History & Heritage

History & Heritage: The country’s history starts with ours.

Turning Back the Clock with Virginia Ali

You might have heard that Washington, DC has experienced a significant resurgence in recent years, as new restaurants, retail and attractions flock to the city. Few people have witnessed as much change in the District as Virginia Ali, who along with her husband Ben opened up the DC institution Ben’...

bens chili bowl
17 Kid-Friendly Museums & Hands-On Attractions

DC’s wealth of museums and attractions means there are always magical places where kids are transported from the ho-hum of touring to the “Wow!” of experiencing. Many of these sites feature interactive entertainment to help capture the attention of even the littlest sightseer. And if you're looking...

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Lobby
Visiting the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

Shining a lens on urban life, the Anacostia Community Museum examines, documents and interprets the impact of historical and contemporary social issues on communities. However, the museum didn’t always focus on global communities, as the museum owes its roots to Anacostia’s local African American...

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum Washington DC
Visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

What is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and where is it? The Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall pays tribute to the brave members of the U.S. Armed Forces who fought in the Vietnam War and were killed or missing in action. The memorial consists of three separate parts: The Three Soldiers...

12 Things to See & Do in Anacostia

The historic riverside neighborhood of Anacostia is truly a gem. Some people think all Smithsonian Institution museums live on the National Mall , but Anacostia has its own completely dedicated to the concept of community. Perhaps the most famous member of the Anacostia community, Frederick...

Things to See & Do in Anacostia - Washington, DC
100 Free & Almost Free Things to Do: Best of Town

One surprising and pleasant discovery you’ll make when visiting Washington, DC - many events, museums and attractions are free. Here are a free activities that await on your trip to the nation’s capital.

Smithsonian Castle
12 Ways to Engage with African American History & Culture in Washington, DC

Washington, DC is rich with African American history - even more so since the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture opened last fall. In honor of Black History Month, we present the numerous ways to engage with the vast and complicated history and fascinating culture...

@h.i.o - Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture - Washington, DC
The History of Washington, DC

Founded on July 16, 1790, Washington, DC is unique among American cities because it was established by the Constitution of the United States to serve as the nation’s capital. You can read the actual line at the National Archives. From its beginning, it has been embroiled in political maneuvering,...

Washington, DC Aerial View
Holidays in the White House: First Family Traditions

Holidays at the White House are a family affair…with thousands of guests. Each December, the President and his family deck the White House’s halls and opens the doors for dozens of parties and public tours. It’s a big job to prepare the country’s most famous residence for a month of celebrations...

national Christmas tree lighting
Visiting the Smithsonian American Art Museum & Renwick Gallery

Wander through three centuries of American art The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC is one of the largest and most expansive collections of American art in the world. The museum’s two locations, the main building in Penn Quarter and the Renwick Gallery in Downtown , represent...

Smithsonian American Art Museum - Washington, DC