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What’s Open Right Now in Washington DC? 15+ Things to Do While Social Distancing

U.S. Capitol dome and a tree during the fall to the left

Washington DC Social Distance Guide

Our nation’s capital is one of those places every American must visit at least once in their lifetime. With today’s new normal, it’s important to find social distancing approved activities around the breathtaking city, worth exploring. Luckily, Washington DC has plenty of fun social distancing approved options available to enjoy. Whether it be visiting a historical landmark or strolling a lush garden, there’s a ton of social distancing approved activities worth discovering. Here are just a few of the exciting options around Washington DC that are open right now and practicing proper social distancing protocols.

Old Town Trolley tour stop at the Jefferson MemorialSee Popular Sites With Old Town Trolley

To see the monuments, museums, the most popular points of interest and attractions take a tour. The Old Town Trolley Tour of Washington DC is open right now and shows you more than 100 points of interest and is fully narrated. In order to provide our guests with the safest and most comfortable sightseeing experience, Old Town Trolley Tours will be temporarily limiting seating to allow riders to maintain social distancing We have trolleys coming and going throughout the day, so you can see the sights at your own pace.

 

  • We are limiting our seating to provide social distancing on each tour.
  • We are providing hand sanitizer at key boarding locations throughout the city.
  • Our vehicles are cleaned between each tour at key touch points with an EPA-approved disinfectant.
  • All of our vehicles undergo a deep cleaning procedure on a nightly basis.
  • We’re enhancing our cleaning procedures at our sales depots and encourage guests to use cashless transactions.
  • We provide face masks to our team members and encourage guests to use face masks – but do not require them.
  • Our cleaning practices meet or exceed all CDC guidelines.

WASHINGTON MONUMENT

One of the most celebrated and spectacular sights on the National Mall, the Washington Monument, stands as a grand tribute to our nation’s first President, George Washington. Open this Memorial Day, the 555 foot obelisk is also one of the oldest and most recognizable memorials in the City. While construction began in 1848, the monument was not completed until 1884 because of financial difficulties during the Civil War.

International Spy Museum

Is there really such a thing as invisible ink? Is someone watching you through a camera in their buttonhole? For answers to these questions and a million other secrets about the fascinating world of spying, stop by the International Spy Museum. Discover the truth and myths about microdots and invisible ink, buttonhole cameras and submarine recording systems. Examine bugs of all sizes and kinds, and ingenious disguise techniques developed by Hollywood for the CIA. Trace the history of 50 years of spy technology, developed by agencies from the OSS to the KGB.

LINCOLN MEMORIAL

The Lincoln Memorial was opened on Memorial Day in 1922, 57 years after Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was assassinated. 
The immense Greek Temple stands in front of a gleaming reflecting pool and is a stunning spectacle during the day and especially at night.

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

The National Gallery of Art was created in 1937. Through the generosity of Andrew W. Mellon, a financier who was also a public servant, the Museum gained its first collection. Mellon had a passion for art and his large collection of old master paintings, sculpture and other works were intended for all of America to enjoy. After his death, Congress accepted his collection and thus the National Gallery was born.

US BOTANIC GARDEN

Found at the National Mall in the center of Washington DC. Known as a ‘living museum of plants,’ this free museum is open every day of the year and its flora and fauna are ready to be enjoyed by visitors. (Image: Bartholdi Park by Amanda Kleinman)

World War II Memorial

Honoring the 16 million people who served in the United States Military during the war, the more than 400,000 who died and the countless others who supported our troops from home, the World War II Memorial is a stunning tribute to the sacrifices that were made.

JEFFERSON MEMORIAL

Open Memorial Day, a tribute to the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, the Jefferson Memorial is a recognized symbol of democracy and independence. As one of the founding fathers of our country and the author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson’s significant impact on the shaping of our government is known throughout the world.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Often referred to as the wall that heals, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial beckons visitors of all ages, races and nationalities. It was created to honor and remember the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and to help our country heal after the controversial, emotional conflict ended. The enormous black wall lists 58,209 names of those who are missing or were killed during the war.

Museum of the Bible

According to the museum website, the museum made its grand opening to the public in November 2017, Museum of the Bible’s 430,000-square-foot building is located just three blocks from the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Museum of the Bible aims to be among the most technologically advanced and engaging museums in the world. Showcasing rare and fascinating artifacts spanning 4,000 years of history, the museum offers visitors an immersive and personalized experience with the Bible and its ongoing impact on the world around us.

US NATIONAL ARBORETUM

Home to over 440 acres of parks and gardens in Washington DC. Boasting one of the largest collections of bonsai trees in North America, these gardens contain the National Herb Garden, National Bonsai and Penjing Museum and the Flowering Tree Collection. Wander the miles of trails or take the open-air tram for a tour of the area.

FDR Memorial

The FDR Memorial is located along the Western edge of the Tidal Basin, between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Built in 1997, the memorial is known for its unique design, its tribute to our 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and for the fact that it tells the story of America during the years of FDR’s Presidency. Four outdoor rooms portray the President’s terms in office, each with different statues and quotes. Beginning with a likeness of him riding in a car during his first inaugural speech and ending with him seated in a wheelchair, the memorial traces his twelve years of office as well as the many changes our country went through during that era.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL

One of the newest additions to the list of monuments in Washington DC, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial opened in August 2011. This date was chosen because it marked the 48th anniversary of the march on Washington for jobs and freedom, lead by King. Located just southwest of the National Mall in Potomac Park, this monument celebrates the tireless work of freedom visionary Martin Luther King, Jr. and is a lasting legacy to his leadership.

The design of this memorial and its location are intended to create a visual line of leadership, from the Lincoln Memorial to the Jefferson Memorial. A 30-foot stone figure of King, named the “Stone of Hope,” stands past two pieces of granite, symbolizing a line from King’s famous speech, “Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

U.S. Navy Memorial

The US Navy Memorial is a truly spectacular tribute to those who served or are currently serving in the nation’s sea services. A stunning plaza paved in granite forms a 100-foot diameter of the world. Fountains, pools, flags and historic panels surround the deck of the plaza tracing the achievements of the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. The famous Lone Sailor statue stands as a representation of the men who joined the service to fulfill their patriotic duty; a striking sight, it is perhaps one of the most well-known aspects of the memorial.

GEORGETOWN WATERFRONT PARK

Offers some of the best views of all of Washington DC. With spectacular vistas along the Potomac River, this open park is a great spot for whimsical wandering, picnics, bike rides and skating adventures.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Just 16 miles outside the city, Mount Vernon is the place where George Washington lived for more than four decades. Today, visitors can roam the mansion, see Washington’s Tomb and walk the grounds of his expansive plantation. The mansion, built in 1735 by George Washington’s father, was originally a one and a half story farmhouse. But throughout his lifetime, George expanded and enhanced the home, and today it is three stories and 11,028 square feet, ten times the size of the average home in colonial Virginia. The estate also includes a working blacksmith shop and the Pioneer Farm, a 4-acre demonstration farm where you can see a reconstructed slave cabin and more. A fascinating look at the life of our first president, Mount Vernon makes for an unforgettable day trip while visiting our nation’s capital.

CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO CANAL NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK

Dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. This open historical spot is a great place to meet up with friends, host family picnics, take a bike ride, spend hours fishing or taking in the beautiful scenery.

 

 

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