Points of Interest

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Washington DC Has It All!

Points of Interest:

Did you know that many of DC’s museums, memorials and other attractions are FREE? DC is proud to be a wallet-friendly destination with more than 100 free (and nearly free) attractions all over the city.

Top 10 FREE Things

1.    National Mall – Each year, millions of people visit the National Mall and Memorial parks to recreate history, to commemorate presidential legacies, to honor our nation’s veterans, to make their voices heard, and to celebrate our nation’s commitment to freedom and equality.

2.    Smithsonian National Zoo – Most definitely the wildest Smithsonian, the National Zoo is home to approximately 2,000 animals, including the famous giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. Highlights also include an African Savanna, Asia Trail and Kids’ Farm.

3.    Rock Creek Park – This park has many options such as hiking trails, bicycling, picknicking, and playgrounds great for those interested in outdoors adventures.

4.    Lincoln Memorial – Behind the memorial to the West lies Arlington National Cemetery and the stately Lee-Custis Mansion; to the East you see the Washington Monument and Capitol Hill. The massive sculpture of Lincoln faces East toward a long reflecting pool.

5.    Cedar Hill – You can’t miss the postcard worthy views from U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington, VA.

6.    National Gallery of Art – Permanent collection of European and American paintings, sculpture, decorative arts and works on paper, plus changing exhibitions of art from around the world. Open Mon. – Sat. 10 am – 5 pm, Sun. 11 am – 6 pm. Free admission. Group tours by appointment. See more at: http://washington.org/find-dc-listings/national-gallery-art#sthash.K21TODdu.dpuf

7.    Friendship Arch – The most striking and enduring symbol of all is the great Friendship Archway, constructed in 1986 just east of 7th and H Streets NW, and said to be the largest in the world when it was constructed.

8.    Arlington National Cemetery - A first stop on a trip to the cemetery should include the Welcome Center, located by the cemetery entrance, where maps, guidebooks, exhibits, information services (to include grave locations), and bookstores can be found.

9.    National Archives – Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter 6th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20565

10.  Learn about Congress and tour the Capitol – Tours set up for Wednesday 7/24 at 9:00am, Thursday 7/25 at 2:10pm and Friday 7/26 at 2:10pm.

Fun Things to Do with Family

1.    National Museum of Natural History – A family favorite featuring dinosaur bones, a life-size whale, a butterfly habitat and the jaw-dropping Hope Diamond. Look for the giant stuffed African elephant greeting guests in the rotunda, and see a 3D film at the museum’s IMAX theater. See more at: http://washington.org/DC-guide-to/visiting-smithsonian-museums#sthash.xgri7THK.dpuf

2.    Washington DC Duck tour - See Washington DC from the land and water on a unique duck tour! Traveling in an original WWII amphibious vehicle, this 90-minute tour takes you to the famous monuments of Washington DC before splashing down into the Potomac River for the most unusual ride of your vacation!

3.    Madame Tussadus – Come on out to Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. where you can see, touch and take photos with some of your favorite celebrities and historical figures under one roof.

4.    Air and Space Museum - The most popular museum in the world by attendance numbers, the National Air and Space Museum houses 23 galleries that trace the history of flight. Look for the 1903 Wright Flyer, Spirit of St. Louis, SpaceShipOne, Apollo 11 command module and the Hubble Space Telescope.

5.    International Spy Museum – At Washington DC’s International Spy Museum, enter a world of gadgets, weapons, cameras, vehicles and technologies used for espionage throughout the world. Hear stories of secret missions, examine artifacts and mystery-revealing photos and enjoy a slew of interactive displays, putting you right in the action! Don’t miss out on the newest exhibit, ‘Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains,’ which celebrates fiction’s greatest spy, James Bond, during its limited run through 2014.

6.    Washington National’s Baseball game http://www.nationals.com/visitdc   Get 35% off game tickets – PROMO CODE: WASHDC

DC Neighborhoods

Dupont Circle

Cosmopolitan yet charming, Dupont Circle is where museums and galleries meet B&B’s, bookstores, bistros, bars and boutiques. The neighborhoods namesake is perfect for people watching and just northwest of the circle is Embassy Row, home to 58 international embassies. Several are open for tours each spring during Passport DC which celebrates cultures from around the globe.


The historic, tree-lined neighborhood of Georgetown is one of DC’s most famous. What was once 18th century port town, is now a swanky area full of high-end shops, waterfront restaurants and picturesque Georgetown University. Explore its architecturally charming row houses, boutiques, cafes and bars on foot – the best way to see it. Also be sure to go down to the harbor and take a boat ride to experience the stunning view.

Penn Quarter

Penn Quarter is a revitalized historic neighborhood in downtown Washington, DC. The name “Penn Quarter” is relatively new and not so widely known. This part of Downtown DC has many fine restaurants offering a wide range of cuisine from contemporary American to Asian Fusion, to Italian or Latin American fare.


Macy’s at Metro Center – 1201 G St. NW, Washington DC

Dupont Circle – Along Connecticut Avenue, you’ll find more traditional clothing stores such as Brooks Brothers, Talbots, Burberry’s and the Gap.

Georgetown – Small collection of boutiques and antique stores.

Penn Quarter – Some of the better known retailers include H&M, Pottery Barn, Ann Taylor Loft, Urban Outfitters, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers.

Capitol Hill – On Saturdays there’s an arts and crafts fair and on Sundays a flea market which features antiques, arts, collectibles, crafts and imported goods.

© 2013 Japanese American Citizens League