Search Results for: Washington DC

National Building Museum in Washington DC
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National Building Museum in Washington DC

The National Building Museum, located in downtown Washington DC, opened in 1985 after over a century of previous functions. Built in the late 18th century as the headquarters for the US Pension Bureau and as a honor to the men who fought in the Civil War, the space later hosted hundreds of celebratory functions in the nation’s capitol, including many presidential inauguration balls. It took over 15 million bricks to build the structure which includes a Great Hall, over a dozen gallery rooms, classrooms, meeting spaces, offices, and 234 busts (look up!) and 144 Doric style columns on the first and second floor.

Five Spots to Explore at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria
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Five Spots to Explore at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria

Built from 1922 to 1932 to honor George Washington, a Freemason at the age of 20 in 1752, the George Washington Masonic National Memorial overlooks Alexandria, Virginia high atop Shooter Hill. The nine story Memorial is 333 feet tall, just 100 feet shorter than the Washington Memorial in nearby Washington. It is the home to a museum, active Masonic temple, research library, and performing arts auditorium. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 2015.

5 Exhibits We Love at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.
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5 Exhibits We Love at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.

Disclosure: This is a leftover post from our adventures in 2019. I fact checked; all information should be up to date or linked to up to date resources.

The only zoo in the Smithsonian’s collection of 19 museums in Washington DC and New York City, the National Zoo is home to almost 400 species and 2,700 animals in a 163 acre park in the northwest section of Washington DC. The zoo was founded in 1889 and is free to visitors all year.

Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
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Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: I have chosen to continue my weekly blog posts sharing our recent adventures exploring America. Our family has been safely quarantined for over a month and we will continue to do so until it safe to head out on our next adventure. The travel tips and recommendations we share were current at the time of visitation in 2019-2020. We recommend helping our country (and world) by staying home and planning for future adventures. We hope these posts bring you inspiration and motivation to plan your next trip!

One of the oldest buildings in Washington DC and now a National Historic Landmark building, The Donald W. Reynold Center for American Art and Portraiture is home to both the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. The complex first opened to the public in 1968 and completed renovations in the early 2000s. Both institutions, overseen by the Smithsonian Institute, are housed in the same complex. The Portrait Gallery has over 23,000 pieces of art in its collection and began officially commissioning portraits of presidents, beginning with George H.W. Bush. The American Art Museum is home to one of the largest collection of American art in the world and includes The Luce Foundation Center for American Art, housed on the 3rd floor. The Luce collection has more than 3,000 pieces of art in mediums from paintings to sculptures to medals to jewelry.

City Guide: 10 FREE Things to Do in Washington D.C.
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City Guide: 10 FREE Things to Do in Washington D.C.

There are hundreds of free things to do in Washington DC and this is NOT a comprehensive list. We frequently visit the nation’s capital to visit family and friends and love exploring the city. Over the past couple of visits, we have enjoyed visiting the following ten spots:

National Museum of the American Indian in New York City
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National Museum of the American Indian in New York City

The Smithsonian Institute encompassed 17 museums (and a zoo!) located in Washington DC- check out the list here- and two locations in New York City: Cooper Hewitt, a design museum, and the National Museum of the Native American. Located in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, the National Museum of the American Indian chronicles the history of indigenous peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere.