History & Heritage

The country’s history starts with our own history and heritage.

Turning Back the Clock with Virginia Ali of Ben's Chili Bowl

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's Chili Bowl - Places to Eat on U Street - Washington, DC
3 Days Following President Lincoln's Footsteps in Washington, DC

Morning Start your day at the Lincoln Memorial . Lincoln’s statue gazes out across Memorial Bridge to Arlington National Cemetery , which was home to Robert E. Lee’s former estate. Hop into a cab to visit President Lincoln’s Cottage . Lincoln spent his summers here in 1862, 1863 and 1864, a...

@brandonmkopp - Visitor at the Lincoln Memorial - Washington, DC
Guide to Visiting the Washington Monument

Please note: The Washington Monument is currently closed until spring 2019 for repairs that will modernize the elevator and increase long-term reliability and safety. Check the National Park Service's website for updates before you plan your visit. Built to honor George Washington, the commander-in...

Washington Monument from the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season - The National Mall in Washington, DC
13 Can’t-Miss Free Museums on the National Mall

To go with its monuments and memorials, the National Mall boasts an impressive lineup of free museums. Visitors should take advantage of the wide range of experiences on hand, from immersing themselves in classic art to marveling at the wonders of aviation and our natural world. Let your wallet...

Henry the Elephant at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Free museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC
Visiting the Library of Congress in Washington, DC

What and where is the Library of Congress? The Library of Congress is housed across three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC: the Thomas Jefferson Building (10 1st Street SE), the James Madison Memorial Building (101 Independence Avenue SE) and the John Adams Building (2nd Street SE,...

@eandmbambrick - Exploring the Library of Congress - Washington, DC
How Do I Tour the U.S. Capitol and See Congress in Session?

The U.S. Capitol Building is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world and the center of American democracy. The world-famous domed building is home to the United States House of Representatives and Senate; where America’s congressmen and congresswomen conduct business, debate laws and...

@delgadophotos - Your guide to touring the U.S. Capitol - How to see Congress in session
Guide to Visiting Arlington National Cemetery

What is Arlington National Cemetery? The Arlington National Cemetery is the country’s largest military cemetery and serves as the final resting place for more than 400,000 military veterans and their immediate family from the fronts of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as World Wars I and II, the...

@mattbridgesphotography - Changing of the Guard ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery - Historic sites near Washington, DC
Guide to African American History & Culture in Washington, DC

With its Southern connections, Washington, DC has always had a significant African American population. Before the Civil War, the city was home to a growing number of free blacks who worked as skilled craftsmen, hack drivers, businessmen and laborers, and slave auctions were outlawed altogether in...

Jazz at The Hamilton Live - Music & Culture in Washington, DC
Free Things to Do: History & Heritage in Washington, DC

Washington, DC is full of free things to do, and many involve American history, heritage and culture. Below, you will find numerous free museums and attractions, including the city’s iconic monuments and memorials on the National Mall. After exploring these landmarks, there’s no doubt you will have...

Free historic sites and heritage experiences in Washington, DC - Morning at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall
How Can I Tour the White House in Washington, DC?

Requesting a White House tour Touring the White House requires some advance planning. Public tour requests must be made through your member of Congress (find your member of Congress and contact information here ) and submitted up to three months in advance and no less than 21 days prior to your...

The White House