Take a Virtual Tour of Washington, D.C.’s Most Popular Landmarks

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Renee Sklarew, author of The Unofficial Guide to Washington, D.C., takes us on a virtual tour of D.C.’s most popular landmarks.

Currently, most museums and landmarks are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We at The Unofficial Guides hope all our readers and their loved ones, remain healthy and safe. Without intending to trivialize the current crisis, we will continue to post positive stories, in hopes of bringing some magic into your home as a welcome distraction during these trying times.

Wanderlust! As we face extensive weeks of quarantine and avoid all nonessential travel, it’s still possible to see some of the world’s great destinations from the comfort of your home. Had you planned to visit the Nation’s Capital in 2020? How about a virtual visit to some of Washington D.C.’s world-class museums and famous cherry blossom trees? Check out these links below for immersive tours of several Smithsonian museums and other top D.C.-area landmarks.

Some of the highlights include the new exhibit Votes for Women at the National Portrait Gallery, the Dutch Golden Age at the National Gallery of Art, and the prehistoric giants inside the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils – Deep Time. Step inside The White House, the U.S. Capitol, or Mount Vernon. This is a fun activity to enjoy with your home-bound students. Show them what awaits when it’s time for that special trip to Washington, D.C.!

Space Shuttle Discovery See the National Air and Space Museum’s Space Shuttle Discovery, which carried 184 men and women during its 39 missions. The spacecraft traveled almost 150 million miles and spent a total of 365 days in space. Take an immersive tour of the shuttle, including narration from the Smithsonian podcast AirSpace! 

David H. Koch Hall of Fossils – Deep Time National Museum of Natural History’s Deep Time starts at the very beginning—4.6-billion-years ago. But it ends in the future. Along the way, you’ll travel through ancient ecosystems, experience the evolution of plant and animal life, and get up close with some 700 specimens, including giants like Tyrannosaurus rex. 

Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence National Portrait Gallery’s Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence outlines the more than 80-year movement for women to obtain the right to vote as part of the larger struggle for equality that continued through the 1965 Civil Rights Act and arguably lingers today. 

National Gallery of Art Vermeer and Masters of Genre Painting Exhibit: See the enduring images of the Dutch Golden Age on this virtual tour of great masterpieces in the NGA collection. 

virtual tour of Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Capitol Complex Tour the most famous building in America on this interactive website produced by the Architect of the Capitol. Check out the hotspots and lesser-known treasures sprinkled throughout the buildings and gardens.

The White House Archives Take a White House tour, which was filmed during the Obama Administration and hosted by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Mount Vernon This beautifully organized, interactive virtual tour gives you lots of detail about the history and functions of President George Washington’s Home in Virginia. 

Cherry Blossoms See these beautiful trees in full bloom in the Smithsonian Gardens around the National Mall, including stunning high-resolution photos of the blossoms, and learn about the six different species found in the Smithsonian Gardens. 

virtual tour of Washington, D.C.

The National Zoo Would you like to see how the animals at the National Zoo are keeping busy? This link allows you to choose to watch the Lion Cam, Naked Mole-Rat Cam, Elephant Cam, or the Giant Panda Cam. Catch these special critters dining, playing, and snuggling.

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