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In this section, you will find information on many sights of interest in the Washington area, as well as a list of recommended local restaurants.

Sightseeing

Washington, D.C., is home to a wealth of cultural institutions, historic sights, and other places of interest. While the Executive Course follows a quite rigorous schedule, participants are encouraged to make the most of their free time and enjoy some of the many diversions the capital has to offer.

City-wide Tours

  • D.C. Tourmobile: gives tours to 24 major monuments and landmarks. Tickets are available at various stops along the tour; the closest stop to campus is at the Lincoln Memorial. For more information call (202) 554-5100.
  • D.C. Ducks: 90 min. land and water tours covering the Mall, museums, monuments and the Potomac River. For more information call (202) 832-9800.
  • Old Town Trolley Tours: 2 hour, narrated tour aboard a Victorian era replica streetcar that visits selected major historical sites in D.C. For more information call (202) 832-9800.

Museums

All Smithsonian Institutions offer free admission and are Metro accessible; most are located on the National Mall. The most convenient Metro stops to the National Mall are Smithsonian, on the Blue and Orange lines, and Archives/Navy Memorial, on the Green and Yellow lines. For general information please call (202) 357-1300. Washington is also host to many non-Smithsonian museums that are worthy of a visit. Some of these are listed below.

  • Smithsonian Air and Space Museum: Located at 7th Street & Independence Ave, NW the museum is open from 10:00am-5:00pm. Tours given daily, for reservations please call (202) 357-1400.
  • Smithsonian Museum of American History: Located at 14th Street & Constitution Ave, N.W., the museum is open from 10:00am-5:00pm. Tours are given Tuesday though Saturday from 10:15am-1:00pm on a walk-in basis.
  • Smithsonian Museum of Natural History: Tours given on walk-in basis. Located on 10th Street & Constitution Avenue and open from 10:00am-5:00pm.
  • Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries: Hours are from 10:00am-5:30pm every day except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries house spectacular collections of Asian art. The Sackler Gallery is located at 1050 Independence Avenue, S.W. The Freer Gallery of Art is located at Jefferson Drive at 12th Street, S.W.
  • Smithsonian African Art Museum: Open 10:00am-5:00pm daily, this museum houses a vibrant collection of African objects from antiquity to the current age. For more information call (202) 357-4600. Located at 950 Independence Avenue, the nearest Metro stop is Smithsonian on the Orange and Blue lines.
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery: Closed for Renovations.
  • Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: Specializing in modern and contemporary art, the Hirschorn showcases works from the likes of Picasso, Warhol, and de Kooning. Located at 8th Street and Independence Avenue, the nearest Metro stop is L’Enfant Plaza on the Yellow, Green, and Red lines. For more information call (202) 357-4600.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian: Open daily from 10:00am-5:30pm, the newest of the museums showcases thousands of objects in interactive exhibits culled from the Smithsonian’s vast collection of American and Canadian artifacts. Free tickets required for entry. Call (202) 633-1000 for reservations and more info.
  • National Gallery of Art: The classically designed West Building and I.M. Pei’s landmark East Building house an amazing collection of contemporary and historic masterworks. Located at 6th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., the galleries are free and open 10:00am-5:00pm. For more information call (202) 737-4215
  • Smithsonian National Zoo: Open daily. Buildings 10:00am-6:00pm Grounds 6:00am-8:00pm. Free admission. Located in Northwest D.C., the 163-acre zoological park hosts 2,400 individual animals of 400 different species and is Metro accessible at Woodley Park/Zoo on the Red line. See: www.nationalzoo.si.org
  • International Spy Museum: Open 10:00am-7:00pm daily. Tickets are $15 for adults. Advance tickets are recommended, call 202.432.SEAT. The museum is located at 800 F Street, N.W., between 8th and 9th Streets. The closest Metro station is Gallery Place/Chinatown.
  • Holocaust Memorial Museum: Open daily from 10:00am-5:00pm; admission is free, but timed tickets are required. Free tickets may be obtained by calling (703) 218-6500. The museum is located at 14th Street, S.W., and Raoul Wallenberg Place.
  • National Building Museum: Housed in the spectacular Pension Bureau Building, the museum is open from 10:00am-4:00pm, and Sundays 12:00pm-4:00pm./ For more information call (202) 272-2448. Nearest Metro stop is Judiciary Square on the Red line.

Major Monuments and Memorials

Washington is justly famous for the many monuments and memorials on and around the National Mall and Constitution Gardens. Here are the highlights:

  • Abraham Lincoln Memorial: Located at the western end of the National Mall.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial: Located on the Southern edge of the Tidal Basin, the FDR memorial is at its best when visited in the evening.
  • George Washington Monument: Located in the center of the National Mall. The monument is open 9:00 am-4:45 pm daily. Free tickets are distributed for that day's visit from the kiosk on the Washington Monument grounds at 15th Street and Madison Drive on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hours for the ticket kiosk are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, however tickets are usually distributed for the day during the morning hours, so be at the kiosk early.
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial: Located at the Southwest corner of the Constitution Gardens.
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial: Located on the Tidal Basin.
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Located at the Northwest corner of the Constitution Gardens, Maya Lin’s deeply affecting monument is a must visit.
  • National World War II Memorial: Located squarely between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, the newest of the memorials was the subject of some controversy upon opening.

Other Places of Interes

  • Arlington National Cemetery: Open to visitors 8:00am-7:00pm daily. The changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier takes place every half-hour. Metro accessible at Arlington National Cemetery on the Blue line.
  • The Capitol Building: Open for tours Monday through Saturday 9:00am-4:30pm Located on Capitol Hill at the east end of the Mall, this most-recognized of Washington’s buildings is home to both houses of Congress and limited tours are available. Metro accessible at Capitol South on the Blue and Orange lines and Union Station on the Red line.
  • Dupont Circle: A diverse neighborhood that includes shops, restaurants, nightlife, hotels, galleries and embassies. Metro accessible at Dupont Circle on the Red line.
  • Georgetown: Just minutes away from campus, this neighborhood includes restaurants, nightlife, shops, and other areas of interest on both M Street and Wisconsin Avenue. Easy walking distance from campus, a shuttle is provided outside the Foggy Bottom Metro stop on 23rd and I Streets, N.W.
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: Located on the water at 2700 F Street, off Virginia Avenue. The Millennium Stage offers free performances daily at 6:00 pm, with no tickets required.
  • The Library of Congress: Located at First Street and Independence Avenue, S.W., the complex contains a variety of exhibits and displays. For more information please call (202) 707-6590.
  • National Cathedral: A national house of prayer for all people. Located at Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, N.W. Tours are available, call (202)-537-6200.
  • National Geographic Explorers Hall: Located at 17th and M Streets, N.W., Explorers’ Hall contains a variety of interactive exhibits and information on National Geographic-funded research projects.
  • Old Town Alexandria: Located across the Potomac River in Virginia this area includes specialty shops, fine dining, and historic sites. Metro accessible at the King Street on the Blue and Yellow lines.
  • The Supreme Court: Open from 9:00am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Located at One First Street, N.E. Metro accessible at Capitol South on the Blue and Orange lines and Union Station on the Red line.
  • Tidal Basin: Ringed with the famous cherry trees, paddleboats are available to rent for $7/8 per hour.
  • Union Station: This historical site offers shops, specialty stores, movies, restaurants and more. Located on Massachusetts Avenue and Capitol North, it is Metro accessible at the Union Stationon the red line.
  • The White House: Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., periodic tours are offered of the historic Presidential office. For more information please call (202) 456-7041.

Important Travel Information

  • When walking through DC it is easy to navigate along both the numbered streets (which go North-South) and the lettered streets (which go East-West). Please bear in mind two points that can lead to confusion – there is no "J Street" in DC and "I Street" is often written "EYE Street" so as to avoid confusing it with "1st Street."
  • Metro Rail runs on a Rush Hour schedule from 5:30-9:30 a.m. and from 3:00-7:00 p.m. during which trains arrive on an average of once every 3-5 minutes and higher fares may apply. During non-rush hour times trains average 10-15 minutes. Please bear in mind that a single station may serve multiple lines, so check the signs on the side of the train to make certain you are on the right one. A map of the Metro Rail system (complete with access to fare information) is available on the web at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/metro/front.htm

Additional Sources of Information

  • The Washington Post features an on-line Visitors Guide.
  • The Washington, D.C., Visitors Information Center is located in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. For more information, call (202) 328-4748, visit in person, or visit their website

Local Restaurants

Entrees under $10

  • Au Bon Pain: 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.; (202) 488-9449; sandwiches; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Lindy’s: 2040 I Street, N.W.; (202) 452-0055; carry-out burgers and sandwiches; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Singapore Bistro: 1134 19th St., NW; (202) 659-2660; Asian; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • El Chalan: 1924 I Street, N.W.; (202) 293-2765; Peruvian; Metro accessible at Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • GW Deli: 2116 G Street, N.W.; (202) 331-9391; carry-out sandwiches; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Austin Grill: 2404 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.; (202) 337-8080; American, burgers, Cajun/Creole, Mexican; Metro accessible at the Foggy Bottom/GWU stop on Blue and Orange lines; located in Georgetown.
  • La Madeleine French Bakery and Café: 3000 M Street, NW; (202) 337-6975; Bakery; Metro accessible at the Foggy Bottom/GWU stop on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Pan Asian Noodles & Grill: 2020 P Street, N.W.; (202) 872-8889; Asian and Thai food; Metro accessible at Dupont Circle on the Red line.
  • Daily Grill: 1200 18th St, NW; (202) 822-5282; American; Metro accessible at Dupont Circle on the Red line.
  • DJs Fastbreak:2145 G Street, N.W.; (202) 429-0230; Rice and noodles, breakfast items, soups and sandwiches; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • SoHo Café Market: 1900 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.; (202) 861-1910; lunch buffet, salads, sandwiches; Metro accessible at Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Thai Coast: 2514 L Street, N.W.; (202) 333-2460; Thai; 10 minute walk from Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.

Entrees $10-$20

  • Aroma: 1919 I Street, N.W.; (202) 833-4700; Indian; Metro accessible at Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • TGI Friday’s: 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.; (202) 872-4344; American; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Bombay Palace: 2020 K Street, N.W.; (202) 331-4200; Indian; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • The River Inn’s Foggy Bottom Cafe: 924 25th Street, N.W.; (202) 338-8707; American; Metro accessible at the Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Froggy Bottom Pub: 2124 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.; (202) 338-3000; American; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Kaz Sushi Bistro: 1915 I Street, N.W.; (202) 530-5500; Japanese; Metro accessible at Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Bertucci’s: 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.; (202) 296-2600; Italian/Pizza; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange line.
  • Thai Kingdom: 2021 K Street, N.W.; (202) 835-1700; Metro accessible at Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • One Washington Circle Hotel’s Circle Bistro: One Washington Circle, N.W.; (202) 293-5390; American, Mediterranean; Metro accessible at the Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Old Glory: 3139 M Street, N.W.; (202) 337-3406; American, barbecue, Southern/Soul; Located in Georgetown.
  • Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown: 3104 M St., NW; (202) 333-3104; American; Located in Georgetown.
  • Grillfish: 1200 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.; (202) 331-7310; Seafood; Metro accessible at the Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Charlie Chang’s: 1912 I St., N.W.; (202) 293-6000; Chinese; Metro accessible at the Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Legal Seafoods: 2020 K Street, N.W.; American, Seafood; (202) 496-1111; Metro accessible at the Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Old Ebbitt Grill: 675 15th Street, N.W.; (202) 347-4800; American; Located downtown, Metro accessible at Metro Center on the Red, Orange and Blue lines.
  • MeiWah: 1200 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.; (202) 833-2888; Chinese, Metro accessible at the Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • ESPN Zone: 555 12th Street, N.W.; (202) 783-3776; American; Metro accessible at Metro Center on the Red, Orange and Blue lines.

Entrees over $20

  • Prime Rib: 2020 K Street, N.W.; (202) 466-8811, Steakhouse; Metro accessible at Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Kinkead’s Restaurant: 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.; (202) 296-7700; Seafood; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Primi Piatti: 2013 I Street, N.W.; (202) 223-3600; Italian; Metro accessible at Farragut West on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Marcel’s: 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.; (202) 296-6466; Belgian, French, Seafood; Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Orange and Blue line.
  • Landmark Restaurant at the Melrose Hotel: 2430 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.; (202) 955-6400, American Modern. Metro accessible at Foggy Bottom/GWU on the Blue and Orange lines.
  • Morton’s of Chicago: 3251 Prospect Street, N.W.; (202) 342-6258; American, steakhouse; Located in Georgetown.
  • Restaurant Nora: 2132 Florida Avenue, N.W.; (202) 462-5143; haute Organic; Metro accessible at Dupont Circle on the Red line.
  • The Palm: 1225 19th Street, N.W.; (202) 293-9091; steak. Metro accessible at Dupont Circle on the Red line.
  • i Ricchi: 1220 19th Street, N.W.; (202) 835-0459; Northern Italian; Metro accessible at Dupont Circle on the Red line.


Quick Links

Contact Information

Karen M. Notch, Program Manager
National Security Studies Program
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E St, NW, Suite 601
Washington, DC 20052
nssp@gwu.edu
(202) 994-4809