Twelve FREE Things to Do in Washington, D.C.

One of the most historic and interesting cities in America is our nation’s capital, Washington. If you’re headed to Washington, DC for a summer vacation or anytime, our nation’s capital offers lots of fun and totally FREE things to do:

  1. Washington Zoo (FREE!) FYI: This is one of the best zoos in America. Go early or late to avoid long lines to see the adorable and popular Giant Pandas.
  2. The Smithsonian (FREE!) The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum, education, and research institution. We’re talking about 19 museums and galleries (including the National Air & Space Museum and the National Museum of American History), as well as 9 research facilities.
  3. D.C. by Foot (Pay what you want on these guided tours that have been rated #1 by TripAdvisor. No matter what you choose to pay, you’ll learn about ghosts, scandals, history & trivia.
  4. Kennedy Center (FREE nightly performances at the Kennedy Center!)
  5. Supreme Court (FREE) The Supreme Court offers Courtroom Lectures, a visitor's film and exhibits.
  6. National Mall (FREE) The National Mall includes the Washington Monument & more.
  7. U.S. Botanical Gardens boasts more than 4,000 tropical plants. It is also one of the oldest continuously operating botanic gardens in America. (FREE!)
  8. National Cathedral features 112 gargoyles and 215 stained glass windows! (There is a fee to take the tour, but evening prayer time is FREE. Also, anyone can attend Sunday service at no charge, but be sure to get there early because the average attendance is 1,800).
  9. National Gallery of Art has a huge collection of prints, drawings, sculptures, photographs, decorative arts, medals, mobiles, paintings (including the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Americas), and other works of art. (FREE!)
  10. Folger Shakespeare Library (FREE!) Folger has the largest collection of Shakespeare works & exhibits in the U.S.
  11. Rock Creek Park, near the national zoo, includes a planetarium that has FREE entry on Wednesday, Saturdays & Sundays.
  12. Library of Congress is the largest library in the world with millions of maps, photographs, books, recordings, newspapers, and manuscripts. (FREE!)

Bonus: There is a huge July 4th celebration that includes special events and free fireworks display, which is the biggest and best in the nation.

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I believe in gourmet travel on a fast food budget! I share cheap travel tips & TRIP PICKS, free travel reports, and amazing adventure travel resources.