Washington DC Museums & Galleries
Just minutes from your Washington DC Vacation Rental
African American Civil War Memorial and Museum
The African American Civil War Memorial and Museum in Washington, DC honors and examines the African American’s heroic struggle for freedom and civil rights.
American University Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC
American University Opens New Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen Arts Center, a new venue for visual and performing arts in Washington, DC
Art Museum of the Americas
Museum of 20th century Caribbean and Latin American art.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Smithsonian’s art gallery features a unique collection that includes Chinese bronzes, jades, paintings and lacquerware, ancient Near Eastern ceramics and metalware, and sculpture from Asia.
Bethesda Art Walk: Free Tours of Bethesda Art Galleries
The Bethesda Art Walk, held the second Friday of every month, is a free guided tour including 11 art galleries and studios that feature painting, sculpture, photography, pottery, jewelry and mixed media.
B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum
Washington, DC’s museum exploring the history and culture of the Jewish people.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Watch real money being printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, DC! Take a tour and see how U. S. paper currency is designed, engraved and printed.
Capitol Visitor Center
Find information about the new Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC, the largest expansion of the U.S. Capitol includes an exhibition gallery, two orientation theaters, a 550-seat cafeteria, gift shops, and restrooms.
Corcoran Gallery of Art
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, a privately funded institution, was founded in 1869 as Washington, DC’s first and largest non-federal museum of art. The Corcoran is a College of Art and Design and a gallery displaying one of the most comprehensive collections of American art in the world.
Crime Museum in Washington, DC
The Crime Museum in Washington, DC, officially named the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, is an interactive museum exploring the history of crime, law enforcement, forensic science, crime scene investigation (CSI) and the consequences of committing a crime.
Washington, DC’s museum of the Daughters of the American Revolution features 31 Period Rooms that depict regional American furnishings from the 17th to the early 20th century.
Folger Shakespeare Library
The world’s most extensive collection of works of Shakespeare and a center for studies in literature, art and history. Shakespeare theatre presents plays, concerts and family programs.Located in Washington, DC.
Ford’s Theatre Museum
A Washington, DC Museum About Abraham Lincoln. Exhibits explore Lincoln’s life in the White House, milestones of the Civil War and details about the Assassination conspiracy that led to his death.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, DC
Tour the beautifully restored Victorian Mansion that was the former home of Frederick Douglass, the famous abolitionist and advisor to Lincoln.
German-American Heritage Museum – Washington DC
The German-American Heritage Museum is the first national museum focusing on the history of German immigration and migration across the United States. Located on three floors of Hockemeyer Hall, the Washington DC museum features a variety of exhibitions, including several interactive kiosks and computers that let visitors research their own heritage and ties to Germany.
Hillwood Museum & Gardens: Marjorie Merriweather Post Mansion
This Washington, DC historic site, former estate of art collector and philanthropist Marjorie Merriweather Post, showcases Russian and French art.
International Spy Museum
One of Washington, DC’s newest museums explores the history of espionage and its technology. Great programs for children.
Art museum with a collection of 19th and 20th century paintings and sculptures by artists such as Monet, Rodin, Picasso, Miro, Moore, Kandinsky, Stella as well as traditional African Art.
Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, DC
President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home in Washington, DC gives Americans an intimate, never-before-seen view of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and family life. Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at Lincoln’s Cottage features exhibitions that tell the story of Lincoln’s role as Commander-in-Chief.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – Washington DC
The world renowned wax museum is divided into four themed sections, each featuring an array of exhibits, interactive experiences and wax figures. Find information about the Washington, DC location, exhibits, hours and more.
National Aquarium in Washington, DC
The National Aquarium in Washington, DC, the nation’s oldest aquarium, is home to more than 200 species including shark, eel, gators, the dreaded invasive snakehead fish and a baby loggerhead turtle. See a visitors guide to the National Aquarium in Washington, DC.
Examine Washington, DC’s collection of original documents that are part of America’s history, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and more.
National Building Museum
Exhibits examine America’s architecture, construction and urban planning. Special hall includes photographs and models of buildings in Washington, DC. Informative lectures, interesting demonstrations and great family programs.
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Outdoor art venue on the National Mall in Washington, DC
National Gallery of Art Visitor’s Guide
Find out how to visit The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Explore Washington, DC’s largest art museum with collections of masterpieces from the 13th century to the present.
National Geographic Explorers Hall
The small museum at the National Geographic headquarters explores nature and human cultures of all over the world.
National Law Enforcement Museum – Washington DC
The National Law Enforcement Museum will be a 55,000 square foot, mostly underground museum that will be located adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. The Museum will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibits, collections, research and education. The National Law Enforcement Museum is projected to open in 2013.
National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, located in the heart of Washington, DC, is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to celebrating the artistic achievements of women.
National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum
The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum reopen showcasing a newly restored historic building in Washington, DC. Find everything you need to know about visiting these special art museums in Washington, DC.
Navy Memorial and the Naval Heritage Center in Washington, DC
The Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center in Washington DC honor and commemorate the sailors of the United States Navy.
O Street Museum Foundation
The only museum of its kind, O Street Museum Foundation is dedicated to exploring the creative process. The collection rotates and changes daily. From artist’s letters, to animation stills, to written manuscripts, to one of the largest “raw and exposed” music collections, the galleries are not limited to one genre. Many different kinds of tours are available. Located near Dupont Circle.
Pope John Paul II Cultural Center
The Roman Catholic Museum offers interactive and multimedia exhibits that explore the Catholic Church and its role in history and society.
The headquarters of the National Woman’s party,a museum and library of the first American feminists.
Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art
Smithsonian’s gallery features a world-renowned collection of art from China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, and the Near East that was donated to the Smithsonian by Charles Lag Freer, a wealthy 19th century industrialist. Paintings, ceramics, manuscripts, and sculptures are among the favorites of the museum.
Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden – A Visitor’s Guide
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC is the Smithsonian’s museum of modern and contemporary art. Find information about the collection of art, tours and special programs at this special art museum on the National Mall.
Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
The Smithsonian museum has the largest publicly held collection of contemporary African art in the United States including more than 9,000 objects representing nearly every country in Africa dating from ancient to contemporary times.
Smithsonian Renwick Gallery
The Renwick Gallery, a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, highlights American crafts and contemporary arts from the 19th to 21st centuries. The Renwick Gallery features unique works of art including clay, fiber, glass, metal, and wood.
Washington, DC museum with exhibits exploring the history of the textile industry.
The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
Visit this Washington, DC museum and learn about the life of Mary McLeod Bethune, an African American woman educator, presidential advisor, and political activist.
The Newseum – Washington, DC Museum of News
The Newseum in Washington, DC, explores news history, electronic news, photojournalism, world news and how the media have covered major historical events.
The oldest architecture museum in the U. S.
The Phillips Collection
The private modern art museum located in the heart of Washington, DC, features masterpieces ranging from French impressionism to American modernism.
Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
The Torpedo Factory Art Center, one of the largest visual arts centers in the U.S., 84 working art studios, 5 galleries, 2 workshops, the Art League School and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.
Tudor Place Historic House and Garden
Tudor Place Historic House and Garden, located in Georgetown’s Historic District, this National Historic Landmark, was originally owned by Martha Custis Peter, the granddaughter of Martha Washington.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC
Find out about how to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. This museum is a memorial to the millions who died during the Nazi regime in Germany during World War II.
Washington Dolls’ House & Toy Museum
A collection of antique dollhouses, dolls, toys and games.
Washington Navy Yard
Washington Navy Yard, the former shipyard for the United States Navy, serves as the home to the Chief of Naval Operations and headquarters for the Naval Historical Center in Washington, DC. Visitors can explore the Navy Museum and the Navy Art Gallery
Temporary international art exhbits are displayed in this 94-year old Georgian home.
Woodrow Wilson House
Museum for the 28th president of the United States.
Washington DC National Mall, Monuments & Memorials
Popular Points of Interest in Washington, DC
The National Mall is the central point of most visits to Washington, DC. The National Mall is the tree-lined open space between Constitution and Independence Avenues. It extends from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Capitol Building. Ten of the museums of the Smithsonian Institution are located on the National Mall, where you’ll find a variety of exhibits ranging from art to space exploration. West Potomac Park and the Tidal Basin are adjacent to the National Mall and home to the national monuments and memorials.
The National Mall serves as a gathering place for outdoor festivals and a great place to picnic. This expansive lawn has hosted not only Americans, but visitors from all over the world, and has been the site of many protests and rallies. The beauty and revered architecture of the National Mall help make it a unique place that celebrates and honors our nation’s history and democracy.
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS ON THE NATIONAL MALL
The Washington Monument
The monument honoring our first president, George Washington, is the tallest structure in the nation’s capital and towers 555 feet above the National Mall. Ride the elevator to the top to see a spectacular view of the city. The monument is open from 8 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week, April through Labor Day. The remainder of the year, the hours are from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The federal institution has multiple museums scattered throughout Washington, DC. Ten of the buildings are located on the National Mall from 3rd to 14th Streets between Constitution and Independence Avenues, within a radius of about one mile. There is so much to see at the Smithsonian that you can not see it all in one day. IMAX movies are especially popular, so it is a good idea to plan ahead and buy your tickets a few hours in advance.
National Monuments and Memorials
These historic landmarks honor our presidents, founding fathers and war veterans. They are wonderful to visit in nice weather and the views from each of them are unique and special. The easiest way to visit the monuments is on a sightseeing tour. The memorials are very spread out and to see all of them on foot involves a lot of walking. The monuments are also spectacular to visit at night when they are illuminated.
National Gallery of Art
The world-class art museum displays one of the largest collections of masterpieces in the world including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 13th century to the present. Because of its prime location on the National Mall, many people think the National Gallery is a part of the Smithsonian. The museum was created in 1937 by funds donated by art collector Andrew W. Mellon.
The U.S. Capitol Building
Because of increased security the Capitol Dome is open to the public for guided tours only. Tours are conducted from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Visitors must obtain free tickets and begin their tour at the Capitol Visitor Center. Free passes are required to see Congress in action at the Senate and House Galleries.
U.S. Botanic Garden
The state-of-the-art indoor garden showcases approximately 4,000 seasonal, tropical and subtropical plants. The property is administered by the Architect of the Capitol and offers special exhibits and educational programs throughout the year.
MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS
Arlington National Cemetery
Across the Memorial Bridge from DC
This is America’s largest burial ground with the graves of President John F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, world champion boxer Joe Louis and the Tomb of the Unknowns. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
DC War Memorial
National Mall, west of 17th St. and Independence Ave. SW.
This lesser known memorial commemorates the 26,000 citizens of Washington, DC who served in World War I. Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has been approved for $7.3 million to restore the memorial.
Between 4th and 6th Streets SW.
Plans are underway to build a national memorial to honor President Dwight D. Eisenhower on a four-acre site near the National Mall. The memorial will feature a grove of oak trees, huge limestone columns, and a semicircular space made monolithic stone blocks and carvings and inscriptions that depict images of Eisenhower’s life.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
West Potomac Park near Lincoln Memorial on Ohio Drive, SW
This memorial is divided into four outdoor galleries, one for each of FDR’s terms in office from 1933 to 1945. Several sculptures depict the 32nd President. Hours are 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.
George Mason Memorial
900 Ohio Drive, in East Potomac Park, SW.
Monument to the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which inspired Thomas Jefferson while drafting the Declaration of Independence. Mason persuaded our forefathers to include individual rights as a part of the Bill of Rights.
Iwo Jima Memorial
Marshall Drive, next to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
This memorial, also known as the United States Marine Corps War Memorial, is dedicated to the marines who gave their lives during one of the most historic battles of World War II, the battle of Iwo Jima.
15th Street, SW
This dome-shaped rotunda honors the nation’s third president. The 19-foot bronze statue of Jefferson is located on the Tidal Basin, surrounded by a grove of trees making it especially beautiful during Cherry Blossom season in the spring. Hours are 8 a.m. to midnight daily.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Daniel French Drive and Independence Avenue, SW
Our nation honors those who were killed, captured, wounded or remain missing in action during the Korean War (1950 -1953). Nineteen figures represent every ethnic background. The statues are supported by a granite wall with 2,400 faces of land, sea and air support troops. A Pool of Remembrance lists the names of the lost Allied Forces. Hours are 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.
23rd Street between Constitution and Independence Avenues, NW
This memorial was dedicated in 1922 to honor President Abraham Lincoln. Thirty-eight Grecian columns surround a statue of Lincoln seated on a ten-foot high marble base. This impressive statue is surrounded by engraved readings of the Gettysburg address, his Second Inaugural address and murals by French painter Jules Guerin. Hours are 8 a.m. to midnight.
Washington DC Area Dining
Taste Cuisines From All Over the World in the DC Area
The Washington, DC area has a wide variety of restaurants and bars. Here you can taste cuisines from all over the world at formal dining, casual or family friendly restaurants. Finding a place to eat out isn’t hard as there are a number of places to find casual and tasty fare in Washington, DC. You can find everything from chain restaurants to local favorites.
The only area that won’t offer much variety is around Nationals Park in Washington DC. The selection of restaurants and bars is limited in this location. Many people bring a picnic and eat on the grassy areas when the weather is nice. However, food carts offer a variety of quick and inexpensive dining options beyond the typical hotdog and popcorn. If it’s a hotdog and soda you want, you can find that too. The National Park Service operates a few refreshment stands, located in front of the Natural History Museum; near the National Mall Carousel; near the Lincoln Memorial and on the Tidal Basin near the paddle boat rentals.
The museum cafes are a convenient place to eat lunch and most museums have them. These cafes are open the same hours as the museums themselves.
Georgetown has quite a few fine restaurants that offer a wide range of cuisine from contemporary American to Mediterranean, to French or Latin American fare.
The trendy Northern Virginia neighborhood of Crystal City is also a popular place to meet friends or business associates for lunch, or dinner. Crystal City is located just south of downtown DC, across the river, close to Ronald Reagan National Airport