Washington DC is an incredible city to visit if you’re interested in history and culture, but there’s so much to see and do that it can be more than a little overwhelming. This is where Gray Line DC comes in, as we’re the Washington DC specialists. You can take any one of our Washington DC tours and you’re guaranteed to have a great time, but if you’re only visiting the capital for a short time and you want to see as much as possible, then we recommend our custom private tour of Washington DC as it allows you to customize your itinerary to suit your personal interests. Our customized tour of Washington will pick you up at your hotel and take you anywhere in the city you want to see, and your knowledgeable guide will have plenty of local knowledge to share. The only question now is which specific sights and attractions should you see?
The U.S. Capitol Building
The Capitol Building isn’t just incredible to look at – it’s also one of the most historically significant buildings in the entire United States. It’s the base for the US Congress and it is also where the U.S. federal government’s legislative branch is situated. If you want to visit the place where most of the big decisions in the country get made, it’s the Capitol Building (and the Supreme Court), not the White House. The original building was completed in 1800, but they made various elaborate renovations and expansions over the centuries. The Capitol Building is an unmissable part of any Washington DC tour!
The Supreme Court of the United States
After seeing the majestic Capitol Building, you’ll want to visit a building with, arguably, just as much power and influence: The Supreme Court. This is the highest court in the US federal judiciary. The Supreme Court Building isn’t as old as the institution itself; it was completed in 1935, designed by Cass Gilbert. When Gilbert first imagined a building fitting the US Supreme Court, he went to classical styles and, ultimately, to Greek architecture. The final result is an exquisite building with the elegance and grandeur of a Greek temple, complete with frieze and pillars.
The Lincoln Memorial
As long as you’re not fatigued on stunning white marble neo-classical buildings, then the Lincoln Memorial should be the next place on your list. Abraham Lincoln is one of the United States’ most iconic presidents and the memorial building constructed ton honor him between 1914 and 1922 is suitably iconic. The beautiful exterior is worth visiting in itself, but inside you’ll find one of the most incredible sights in Washington DC: the huge, imposing sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, created by Daniel Chester French. There are lots of legends about French’s sculpture, but the most interesting is the idea that General Robert E. Lee’s faces is carved onto the back of Lincoln’s head, where no one can see it.
The National Gallery of Art
Lastly, to give yourself a fair dose of art and culture after all of the historically significant buildings detailed above, we highly recommend visiting the National Gallery of Art, which you’ll find on the National Mall, a short (and stunning) walk from the Capitol Building. The building itself was built in 1937 and it has gradually accumulated an impressive collection of art that celebrates US and world artists alike. You’ll find works by many of the greatest European masters: Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Cézanne, Picasso. And you’ll find works by many of the United States’ greatest artists: Edward Kicks, Edward Savage, Thomas Cole, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, and so many more.
There are many more places you can (and should) and visit if you decided to take a custom tour of Washington DC. This city has so much to offer anyone passionate about art, history, and culture. We hope this blog has inspired a few readers to finally start planning the DC trip of a lifetime. If you are planning a trip and you need some more information about our tours, please feel free to get in touch!