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50 Free Washington, DC Attractions


11. Ford’s Theatre

© Miller Taylor
The historic theater where Lincoln was assassinated is a national landmark and also functions as a live theater. Visitors can enjoy a short talk by a National Park guide and learn the fascinating story of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. On the lower level, the Ford's Theatre Museum displays exhibits about Lincoln’s life and explains the circumstances of his tragic death.

12. Fort Dupont Park

Randle Circle, SE, Washington, DC. The 376 acre park is located east of the Anacostia River in southeast Washington, DC. Visitors enjoy picnics, nature walks, Civil War programs, gardening, environmental education, music, skating, sports, theater and concerts.

13. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
1850 West Basin Dr. SW Washington, DC. The memorial dedicated to Franklin Delano Roosevelt features four outdoor gallery rooms depicting the 12 years of FDR’s presidency. The memorial includes ten bronze sculptures of President Roosevelt, his wife Eleanor Roosevelt and World War II.

14. Frederick Douglass Historic Site

© National Park Service
1411 W Street SE Washington, DC. The National Historic Site honors Frederick Douglass' life and accomplishments. Douglass freed himself from slavery and helped to free millions of others. Learn about Douglass and visit his home at Cedar Hill. This site is known as having one of the best views of Washington, DC.

15. Freer and Sackler Gallery

© Smithsonian Institution
Independence Avenue at 12th Street, SW. Washington, DC. The adjoining Smithsonian art museums feature a world-renowned collection of Asian art including paintings, ceramics, manuscripts, and sculptures. The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Auditorium provides free performances of Asian music and dance, films, lectures, chamber music, and dramatic presentations.

16. George Mason Memorial

© Miller Taylor
900 Ohio Drive, SW. Washington, DC. The monument is dedicated to the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which inspired Thomas Jefferson while drafting the Declaration of Independence. Mason persuaded our forefathers to include individual rights as a part of the Bill of Rights.

17. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

© Smithsonian Institution
Independence Avenue at 7th St. SW, Washington, DC. The Smithsonian's museum of modern and contemporary art is comprised of approximately 11,500 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs, collages, and decorative art objects.

18. Iwo Jima Memorial

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Marshall Drive, between Route 50 and Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, VA. This memorial, also known as the United States Marine Corps War Memorial, is dedicated to the marines who gave their lives during one of the most historic battles of World War II, the battle of Iwo Jima.

19. Jefferson Memorial

© National Cherry Blossom Festival
15th Street, SW. Washington, DC. One of Washington, DC's most popular attractions, this dome-shaped rotunda honors the nation's third president. The 19-foot bronze statue of Jefferson is located on the Tidal Basin, surrounded by a grove of trees making it especially beautiful during Cherry Blossom season in the spring.

20. Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
2700 F. St. NW, Washington, DC. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the home to the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington Opera, Washington Ballet and American Film Institute. Performances include theatre, musicals, dance, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, & folk music; youth and family programs and multi-media shows. Free daily performances are held on the Millennium Stage in the Grand Foyer.

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