The Ultimate Checklist To D.C.'s Attractions

The Ultimate Checklist To D.C.'s Attractions

I can’t state this enough: Washington, D.C. is home to so many awesome museums, monuments, memorials, landmarks and galleries. The best part, they’re almost all free! This is great news for those who would like to cover a large chunk of the city’s attractions on a budget. Like me, you can try hitting all the Smithsonian museums (they’re free) and consider it an accomplishment. That itself could take you half the semester to get through. But I do encourage you to explore as much as you can every weekend and take advantage of the free attractions that D.C. has to offer. Don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry, I’ve got that covered.



As a matter of fact, one of the alumni from my university, who I’ve met at the Church of Arlington, gave me a very handy sightseers guide book to D.C. It includes, if not all, most of the attractions available in the city. I’ve used that as my guide, but I have to admit that I didn’t and couldn’t go through all of the places because again, there’s just too many! I’m down to two more weekends here in D.C. and I’m quite anxious because I still have a few places left on my checklist that I want to cover before I’m done with the semester. Below I’ve listed all the attractions that I’ve either seen or have heard about, and then some from the handbook.


*Notes for the list below:

Bold: I actually went to these attractions and recommend them!

Italicized: Not Free/Tour Requested/Free Passes are First-Come, First-Served Basis


1. Museums

2. Landmark Buildings

3. Monuments/Memorials

4. Art Galleries

5. Gardens/Zoos

6. Neighborhoods/Commercial Districts

  • Adams Morgan
  • Columbia Heights
  • Dupont Circle
  • Eastern Market
  • Georgetown
  • H Street Corridor
  • U Street Corridor


If you’re a huge fan of chili on everything, I suggest you make your way down to Ben’s Chili Bowl for a meal. This famous diner has a few locations around the city and for decades has been a frequent stop for celebrities and politicians. In fact, President Obama had lunch at one of the Ben’s just 10 days prior to his inauguration in 2009. Anyway, I made my way to the U Street location because that was the first Ben’s in D.C. and the one that was featured in the movie “State of Play” that I watched for my evening course. In fact, this was actually part of the class’s assignment, where I had to take a selfie in places featured in the movies. The food was awesome and the price was decent. I got the Ben’s original chili dog (which comes with chips) and their homemade lemonade for around $7.



Tip#1: If you want to give Ben’s a try, the most convenient branch would be the one on U Street. You just have to take the Green/Yellow line all the way to U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Station, which will bring you right at Ben’s, which is across the street from the Metro.


Ben’s On U Street


*Note: Ben’s Chili Bowl at U Street only accepts cash. But no worries, there is an ATM machine inside the store for your convenience. The newest Ben’s branch which is at H Street does accept credit cards.






Read Lizzy's previous blog posts here

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