Washington Specialty Attractions
Standing as the central point of interest in the Capitol Complex, The United States Capitol is considered to be one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in the world. The Capitol is actively used by United States Congress and receives approximately 3.5 million visitors every year. Tours of the Capitol building and the grounds (which includes six congressional office buildings, the Supreme Court Building and the U.S. Botanic Garden) are offered frequently.
The Smithsonian Institution offers two IMAX theaters in Washington DC. The Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater is located at the National Museum of Natural History, while the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater is found at the National Air and Space Museum. Both theaters offer a selection of exciting films.
This monumental gateway to America's capital city opened in 1907, and today it is one of Washington, D.C.'s most popular attractions. As one of the premiere shopping areas in the country, there are shops, galleries, boutiques and restaurants are situated throughout the station. Union Station also serves as a major terminal for Amtrak rail services.
Through state-of-the-art technology, art exhibits from the Vatican Museums, and cultural programs, the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center provides visitors of all ages and denominations an opportunity to explore various faiths and cultures. The center is open Tuesday - Saturday (and holiday Mondays) 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday noon - 5 p.m.
Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House stands as an omnipresent symbol for the entire county. As the residence of the President its architectural beauty is only surpassed by its historical and cultural significance. All White House tours, ranging from self-guided tours to tours for the visually and hearing impaired, are free. There are no tours on Sunday and Monday.
The Folger Shakespeare Library is home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection and is also known as a venue for exhibitions, literary programs and the performing arts. Guided 90-minute tours are offered daily at 11am, with an additional tour on Saturdays at 1pm.
Noted as one of the top attractions in Washington, The Old Post Office Pavilion houses shops, restaurants and a large clock tower that offers stunning views of the city.
Open weekdays to the general public from 9am to 10:45am and 12:30pm to 2pm, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing allows visitors to see how money is made. During peak season (March through August), tickets are required and are given on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets are offered on the same day only and the booth opens at 8am.
Marble walls in Judiciary Square honor all of America's federal, state and local law enforcers. Inscribed on the walls are names of more than 17,000 officers killed in the line of duty. New names are added every May during National Police Week. A museum is currently being constructed that will house a collection of the nation's most significant law enforcement artifacts. A major emphasis will be on educating visitors about the essential role that law enforcement plays in a free society.