Washington, D.C. Sights

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Washington, D.C. - browse our top choices for the top things to see during your stay.

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Fodor's Choice


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The Mall 25

Downtown 15


Penn Quarter 1

The White House Area and Foggy Bottom 13


Foggy Bottom 2

White House area 4

Capitol Hill 8

Upper Northwest 7

Dupont Circle and Logan Circle 6

Georgetown 4

Anacostia 2

Suburban Maryland 1

U Street Corridor 1

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Arts/ Performance Venue 3

Building/ Architectural Site 4

Cemetery 1

Festival–Sight 1

Garden/ Arboretum 2

Government Building 10

Historic District/ Site 2

House/ Mansion/ Villa 12

Information Center 1

Library/ Archive 3

Local Interest–Sight 1

Marina/ Pier/ Dock 1

Market/ Bazaar 1

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 12

Museum/ Gallery 37

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 4

Park/ Playground 7

Promenade/ Boardwalk 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 2

Restaurant–Sight 1

Store/ Shop/ Mall 1

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 3

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Best For

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Family 21

Green 1

Historical 1

Washington, D.C. Sights

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  • Fodor's Choice

C&O Canal

  • Park/Playground

George Washington was one of the first to advance the idea of a canal linking the Potomac with the Ohio River across the Appalachians.


  • Government Building

Beneath the Capitol's magnificent dome, the day-to-day business of American democracy takes place: senators and representatives debate,...

Ford's Theatre National Historic Site

  • Museum/Gallery

The events that took place here on the night of April 14, 1865, shocked the nation. During a performance of Our American Cousin, John...

National Archives

  • Library/Archive

Monument, museum, and the nation's memory, the National Archives, headquartered in a grand marble edifice on Constitution Avenue, preserves...

National Portrait Gallery

  • Museum/Gallery

The intersection of art, biography, and history is illustrated here through images of men and women who have shaped U.S. history. There...


  • Museum/Gallery

The setting, in a dramatic glass-and-silver structure on Pennsylvania Avenue, smack between the White House and the Capitol, is a fitting...

Smithsonian National Zoological Park

  • Zoo/Aquarium

Carved out of wooded hills in Rock Creek Park, The National Zoo houses 1,800 animals, representing 300 species, in innovative compounds...

The Mall

  • Park/Playground

America's "town green"—that might be the best short description of this fabled strip of Washington, D.C., the heart of almost every...

Tidal Basin

  • Promenade/Boardwalk

The Tidal Basin is the setting for memorials to Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., and George Mason.

Washington National Cathedral

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Construction of the sixth-largest cathedral in the world began in 1907, and what is officially known as the Cathedral Church of St. Peter...


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