Unlike a trip to Epcot Center in Florida which will can cost a family of four an arm and a leg for the day you can spend an entire day exploring DC and the surrounding area for free.
So where should you start?
How about a visit to the White House? Now you won't be joining anyone for a State Dinner but you can check out many of the famous public rooms and learn about the history behind them. To secure a ticket to tour the White House all your member of Congress and request tickets. Call at least a month before your visit and be prepared to give them the name of everyone who will be traveling with you. If you are planning a trip for this summer you should call now as tickets do go fast and each member of Congress only has so many tickets available to them and there are tales of political wrangling and favors to secure tickets on sold out dates.
Interested in Natural History, Aviation History or modern art? Visit anyone of the Smithsonian Institution museums absolutely free. No tickets needed. Most of the museums also offer free highlight tours to help you get a better understanding of what is inside the museum. For kids a stop at the Insect Zoo is a must. They can actually hold some of the larger insects and depending on the time you go see a feeding demonstration of the resident Tarantula's.
Visit the Library of Congress. SHHHH! Most people don't think about visiting a library as part of their vacation plans but the largest library in the world should be on your list. The architecture of the Library of Congress is worth seeing and knowing that you are surrounded by so much knowledge just makes you feel smarter. Started with the donation of Thomas Jefferson's book collection in 1815 the library now houses the largest rare book collection in the United States.
Wander the grounds Arlington National Cemetery. The views from Arlington House, the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider and President Kennedy's gravesite are just a few of the sites that make Arlington National Cemetery a must on everyone's tour of the area. There is a moment when you enter the gates that you are struck with an understanding of what this cemetery means to the families of our fallen hero's.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing-If you hear the soundtrack from the Apprentice ringing in your head "Money, Money, Money" then stopping by to take a look where it is printed then is just for you. From plain paper (alright it really isn't plain) to money for your pocket you will see the whole process. It is a great lesson to show kids that money does not grow on trees. Tickets can only be picked up on the day you want to tour and if you are calling your member of Congress about White House tickets then they can also get you VIP tickets for here as well.
National Zoo-Lions, Tigers and Bears oh my. Let's face it almost everyone wants to check out the Panda Bears at the National Zoo. Sometimes you have to feel bad for the silly little river otters that are obviously having a good time and everyone is more interested in some funny looking black and white bears who just sit around eating all the time. The National Zoo has undergone a transformation over the last few years with new exhibits and new babies. Be prepared for the hilly walks and consider bringing a picnic so that you can take breaks and enjoy watching all of the wildlife both animal and human!
This is just the start of what you can see absolutely free. The lists of what you can do are mind boggling! So if you are relocating to the area be prepared to take advantage of all there is to see. When my children were young we used to have Sunday afternoons in the city to take in an exhibit or event without feeling too overwhelmed by it all. If you are just visit then hold on to your hats, put on your comfortable shoes and have fun!
If you are interested in learning more about our area or need help finding your next home in Northern Virginia give me a call. As a native of the area I can show you all of the great options for things to do, neighborhoods to live and ways to get around town.
As an Associate Broker with RE/MAX Allegiance in Northern Virginia and native of the area I can assist you whether you are buying, selling or renting a home anywhere in Northern Virginia. For more information about the area or my services you can check VaRealEstateTalk or my Northern Virginia website.
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