History & Heritage

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

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...

United States Capitol East Front - Washington, DC
How Can I Tour the White House?

Requesting a 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 visit. If you'...

The White House
40+ Things to Do This January in Washington, DC

Events Washington Capitals vs. St. Louis Blues – Jan. 7 One of the best teams in the NHL’s Western Conference comes to Capital One Arena to take on DC’s beloved Washington Capitals. Alex Ovechkin and the Caps are currently in playoff position, as are the St. Louis Blues, who are led by high-scoring...

Washington Wizards Basketball Game at Capital One Arena - Professional Basketball in Washington, DC
12 Ways to Engage with African American History & Culture in Washington, DC

From the city's roots as a vibrant community for African Americans to the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in September 2016, Washington, DC is rich with African American history. Check out the numerous ways to engage with the vast and complicated...

Mountain of Despair Entrance to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial - National Mall in Washington, DC
Visiting the National World War II Memorial

What is the National World War II Memorial and where is it? The National World War II Memorial honors the 16 million people who served as part of the American armed forces during World War II, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The memorial sits along the...

National World War II Memorial - National Mall - Washington, DC
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 exhibits and entertainment to help capture the attention of even the littlest sightseer. Begin...

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Lobby
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 their 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...

The White House and the National Christmas Tree - Presidential Holiday Traditions in Washington, DC
3 Days in Washington, DC for Families

Morning Start your day at the Willard InterContinental for a historic breakfast in the same building where Abraham Lincoln used to stay and where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. completed his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Then visit any (or all) of DC's famous monuments and memorials on the Nat...

Family picnicking on National Mall by Lincoln Memorial
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
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