts and creative activities.
This extravagant mansion is the legacy of a local immigrant success story. Christian Heurich, a German orphan, made his fortune in beer. His 31-room home, lavish and eccentric, is full of turrets, onyx fireplaces and the furnishings used by he and his family in the 20th Century. Victorian excess, carved wood and a lovely garden make the property a must-see for fans of design and architecture. There are walking tours of the Mansion and the Victorian Garden on the property.
Located across from the White House, Decatur House is the oldest house on Lafayette Square. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe in 1819. The first owner, Stephen Decatur, was killed in a duel. A number of distinguished Washington families resided in the house afterwards, each one adding Victorian renovations and furnishings to this fine Federal-style mansion.
Washington Improv Theater, or WIT, is one of the only places in Washington DC to see long-form improv. For those not familiar with the term, long-form improv is a series of improvised scenes and games that the players act out based on an initial suggestion from an audience member. What this really means is that you will be non-stop laughing from when the show begins until when it ends. WIT's shows generally last between 70 to 90 minutes - that is a lot of laughing.