Must See Tourist Spots in Washington DC

Must See Tourist Spots in Washington DC

Traveling to Washington DC without a plan can be a little overwhelming. There are so many amazing things to see and experience in Washington DC that you don’t want to pass up the opportunity while visiting! Here are a list of some must see tourist spots in Washington DC to help you plan your next trip! From fun and family oriented to exciting and educational there is a little bit of something for everyone! If you plan ahead you can even get combo pricing on some of these locations as well as discounted tickets. I love taking a few minutes to plan before we go so that I will have a little bit of background and information before we arrive. This helps keep us on track and organized so we don’t waste minute of exploring time!

The White House

Obviously one of the greatest attractions is on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. You can tour the White House or you can just stop by and take in the grandeur of the beauty and history that it holds. There is no better way to get a sneak peek into the history and inner workings of the most powerful house in America!

the white house

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

You can actually take a tour of the Mount Vernon property. It’s a great historical and educational place to check out whenever you are in the Washington DC area. It’s awesome to take a look back on such a well preserved piece of our nation’s history!

Mount vernon

The Washington Monument

This is another one of the great majestic monuments that can found in and around Washington DC, which is rich with historical significance. Instead of just walking up to the monument, you can take the cruise which sails with the Potomac Riverboat Company. See the amazing sights of the Washington Monument from aboard one of the awesome riverboats for a unique experience and a fairly low price at just $28 per ticket.

the washington monument

Madame Tussaud’s DC

The famous Madame Tussauds museums are always a great time! The DC museum is no different. Take the tour and marvel at how amazingly similar the wax statutes are to their human likeness! It is always so mind blowing to see how real some of the figures look and how much they resemble their real life counterparts. On the plus side you can learn about some of the interesting people who are memorialized at the museum!

International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum is a great way to get everyone learning for the day without feeling like you are torturing them with school lessons while they are on vacation. The museum has tons of displays and interactive exhibits that are all about the history of espionage and the real life gadgetry that accompanied it. This learning experience will have the whole family sucked in and loving it in no time!

The National Museum of Natural History

Of course if you’ve seen any of the “Night at the Museum” movies you’ll have a little bit of an idea about the wonders to be seen at the National Museum of Natural History. There are countless wonders to behold and awesome displays for interaction and learning. The fact that you will all be learning about natural history will be completely beside the point!

trex sue

Do you have any must see spots on your Washington DC travel itinerary?

About Taylor Nikaci

103 comments

  1. alissa a apel

    I went there in 2000. It was fun. I went to Baltimore the same day, or next day, so the places are kind of blurred all together. A fun trip though!

  2. Tonya

    I love DC! Some of my favorites are the Smithsonian Castle (the architecture and it offers an overview of the museums), the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (kids LOVED this one), the Holocaust Museum is amazing, but make sure you pack tissues. You’ll need them. I also love to see the monuments at night. The MLK, Jr. monument is especially profound.

  3. Melisa

    I went to D.C. when I was a kid and have been wanting to go back for several years now. Every year I get my family to agree to go, then they find somewhere else they want to go instead. I’m putting my foot down this year. D.C. or bust!

  4. Euge Nia

    What an amazing list! I’ll keep it in mind for a future D.C. trip! It would be also nice to visit the National Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art!

  5. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I was just in D.C., and I never knew just how many sites there were. I knew the city was filled with cultural destinations, but it’s REALLY filled with them.

  6. GlamKaren

    Ya know, I’ve never been to Washington, DC. Why not? I so need to go and your must-see places will be ideal to help me when I finally plan a little trip. The White House must be crazy amazing to view in person!
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

  7. roadrunnerfloristbasketexpress

    Washington DC is one of my favorite places in the world! We spent 8 days there about 9 year ago and I’d go back in an instant!! As you suggest, we toured the White House, and we also were privileged to visit the United States Senate. We spent many hours on the National Mall and were thrilled to see so many of the sites of the Smithsonian. There are not enough hours in the day and yes, I suggest you plan your trip as much as you can, knowing the mass transportation is really terrific and whatever you do, you will love it!

  8. evakidminds

    We love visiting Washington DC with kids. It’s one of the few great places that has a train running from airport to city center, so we don’t have to lug car seats with us. Our favorite is probably Air and Space museum because my kids love anything that has to do with aviation and space.

  9. terristeffes

    Pinning for a possible quick trip this summer! I would love to see the Spy Museum. With the emphasis on spy movies lately, I am so intrigued. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Monica

    I was just in DC and wish that I had taken more in. Your list covers it!

  11. MJ. L

    Washington D.C. is one of our most favorite areas to visit! My husband and I used to travel often there when we only lived about 3 hours away. We have seen all these attractions and love them!

  12. marianne

    I’m dying to take my boys back to DC. I haven’t ever been to the Spy Museum. They would love that. I would only add all of the Smithsonian Museums. They are all amazing!

  13. Kait

    I grew up in PA and Washington, DC was just a short drive away for us, so we would often take weekend trips to see museums, the cherry blossoms in bloom, try out new restaurants, etc. I love that area and miss being so close!

  14. Jeanette

    I am totally going to bookmark this! We have been talking about going there for a while now, but not sure what to see. I love all the museums and my son is dying to see the Lincoln memorial. Thanks for the guide!

  15. mskathykenny

    Definitely, the White house and the museums would be on my list. I love going to museums and reading about the history of things.

  16. momknowsbest15

    My husband wants to visit DC. Great spots to check out.

  17. Pam

    I have always loved visiting Washington DC. I want to take the whole family there to see some of these sites.

  18. Heather

    I would love to take a tour of the White House one day! The Washington DC area has always been a fascinating for me where I’m sure you can learn loads about American history.

  19. lisa

    I have never actually been to Washington DC. There are so many great historical buildings and things to see. I would love to take my kids there.

  20. Risa

    I had the chance to visit DC when I was in 8th grade and I got to go to most of these places and many more. Unfortunately, back then cameras had film and I accidentally exposed my film while changing it so my pictures got ruined. Bummer!

  21. mandipimental

    My hubs and I are planning a trip here and cant WAIT to see the Smithsonian!

  22. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy

    We have never been to Washington, but I would have to agree those are great places of see!!

  23. Anjanette @MommaYoung

    I would love to visit all these places in Washington, I’ve never been there. Amazing pictures as well. Thank you for sharing.

  24. cinny

    I would love to visit to see those places. The last time I was there, it was frigidly cold and we didn’t get to do as much as we would’ve liked.

  25. Bri

    I would love to visit the National Museum of Natural History. I could spend the whole day there.

  26. onceuponadollhouse

    Haven’t been to DC in a lot of years. Your post inspired me to possibly take a take there soon. So much history there, LOVE IT.

  27. Terri Ramsey Beavers

    I’ve never been to Washington DC but I’d love to go one day. I don’t know where I’d start but I want to see all of these tourist spots when that time comes.

  28. redheadbabymama

    How did you get such a pretty (AND CLOSE!) photo of the White House?! I hear they’ve put up all kinds of fences and barricades since that guy jumped the fence!

  29. Michelle Gwynn Jones

    II haven’t been to DC touristing around in a long time. I think next time I am visiting friends I will take some time and see sights I haven’t seen in a decade.

  30. Liz Mays

    It’s been a while for me too. I still haven’t seen everything D.C. has to offer.

  31. Debra Hawkins (@wifeeclectic)

    This is a place that I haven’t made it too yet, but it is for sure on my bucket list for sure!

  32. Ana Fernandez

    I have never been on the white house but i would love to! i have seen so many movies about it haha

  33. shoppingduck

    I love Washington DC? We loved the Spy Museum. We also love the Lincoln Memorial and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

  34. inmyprime50

    Washington D.C. has so much too offer. I’ve been several times and loved all the museums and seeing our government at work.

  35. angie

    I have traveled to the states around the on I live in love seeing great spots in others as well thanks for sharing come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  36. Liz Mays

    My kids really liked visiting the museums! The Museum of Natural History is definitely an awesome place to check out.

  37. simplybeingmommy

    My sister lives in Columbia, Maryland, so we try to do touristy things in D.C. whenever we’re lucky enough to go visit. I loved the Spy Museum! Although my tunnel crawling days are probably done.

  38. Toni | BoulderLocavore

    We lived about 15 minutes from the National Mall and were just back visiting a few weeks ago. One of my favorite spots is the National Cathedral. I believe it’s the sixth largest in the world and feels like being in Europe.

  39. Marcie W.

    I have always wanted to travel to DC and it is one of the top US cities on my travel bucket list. If my preferred presidential candidate wins the election, I think I may arrange a trip for inauguration day!

  40. Elizabeth O.

    I think the spot that I’ll enjoy the most would be the National Museum and the International Spy Museum. It’s just so much fun to learn about history. Thanks for sharing these lovely spots! I hope to come visit DC soon!

  41. Dawn Nieves

    Washington is on our list of places to visit this summer! Thanks for this list!

  42. Amy Jones

    ooh ive never been there, seems like a different town, id love going there sometime!

  43. kimberlydickerson

    I live about 90 minutes away so I’m in DC about once a month. I love it there! I never miss the drive by the tidal basin or the National Zoo!

  44. toughcookiemommy

    I’ve never been to Washington D.C. but I definitely would love to visit the Vietnam Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There is so much history to experience there.

  45. Nicole Herose Cochingco Escat

    So beautiful photos! Never been in Washington DC. I would love to go there.

  46. [email protected]

    I would love to visit Washington DC. I think everyone should get the chance to visit.

  47. Theresa

    Jason and Mariah went to most of these on a school trip a few years back. It was such a memorable trip for both of them.

  48. Ricci

    I love Washington DC!! These are all must-see spots!! I feel like I need to go back and experience it all again…LOL!!

  49. Mariana

    These are all great places to visit in DC! I also enjoy strolling through the National Zoo, and visiting the other museums and monuments. The MLK Memorial is a must-see!

  50. laura londergan

    this is perfect timing as my daughter just told us that she wants to visit here. Luckily we have family that live nearby – will keep this list.

  51. uprunforlife

    I have always wanted to go to Washington, DC. I thinking seeing the White House in person would be amazing.

  52. Carol Bryant

    We go to DC with the dog every year. Arlington National Cemetery is pet friendly. Love visiting that area.

  53. tauyanm

    im interest to visit The National Museum of Natural History my family love seeing or visiting this kind of places. just amazing seeing the old history and fascinated about it

  54. Nicole Haas Etolen

    I was there at DC last year, I’m glad to see and amaze those beautiful places and architectures buildings. I loved to go there again soon.

  55. RonRon

    They are all awesome spots to visit. Love WASHINGTON DC! Great place to personally see!

  56. victoria

    I never been in washing ton DC and I would love to go there someday

  57. Ana De Jesus

    DC looks like an absolute blast, I have always wanted to visit the White House! What is your favourite tourist spot?

  58. Jill Conyers (@jillconyers)

    We love going to DC. Everything you’ve listed is why DC is one of my favorite places to run.

  59. Christie

    I haven’t been to Mount Vernon since I was a kid! I need to go back

  60. Ryan Sales Escat

    Washington DC is beautiful. No doubt why people really wants to go there.

  61. brandyellen

    That is certainly quite a list of things that tourists must see in Washington, DC. I would totally love to at least go there to experience the visit!

  62. Claudia krusch

    We need to hit some of those spots! I’m planning a Spring visit! I added some places now to my list, thank you for sharing it!

  63. Lynndee

    We toured the Capitol when we were there. The inside architecture is as amazing as the outside. Would love to tour the White House too. Hopefully, soon!

  64. Ann Bacciaglia

    The International Spy Museum and the White House would be at the top pf my list. Washington DC has some great things to do when you are there.

  65. Krystle Chaney Cook

    I went to DC when I was a kid with my grandfather but I haven’t been since. I need to go as an adult so I can appreciate it more.

  66. Annemarie LeBlanc

    My cousin lives near Washington DC and I have to remind her to take me on a tour around the place when we come over to visit. So many beautiful and historical sites to see!

  67. MaggieBranch

    Washington DC is such a fabulous place to visit! I lived about 45 minutes out and would visit regularly– So much fun! It looks like you truly enjoyed the cherry blossoms.

  68. tpkeane

    I went to Washington DC for two nights and it just wasn’t enough for us. We did the Mall and all the other sights, but really could have done with more time. Great post.

  69. Melissa Bernardo

    I visited DC last week. Love it there. So much history! The Cherry Blossoms are gorgeous!

  70. Rose Sahetapy

    I’m really glad that finally there’s reference of Washington DC. I have plan to visit US in the future and the capital of State is always on my list. Thank you for sharing this great post.

  71. Kathy

    I would love to go to Washington D.C. I think that would be such a wonderful place to visit. I love all these spots you had listed. Now I’ll know where to go if I’m ever able to go to D.C.

  72. Christine - Jar Of Lemons

    This is a great list! We’ve been wanting to take a trip to Washington DC, so very excited to have this!

  73. dawn

    what great photos. i have always wanted to visit DC i heard its a great place.

  74. Michelle Mink

    The Air & Space Museum is absolutely incredible to visit. As well as the Library of Congress

  75. Dana Peller (@Pellerini)

    Last time I was there I was so young. Hopefully we’ll get there soon with the boys – I think they would love it!

  76. Seattle Travel Blogger

    D.C. is a great destination.
    I love your pictures.

  77. Sequins in the South (@CarlsonLaci)

    Love your picks I have been to most but not all those definitely a fun and neat state.

  78. Casey

    The White House and Madam Tussaud’s would definitely be on my must-see list for visiting Washington D.C. This is the best time of year to visit too with all the trees blooming!

  79. Jamie

    I hope to have the chance to travel to our capitol someday! I would love to see all these sites, but I think Mt. Vernon would be really amazing!

  80. wemake7

    Those are some great places to see when in Washington. We haven’t been there before but thinking about going in the next year or so.

  81. threekidsandafishc

    I completely agree! There are so many great historical places to go and great places to eat!

  82. Mariah

    The spy museum is sooooo cool! We went there thinking it was more of a kids thing, but wow! It was fantastic!

  83. leannematlach

    i live in baltimore and never get to dc enough. this is a great reminder to hop on a MARC train soon

  84. casavilorainteriors

    This is one place I plan to visit one of these days. I have always wanted to visit DC

  85. Amanda

    I’ve never been to DC! I hope that one day this will happen. My biggest wish would be to see the white house.

  86. Michelle Blackwood

    I went to see the white house and the monument, but never got to go to the museums. I lived in Virginia.

  87. Paula

    My cousin went to college in DC, and it was really fun going to see him graduate. My favorite was the Lincoln memorial, and I’m super bummed I didn’t know there was a spy museum!

  88. Chubskulit Rose

    We haven’t been in Washington DC but ,my kids would probably gravitate towards the Natural MUseum.

  89. Jocelyn Brown

    I have never really wanted to visit Washington D.C but this shows some fun places I didn’t know about!

  90. OHCHICMOM (@OHCHICMOM)

    OMG! I need this for my trip in August. I am making my list now! Thank you!

  91. CourtneyLynne

    These are all fabulous places to visit! My bestie lives in DC so we go once a year. These places are always a hit with hubby and my daughter.

  92. Marielle Altenor

    So many fun places to visit. Would be so cool to see The White House in person! That’s one of my goals!

  93. ascendingbutterfly

    I definitely have nothing to add as I have never been there. I was supposed to intern there just before College but there was a huge mix up and I ended up in Virginia and never made it out to Washington, but I am bookmarking this as a reference for when I actually do get out there!Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  94. Toni Williams

    Our family visits Washington D.C. regularly and I am grateful for this list. My kids would appreciate the spy museum! It’s a definite add to our list of things to do.

  95. Eileen xo

    We love Washington DC. I have family right outside of DC, in Virginia. In all these years, I never new there was a Spy Museum. How did I miss that. You have suggested great places to visit!

  96. Anosa

    OMG I would love to go to the National museum of natural history although I may be slightly disappointed if nothing comes to life! Also The white house is on my list, such a beautiful building

  97. adriana

    Love these pics! I love visiting DC, the tourist spots never get old!

  98. triathlonmami

    I loved the international spy museum and the mission we went on around the city. Another favorite are the Smithsonian museums. Incredibly diverse, interesting and best part FREE!

  99. aimlessmoments (@AimlessMoments)

    I want to make this our roadtrip for next year. I don’t know if I want to go in the Spring with the tulips and cherry blossoms or wait till winter for some snow.

  100. kancell724

    I hope to visit Washington DC someday. I want to visit all these places.

  101. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    Washington DC sure has a lot of tourist spots. I wish I could visit someday..

  102. Fashionable Librarian

    Washington DC is on my bucket list so I am saving this for the future

  103. utahcoupondeals

    Washington DC is very beautiful. I was able to go when I was a senior in High School. I would love to go back and visit with my family.

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