Monday, June 27, 2011

Frugal Tips for Washington DC

We are heading to DC in few weeks! We got our hotel Holiday Inn near the Capital as well as taking the Armtrak to Union Station.
Although hotels are costly and parking a challenge, the nation's capital is full of free attractions and things to do.

The White House  and the Capitol Building

Entrance to President's Park is free and gives the frugal traveler great views of the White House. The visitors center has some very nice permanent exhibits. Tours of the White House can be arranged by your congressman . However applications have to be received at least six months in advance.

We spent a whole day exploring the library of congress which is in the same building as the capitol!

Tours are also available of the Pentagon. These also have to be arranged well ahead of time.

Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument

The National Mall And Memorial Parks contain some of the U.S.'s most important monuments. These include The Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument within walking distances of each other. The Mall itself is a great place to picnic and people watch. Entrance is free.  Don't bother with taking any of the bus tours. Those are expensive.  We did one whole day walking the from one side to another! It was fantastic.

Smithsonian Museums

. Entrance as with all of the 17 Smithsonian buildings and the National Zoo is free. There are also free tours available. The buildings them  itself are  beautiful. Some of our favorite museums were

A Washington DC Landscape
National Museum of Natural History

The National Museum Of Natural History is a favorite with kids. They have tarantula feedings, dinosaurs, and preserved animals. As with all the Smithsonian Museums, the National Museum Of Natural History is free.

National Museum Of American History

Another free Smithsonian Museum, the National Museum Of American History showcases American culture and history. From Dorothy's ruby red slippers to full sized locomotives, think of an American icon and you can likely find it in this museum.  You need atleast a 1/2 day to see everything.   Pack a lunch and sit inside their cafe or on the national mall which is right there.

Washington D.C. is full of free tourist attractions with American politics, history, and culture as the focus. The Smithsonian Museums alone, a great rainy day alternative, can take weeks to explore. The city is a must see for both American visitors and residents.

You can use andgroupon to get some good deals on restuatants