History & Heritage

The country’s history starts with our own history and heritage.

The History of Washington, DC

Founded on July 16, 1790, Washington, DC is unique among American cities because it was established by the Constitution of the United States to serve as the nation’s capital. You can read the actual line at the National Archives. From its beginning, it has been embroiled in political maneuvering,...

Washington, DC Aerial View
Experiencing Your First Presidential Motorcade in Washington, DC

Hey, what’s that blocking the street? In Washington, DC, if you spot a bunch of police shutting down a major road, keeping pedestrians from crossing the street and helicopters circling overhead, chances are you’re about to encounter an official government motorcade, not spot Beyoncé. High-ranking...

Official Government Motorcade Crossing Arlington Bridge in Washington, DC
13 Can’t-Miss Free Museums on the National Mall

To go with its monuments and memorials, the National Mall boasts an impressive lineup of free museums. Visitors should take advantage of the wide range of experiences on hand, from immersing themselves in classic art to marveling at the wonders of aviation and our natural world. Let your wallet...

Smithsonian Museums - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Washington, DC
Visiting the National Archives Building & Museum

What and where is the National Archives Building & Museum? The National Archives & Records Administration Building and Museum is located on Constitution Avenue NW, between 7th and 9th Streets, just north of the National Mall . The building houses both a museum and the National Archives and...

National Archives Building and Museum - Free Washington, DC Museum with Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights
100 Free & Almost Free Things to Do: African American History & Culture

Washington, DC’s history is entwined with its large population of African American residents, as evidenced by the more than 200 sites on the African American Heritage Trail in the city. Here are important sites that celebrate the history and experience of African Americans in the nation’s capital.

Funk Parade on U Street - Events and Festivals in Washington, DC
How Can I Tour the White House?

Requesting a tour Touring the White House requires some advance planning. Public tour requests must be made through your member of Congress (find your member of Congress and contact information here ) and submitted up to three months in advance and no less than 21 days prior to your visit. If you'...

The White House
3 Days Following President Lincoln's Footsteps in Washington, DC

Morning Start your day at the Lincoln Memorial . Lincoln’s statue gazes out across Memorial Bridge to Arlington National Cemetery , which was home to Robert E. Lee’s former estate. Hop into a cab to visit President Lincoln’s Cottage . Lincoln spent his summers here in 1862, 1863 and 1864, a...

@brandonmkopp - Visitor at the Lincoln Memorial - Washington, DC
100 Free & Almost Free Things to Do: History & Heritage

Adventure through American history in Washington, DC, a city brimming with exciting experiences, some of which literally date back to the founding of our nation (we’re looking at you, Declaration of Independence). Not only is DC filled with exciting history and heritage, it’s also been called the “...

@ray.payys - World War II Memorial on National Mall at night - Washington, DC
Visiting the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

A visit to the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is a solemn and powerful reminder of the very human cost of war. The memorial “conveys a combination of strength and vulnerability, of loss and renewal… through juxtaposition of granite and glass,” according to the National Park Service,...

american veterans disabled for life memorial
100 Free & Almost Free Things to Do: Best of Town

One surprising and pleasant discovery you’ll make when visiting Washington, DC - many events, museums and attractions are free. Here are a free activities that await on your trip to the nation’s capital.

Smithsonian Castle