National Park Service (National Capital Region Public Affairs and Tourism), 1100 Ohio Drive S.W., Washington, (202) 619-7222. More information on monuments, memorials, and parks than you will ever need.
Washington, D.C., Convention and Visitors Center, 1212 New York Ave. #600 N.W., Washington, (202) 789-7000, www.washington.org. Information on hotels, restaurants, and points of interest.
Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. N.W., Washington, (202) 639-1700. The Corcoran holds one of the city's oldest art collections.
Holocaust Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place S.W., Washington, (202) 488-0400. Not recommended for young children, this museum provides a powerful look at the systematic mass slaughter of Jews and others in Nazi concentration camps. Never forget--and while you're there, maybe think, at least a little, about our own country's sins against the Iraqi people and other current atrocities in the world.
Jefferson Memorial, National Mall, Washington. Designed by John Russell Pope, a 19-foot-tall statue of Thomas Jefferson stands inside a rotunda looking out over the Tidal Basin. On the walls are quotes from the Declaration of Independence and other Jefferson writings.
Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, (202) 707-5000. More than 84 million items in 470-plus languages make this the world's largest library. Besides all that reading material, the library offers rotating exhibits, lectures, concerts, and poetry readings.
Lincoln Memorial, National Mall, Washington. Designed by Daniel Chester French and modeled after a Grecian temple, Mr. Lincoln's memorial overlooking the Reflecting Pool houses the grand statue of a sitting Abraham.
National Air and Space Museum, Sixth and Independence avenues S.W., Washington, (202) 357-2700. The Wright Brothers' famous flying machine, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, and the Apollo 11 Lunar Command Module are among the craft on display.
National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. N.E., Washington, (202) 245-2726. With 400 acres of trees, flowers, bonsai collections, the National Arboretum is as lovely a place as you can imagine to spend a warm summer day.
Scandal Tours, (888) 436-3886. Admit it--you still want to know more about President Clinton's sexual escapades. Get a firsthand (so to speak) tour of the most scandalous places in the capital's history.
Smithsonian Museums, 1000 Jefferson Drive S.W., Washington, (202) 357-2700. Established in 1846 by English scientist James Smithson, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum complex, with 14 museums plus the National Zoological Park. Besides all the displays, the museums host frequent lectures, film screenings, and other special events. Start at the Castle on the National Mall, where an information center offers maps and brochures to guide you.
U.S. Botanic Gardens, Maryland Avenue and First Street S.W., Washington, (202) 225-8333. Housed in a glass building at the foot of Capitol Hill, these gardens include exotic plants from around the world.
U.S. Capitol, National Mall, Washington. Under the Capitol's impressive 180-foot-high white dome, our elected senators and representatives. Visit Randolf Roger's 10-ton bronze door at the east side of the building, or admire the Rotunda painted by Constantino Brumidi. Passes are available to watch the legislature while in session. Just keep in mind that famous comment comparing the making of laws to the making of sausage.
Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington. With a height of more than 555 feet, this is the world's largest marble structure. And now that the scaffolding from the recent refurbishment is down, the monument can be fully appreciated. The observation deck offers a wonderful view.
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington. This is your house, sort of (only five of the 132 rooms are open to the public), so go see it. Tour tickets are available 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily at the White House Visitor Center, 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., (202) 456-7041.
Adams Morgan, along Columbia Road between 18th Street and Kalorama Park N.W., Washington. Often referred to as D.C.'s United Nations, this multiethnic neighborhood's restaurants serve foods from around the world. There is also a collection of art galleries, antiques stores, and specialty shops.
Chinatown, G and H streets between Sixth and Eighth streets N.W., Washington. You know you are there when you see the spectacular Friendship Archway, decorated in the classical Chinese style of the Qing and Ming dynasties. Many of the city's Asian restaurants and shops are in this historic district.
Foggy Bottom, bordered by Pennsylvania and Virginia avenues and 22nd and 25th streets N.W., Washington. Once a foggy swamp (hence the name), this is now a pleasant commercial and residential area where you can find yourself walking or drinking with diplomats from the State Department or students from George Washington University.
Georgetown, along Wisconsin and M streets west of Rock Creek Park N.W., Washington, (202) 944-4411. Once a Colonial commercial area, Georgetown is still very commercial but not so Colonial--the neighborhood is chock-full of specialty stores and boutiques, plus restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. For a taste of the past, wander off the main drag for a look at the beautifully restored homes.
SPORTS & RECREATION
The National Mall, Extending from the U.S. Capitol grounds to the Lincoln Memorial, the Mall is one of the oldest federal parks, and is within walking distance of numerous federal institutions, museums, and monuments. The grounds provide space for visitors to play softball, picnic, bicycle, or sit on a bench and enjoy the view.
The Nature Center, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 5200 Glover Road, N.W., (202) 426-6829.
Potomac Park, North and south of the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin, on the banks of the Potomac River.
Rock Creek Park, daylight hours only, north of the National Zoological Park on Beach Drive, (202) 282-1063.
812 Park Ave.
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