Whether you're a kid or a big kid, there are a lot of little-known facts about Washington DC. If you’re visiting the city, you'll want to learn a little more about it before you visit. Our range of Washington DC tours is packed full of fun, interesting activities and you might also be interested in our blog offering 5 tips for first-time visitors to Washington.
A Few Washington DC Facts for Tourists!
- The White House is one of the most interesting buildings in the city, with hundreds of rooms. 35 of these rooms are bathrooms, though not many of these are open to the public.
- Theodore Roosevelt brought his children and their small menagerie of animals to live in the White House. This included lizards, a hyena, a bear and even more!
- Woodrow Wilson kept a flock of sheep on the White House lawn, even allowing them to graze on the grass outside. He kept these as agricultural animals, not as pets, which was more common for presidents to do.
- There are four bathtubs in the base of the US Capitol Building, which came from a time in which senators would stay in houses that did not have adequate plumbing. As a result of their status, they were given the opportunity to wash at work. One of these can be seen on tours of the building and they are impressive to behold.
- The Lincoln Memorial has a small typo, which you can see if you look really up close to the carving. In the word Future, the sculptor put the letter E at the start instead. It was fixed but evidence of this can still be seen, as the plaster doesn’t quite match the stone.
- The fish market on Maine Avenue is an institution and has been running since 1805. This is the longest-running market of this type in the country and it provides seafood to many of the restaurants in the city.
- The sister city of Washington DC is Beijing, China and the archway over Chinatown was built as a symbol of friendship between the two cities. The arch is known as Friendship Archway and was designed by Chinese American, Alfred Liu.
- Speaking of presents, the cherry blossoms that are featured around the Tidal Basin were given to the city by the city of Tokyo. They were gifted by the Mayor of Tokyo in 1912 and make the city more beautiful when they bloom in spring.
- We often think of memorials as things of the past, but the National Mall is added to on a regular basis. The Martin Luther King Memorial and American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial are among the newer ones in the area.
- If you’ve seen the US Capitol Building then you may have noticed the Statue of Freedom standing at the top. From afar this looks small but up close it’s actually nearly 20 feet in height! It’s made entirely of bronze and weighs nearly 7000kg.
If you’re ready to learn all about the city and interesting facts about the way that it has been built then come on a Gray Line DC tour! We know everything there is to know about Washington DC and our fabulous tour guides are happy to share their knowledge with you. If you have any questions for us whatsoever, please get in touch!