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Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. has a uniquely enchanting touch of history that everyone in the country should experience at least once. Whether you visit during the spring’s famous cherry blossom season or take part in one of its snowy winters, trips to the heart of D.C. are truly special.
Capitol Hill is one of the most visited areas of the city for many reasons. With much of D.C.’s history in one place, it’s an ideal spot for travelers to start their journey. If you’re planning an upcoming adventure in D.C., be sure to include these Capitol Hill tours.
History of Capitol Hill
D.C. presents much of our nation’s history. Once called Jenkins’ Hill, Capitol Hill is home to the U.S. Capitol Building. Today, many additional buildings belong to Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
Construction began in 1793. At the time, the U.S. Capitol Building in Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. was the only building created exclusively for legislative purposes. As the nation’s ambitions and population grew, so did the workings and mass of Capitol Hill. The grounds were enlarged, and by 1892, it reached its current size. On a Capitol Hill tour, you’ll learn all about the building’s history, dating back to its 18th century beginnings.
Interesting Facts About Capitol Hill
Must-See Attractions Near Capitol Hill
Within the neighborhood of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., travelers will find the nation’s oldest serial cultural institution, the Library of Congress. It’s the largest library in the world and serves as the research arm of the U.S. Congress.
As you embark on your Capitol Hill tour with Old Town Trolley – D.C., you’ll hear all about the library. In addition to written stories, the Library of Congress is a symbol of learning and knowledge in the United States. Reserve a timed-entry pass to tour the space during your trip to D.C.
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. is where you can get closer to the highest court in the land. While the Supreme Court doesn’t offer guided walking tours, Capitol Hill tours include public areas of the building.
The courtroom and the first and ground floors are open to the public. On this part of the tour, you’ll come face-to-face with the impressive portraits and busts of former Justices and the John Marshall statue. If you plan to visit, please keep in mind that courtroom seating is first-come, first served, and business of the Court impacts visits on occasion.
The Smithsonian museums are a collection of must-see experiences for any trip to Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. With so many museums to tour, you’ll likely have to pick and choose which you’ll visit during your stay. Take it from Old Town Trolley – D.C., the Hirshhorn Museum is a captivating museum journeying through modern and contemporary art that your entire travel crew is sure to love. And, with all of the Smithsonian museums free to the public, they’re accessible, even for visitors experiencing Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. on a budget.
For a floral touch to your Capitol Hill tour, journey through the United States Botanic Garden. The living plant museum teaches its visitors about the importance of the natural world and the irreplaceable value of plants. Get inspired by the power of plants and how they impact the well-being of humans and our world as a whole. Many consider this one of the most beautiful areas in all of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. — and the Old Town Trolley – D.C. team agrees.
There’s nearly nothing more amazing than uncovering the magic of the workings and wonders of our galaxy. At the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, you’ll rocket into the world of space on a level you’ve never seen before. Located on the National Mall, it’s just steps away from other attractions on the perfect Capitol Hill tour.
As part of the Smithsonian museum family, the Air and Space Museum is free to the public and is only closed on Christmas Day.
Know Before You Go
Capitol Hill is known in the United States and around the world for being home to many U.S. landmarks and legislative buildings. It hosts the presidential inauguration and has some of the nation’s most significant legislative buildings.
The Capitol Building’s construction began in 1793 when Dr. William Thornton’s proposed design for the U.S. Capitol was approved by President George Washington.
With approval in 1793, the story of the U.S. Capitol is 230 years old as of 2023. It was completed in November 1800, with its last expansion in 1962.
Many of the most visited attractions in Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. are on the National Mall, including the Natural History Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Washington Monument, Smithsonian Castle and more.