Washington, D.C., Accommodations, 2201 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., #C-110, (800) 554-2220, www.wdcahotels.com.
Washington, D.C., Convention and Visitors Center, 1212 New York Ave. N.W., #600, (202) 789-7000, www.washington.org.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 Fifth St. N.W., (202) 637-1328, www.wmata.com.
B'Nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W., (202) 857-6583, free. Experience Jewish heritage and history through writings and artistic renderings.
Capitol Children's Museum, 800 Third St. N.E., (202) 675-4120, www.ccm.org. The CCM presents a paper airplane experiment to test out Bernoulli's Principle June 22, as part of the Scienterrific Sunday series, just one of about a million cool things going on here over the course of the long, hot "I'm bored!" summer.
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. N.W., (202) 639-1700, www.corcoran.org. When you walk into an art museum, the last thing you expect to admire is the floor. The Corcoran turns the room upside down with The World at Our Feet, a showcase of the finest Persian, Indian, and Turkish carpets, through July 6.
Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St. S.E., (202) 544-4600, www.folger.edu, free. This independent library dedicated to the Bard offers performances, readings, exhibits, and talks. Learn about all the queen's men in the exhibit, Elizabeth I, currently on display through Aug. 2.
Franciscan Monastery, 1400 Quincy St. N.E., (202) 526-6800, free. Take a walk around the beautiful gardens and inside the magnificent temple, and maybe meet a friar.
Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th and Independence avenues S.W., Washington, (202) 357-2700. Part of the cluster that makes up the gigantic Smithsonian Institutes, the Hirshorn is the most identifiable with its cylindrical shape. Check out it's modern art collections.
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Anacostia Avenue and Douglas Street N.E., (202) 426-6905, free. If a walk in the park isn't enough nature for you, visit this unusual water garden that still supports a diversity of wildlife among the city smog.
Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., (202) 707-5000, free. The Library of Congress holds a vast collection of archives, rare artifacts, and other resources. Do some research before you ask them to retrieve something, you don't wanna walk in and say, "Hey, you know that book by that smart lady author?"
Monuments by Moonlight, Union Station, (202) 832-9800, www.trolleytours.com. Christopher Cross may have changed his tune had he got caught between the moon and this two and a half hour tour of D.C.'s monuments.
National Air and Space Museum, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue S.W., (202) 357-2700, www.nasm.si.edu. With exhibits like How Things Fly and explanations of Global Positioning Systems technologies, the NASM covers the ground on air in one visit.
National Building Museum, 401 F St. N.W., (202) 272-2448, www.nbm.org. The generic-sounding National Building Museum is home to 14 presidential inaugural balls and the world's largest Corinthian columns. On display through July 27, the innovative photography of Hedrich Blessing, an architectural firm that has collaborated with the world's leading draftspeople.
National Mall, between Constitution and Independence avenues S.W., (202) 485-9880, www.nps.gov/nama. Besides being the perfect photo opportunity, this beautiful open lane is lined with over 170 flower beds and 35 ornamental pools.
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. N.W., (202) 783-5000, www.nmwa.org. This museum takes Judy Chicago's installation The Dinner Party to the limit and fills its rooms entirely with female artists. More than 3,000 works span five centuries and include the exhibit An Imperial Collection: Women Artists from the State Hermitage Museum, which explores women as patrons and painters in Russia.
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Ave. N.E., (202) 526-8300, www.nationalshrine.com, free. This shrine dedicated to Mary is one of the largest Catholic churches in the world. Inside, catch a pretty sizable collection of Christian art too.
National Zoological Park, 3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W., (202) 357-2700, www.si.edu/natzoo/, free. Baltimore snagged the National Aquarium, but D.C. held onto the rest of the national animals, including the popular pandas.
Scandal Tours, (202) 783-7212. When you get burned out from seeing our young nation's abundance of history and art, you can turn to the juicy political dish at 1 p.m. each Saturday.
Textile Museum, 2320 S St. N.W., Washington, (202) 667-0441, www.textilemuseum.org. Resist dyeing is the art that brought us tie-dyed shirts, but the technique has yielded a variety of far-out results over many cultures. And a new exhibit opening July 5th shows them off.
U.S. Capitol, Capitol Hill, (202) 224-3121. The Capitol Building is a good place to combine a visit full of art and civics. Plenty of American art is dispersed throughout the three public floors and from the third floor, you can watch the Congress in session.
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place S.W., (202) 488-0400, www.ushmm.com. The museum celebrates its 10th anniversary with the exhibit Anne Frank the Writer; An Unfinished Story. This collection of some of her original entries and photos has already drawn large public interest, so call for advanced tickets.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive N.W., (202) 634-1568. A simple granite wall bears the names of the honorable Americans that died. The Vietnam Women's Memorial also stands close by, for more information call (202) 426-6841.
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., (202) 456-7041, www.whitehouse.gov. If you want to have a presidential Real World experience, take a tour of the impressive history behind the colorful rooms in the White House. Call for information on tours; the visitor center, which includes exhibits on the home's architecture and furnishings, is open 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.
Capital Pride Festival, June 7-8, Pennsylvania Ave, N.W. between 3rd and 7th streets, (202) 797-3510. The parade gets underway Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at 24th and N streets. On Sunday catch the street festival.
DanceAfrica, D.C., June 2-8, Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. N.E., (202) 269-1600, www.danceplace.org. The 16th annual festival celebrates tradition and transformation of African-American heritage through dance, music, and an Afrocentric marketplace.
Folklife Festival, June 25-29 and July 2-6, on the National Mall, 3225 Eighth St. N.E., (202) 269-1600. This year celebrates "Appalachia: Heritage and Harmony" with the venerable "Bristol Sessions" recordings of all the cats who sing clear as country water. That's not all--the traditional cultures of the Republic of Mali and Scotland are recognized too.
Smithsonian Summer Camps for Kids, June 23-Aug. 8, Smithsonian Institution, (202) 357-3030, www.smithsonianassociates.org. Full and half day sessions are available for K-8th grade kids to explore activities like dioramas, clay animation, and more. Space is limited, so sign up early.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Black History National Recreation Trail, National Park Service, 1100 Ohio Drive S.W., (202) 619-7222. Hike through D.C. while learning about African-American historic sites. Visit the National Park Service for a map.
D.C. United, RFK Stadium, (703) 478-6600, www.dcunited.com. Baltimore has the championship winning indoor team, but neighbor D.C. holds the major-league men's soccer team.
Washington Freedom, RFK Stadium, (202) 547-3137, www.washingtonfreedom.com. If you've seen this year's movie Bend it Like Beckham, you will undoubtedly be excited to see the Women's United Soccer team bring it on.
Washington Mystics, MCI Center, 601 F St. N.W., (410) 481-7328, www.washingtonmystics.com. Basketball doesn't have to be grueling in the summer. Especially when it's ladies' hoops inside the MCI Center.
The Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., (202) 289-4224. Come buy things inside the marketplace of shops and eateries that used to be called "old tooth."
Politics and Prose Bookstore/Coffeehouse, 5015 Connecticut Ave. N.W., (202) 364-1919, www.politics-prose.com. In case this well-stocked bookstore sounds too polished for average readers, be aware that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is available at midnight on June 21.
Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, 3900 Harewood Road N.E., (202) 635-5400, www.jp2cc.org. The three gift shops here sell beautiful jewelry, religious icons, books, and music.
Shops on U Street, 13th-18th and U streets N.W. There may be a new crop of hip and urban shops popping up in Baltimore, but if you're looking to really indulge, head west towards Adam's Morgan on U Street for cool furniture both new and used, shoes, restaurants, and an independent instrument and music store.
Transformer Gallery, 1404 P Street N.W., (202) 483-1102. This independent art center features the international exhibit Super, an exploration of the word and how it translates universally through Europe.
Very Special Arts Gallery, 1300 Connecticut Ave. N.W., (202) 628-0800. This nonprofit gallery sells work in a wide variety of mediums by artists with ranging disabilities.
Washington Design Center, 300 D St. S.W., #630, (202) 554-5053, www.dcdesigncenter.com. This showroom has come along way from its history as a refrigeration warehouse. The Center is now the Mid-Atlantic's largest resource for high-end furnishings.
The Written Word, 1365 Connecticut Ave. N.W., (202) 223-1400. From invitations and announcements to stationary and journals, this shop caters to the person who is particular about paper.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201