Washington DC - City of Museums

Many people associate Washington DC with big politics because this is where the American President and the Congress sit and where the US go...

Many people associate Washington DC with big politics because this is where the American President and the Congress sit and where the US government is mostly headquartered. I, however, see Washington DC more as a city of museums: 79 of them on the land only twice the size of Manhattan, according to Wikipedia. The majority of them are free to visit, and trust me - those are some of the best museums in the world! I would say, you need weeks if not months to truly experience and enjoy museums of the American Capital. So it was really hard for us to pick one since we only had about 4 hours in Washington DC altogether. Wondering which one we picked? Scroll down to get the answer.

But before I reveal the museum of choice, I'll invite you to take a walk on the Washington's National Mall - the main square where many of the best museums line up.
Air temperature of 20 C / 68 F in late December was such a delight after a cold Canadian winter weather.
A belt of the Appalachian Mountains north of Washington DC protects about half of the US East Coast against the cold air coming from the Arctic. This combined with the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean makes a climate in Washington DC very mild.
A plant which is often depicted on Christmas decorations.
One of the museums on the National Mall (not the one we picked) - Hirshhorn Museum and its outdoor contemporary art exhibits.
More art.
Alright, it's time to reveal the name of the museum we chose - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This is a mecca for those who likes astronomy, space and aviation. Museum's famous symbol - a sculpture called Ad Astra ("to the stars") at the entrance.
Museum opened its doors in 1976, and thanks to its 6.7 million visitors in 2014, it became the 5th most visited museum in the world.
There are actually two locations of the museum - on the National Mall and at the Washington Dulles International Airport. The latter is called Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. 
You can easily spend a day or two at the museum if you visit each hall and take time to watch, listen, read, touch its exhibits. I actually encourage you to do so, and I'm not going to spoil your own experience by giving too much information. For me, the most interesting exhibits were those about the Moon, planets and spaceships.  
Lunar Module LM-2 - identical to the ones that landed on the Moon in 1969.
Gemini IV carried the first American astronaut in 1965, Edward H. White, who walked in space for 21 minutes.
Viking lander is the replica of the two landers that reached Mars in 1976.
Inside the spaceship. Have you ever thought of how astronauts take a shower? This museum has an exhibit for that.
Some interesting exhibits from the Cold War era: a Soviet ballistic missile banned as a result of a Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Soviet Union and the US in 1987.
I believe that's enough pictures and information as it was supposed to be just a teaser to convince you to visit Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and experience its exhibits yourself. Hope it worked. And be sure to check my new article from the trip to Florida in the next few days.

My other posts from the trip to Florida and the Bahamas

You Might Also Like