Washington DC Vacation Planner
With this Washington, DC trip itinerary, you will be able to explore historic museums and memorials around DC. Visit the historic memorials of Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., Lincoln, and pay your respects at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the World War II Memorial. Don’t forget to see the most iconic government buildings in DC, the White House and the Capitol. We know what to see in Washington, DC, and the Smithsonian museums are not something to skip. This Washington, DC trip planner will guide you to all the exciting places to see!
Washington, DC Museums, Monuments, Memorials And More
- Jefferson Memorial
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- World War II Memorial
- Washington Monument
- The White House
- Capitol Building
- Smithsonian Museums
- The Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art: the National Museums of Asian Art
- National Zoo
- National Cathedral
- National Gallery of Art
- Ford's Theatre
- The Korean War Veterans Memorial
Start your day by visiting one of the most iconic memorials in Washington, DC, the Jefferson Memorial. Located on the Tidal Basin, you can get a sweeping view of this wonderful part of DC. Nearby you'll also find the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Then make your way to "The Great Emancipator" and walk the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial. On the inner walls of the memorial you'll find the words of two of Lincoln's greatest speeches - The Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address. Don't forget to look for the plaque on the step where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Only a few steps away you'll find the breathtaking and reflective Vietnam Memorial where the names of all fallen vets from this war adorn the black wall. A little bit to the east on the National Mall you'll find the WWII Memorial that honors all the soldiers from "The Greatest Generation" who fought to rid the world of the Nazi regime. Make your way to the Washington Monument which sits in the middle of the National Mall. If you want to go to the top you can stand in line and get tickets when you arrive or book them ahead of time online. If you glance to the north while standing at the monument you'll see your next stop, the White House. You can gaze through the fence on the south side of the mansion from the Ellipse, or make your way to Pennsylvania Avenue and get a closer view. Last, head back toward the Washington Monument and hike the rest of National Mall to end your first day in historic Washington, DC.
Start day two of your Washington, DC trip at the U.S. Capitol Building. You should begin your visit at the visitor center and plan to take one of the informative tours. Visit the Capitol's website for information on times and availability of tours. Then, take advantage of your location and choose to visit one of the outstanding Smithsonian Museums nearby that line the National Mall. Some favorites of visitors include the Natural History Museum where you can browse exhibits that highlight the history of the world. The National Museum of the American Indian which allows you to see tribal art and beliefs up close and personal. The National Air and Space Museum where you can view iconic air and spacecraft spanning the history of flight. The Hirshhorn Museum which is the Smithsonian's museum of international modern and contemporary art which includes a collection of modern sculpture. Or, The Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art: the National Museums of Asian Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Once you've had your museum fill along the National Mall, head a couple streets over to the Newseum which tells the history of the news throughout the world. One-of-a-kind exhibits, theaters, and galleries make for a educational and entertaining experience. Last, head back toward Pennsylvania Avenue and take a picture or two of you and your family in front of the most iconic stop in Washington DC, the White House to complete day two of this Washington DC itinerary.
Start your third day at either the Smithsonian's National Zoo or the National Cathedral. The zoo is home to many amazing animals from all over the world. Between the elephants, monkeys, giant pandas and everything in-between there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes as the zoo sits on a hillside and there is a lot of walking. If the zoo isn't your thing, then head to the National Cathedral, which is the highest point in the city of Washington, DC. The stained glass windows and architecture are amazing and tours are given throughout the year. Check the Cathedral's website for details. Next it's time to get some culture as you head to the National Gallery of Art which is also home to the National Portrait Gallery. Nearby, you can visit Ford's Theatre for a show, or to pay respects to Abraham Lincoln who was fatally shot here while attending a play after the Civil War had ended. The Korean War Veterans Memorial, FDR Memorial, and National Museum of American History are listed at the bottom but not in the text. It is suggested to add these to the itinerary.