Have The Best Day Exploring Washington DC - For FREE!

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

I am writing this blog for my Sister in law and Sister who are traveling to Washington DC now and asked if I had posted an itinerary on my blog for the Capital yet. And so I knew it was time to get on it! Have the best time ladies!!

Best of... This is my DC Free Day Itinerary. These are some of the best times we have had over several trips. The Zoo could truly be it's own day... But also if you wanted to stop by and see pandas and lions then get back out into the streets for some monuments that is very possible. I made this list after reviewing our adventures and consulting the the experts: My 4 Kids. They've been to DC now several times, usually for a few hours at a time when stopping on our way through to NY. This is our Full day itinerary list!

Washington DC ~~~ A Great place for Family Adventure or just wandering with your love ~~~

You can click each place to visit the site for more info!

The National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., U.S.

The zoo is free but parking is $22

(You can take the Metro Red Line and get off at the Woodley Park/ National Zoo stop)

One of the few places to see Pandas in the US! Tigers, Lions, bison, very convincing habitats, the animals look very comfortable and the Zoo itself is large but interactive and well laid out.

Arlington National Cemetery

1 Memorial Ave

Arlington, VA 22211

Open 8-5 Oct- March

8-7 April to September

(there is an express bus to/from the national mall or you can walk/ bike across the Memorial Bridge)

Changing of the guard/ Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

On a hill overlooking Washington DC the tomb is guarded 24 hours a day and every hour there is a ceremony to change out the guard watching it is quite impressive to witness

JFKennedy resting place

JFK, Jackie Onassis, and baby are placed here with an ever burning flame. Beautiful monument to our favorite President

Union station

50 Massachusetts Avenue NE Washington DC

Washington DC is train station and shopping mall. Historic building with lots of places to eat inside in the food court

Liberty bell (located in the front of union station stop for pictures)

The Mint/ Bureau of Printing and Engraving

300 14th St SW, Washington, DC 20228

The tour and visitor entrance is located at 14th Street, SW. For information regarding the tour, please call (202) 874-2330. The Free 40 minute tour is free but requires advanced tickets you can get from the ticket booth, located at 15th Street, SW, Raoul Wallenberg Place which opens at 8:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, and closes when all tickets have been distributed for the day. Visitor lines form early at the ticket booth and are often distributed by 8:30 a.m., especially during the Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20 - April 12). Be prepared to go through security screening.

See how money is made! And find out your height in dollars…. Surprisingly fun (my kids favorite stop)

Natural History Museum

1300 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560

May look familiar due to the movie Night At The Museum, fun interactive history – a great museum to wander through! History and Evolution.... if you are into that!

Ford Theatre

511 10th st. NE Washington DC


Admission to Ford's Theatre is free.Same day tickets will be available at the Box Office beginning at 8:30 a.m. There is a limit of six tickets per person for the same day tickets.

Timed Entry Tour Tickets

Reserve tickets online at www.fords.org for $3.00 each. This way you can get the time you want. Or call 1-888-616-0270.

The heart of downtown Washington DC where you can watch a reenactment of Abraham Lincoln being shot by John Wilkes Booth and then walk across the street to see where the president died in a family home aka The Patterson House. Not only was it very educational and historical but it was also fun!

White House/ Mall area

If you use the metro, take the orange, silver or blue line to the Smithsonian stop. You will have fairly easy access to the White House, and surrounding memorials. The Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are all on the route. Plan to walk about three miles round trip from the Smithsonian metro stop to these monuments and back. If you want to see the FDR Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, you will walk at least one mile further.

Monuments and Memorials

If you walk around the 3 mile loop there are several stops with many landmarks and gardens in-between

· Jefferson Memorial

· Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

· Korean War Veterans Memorial

· Lincoln Memorial

· Vietnam Veterans Memorial

· Washington Monument

· World War II Memorial

· Martin Luther King Memorial

The Washington Monument

Is free but time tickets can be picked up in the morning at the base of the monument. You can also reserve times online for a small processing fee.

(These are pictures of the Washington Monument as taken from the Lincoln Memorial)

We've done the timed tickets and gone up to the top for the most awesome views of Washington DC. From up there you clearly see all of the geometry that marks the land and designs the streets. Really cool if you appreciate the engineering factors! Great place.

Lincoln Memorial

Much bigger in person than it looks on Tv. Located at the end of the National Mall. Must climb the steps and go inside for the grandeur effect.... Lincoln in all his glory with all his quotes!

(This is especially impressive as the sun is going down)

WW2 Memorial

Puts life in perspective with stunning visuals and water falls that memorialize each State.

Also very dramatic after sunset!

Martin Luther King Jr. Monument

1850 West Basin Drive SW, Near West Basin Drive SW & Independence Ave. SW, Washington DC, DC 20024

*Don’t miss, you have to walk around on the tidal basin side to see this huge memorial but it is easy to miss if you don’t know it is beyond the Lincoln Memorial, and you must walk around to get there. The Ranger Station, gift shop and bathrooms are right across the street from this monument.

FDR Memorial

Does a great job telling the story of the person President being honored with waterfalls, sculptures and a walk through the Great Depression.

Jefferson Memorial

Also not directly on the mall so often missed, but worth the stroll. You can go inside and downstairs into a small museum highlighting that era.

Yes - you do want to experience each monument in its grandeur and it's best not to hurry through. Some of our favorite times here were spent just wandering around looking at the geometric patterns and laughing about the conspiracy theories of the area. It's fun to just sit in the grass and have a picnic. We saw groups of people doing scavenger hunts and geo fetching. At one time Poke-man - go was the hype and there were all kinds of great battles to be had! But what ever your time frame, walk the Mall! Go by the White House, you may be able to see a good protest. My kids were looking for secret passageways and convinced that everyone was an undercover spy!

We have not yet been to the Museum of African American History, which has recently opened and I have heard great things about it! We will try to catch that on our next stop in the Nation's Capital!

Navigate with the National Mall App Use the National Mall App on your smartphone to navigate your way around the National Mall. Key features include:

Map: An official National Park Service map of the central tourist area in Washington, D.C. Easy to use while outdoors, the map features large font sizes, walkways that are easily distinguishable from roads, and three zoom levels. By tapping the 'locate me' icon, you will always know where you are.

Park Lens: Find out what is around you with augmented reality views of the National Mall. Just hold up your device and look through the activated camera view. labels will appear identifying all sites on the National Mall.

For $1.00 you can hop on and off the big red circulator bus! They run continuously in this loop. You must have exact change. Good if you would like to get out of the elements or need a break!

Also, I LOVE this website: it provides many ideas and a ton of info


Most importantly: Enjoy your trip

May all your travels be safe and fulfilling

Thank you for coming by to plan your travels!

Mz. Savvy

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