As the capital of the U.S., Washington D.C. is a hub for politics. Home to Congress, the Supreme Court, and our President, D.C. is not primarily known for its tourism. Still, the city boasts upwards of 20 million visitors each year, making it one of the most popular states to stop by. AMOpportunities currently offers a handful of experiences in D.C. so we thought we would share some of the most spectacular our visitors can spend their free time in the nation’s capital. Continue reading below for information on places to see, things to do, and foods to try.

Places to See

1. Smithsonian Museums

The Smithsonian is a collection of 19 museums, galleries, and outdoor spaces, 17 of which are located in Washington D.C. All these spaces are free and open to the public so, while there is enough information to warrant a day-long trip, visitors can feel comfortable making shorter visits as well. These spaces cater to a variety of interests with the collection including art, science, space, history, and cultural museums in addition to a zoo and number of historical buildings.

2. National Zoo

A part of the Smithsonian collection, the National Zoo is open 364 days a year. It is home to a family of rare Giant Pandas and over 2,700 other animals. The zoo’s mission, in addition to educating the public about diverse species, is to aid in conservation efforts through research initiatives. This is a great place to visit during warmer weather when the animals are out.

3. Theodore Roosevelt Island

Revamped decades ago as a tribute to the 26th president of the U.S., this island is covered in lush forest. It is a great setting for hiking and educating the public on conservation and the importance of the natural world. Visitors can get to the island by train. Camping is not permitted however visitors are invited to make a day out of their time. There are cafes and small eateries sprinkled throughout the island for when its time to take a break.

4. Embassy Row

This stretch of street is home to a number of lavish historic mansions that now serve as embassies. Once a year, during May, the embassies open to the public so that each country can share their food, music, art, and traditions with the community. For those rotating in a month other than may, Embassy Row can still be the perfect site for an afternoon walk.

Things to Do

5. Take a Bike Tour of the Washington Monuments

Exploring the notable monuments in D.C. can take days, if not weeks on foot. A bike tour of the most visited ones can cut down on time without sacrificing culture. For those who are not keen on riding bikes, there are a variety of bus tours offered as well.

6. Shop and Sip at Union Market

A mix of food, fashion, and other finds, Union Market is open 7 days a week and provides tourists a central location to enjoy D.C.’s finest local artisan goods. The market includes an ever-changing collection of 9 shops, 11 eateries, and a theater. This space also regularly holds art fairs and live music. Visitors should be sure to check the Union Market calendar, so they don’t miss out on a unique experience.

7. Explore Georgetown (and its waterfront)

Georgetown is one of the more well-known districts in Washington, D.C. for its rich culture and historic landmarks. Visitors can enjoy a walk along the canal, a tour of the historic homes in the area, or stick to their own schedule of shopping and dining at locally owned establishments. Georgetown’s waterfront also houses summer markets and winter ice skating.

Food to Eat

8. A Bagel (or two) at Call Your Mother Deli

One of the top 19 best new restaurants in the nation, this humble stand-alone café will not leave eaters bored. The menu includes five flavors of bagels as a base for customizable sandwiches. For those who are indecisive, Call Your Mother Deli, has already put together 9 unique combinations. A variety of Jewish side dishes, desserts, and a selection of specialty coffees are also on the menu.

9. Something French at Le Diplomate

This is a picture-perfect Parisian restaurant that offers those dining a sense of laid-back luxury. Diners have the option to eat indoors or along the sidewalk, at rattan tables for two. While the restaurant does have both a dinner and lunch menu, we recommend stopping for brunch on the weekend.

10. The Pancake Batter Pie at Dangerously Delicious Pies

Not just a bakery, Dangerously Delicious Pies is home to live music. The space also boasts a bar where visitors can order a mixed drink to complement their sweet or savory pies and quiches. The most memorable flavors on the menu are a tie between pancake batter and tofu curry.

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