Senior Tourists Travel to Washington, DC

Jun 10th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

I have said for years as an educator that all students under the age of 18 should experience DC before graduation. In this senior’s opinion, It should be a graduation requirement.  I did not have that opportunity myself, but I still believe strongly that every American citizen needs to visit the nation’s capitol at least once in their life.  The seat of the Nation’s government provides visitors with some of the worlds most famous landmarks including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, and a plethora of monuments, museums and other attractions at the core of the Washington DC area.

The White House is the oldest public building in Washington DC and has been the home of every president except George Washington.  George Washington and city planner Pierre L’Enfant held a contest to find a builder and chose James Hoban of Ireland who modeled the White House after an Irish country house. The White House took 8 years to build. The interior has been restored and remodeled over the years.

DC is a city that makes history. Discover it for yourself in classic sights like the National Archives and the National World War II Memorial.  Plug in to the energy of interactive experiences like a bike tour of the National Mall and DC’s neighborhoods or the CSI Experience at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. The Smithsonian is always a must. Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities.

Washington DC is a city of memorials.  We honor the generals, politicians, poets and statesmen who helped shape our great nation.  Although the most famous monuments and memorials are on the National Mall, you will find statues and plaques on many street corners around the city.  DC’s monuments are spread out; it is hard to visit all of them on foot.  At busy times, traffic and parking make it difficult to visit the monuments by car.  The best way to see all the monuments is to take a tour.

Washington DC has more inspiring and unusual attractions than you can imagine.  But one of the best things about visiting Washington is that the major attractions are free.  In three or four days, you can see the Hope Diamond, tour the Capitol, and visit the baby panda at the National Zoo, all for free.  Or you can look at dinosaur skeletons, see the original Star Spangled Banner, and go into the Washington Monument.  Again, all for free.  The Air and Space Museum is a must as is the Natural Museum of National History.

Washington DC is a great city for visitors.  It’s easy to get to, served by two major airports, major highways, and trains.  The subway system, the Metro, is clean and easy to use.  Many of the popular attractions are clustered along the Mall, a long green park that runs through the center of Washington, so it’s easy to walk around.

You will want a good guide to save time and to make your visit one that will remain positive and Frommer’s is a good place to start.  By the way seniors, stop in and say hello to your congressman and your senator if you can find them. jeb

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