Most visitors to Washington DC spend their time on the National Mall but there are plenty of places of interest besides those at the Mall. Take a trip out-of-town and discover there is much more to the city than just the National Mall. The following are just a few of the many attractions Washington DC and the surrounding area have to offer.
Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
Located along the shores of the Potomac River, the 500 acre Mount Vernon Estate was the home of America’s first president George Washington and his family. This beautifully restored 14 room mansion contains objects and furnishings dating back to the 1740’s. Visitors to the estate can Town Alexandria executive suites explore the mansion, the slave quarters, coach house, stables, estate grounds and museum to get an insight into the life of the president and his family.
Covering 163 acres, the National Zoo is located within the Rock Creek National Park. Part of the Smithsonian Institution, this zoological park is home to over 400 different species of animals including giant pandas, bears, giraffes, lions, tigers, monkeys, sea lions and many more. Exhibits not to be missed on your last minute holidays to America are the Elephant Trails and the Giant Panda Habitat and Asia Trail.
Great Falls Park
Located along the Potomac River, Great Falls Park is a spectacular 800 acre natural park. The steep waterfalls cascade from heights of over 20 foot and are an amazing sight to see. Visitors can follow the River Trail and take in the spectacular views of Mather Gorge, follow the upper Canal Trail to view the head of the falls and the Aqueduct Dam or take the popular Billy Goat Trail and explore the scenic places along its route.
This cosmopolitan neighbourhood is home to some great museums, historic homes, ethnic restaurants, private art galleries and foreign embassies. Popular with the gay community, Dupont Circle is the heart of Washington DC’s nightlife. The Circle itself is a meeting place whose focal point is a unique fountain surrounded by grass and park benches. Woodrow Wilson House and the Textile Museum are attractions near to Dupont Circle.
Old Town Alexandria
Just across the river from Washington DC is the quaint historic town of Alexandria which dates back to 1749. During the colonial, revolutionary and Civil War periods Alexandria’s riverfront was an important colonial port. Nowadays the Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront is home to cobbled streets with colonial houses, museums, churches, restaurants and shops. There are lots of different guided tours on offer including historical walking tours, horse drawn carriage tours, river cruises and even ghost tours!
One of Washington DC’s oldest neighbourhoods, Georgetown was once a major port and commercial centre in colonial times. A vibrant neighbourhood with tree-lined streets and 200 year old houses the cobbled streets are also home to restaurants, bars and shops. If visiting Washington DC in May don’t miss the Dragon Boat Festival here in Georgetown.
Located in downtown Washington, the Penn Quarter district is home to some great art galleries, museums, theatres, nightclubs, restaurants and up-market shops.
Other interesting places to visit are the Adams Morgan neighbourhood for Washington’s liveliest nightlife, the farmers market and flea market and Glen Echo Park which offers theatrical and dance activities.
The children will love the Six Flags America theme park, the National Zoo, the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian’s Discovery Theatre, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of Natural History, the Washington Monument and much more on their family holidays.
Emma Healey is the co-founder and owner of traveltravel.co.uk, specialists in cheap holidays and travel deals to worldwide destination. Thanks for taking the time to read my article and be sure to watch out for more of my articles as im writing many travel blogs and have some great topics coming soon.