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Things to Do and See in Washington DC-For Free

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?

White HouseHow 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.

 

 

Smithsonian Castle

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. 

 

 

 

Library of CongressVisit 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. 

 

 

 

Tomb of the Unknown Solider

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. 

 

 


Money TreeBureau 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.

 


Panda Bear

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. 

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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.

Search all homes available in the Northern Virginia area.



 

 

                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations. 

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Check out www.varealestatetalk.com and www.cjrealtygroup.com for more information.

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Comment balloon 25 commentsCindy Jones • February 26 2008 11:38AM

Comments

Thanks Cindy.  I'm going to save this one for vacation planning.
Posted by American Apartment Owners Association (American Apartment Owners Association) almost 11 years ago
Cindy...thanks for the tip on visiting the White House.  My wife and I are looking at a trip to D.C. in the spring and wondered how to get in.  I will give the info. and let her see the links you have and she can have a go at it.  Thanks Again
Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) almost 11 years ago
Wow, makes me want to visit Washington, DC! Maybe we'll have to plan a trip. Thanks for all the tips!
Posted by Shannon Jones, Long Beach CA Real Estate (The Shannon Jones Team) almost 11 years ago
Cindy - This is a terrific idea for a post, and it's something that consumers (especially those of us with kids) are very interested in seeing.  Great job!
Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 11 years ago

Cindy...You are so right.  The list is endless, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Arboretum, the monuments.  They are all so exciting to see.  Washington, D.C. is such an interesting and fun place.  We are fortunate to live so close.

Kathleen

Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) almost 11 years ago
Cindy, excellent post.  This is approximately the route that I use for the quick "coming to visit you in D.C. and want to see the town" tour that I take my friends and family on when they are here for the first time.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) almost 11 years ago
AAOA-if you are coming this week let me know I'll be glad to meet you for part of the tour!
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
William-hope you will be here to see the Cherry Blossoms in bloom.  Just be prepared for the crowds!
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
Shannon-springtime in DC is a show stopper.  The monuments, the cherry blossoms and the museums.  Perfection!
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
Kathleen-writing all my posts on the area has reminded me of how much we have to do and see in this area.  It is impossible to see it all but I've written quite a few posts recently that hopefully give people a taste.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
Brian-I used to cringe when the cousins came to town.  Climbing the Washington Monument steps with them was my job while the adults rode the elevator.  I'm glad those days are over :-)
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
Jason-if your kids like bugs letting the Madagasgar Hissing Cockroaches crawl on them is well...iccky.   My daugher loved it and I hid in the corner!
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
Good stuff, I do enjoy the spring or fall days in our Nations capital.
Posted by Joey Remondino, Broker, GRI, E-Pro (RE/MAX Preferred Properties) almost 11 years ago

I remember years ago - a trip to Disney - with parks and all - cost more than the same number number of days in Cancun!  Now there was the exchange rate and all.

But DC - is a WONDERFUL place for families.  Free Museums... Free Zoo... The Government buildings.   The monuments.... It is a GREAT and CHEAP place for families!

and we haven't mentioned the Cherry Blossoms....    WOW !!!

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) almost 11 years ago
Joey-you can't get ever get past how great the Tidal Basin looks when the Cherry Blossoms are in bloom.  The zoo in the fall is perfect as the crowds are low and the animals seem to be more active.  Thanks for stopping by.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
James-It is one of the cheapest cities to vacation on the east coast.  I'm getting psyched for Cherry Blossom time.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago

Cindy,

That's an amazing list of places that I would gladly pay to visit.....it's wonderful that they are all freely open to the public. I'm bookmarking your post in case I ever visit there some day.

Jo 

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith almost 11 years ago
Jo-Anne-If you ever come to the area let me know.  I'm a good tour guide of the city and will be glad to show you our great town.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
Cindy, I should have read this one before I commented on your other one!  And can't wait for those cherry blossoms!
Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Patricia-no problem.  I've seen some buds on other spring bushes around town so I'm waiting for the Cherry Blossom countdown to begin.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
Cindy - indeed, there is so much to do up there! I love my visits to DC!!!!
Posted by Billnulls Blog Florida Realty Professional, AHWD (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 11 years ago
This is a great tour of free things to do and see in Washington DC.  Several years ago I was taking depositions of witnesses in a superfund case in the DC area and I went to all of these places!  It is amazing.  Of course, being an attorney, I had to visit the Supreme Court -- it was awesome!  Being from California, I had to visit Senator Feinstein!.  What an memorable experience.
Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 11 years ago
Joan-Supreme Court building is also a terrific must see.  I couldn't possibly list all of the free places in one blog but I have spread them out on my Magical History Tours and a few other posts.  I'm waiting for a few warm days to make the rounds of even more for photos.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
Cindy... Just wanted to share my two cents.  My sons and I loved the Air and Space Museum - a great place to visit during a vacation.
Posted by Max Douge (Exit Realty Enterprises) almost 11 years ago
Cindy - Great post about your area and things to do there.  We had a mini trip to Washington D.C. a couple years ago, and had a great time.
Posted by Candy Henthorne, Spring Texas Real Estate (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago

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