• Lincoln Memorial

    Despite its appearance on the penny and the $5 bill, the Lincoln Memorial is perhaps most recognisable as the site of historic demonstrations. In 1939, when the Daughters of the American Revolution barred the African-American contralto Marian Anderson from singing in their Constitution Hall, she performed for more than 75,000 Read more [...]

  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    Since its opening in 1993, the Holocaust Museum has attracted legions of visitors to its permanent exhibition, The Holocaust. The three-floor exhibition, containing over 900 artifacts, many video screens and four theaters showing archive footage and survivor testimony, presents a chronological history of the Nazi holocaust. On the top level, Read more [...]

  • United States Botanic Garden

    In 1842, the Navy’s Wilkes Expedition returned from exploring Fiji and South America, showering Congress with a cornucopia of exotic flora. The present conservatory was erected in 1930 and recently modernized with state-of-the-art climate controls and a coconut-level catwalk around the central rainforest. The conservatory displays 4,000 plants, including endangered Read more [...]

  • National World War II Memorial

    Dedicated in 2004, the monument that honours America’s “Greatest Generation” is a grandiose affair on a 7.4-acre plot. Designed by Friedrich St Florian, it is a granite-heavy space dominated by the central Rainbow Pool, which is set between two 43ft triumphal arches, representing the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war. Read more [...]

  • Martin Luther King Memorial

    It’s been a long time coming, but African-Americans have finally found their place on the National Mall. The National Museum of African American History & Culture is set to open in 2015, and the Martin Luther King Memorial was dedicated in late 2011—the result of years of campaigning and fundraising. Read more [...]

  • Arlington National Cemetery

    It is the right of anyone killed in action in any branch of military service, or who served for 20 years, to be buried at Arlington, along with their spouse. It’s ironic, then, that the cemetery started almost as an act of Civil War vengeance: in 1861 Union forces seized Read more [...]

  • White House

    Part showplace, part workplace, probably one of the world’s most-recognized buildings, it’s hard to imagine now that until the 20th century the public could walk in freely, and the grounds remained open until World War II. Today, visitors simply get to peek at a scant eight rooms out of the Read more [...]

  • Jefferson Memorial

    FDR promoted this 1943 shrine to the founder of his Democratic Party, balancing that to the Republicans’ icon, Lincoln. Roosevelt liked it so much he had trees cleared so he could see it from the Oval Office. John Russell Pope designed an adaptation (sneered at by some as “Jefferson’s muffin”) Read more [...]

  • National Zoological Park

    The free-admission National Zoo offers a diverting escape. Particularly during the off-season, when the paths are not cluttered by pushchairs, the zoo offers a perfect (albeit hilly) stroll, away from the bustle of Connecticut Avenue. Tree-shaded paths wind through the margins past the various animals. The stars are two pandas, Read more [...]

  • National Archives

    The vast collection of the National Archive & Record Administration (NARA) represents the physical record of the birth and growth of a nation in original documents, maps, photos, recordings, films and a miscellany of objects. The catalogue resonates with national iconography and historical gravitas (and pathos), and includes the Louisiana Read more [...]