Washington DC: What are some cool cheap or free things that are a must see or do?

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  • #84523 Reply

      I’ve got a trip coming up to Washington DC for a conference. What are some cool cheap or free things that are a must see or do?

      #84524 Reply

        The botanical gardens, walking around to see all the monuments, holocaust museum, old post office tower (preferred over trying to get into the Washington monument for views), Arlington national cemetery and the Smithsonian museums.

        Literally can’t list them all in one post. If you’re short on time day to day though, it’s more about planning out walking/getting to each place and prioritizing which you want to see most to make sure you have time at them. You could easily spend a lifetime just exploring one museum for free.

        #84525 Reply

          Walk on Theodore Roosevelt island, the mall & Smithsonian’s are all great in their own ways!

          #84526 Reply

            I highly recommend doing a 24 or 48 hour hop on/hop off bus your first evening there. They are inexpensive and comfortable and give you a great overview of monuments and memorials allowing you to decide which ones you’d like to spend more time on later.

            #84527 Reply

              All the Smithsonian museums, the monuments, and the National Zoo are free.

              #84528 Reply

                So much is free in DC!!! All of the Smithsonian is free and you could spend days looking through all the museums. I love the history, and I love walking around the monuments at night (when it’s cooler and the crowds are smaller). Is there something specific you’re interested in?

                #84529 Reply

                  As someone who has lived here almost my whole life, I would add just a couple of things: the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum if you like modern art, the Vietnam Memorial (so moving), the MLK memorial (also very moving), the Museum of African American History is so powerful (free but may need timed tickets – and has a great cafeteria), National Museum of the American Indian (also free – try to eat lunch in their cafeteria while there – fun!), the Zoo has a brand new rebuilt bird exhibit that I hear is wonderful (again timed tickets are helpful). Just walk around the “Mall” near the museums to take in the Capitol, and history.

                  And I really hope your conference isn’t in July or August! If so – ack! It’s usually very hot and humid. But then plan on being INSIDE for sightseeing. We have good a/c here. Lol!

                  #84530 Reply

                    All those Smithsonian Museums are free. All on the Mall. Just walking down Constitution Avenue, you will see monuments, the White House all the way to the Capitol. Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Some things do require tickets. Always check with your Congressional Office for tickets and VIP tours.

                    See what/if they have available. Go to the Kennedy Center for the performing Arts. Free shows every day at 6:00. Walk around on the roof terrace and see the views of DC, the Potomac, Georgetown, Roosevelt Island.

                    Always a good place to visit at night because there are rest rooms. Hey. That’s important! If you are going to spend money on anything, I would do a night tour. It is a beautiful city at night. Fun things that people often miss–exhibits at the Library of Congress and the National Archives. This is your tax dollar at work. Go enjoy it.

                    I’m a native Washingtonian. Happy to try to answer any questions.

                    #84531 Reply

                      All the Smithsonian museums are free. The National Zoo is free. The USPostal museum also free. You can see all the monuments and Arlington cemetery for free.

                      Use the metro system instead of trying to park.

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