Washington, D.C. is an amazing city — and a city that is full of meaningful landmarks of the history of the United States. As the capital of the United States, Washington is the seat of the United States government and is filled with incredible history and personality. So what are the best historical sites you should visit during your next trip to D.C.?
Washington, D.C. is filled with historical sites, some created more recently and some centuries-old. Below is our list of the top must-see landmarks for your next trip to Washington, D.C.
Built in the style of a Greek temple, the Lincoln Memorial sits at the west end of the National Mall as a monument to the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Opened on Memorial Day in 1922, the chambers inside the memorial contain inscriptions from Lincoln’s famous speeches, including the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.
The Washington Monument is one of the famous symbols in the U.S. capital. The Monument was built in the style of an Egyptian obelisk to invoke the timelessness of George Washington’s memory. When the Washington Monument was completed in 1884, it was the tallest building in the world.
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world and the official library of the United States Congress. Although the original library was destroyed during the War of 1812, Thomas Jefferson — the third president of the United States and author of the declaration of independence — donated his personal collection of over 6,000 books and manuscripts to rebuild the library in 1814.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is made up of massive walls of black granite. Inscribed on the walls are the names of over 58,000 men and women who sacrificed their lives or were never recovered during the Vietnam War. Dedicated on November 13, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial attracts over 5 million visitors each year.
Arlington National Cemetery lies directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The cemetery is the final resting place for over 400,000 U.S. service members who died in combat as well as veterans and their families. It is also the final resting place for President John F. Kennedy. Within Arlington National Cemetery is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, dedicated to all of the U.S. soldiers and service members whose remains were never identified.
One of the famous buildings in the world, the White House serves as the home of the President of the United States and his family and is itself a museum of American history. George Washington selected the site for the original White House in 1791. The original White House was burned during the War of 1812, but the building was quickly rebuilt and President James Monroe moved into the currently-standing White House in 1817.