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50 Free Washington, DC Attractions


31. National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
400 block of E Street, NW Washington, DC. The memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcers for their dedication and sacrifice. Bronze sculptures depict a series of adult lions protecting its cubs, symbolizing the protective role of law enforcement officers. Blue-gray marble walls are inscribed with the names of more than 17,500 officers who have been killed in the line of duty (dating back to 1792).

32. National Museum of African Art

© Smithsonian Institution
950 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC. The Smithsonian museum features a collection that includes ancient as well as contemporary works from Africa. There are special events, storytelling, demonstrations and children’s programs.

33. National Museum of American History

© Smithsonian Institution
14th Street and Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC. The museum displays more than 3 million artifacts of American history and culture, from the War of Independence to the present day. The Smithsonian's world class museum offers a wide range of exhibits that demonstrate the diversity of America’s history and culture.

34. National Museum of Natural History

© Smithsonian Institution
10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC. This Smithsonian museum is one of Washington, DC's most popular attractions. It houses a collection of more than 125 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts. The museum is a favorite with kids, but has plenty to intrigue all ages. Popular displays include dinosaur skeletons, an enormous collection of natural gems and minerals, artifacts of early man, an insect zoo, a live coral reef and much more.

35. National Museum of the American Indian

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
4th St. and Independence Ave., SW. Washington, DC. The Smithsonian museum showcases Native American objects from ancient pre-Columbian civilizations through the 21st century. Multimedia presentations, live performances and hands-on demonstrations bring the Native American people’s history and culture to life. The museum also features films, performances of music and dance, tours, lectures, craft demonstrations and special programs.

36. National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
750 9th St. NW, Washington, DC. The restored historic building in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of downtown Washington, DC, houses two museums in one building. The National Portrait Gallery presents six permanent exhibitions of nearly 20,000 works ranges from paintings and sculpture to photographs and drawings. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the home of the largest collection of American art in the world including more than 41,000 artworks, spanning more than three centuries.

37. National Postal Museum

© Smithsonian Museum
2 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, DC. The museum displays the largest stamp collection in the world and examines the development of the postal system using interactive displays. This museum is located under Washington's old Main Post Office near Union Station.

38. National Zoo

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC. One of the most kid-friendly places to visit in Washington, DC is the National Zoo where you can see more than 400 different species of animals. Among some of the favorites are giant pandas, other bears, lions, giraffes, tigers, monkeys, sea lions, and much more.

39. Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center

© Navy Memorial
701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC. The Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center in Washington DC honor and commemorate the sailors of the United States Navy. The memorial is an outdoor public plaza and the Heritage Center serves as a place to learn about the history and heritage of the men and women of the sea services.

40. Navy Museum (Navy Yard)

© US Navy Yard
9th and M Sts. SE, Building 76 Washington, DC. The former shipyard for the United States Navy houses the Navy Museum and the Navy Art Gallery with exhibits and artwork from the Revolutionary War to the present day. This is a great attraction for kids because of its interactive exhibits including naval artifacts, model ships, undersea vehicles, sub periscopes, a space capsule, a decommissioned destroyer and much more.

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