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Top 10 Places to Visit with Out-of-Town Guests in Washington, DC


Most people visit Washington, DC and spend much of their time on the National Mall. As residents of the area, we know that there are lots of other interesting places to explore. So here are some suggestions of interesting places besides the National Mall to take your out-of-town visitors.

1. Dupont Circle

Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Visit some of the city's finest museums, historic homes and foreign embassies as well as a variety of ethnic restaurants, bookstores, and private art galleries.

2. Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens

© Mount Vernon Ladies Association
With the recent addition of the new museum and education center, Mount Vernon is now a full day excursion. Explore the state of the art galleries and theaters, visit the 500-acre estate of George Washington and his family, tour the 14-room mansion that is beautifully restored and furnished with original objects dating back to the 1740's. Be sure to plan enough time to tour the outbuildings, including the kitchen, slave quarters, smokehouse, coach house and stables.

3. The National Zoo

© Jessie Cohen/National Zoo
See more than 435 different species of animals at the National Zoo, Washington DC’s 163-acre zoological park set within the Rock Creek National Park.

4. Great Falls Park

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Explore this beautiful 800 acre park located along the Potomac River. Take a hike or enjoy a picnic and see one of the most spectacular natural landmarks in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

5. Old Town Alexandria

© Erik Kvalsvik/Courtesy City of Alexandria
Take a walking tour of the quaint historic town just on the other side of the Potomac River from Washington, DC. Dating back to 1749, Alexandria’s riverfront was an important colonial port during the colonial, revolutionary and Civil War periods. Today it is a revitalized waterfront with cobblestone streets, colonial houses and churches, museums, shops and restaurants.

6. Georgetown

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Explore historic homes and enjoy a variety of restaurants and upscale shopping along the cobblestone streets. Be sure to walk over to the waterfront and enjoy views of the Potomac River.

7. Penn Quarter

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Visit the revitalized arts and entertainment district of downtown Washington. Explore museums, restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, theaters and trendy stores.

8. Eastern Market

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
This open-air market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood offers everything from fresh fish to local produce. Weekends are lively at the farmers market, an arts-and-crafts market and a flea market on Sundays.

9. Glen Echo Park

© Daniel Schreiber
This park offers year-round activities in dance, theater, and the arts including concerts, demonstrations, workshops, and festivals. Check out the schedule of events.

10. Adams Morgan

© Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corporation
This neighborhood is the center of Washington's liveliest nightlife. Enjoy the international flavor of this community with restaurants featuring cuisine from just about everywhere from Ethiopia and Vietnam to Latin America and the Caribbean. Explore the nightclubs, coffee houses, bars, and unique shops.

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