Washington DC is the capital of the United States which makes it home to the White House. In addition, you’ll also find other iconic Washington DC landmarks here including the Lincoln Memorial, National Mall, Capitol Hill as well as the largest library in the world. Simply put, Washington DC cannot be skipped as part of your USA trip. Here, I share several Washington DC landmarks and top Instagram spots you cannot miss. Firstly, let me quickly share how to plan your Washington DC trip independently through KAYAK. Afterwards, we’ll explore the Washington DC landmarks with photos.
Why Use KAYAK to Plan Your Washington DC Trip
Being the capital of the USA makes Washington DC a huge city. As a matter of fact, this leads you to the dilemma of choosing one out of thousands of hotels. This is where KAYAK comes to your rescue! As you’d imagine, some Washington DC locations are better than others and some prices are much better than others. Using KAYAK enables you filter out the best deals in the most desirable locations. Use the KAYAK hotel search to look for the hotels deals on the dates you’re visiting. Once you see the best price in your preferred location, check the hotel has a good reviews before instantly confirming your booking. If you plan to take a road trip afterwards or even fly out of DC, simply search for hotels, cars and flights below to discover fantastic prices.
Lincoln Memorial – My Top Washington DC Landmark
For me, the Lincoln Memorial is a perfect piece of artwork. Every little detail seems to come together to create the ultimate honor of the the 16th President of the United States. On the other hand, when I first saw this monument, it also reminded me of the end of the Plante of the Apes movie. You can visit the Lincoln Memorial 24 hours a day so visiting when it’s quiet can give you a meaningful experience. What’s more, you can take a stunning photo using the reflecting pool.
Arc Hotel is not too far from the Lincoln Memorial.
National Mall and Washington Monument
Before visiting the Washington Monument and National Mall I remember seeing it in the Forrest Gump movie. As a matter of fact, it was watching this movie which inspired me to visit and see the Washington DC landmarks for myself. A very interesting fact about the Washington Monument is that from 1884 to 1889 this was the tallest structure in the world. Those good at pub quizzes will know that the Eiffel Tower in Paris was completed in 1889 and this became the tallest structure of that time. However, the Washington Monument still holds these titles, world’s tallest stone structure as well as the world’s tallest obelisk. Finally, it’s possible to take an elevator to the observation level at the top of the monument.
The White House needs no introduction. This is the home of the current US President. As a result, security is quite strict and you can only get so close. Nonetheless, the White House is a must see as part of your visit of the Washington DC landmarks. Lastly, if you carefully plan weeks in advance, it’s possible to arrange a free tour of the White House.
Capitol Hill is a mammoth building that cannot but missed. Literally, even if you weren’t looking for it, you will see it. Also with the design of the city, your eyes will be drawn this way. Of course, Capitol Hill is the home of the United States Congress.
Phoenix Park Hotel is an excellent location for visiting Capitol Hill and the Smithsonian National Museum of National History.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
A visit to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum is always rewarding. The most famous artefact here is the Hope Diamond which will almost certainly be the biggest diamond you’ll ever see! Another interesting thing to see here is the North Atlantic right whale life-size replica. Lastly, the building itself is pretty impressive too!
National Museum of African American History
The National Museum of African American History is a Washington DC landmark which looks different to the rest. It’s architectural design has been influenced by West African creators. Additionally, its position on the Mall is symbolic. Look north to see the White House. When you look east from the building you’ll see Capitol Hill. Most symbolically of all, when you look south from the building you’ll see the monuments of Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington,
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
If you have enough time in Washington DC then I recommend you visit the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Here you can see a huge array of animals including a growing cheetah population. Those who love birds, monkeys, reptiles as well as big cats are in for a treat. Alternatively, if you simply love discovering animals you haven’t seen before, then a visit to this zoo will be rewarding.
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence. You may recognise him from the two dollar bill, that’s if you’ve seen a two dollar bill! The Thomas Jefferson memorial was built in his honor and has a beautiful location alongside the Tidal Basin. Visit in Spring and you’ll witness cherry blossom in full bloom. An interesting fact is that these cherry blossom trees were gifted by Japan in 1912.
Library of Congress
Where is the largest library in the world? Washington DC. That’s right, with over 173 million items the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. As a result it’s one of the most fascinating Washington DC landmarks. Entry to the library is free, however, it’s best to book your timeslot a few days in advance. A must visit for book lovers!
United States Botanic Gardens
Yet another free activity to do in Washington DC is the Botanic Garden. What’s more, with all the beautifully designed gardens this could be the top Instagram spot in Washington DC. It’s not unusual to see ladies in dresses posing in the gardens here. In contrast, it’s also not uncommon to see ladies dressed up posing outside with the better known Washington DC landmarks.
The National Archives is home to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, as well as the Declaration of Independence. What’s more, it’s free to enter the building and see them in the Rotunda. Be sure to admire this imposing building from a distance too!
United States National Arboretum
The United States Arboretum are huge gardens which offer a peaceful escape from the city. The top Instagram location in these gardens are the National Capitol Columns. In fact, there’s also a reflection pool nearby.
Washington National Cathedral
Last but certainly not least on my visit to the Washington DC landmarks is Washington National Cathedral. Both the interior and exterior are stunning. You feel more like you’re in Paris than DC! Finally, there’s a Darth Vador grotesque on the cathedral. Pay attention to the external gargoyles on the north west tower!
Enjoy Your Visit to the Washington DC Landmarks
As you walk around central DC, you’ll discover hundreds of Washington DC landmarks in addition to my selection. Start with these as you relax, enjoy and explore this well laid out, administrive city. As I mentioned earlier, booking your hotel through KAYAK will give you the freedom to explore all of these beautiful locations at your own pace. In addition, perhaps you’ll be able to afford a better hotel than usual with the good deals you discover with KAYAK. Enjoy Washington DC.