District of Columbia destinations, parks and attractions
Are you going on a road trip to District of Columbia, looking for tips about the destinations so you and your party can enjoy it, be comfortable and not spend a fortune?
Here are some of the top destinations in District of Columbia and tips about visiting them
Top District of Columbia destinations
- The National Mall - This is the heart of the monuments and buildings to see. Click here for a page dedicated to this area.
- Jefferson Memorial - sits on the bank of the Potomac River Tidal Basin. It' has a dome-shaped roof.
- The Pentagon -
- Arlington National Cemetery -
- Other parks in the District, see below.
National parks and monuments in District of Columbia
- African American Civil War Memorial - Washington, DC. Over 200,000 African-American soldiers and sailors served in the U.S. Army and Navy during the Civil War. Their service helped to end the war and free over four million slaves. The African American Civil War Memorial honors their service and sacrifice.
- Anacostia National Park - Washington, DC. Welcome to Anacostia Park, your neighborhood national park in the heart of Washington, DC! Enjoy exercise along the river trail or relax by the water, Anacostia Park is a breath of fresh air and a space to unwind amid a bustling city.
- Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument - Washington, DC. Home to the National Woman's Party for more than 90 years, this was the epicenter of the struggle for women's rights. From this house in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court, Alice Paul and the NWP developed innovative strategies and tactics to advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment and equality for women. President Barack Obama designated the national monument on April 12, 2016.
- Capitol Hill Parks - Washington, DC. The Capitol Hill Parks include several park areas east of the U.S. Capitol. Included in this group are Folger, Lincoln, Stanton, and Marion Parks, the Eastern Market and Potomac Avenue Metro stations, and several smaller land parcels such as Seward Square, Twining Square, the Maryland Avenue Triangles, the Pennsylvania Avenue Medians, and 59 inner-city triangles and squares.
- Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail - Various States VA,MD,DE,DC,PA,NY. People first arrived in the Chesapeake Bay during the last ice age. As glaciers melted, diverse societies learned to thrive in a world of water. When Englishman Captain John Smith explored the Bay in 1608, he documented hundreds of American Indian communities. Today, sites on his map are archeological treasures and sacred sites for tribal citizens. Come join us on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay!
- Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site - Washington, DC. Before Dr. Carter G. Woodson, there was very little accurate written history about the lives and experiences of Americans of African descent. Today a National Historic Site, Dr. Woodson’s home served as the headquarters for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Dr. Woodson established Negro History Week here in 1926, which we celebrate today as Black History Month.
- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park - Potomac River, DC,MD,WV. Preserving America's early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber, and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. Today it endures as a pathway for discovering historical, natural, and recreational treasures.
- Chesapeake Bay - Chesapeake Bay Watershed, DC,DE,MD,NY,PA,VA,WV. NPS helps you learn about and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. Here, you can visit major league cities, colonial towns, American Indian landscapes, farms and fishing villages. You can learn to kayak, pick crabs, go fishing, tour a lighthouse, slurp oysters, and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake.
- Civil War Defenses of Washington - Washington, DC,MD,VA. On forested hills surrounding the nation's capital are the remnants of a complex system of Civil War fortifications. These strategic buttresses transformed the young capital into one of the world's most fortified cities. By 1865, 68 forts and 93 batteries armed with over 800 cannons encircled Washington, DC. Today, you can visit 17 of the original sites now managed by the National Park Service.
- Constitution Gardens - Washington, DC. Officially established in 1965, National Mall and Memorial Parks actually protects some of the older parkland in the National Park System. Areas within this premier park provide visitors with ample opportunities to commemorate presidential legacies; honor the courage and sacrifice of war veterans; and celebrate the United States commitment to freedom and equality.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial - DC. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial tells the story of one of America's greatest leaders of the 20th century.
- Ford's Theatre - Washington, DC. April 14, 1865. President Lincoln is assassinated at Ford’s Theatre. Discover how a nation handled grief and loss, how everyday people experienced a national tragedy, and how we have remembered a fallen leader. Today, in partnership with Ford’s Theatre Society, live dramatic productions highlight Lincoln’s love of the theatre, and the power of stories to connect us to ourselves and our history.
- Fort Dupont Park - Washington, DC. Welcome to Fort Dupont Park in Washington DC! At 376-acres, the wooded park was once home to earthen fort built to protect the capital during the Civil War. Today, visitors can see the fort's earthworks and escape to the great outdoors. Activities include picnics, nature walks, biking, gardening, environmental education, music, and ranger-led programs.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial - Washington, DC. These words by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ushered the United States into World War II and defined what it is to be an American. Stop by this secluded memorial and begin to understand the Roosevelt legacy.
- National Historic Site
- Frederick Douglass- Washington, DC. Frederick Douglass spent his life fighting for justice and equality. Born into slavery in 1818, he escaped as a young man and became a leading voice in the abolitionist movement. People everywhere still find inspiration today in his tireless struggle, brilliant words, and inclusive vision of humanity. Douglass's legacy is preserved here at Cedar Hill, where he lived his last 17 years.
- George Washington Memorial Parkway - DC,MD,VA. The George Washington Memorial Parkway was designed for recreational driving. It links sites that commemorate important episodes in American history and preserve habitat for local wildlife. The parkway and its associated trails provide a scenic place to play and rest in the busy Washington, DC metropolitan area.
- Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens - Washington, DC. Deep within Kenilworth lies an oasis, hidden behind trees and cattails. It's a place where beavers build their homes and turtles sleep on logs. Lotus blooms rise from the muck and lilies sit on the water. The wind dances with the dragonflies, rustling through the trees, carrying the song of the birds until it brushes across your face, fading to a whisper, saying "come join."
- Korean War Veterans Memorial - Washington, DC. Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.
- LBJ Memorial Grove on the Potomac - Washington, DC. From this distance the seat of national power appears pristine across the river, so President Johnson came here often when he needed to escape from the stresses of building a Great Society. After he died, his wife chose this place for his memorial. A landscape of serpentine paths, white pines, a granite monolith, and an open meadow honors his legacy of social justice and conservation legislation.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial - Washington, DC. Located in downtown Washington, DC, the memorial honors Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy and the struggle for freedom, equality, and justice. A prominent leader in the modern civil rights movement, Dr. King was a tireless advocate for racial equality, working class, and the oppressed around the world.
- National Historic Site
- Mary McLeod Bethune Council House- Washington, DC. Mary McLeod Bethune achieved her greatest recognition at the Washington, DC townhouse that is now this National Historic Site. The Council House was the first headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and was Bethune’s last home in Washington, DC. From here, Bethune and the NCNW spearheaded strategies and developed programs that advanced the interests of African American women.
- National Capital Parks-East - Washington, DC. Welcome to National Capital Parks-East. We invite you to journey to parks Beyond the Capital of Washington, D.C. National Capital Parks-East is 13 park sites, parkways and statuary covering more than 8,000 acres of historic, cultural, and recreational parklands from Capitol Hill to the nearby Maryland suburbs
- National Mall and Memorial Parks - Washington, DC. This is where the nation comes to remember and where history is made. As “America’s Front Yard,” the National Mall and Memorial Parks is home to many of our country’s most iconic memorials telling the story of people and events that shaped us as a nation. Each year, millions of people come to recreate, commemorate presidential legacies, honor our veterans, and make their voices heard.
- Pennsylvania Avenue - Washington, DC. A street unlike any other. It is known the world over as the heart of the Nation's Capital. America's history has marched, paraded, promenaded, and protested its way along the Avenue.
- Potomac Heritage National Scenicc Trail - the corridor between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Highlands, DC,MD,PA,VA. Over thousands of years, the Potomac River wound its way through layers of rock. Carving limestone cliffs, roaring falls, and serene winding bends, these waters created a landscape and shaped a nation. Today, the Potomac River corridor is rich in both history and recreation. Offering a chance to both explore your heritage and choose your adventure along the way. Start your journey below!
- President's Park (White House) - Washington, DC. Every president except George Washington has called the White House home and has run the executive branch of the United States government from within its walls. Recognizable around the world, the White House stands as a symbol of democracy. The White House and its park grounds also serve as an iconic place for civil discourse.
- Rock Creek City Park - Washington, DC. Rock Creek Park is truly a gem in our nation's capital. This 1,754 acre city park was officially authorized in 1890, making it the third national park to be designated by the federal government. It offers visitors the opportunity to escape the bustle of the city and find a peaceful refuge, recreation, fresh air, majestic trees, wild animals, and thousands of years of human history.
- National Historic Trail
- Star-Spangled Banner- DC,MD,VA. For three years the young United States was embroiled in the War of 1812 and the Chesapeake Bay region felt the brunt of it, choked by shipping blockades and ravaged by enemy raids. Through sites and landscapes in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland, the Trail tells the stories of the events, people, and places that led to the birth of the U.S. national anthem.
- Theodore Roosevelt Island - Washington, DC. In the 1930s, landscape architects transformed Mason’s Island from neglected, overgrown farmland into Theodore Roosevelt Island, a memorial to America’s 26th president. They conceived a “real forest” designed to mimic the natural forest that once covered the island. Today miles of trails through wooded uplands and swampy bottomlands honor the legacy of a great outdoorsman and conservationist.
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial - Washington, DC. Author of the Declaration of Independence, statesman and visionary for the founding of a nation.
- Vietnam Veterans MEMORIAL - Washington, DC. Honoring the men and women who served in the controversial Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial chronologically lists the names of 58,318 Americans who gave their lives in service to their country.
- Washington Monument - Washington, DC. Built to honor George Washington, the United States' first president, the 555-foot marble obelisk towers over Washington, D.C.
- Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail - MA,RI,CT,NY,NJ,PA,DE,MD,VA,DC. In 1781, General Rochambeau’s French Army joined forces with General Washington’s Continental Army to fight the British Army in Yorktown, Virginia. With the French Navy in support, the allied armies moved hundreds of miles to become the largest troop movement of the American Revolution. The effort and cooperation between the two sides led to a victory at Yorktown and secured American independence.
- World War I Memorial - Washington, DC. A grateful nation honors the service, valor, courage and sacrifice of the 4.7 million American sons and daughters who served in the Great War.
- World War II Memorial - Washington, DC. Through stone architecture and bronze sculptures, the World War II Memorial recognizes the ways Americans served, honors those who fell, and recognizes the victory they achieved to restore freedom and end tyranny around the globe.
District of Columbia Seasons, bugs, topography and climate
Hot and humid in the summer, cold with icy, slushy snows in the winter.
District of Columbia Camping tips
If you're not from District of Columbia, you may not realize that it would be INSANE to camp inside the District. Have you seen the news in your lifetime? DC has an extremely high crime rate. Forget camping outside in side DC. Camp outside the District and take the Metro or drive in. This is a dangerous city, and can even be dangerous right around the monuments. This isn't 1990. Beware rioters, protesters, crazies, druggies and just plain criminals. Don't worry about the bugs. Stay out of the city after dark.