Washington DC – A History Lesson

by Alli

Thanks to Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk for providing this guest post: Washington DC – A History Lesson.

Over the past 200 plus years, the United States has gone from a small country started by a group of separatists, and it has become the most powerful country in the world. This did not happen by accident. There were many intelligent people who were visionaries that helped to turn the United States into the greatest democracy the world has ever seen.

If you are interested in how this great country came to be and the lives of the people who helped to make it possible, then you will want to visit Washington, D.C. You can learn more about traveling to DC by reading some of the many travel blogs that can be found online. Here are some reasons why a trip to Washington is a fascinating history lesson.

1. The National Mall

You have no doubt seen the video of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. That speech was delivered on the National Mall. This is the area surrounding, and in front of, the Washington Monument. It also consists of the famous reflecting pool. This area has been the location for various scenes in many movies and TV shows over the years. The scene in “Forrest Gump” when Jenny walks through the reflecting pool is probably the most famous example.

2. The National Air and Space Museum

If you have always been fascinated with flying and space travel, the National Air and Space Museum should definitely be on your itinerary. You will be able to see the entire history of both air and space travel laid out in front of you. You will be able to see examples of aircraft that date back to more than a century ago. You will also be able to see a NASA space shuttle, as well as the moon landing unit and some of the capsules they have used for orbiting the Earth. Once you visit this museum, you will be amazed to think how far humans have come in terms of technology in such a short period of time.

3. Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Memorial gets the bulk of the media attention. However, the Korean War Veterans Memorial is still something that should not be missed. Many members of the American armed forces lost their lives during this conflict. This memorial is a beautiful and powerful tribute to these men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

4. Washington National Cathedral

The Washington National Cathedral is a place that must be seen by all people who appreciate gorgeous architecture. This is the most famous church in Washington. It is widely regarded as an architectural masterpiece. This is a good place to visit if you want to avoid the crowds that can usually be found at many of the more famous attractions in the city, such as the White House and the Smithsonian.

5. International Spy Museum

This is the perfect place to visit for people who have an interest in international espionage. If you have always wondered how the best spies in the world were able to gather information and transmit it without being detected, this museum will give you a good education in how they accomplished this. You will be able to see much of the equipment they used.

This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, the most comprehensive travel search website allowing you to find the best deals on anything from flights and hotels to train rides and Homeaway rentals.


Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle May 5, 2015 - 1:39 pm

They have a spy museum?! That is so cool! I’ve got to get there one day.

Robin Rue (@massholemommy) May 5, 2015 - 1:43 pm

We were at the Spy Museum the week before last. I have a whole post going up about how awesome we thought it was.

Alli May 8, 2015 - 9:27 am

I’m looking forward to reading it. I’ve always wanted to be a spy. 🙂

Tanya C. May 5, 2015 - 2:37 pm

I’m sure missing the east coast right now – I never knew they had a Spy Museum there and my boys would go nuts in there! We do love learning history hands on, we’re going to have to make a summer vacation list of places to see there 😀

Christy Maurer May 5, 2015 - 2:51 pm

I would love to take my kids to Washington D.C. My son loves history and this would be a cool vacation! The National Cathedral is beautiful!

lisa May 5, 2015 - 5:06 pm

I have always wanted to check out DC. There is so much great history in that city that I would really love to go learn more!

Tiaras & Tantrums May 5, 2015 - 5:28 pm

We love DC!! We have not been there in a couple of years and can’t wait to go next year when my son graduates from 8th grade. We are going to take another family trip there.

Cherri Megasko May 5, 2015 - 8:10 pm

We live about an hour and a half from Washington, D.C., and every time we visit I am just awestruck. Passing the Arlington National Cemetery, driving by the Washington Monument, walking up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial … it all makes me so proud to be an American.

Alli May 8, 2015 - 9:23 am

I can’t imagine getting to see those places on a regular basis. I always get chills – in a good way.

rochkirstin May 5, 2015 - 9:34 pm

Wow, these are places that kids should visit to learn more about history when they are outside the classroom. Can you also share about admission fees and directions to get to these places?

Alli May 8, 2015 - 9:22 am

The Washington, DC post was from a guest, but I can certainly pass it along. Thanks so much for the suggestion.

Jeanine May 5, 2015 - 9:53 pm

Okay, spy museum? Sign me up for that. How awesome. I’m going to be brutally honest here and tell you – I am Beyond fascinated by the USA. I know we are neighbours but something about your Country, I am just in awe of.

Aisha Kristine Chong May 5, 2015 - 11:07 pm

I never even knew of a spy museum and that is just plain cool to know!

Mistee Dawn May 5, 2015 - 11:20 pm

Washington DC is a very fascinating place. I hope to visit there one day. So beautiful.

celebbabylaundry May 6, 2015 - 12:19 am

I have always wanted to visit Washington, thanks for this very good lesson about it!

Ashley ~ 3 Little Greenwoods May 6, 2015 - 6:13 am

This is a trip we must make with our family soon! Our oldest son loves history and would enjoy a trip to Washington, DC. Especially the spy museum!

Shaney Vijendranath May 6, 2015 - 6:43 am

I really want to visit Washington. I’ve seen it in so many movies, definitely a must visit for me when I travel to America.

lisa @bitesforbabies May 6, 2015 - 7:10 am

I don’t know much about many States, at least not the history! Thanks for the concise summary of the history. It sounds like a great place to visit!

ricci May 6, 2015 - 8:45 am

I’m traveling to DC this summer, I actually just booked my hotel yesterday, and I am super excited!! I have wanted to go forever and now I have a few more places to see based on your list!!

Nichole May 6, 2015 - 9:06 am

D.C. is a place on my list to travel – and we actually decided to attend our friend’s wedding in Virginia next month – and while this time we will only be in D.C. for one day, I plan to play tourist for just a few hours – until the next time! These all look like great spots to visit!

Paris (My Big Fat Happy Life) May 6, 2015 - 9:21 am

I have loved our trips to Washington DC! So many great places to explore! I think it’s time to take S on her first trip and make a stop at the Spy Museum 🙂

aimee fauci May 6, 2015 - 9:44 am

I have never been to Washington DC! I’ve been to so many places but here.

Gina May 6, 2015 - 11:21 am

We live just south of DC and I totally agree with #3. It’s my favorite monument and I’ve taken a zillion photos there, especially on rainy/foggy days. It’s incredible.

Fi Ní Neachtáin May 6, 2015 - 11:37 am

Washington DC is such a historic place. I’d love to visit one day and visit all these interesting places it has to offer.

Jessica Simms May 6, 2015 - 12:33 pm

I live pretty close to DC and its alway a great place to go to for the kids history themed field trips. I hate the traffic and driving but I love the museums.

NAdeen May 6, 2015 - 1:03 pm

I lived in the DC area for 8 years and absolutely loved it!! I have been to all of these except the spy museum. Looking forward to visiting again soon. 4th of July on the National Mall will make you feel so patriotic!

Sarah May 6, 2015 - 2:55 pm

I love Washington, DC! I lived there for 3 years while working on Capital Hill. The International Spy Museum had just opened, so cool! Definetely check with your local Congressman or US Senator for free Capital tours for your next trip! Great tips and I can’t wait to go back and check out some of the new things DC has to offer

Alli May 8, 2015 - 9:19 am

What a great experience – living in DC and working on Capital Hill!

Logan Can May 6, 2015 - 2:55 pm

This was very inormative! I love DC but have never visited most of these places. I would love to go to the International Spy Museum!

Alli May 8, 2015 - 9:20 am

Logan, I hope you and that sweet little Sophie & Hampton are doing well.

Chrystal @ YUM eating May 6, 2015 - 4:24 pm

I have never been to washington dc. I want to. My husband and I have discussed taking kiddo there in another year or two. Right now we cant get her to walk thru an antique store or museum without getting a big case of the “I’m boreds” and she whines. So, he thinks DC should wait.

Alli May 8, 2015 - 9:18 am

I agree! Wait until the kids will actually enjoy it. 🙂

Raijean May 6, 2015 - 4:37 pm

I need to go back DC, there are so many things I haven’t gotten a chance to see.

Ann Bacciaglia May 6, 2015 - 4:45 pm

I have always wanted to travel to Washington DC. There are so many fantastic places to see there.

Lauren May 6, 2015 - 5:53 pm

I absolutely love this post!! I love visiting DC because of it’s amazing history! Thanks for sharing!

Lauren May 6, 2015 - 8:11 pm

I loved visiting DC! There are so many things to explore 🙂

Liz Leiro May 6, 2015 - 10:08 pm

I’ve never been to Washington, D.C., but I definitely believe there is no better way to learn about history than to go and experience historical cities firsthand. Love all the highlights of the capital in this article 🙂 Maybe one day my road-trip dream will come true and I’ll make it out there!

Alli May 8, 2015 - 9:11 am

My daughter homeschools and she’s planning to take her kids to DC for a field trip. They will have a blast and never realize how much they are learning.

Travis May 7, 2015 - 10:21 am

I haven’t been to Washington, DC since I was a kid and missed most of this when I went. I really need to go back and see what I missed.

Alli May 8, 2015 - 9:03 am

That spy museum is calling my name.

Kelly Hutchinson May 7, 2015 - 8:15 pm

I am so excited that my teen daughter is going to be visiting DC this summer on a school trip. I haven’t been in years and I am sure she will really enjoy it.

Alli May 8, 2015 - 8:51 am

My daughter visited for the first time when she was a teen. She met with our senators, etc. and really enjoyed it. I know your daughter will have a great time.

CourtneyLynne May 7, 2015 - 10:30 pm

I just love DC! We go every year to visit a best friend of mine. the sky museum is A pretty neat place.

Alli May 8, 2015 - 8:47 am

There’s so much to do. I don’t think you could ever get bored in DC.

Camesha | Mama Motivator May 9, 2015 - 7:13 pm

D.C. is such an awesome city! There’s so much to take in. It’s been far too long since I’ve been there.

Amby Felix May 12, 2015 - 2:16 am

I’d love to visit Washington D.C! I haven’t been out to the East Coast in AGES!


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