Washington, D.C., Accommodations, 2201 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., #C-110, (800) 554-2220, ww.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., Washington, (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. "Interactive" is the key word at this art, science, and culture museum for ages 2-12.
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. N.W., (202) 639-1700, www.corcoran.org. Among the exhibits at the Corcoran this summer is a collection of items that are not art in the traditional sense but are surely artful: Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years--Selections From the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, a traveling display of the First Lady's costumes and accessories. Late in the summer don't miss Goya to Picasso: Spanish Painting From the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection (Aug. 24-Nov. 4).
Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St. S.E., (202) 544-4600, www.folger.edu, free. This library dedicated to the Bard offers performances, readings, exhibits, and talks.
Franciscan Monastery, 1400 Quincy St. N.E., (202) 526-6800, free. Take a peek behind these monastery walls by joining one of the hourly tours.
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Anacostia Avenue and Douglas Street N.E., (202) 426-6905, free. Enjoy waterlilies, lotuses, water hyacinths, bamboo plants, frogs, and dragonflies without leaving the city.
Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., (202) 707-5000, free. Members of Congress may enjoy many perks that they wouldn't dream of sharing with the taxpayers who foot the bill, but at least the legislators' library is open to the public. The Library of Congress holds a vast collection of archives, rare artifacts, and other resources.
Monuments by Moonlight, Union Station, (202) 832-9800, www.trolleytours.com. Washington's monuments are impressive enough by day and perhaps even more so by night, as you'll find if you take this two-and-a-half-hour evening trolley tour.
National Air and Space Museum, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue S.W., (202) 357-2700, www.nasm.si.edu. More people visit this museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, than any other on Earth. And no wonder, what with its neato-cool displays like the Wright Brothers' 1903 flyer and the Apollo 11 lunar command module.
National Building Museum, 401 F St. N.W., (202) 272-2448, www.nbm.org. It's only fitting that a museum dedicated to architecture, building engineering, and construction is housed in such an impressive structure, the site of 14 presidential inaugural balls and home of the world's largest Corinthian columns. Once you're done marveling at the Great Hall, check out the exhibits that surround it, including A New World Trade Center: Design Proposals (to June 10), part of the Building in the Aftermath series. Then pay your respects across the street at the monument to America's fallen law-enforcement officers--like the Vietnam memorial, a wall displays each name.
National Geographic Society Explorers Hall, 1145 17th St. N.W., (202) 857-7588, www.nationalgeographic.com. Learn all about weather, dinosaurs, the sea, and such at the National Geographic Society's headquarters.
National Mall, between Constitution and Independence avenues S.W., (202) 485-9880, www.nps.gov/nama. Stroll along this two-mile stretch of grass and admire the magnificent U.S. Capitol and the monuments to presidents Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, and Franklin Roosevelt that sit in or along it. The Mall hosts the annual Folklife Festival, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. June 26-30 and July 3-7, which celebrates the cultures of the U.S. plus other lands through music, food, arts and crafts, workshops, and storytelling--call (202) 357-2700 for more info. And a series of programs on Britain there winds up with a half-day seminar about the Beatles on June 1 and an evening with John Cleese on June 13 --call (877) 338-8687 or visit www. SmithsonianStudyTours.org.
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. N.W., (202) 783-5000, www.nmwa.org. Works by hundreds of women artists from around the world are on display.
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Ave. N.E., (202) 526-8300, free. Take a free tour of this Roman Catholic shrine and its collection (the largest in the country) of contemporary Christian art.
National Zoological Park, 3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W., (202) 357-2700, www.si.edu/natzoo/, free. National this, national that--you'd think Washington, D.C., was the U.S. capital or something. Oh yeah, it is. Doing its national designation proud is this delightful zoo with its famous pandas and many, many other animal residents.
Phillips Collection, 21st and Q streets N.W., Washington, (202) 387-2151. Founded in 1921, the Phillips is America's oldest modern-art museum. Among this summer's exhibits is a display of more than 100 photographs by modernist Edward Weston.
Scandal Tours, (202) 783-7212. Scandals are few and far between in D.C., but the Gross National Product comedy group somehow digs some up and takes you to where they happened each Saturday at 1 p.m.
Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street N.W., Washington, (202) 357-2700. Designed in 1858 to house the art collection of Washington banker William Wilson Corcoran, the Renwick and its 170 paintings and sculptures opens June 3 after a six-month refurbishment.
Textile Museum, 2320 S St. N.W., Washington, (202) 667-0441, www.textilemuseum.org. If you visit the Textile Museum this summer you'll see, along with other collections, Hidden Threads of Peru, an exhibit of weavings from the remote Andes community of Q'ero.
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place S.W., (202) 488-0400, www.ushmm.com. Could it happen here? Of course it could, and in a way, it is--according to the United Nations, the U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq have killed half a million innocent civilians over the last 10-plus years. Yet, as in Nazi Germany, there's barely a peep of protest. So don't feel so smug as you visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which explores the slaughter of Jews, homosexuals, the mentally retarded, and others in Germany during World War II. There's a research library too.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive N.W., (202) 634-1568. A simple granite wall bears the names of Americans killed during the Vietnam War. Nearby in a grove of trees is the Vietnam Women's Memorial, (202) 426-6841.
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., (202) 456-7041, www.whitehouse.gov. If Washington's monuments to great former presidents have left you feeling all high with inspiration, bring yourself back down to earth by visiting the house where the current one lives. Call for information on White House tours; the visitor center, which includes exhibits on the home's architecture and furnishings, is open 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.
DanceAfrica, D.C., June 3-9, Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. N.E., (202) 269-1600, www.danceplace.org. Subtitled "Dance, Drum, Voice, and Step," this annual festival of African-American dance and music includes performances and an Afrocentric marketplace.
LadyFest D.C., Aug. 7-11, various locations, (202) 488-5239, www.ladyfestDC.org. This celebration of women in the arts and in politics includes live performances, visual art, spoken word, workshops, and panel discussions.
Smithsonian Summer Camps for Kids, June 24-Aug. 9, Smithsonian Institution, (202) 357-3030, www.smithsonianassociates.org. Send the kids off for a full or half day of education and fun as they learn about photomontage, mystery theater, cyber animation, jazz, and other topics. Early registration is suggested.
Whitman-Walker Clinic Annual Gala, May 22, Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. N.W., (202) 797-3545. For years D.C.'s Whitman-Walker Clinic has been providing health-care and social services to the GLBT community and people with HIV/AIDS. Help support the clinic by attending this fund-raising gala, featuring a performance by Broadway diva Bernadette Peters.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Black History National Recreation Trail, National Park Service, 1100 Ohio Drive S.W., (202) 619-7222. Pick up a map from the National Park Service, then get some exercise while visiting D.C. sites significant in African-American history.
D.C. United, RFK Stadium, (703) 478-6600, www.dcunited.com. This major-league men's soccer team kicks shins all summer long.
Washington Freedom, RFK Stadium, (202) 547-3137, www.washingtonfreedom.com. D.C.'s professional women's soccer team kicks too.
Washington Mystics, MCI Center, 601 F St. N.W., (410) 481-7328, www.washingtonmystics.com. And you thought there was no basketball during the heat of summer--there is in the District, where the female hoopsters of the Washington Mystics play in the cool A/C of the MCI Center.
Politics and Prose Bookstore/Coffeehouse, 5015 Connecticut Ave. N.W., (202) 364-1919, www.politics-prose.com. Read and talk about issues of the day at this bohemian enclave.
Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, 3900 Harewood Road N.E., (202) 635-5400, www.jp2cuturalcenter.org. The three gift shops here sell fine art, religious icons, books, and music.
Second Story Books and Antiques, 2000 P St. N.W., (202) 659-8884. Want a souvenir of Washington that's a bit unique? Check out Second Story's old maps, rare and used books, and curios, many of which relate to the District.
Very Special Arts Gallery, 1300 Connecticut Ave. N.W., (202) 628-0800. It is indeed--this nonprofit gallery sells works by disabled artists.
Washington Design Center, 300 D St. S.W., #630, (202) 554-5053, www.dcdesigncenter.com. Once a refrigerated warehouse, this building now holds 75 showrooms of residential and commercial design products. It's warmer now too.
White House Gift Shop, Shops at the National Press Building, 529 14th St. N.W., (877) 887-6280, www.whitehousegiftshop.com. Formerly located in the Old Executive Office Building and open only to White House staffers, this store full of White House memorabilia is now a block away from the president's home and open to commoners like us.
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