USA: Washington DC must-sees

Big-name museums, monuments and markets are on offer in the capital of the United States.

The US Capitol Building in Washington DC. Photo / Thinkstock
The US Capitol Building in Washington DC. Photo / Thinkstock

Stroll along the tree-lined National Mall to view some of the United States' best museums, famous memorials and monuments, including the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The open space between Independence and Constitution Avenues extends from the Washington Monument just south of the White House to the US Capitol Building and is also known as the place to protest. The 1963 March on Washington took place there, when Dr Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Reflecting Pool.

If you want to see inside the White House, you will have to settle for a virtual tour, as the New Zealand Embassy in Washington can no longer arrange tours for Kiwis.

Click here for an interactive tour.

Other highlights are the museums. The main tenant on the Mall is the Smithsonian Institute (actually 19 museums). Other favourites are the National Air and Space Museum, with its collection of US spacecraft and the National Museum of Natural History, famed for its dinosaur fossils. But there are many more, such as the Newseum, where you can watch footage of events including the fall of the Berlin Wall and September 11.

U Street is a historic district with interesting shops, restaurants, nightclubs and art galleries.

Also popular is Eastern Market, Washington DC's premier food and arts market in the heart of the Capitol Hill neighbourhood.

Walk, bike or take a boat tour along the Potomac River for fresh air. Stroll, pedal or glide past the Watergate, Lincoln Memorial, Kennedy Centre, and stop for a picnic at Memorial Park.

Further information: See DiscoverAmerica.com for more on visiting Washington DC.

- NZ Herald

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