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Washington is full of historical, government and national attractions including museums, monuments and galleries. Beautiful natural parks and attractions are also nearby, as well as a thriving theatre and live music scene. Washington’s international community is best reflected in its highly distinguished dining scene. Washington is an educational and inspirational destination for couples and families alike, with many tours and trips available to incorporate recreation, exercise and the outdoors into the discovery of the city’s main sights.
One Perfect Day Upper East Side New York
There are perfect days and not-so-perfect days when traveling. Kerry Widdup went in search of classic New York dining and drinks venues for a perfect Upper East Side day.
Great Falls Park
To escape the main drag and crowds of the city, take a trip to Great Falls Park just over the border into Virginia. On the base of the Potomac River, it is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and a great spot to hike, picnic, kayak, rock climb or simply enjoy the serenity. Being a National Park, you can get maps of suitable trails at the information centre. The waterfalls are both spectacular and relaxing. It’s hard to believe you’re so close to the city.
Natural History Museum
Located on the National Mall, the Natural History Museum is rated by many as one of the most exciting Washington attractions. The green-domed building is a Washington landmark, first opening in 1910. With no entry charge, this museum is a brilliant family outing that will teach you about dinosaurs, gems and minerals, sea-life and the waters of the world, Ancient Egypt and many more. The live butterfly pavilion is definitely a hit for many tourists. There is an IMAX theatre and Atrium Café to break up your day of exploration and learning.
Also located on the National Mall, to the west, you will find the famous Washington Monument. The obelisk-like monument is the world’s tallest stone structure and was built to commemorate George Washington who led America in the American War of Independence. At 555 feet tall, the structure is visible from much of Washington and while you can view for free, tickets are required to tour the inside.
A trip to Washington isn’t complete without catching a glimpse of the iconic White House, where each American president since John Adams in 1801 has lived. Only some floors are available to tour, and tours can be booked out in advance. There are plenty of alternatives though to stepping inside the building. Take part in one of the White House events on the grounds, or simply view from afar. Even being in the vicinity of this building is enough to make you feel a part of history come alive.