Washington, DC is one of the most-visited cities in the world! Here you’ll find spectacular museums, monuments, cathedrals, and gardens. A charter bus is ideal for transporting your group. Below are the top 10 attractions in our beautiful national capital.
White House – This is the hub of US politics and the president’s official residence. On a tour, you’ll see the East Wing, including the State Dining Room, China Room, and Red, Blue, and Green Rooms. Security guards stationed in each room share interesting insights. To be eligible for a tour, you must book a reservation at least 21 days in advance with your senator or House representative. Tours are available Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30am-11:30am, and Friday-Saturday, 7:30am-1:30pm. Details are available here.
Washington Monument – From the top of this lofty tower, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of DC. A glass elevator will take you to the observation deck and museum. Along the way, you’ll see the interior walls, lined with commemorative stones in tribute to George Washington. The 193 blocks have been donated by individuals, civic organizations, cities, states, and countries. To enter the monument, you need a ticket. You can either obtain free same-day passes at the ticket window or pay $1.50 for reservations. Since the supply of tickets is limited, your best option is to reserve them, which you can do online here. The monument is open daily from 9am-5pm. Details are shown here.
Lincoln Memorial – West of the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial honors the 16th US president. Resembling a Greek temple, its 36 columns represent each state in the Union at the time of the President’s assassination. Inside, you’ll see an immense seated sculpture of President Lincoln and two of his stirring speeches inscribed on the walls. Rangers offer free talks daily from 10am-10pm. East of the memorial is the Reflecting Pool, bordered by shade trees and walking paths. Mirrored in its water, depending on where you stand, you can see images of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, lush trees, and expansive sky. See further information here.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception – This shrine contains 70 chapels honoring the mother of Jesus. Inside, you’ll see vivid sacred images and exquisite mosaics. On free guided tours, docents narrate the history and artwork. Tours last one hour, and reservations are not required. Group tours can be scheduled in advance for a party of 15 or more. If you wish, the itinerary can include mass and meals at the Basilica’s cafeteria. You can schedule a group tour here. The Basilica is open daily from 7am-6pm.
Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens – This is the former residence of Marjorie Post, founder of General Foods. Within the 36-room museum, you’ll be awed by colorful orchids, French furnishings, and Russian imperial art. Among the extensive collections are FabergÇ eggs, paintings, tapestries, jewelry, and glassware. Take the brick path through the Rose Garden, exuding sweet perfume. The formal gardens feature elegant statuary, topiary, fountains, and pools. You’ll be enveloped by serenity in the Japanese Garden. The estate is open Tuesday-Saturday, from 10am-5pm, and closed during January. Friendly docents lead guided tours of the mansion and gardens. If your group consists of 10 or more people, you can make a reservation here. Additional information is provided here.
Capitol – See where our legislators convene to craft our nation’s laws! The complex includes over 500 rooms, the Library of Congress, and six Congressional office buildings. The museum is a repository of American history and art. Tours begin with a film in the Capitol Visitor Center and progress through the Old Senate Chamber, National Statuary Hall, and Rotunda. Be sure to ask your tour guide to demonstrate the whispering gallery! Upon returning to the Visitor Center, explore the interactive exhibits. A visit to the Capitol requires advance booking, which you can reserve here. When Congress is in session, the House and Senate galleries are open to the public. Passes are needed to observe a session, obtainable by calling your Congress member at (202) 224-3121. The Visitor Center is open Monday-Saturday, from 8:30am-4:30pm. See further information here.
Library of Congress – This complex is one of the most remarkable in DC! Resembling a Renaissance palace, the Library is the largest in the world. Its vast collection includes recordings, manuscripts, maps, books, and photos. The Library supplies Congress with nonpartisan information on a wide variety of subjects. Of the three buildings, the Thomas Jefferson Building is open to the public. You can approach it through an underground walkway connecting with the Capitol Visitor Center. The one-hour guided tour includes fascinating stories. Then you can browse the impressive exhibits. The Great Hall is glorious! You’ll be enthralled by its marble columns, mosaics, stained glass, and staircases. The Library is open Monday-Saturday, from 8:30am-4:30pm. Details are provided here.
National Museum of the American Indian – A division of the Smithsonian Institution, this museum displays Native American artifacts gathered from throughout the Western Hemisphere. Tribes and Indian communities have contributed to its architecture, exhibits, and landscaping. The museum’s mission is to dispel misconceptions regarding our nation’s first inhabitants. Exhibits vary throughout the year. The museum is open daily from 10am-5:30pm. See further details here.
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – This entertainment venue delights people of all ages. Music spans a range of genres, including popular, orchestral, chamber, jazz, and folk. Rounding out the monthly calendar are multimedia, children’s, and dance performances. Free shows occur daily at 6pm. The Center is a tribute to President Kennedy, a lifelong supporter of the arts. Detailed information is available here.
US Botanic Garden – Adjacent to the Capitol, this garden displays plants from around the world. Its mission is to teach the importance of plants for our health and the Earth’s ecosystems. The grounds include a breathtaking conservatory, park, and national garden. Greenhouse sections are dedicated to endangered species, orchids, jungle, and medicinal plants. Kids will be thrilled by the Children’s Garden. The centerpiece of the park is Bartholdi Fountain, upheld by Greek gods and goddesses. Twelve electric lamps cast a golden glow at night. The national garden has both formal and informal plantings, including sections for roses, butterflies, and wildlife. The US Botanic Garden is open daily from 10am-5pm. Special events are presented year-round. See additional information here.
It would take several months to explore DC’s wealth of historic treasures. So when planning your trip, try not to over-schedule. Give us your wish list of destinations, and we’ll arrange the transportation. Welcome to our nation’s capital and the best charter bus service in town!