Although our nation’s capital is open to everybody who wants to come and experience the heart of America, it’s impossible to have a successful tour without planning. There are both security and logistical questions to consider. Follow this guide and you’ll have an educational and enriching experience.First, you must make plans with one of the Congressional representatives of your state, at least a month in advance of your chosen date. You don’t have to wait that long, thoughespecially prepared groups can make plans up to six months in advance. Before you finalize a date, talk it over with everyone in your group, which must be ten people or more. While this might seem like a large number, it’s a great way to plan a trip together with the extended family that you haven’t seen since that last Thanksgiving dinner. Read the rest of this entry »
Everybody can list the big names to check off your first trip to Washington, D.C.: The White House. The Smithsonian Museums. The Lincoln Memorial. But if you’re on your second or third visit, or if you’re a local, there’s plenty of opportunity to get out of the mainstream and visit some other D.C. treasures.
- The Library of Congress is more than just the largest library in the world. It regularly features rotating exhibits like “Hope for America: Performers, Politics and Pop Culture” which looks at the role Bob Hope played in American political history. In addition, the amazing architecture and art collection of the Library is always on display.
- The United States Botanic Garden is a gorgeous piece of history dating back to 1816. Today, the Garden not only houses over 26,000 plants in a variety of categories, but also promotes sustainability and environmental concerns. Read the rest of this entry »
Summertime for most kids is an opportunity to get away from school and enjoy time playing video games or hanging out at the park. But for those who are either ill or impoverished, summer can be just another season in a difficult young lifejust another dream. Thankfully, people in and around Washington, D.C. are working to make that dream a reality in a number of ways.First, a bike co-op in Alexandria called Velocity is hoping to provide future skills and self-esteem to area teens by teaching them the skills of bike repair. Volunteer Christian Myers grew up with too much time on his hands and a penchant for getting into trouble until he saw the change a mentor could make in a young person’s life. He worked as a bike messenger in D.C. for 12 years before forming Velocity to pass his skills on to others. Read the rest of this entry »
The D.C. area has long been a hotbed for musical inspiration, spawning popular folk bands like The Lovin’ Spoonful and The Mamas & the Papas in the ’60s and several seminal hardcore punk and emo groups in the ’80s with groups like Bad Brains and Minor Threat. The spirit of those eras still lives on in the city today, and visitors and locals alike can be a part of it by checking out a show at a local venue. Here are some to add to your list.The Rock and Roll Hotel is a unique venue on H Street that combines the thrill of live music with the comfort of private hotel rooms. Visitors can rent out their themed rooms for the evening for parties and other events. Read the rest of this entry »
Once you’ve taken care of transportation and accommodations for your Washington, D.C. trip, you’ll probably want to save your money for important things like dining, museums, and souvenirs. Not everybody knows that a cheap night doesn’t have to mean sitting in the hotel watching Pay-Per-View. There are plenty of regular free events for tourists to enjoy.At the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, visitors can witness the last natural marsh in D.C. War veteran Walter Shaw started the water gardens in the late 1800s, using wild water lilies from his home state of Maine. Today, the Gardens house a delicate system of plants and animals, including butterflies and beavers, that make it a popular spot for an afternoon stroll.The C & O (Chesapeake & Ohio) Canal is a shipping route leading to the Potomac. Read the rest of this entry »