Attractions near L'Enfant Plaza in Washington DC
The Smithsonian Institute is the world's largest museum and is composed of 19 galleries and museums as well as the National Zoological Park. The various museums highlight topics ranging from art and sculpture to space and African American history. In addition to a vast permanent collection, the museums offer special exhibits, guided tours, educational workshops, and children's programs. With a mission of preserving heritage and sharing resources, the Smithsonian museums are free to visit and open year round.
National Mall and Memorial Park
The National Mall and Memorial Park is a 146-acre national park in downtown Washington, DC. The National Mall and Memorial Park, which is bordered by several of the Smithsonian museums, is home to approximately 20 iconic landmarks and memorials. Highlights of the park include the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the World War II Memorial. Visitors may tour the area on their own, or take part in guided walking or bike tours offered by the National Park Service.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress, which consists of three buildings on Capitol Hill, is the largest library in the world. The library is home to approximately 838 miles of shelves which hold over 151 items. Visitors may tour the library at their own pace, or choose from a variety of guided tours. Volunteer docents offer several tours each day, which allow participants to explore the Thomas Jefferson Building, view the Main Reading Room, and learn about the history and collections of the Library of Congress.
Washington National Cathedral
The Washington National Cathedral is a cathedral of the Episcopal Church and is officially named the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The sixth largest cathedral in the world features Gothic architecture with pointed arches, stained glass windows, and carved gargoyles. Visitors may tour the building and grounds on their own, or take one of many guided tours focusing on the church's gardens, towers, or bells.
In 1865, Ford's Theater was the scene of Abraham Lincoln's assassination and became famous as the scene of one of the most tragic occurrences in US history. Today, the theater is a multipurpose attraction, which serves as both a working theater and a museum celebrating the life and death of the 16th president. During the day, visitors may take a self-guided tour of the building and museum, or take a guided tour. Evening visitors may take in a showing of one of the theater's productions.