Explore Washington, D.C.

D.C. is about much more than politics—it's where history continues to be made. Become part of the narrative when you use this guide to wander the city and discover fascinating places that bring little-known stories to life.

  1. Union Station, Washington DC

    Union Station

    So much more than a transportation hub, Union Station is at the very heart of the city. Each day thousands of people pass through the magnificent halls of this National Treasure, now restored to its original appearance.

  2. Woodrow Wilson

    Photo By: Todd A. Smith

    The President Woodrow Wilson House

    Until Barack Obama, Woodrow Wilson was the only President to remain in Washington, D.C., after his term of office. Visitors can experience the home—now a National Trust Historic Site—where he spent his post-presidency years.

  3. Founders Library

    Photo By: Library of Congress

    Howard University's Founders Library

    Together with Howard University, we're working to ensure a 21st-century solution for the library at this historically black university.

  4. Exterior angle of house with traffic

    Photo By: Rodney Bailey

    Decatur House

    Decatur House—another National Trust Historic Site—is one of the oldest surviving homes in D.C., and one of only three remaining houses in the country designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the father of American architecture.

  5. President Lincoln's Cottage

    Photo By: Erica Abbey/President Lincoln's Cottage

    President Lincoln's Cottage

    Located on an uplifting hilltop in Northwest Washington, D.C., the Cottage is where Lincoln lived for over a quarter of his presidency and made some of his most critical decisions, including drafting the Emancipation Proclamation.

  6. Washington National Cathedral

    Photo By: Brian Thomson/The Ethan James Foundation

    Washington National Cathedral

    Situated on one of the highest points in the city, the National Cathedral is a landmark for miles around, and fulfills the ideal envisioned by Pierre L’Enfant by providing a place for Americans of all faiths to worship, reflect, celebrate, and mourn.

  7. Willard InterContinental Hotel

    Photo By: Wally Gobetz, Flickr

    Willard InterContinental Hotel

    The historic Willard InterContinental is located in the heart of the nation's capital on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House, the Smithsonian museums, and the downtown business and theater districts.

  8. Tidal Basin, National Mall, Washington, DC

    Photo By: Sam Kittner

    National Mall Tidal Basin

    Comprising some of our most renowned national monuments, the Tidal Basin includes places of remembrance and reflection that tell the history of our nation. The architecture and open space of this complex, iconic public landscape captures individuals and events that have defined our nation and celebrates cherished American values.

  9. Photo By: Aimee Custis/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Dunbar High School

    Washington, D.C.'s Dunbar High School, named for African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, is a vital stitch in the city’s historic fabric as the country’s first public high school for African-American students.

  10. The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building completed a 3-year renovation in 2017.

    Photo By: Architect of the Capitol

    U.S. Capitol Building

    At 289 feet tall, the dome of the United States Capitol towers over the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., an instantly recognizable symbol of democracy. Learn more about its recent restoration.

  11. From the exterior of Dumbarton one can see the shiny new copper drain pipes

    Dumbarton House

    The National Trust went behind the scenes during this museum's renovation to see the bones of one of the finest examples of Federal architecture in the U.S.

  12. The main road in the Congressional Cemetery with cherry blossoms on either side

    Photo By: Pepper Watkins

    Congressional Cemetery

    At historic Congressional Cemetery, you can ponder the mysteries of death, but you'll quickly be awed by something else: the presence of the living.

  13. The Center Building is the oldest on campus, and will be the new headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security.

    Photo By: John M/Flickr/CC BY SA 2.0

    St. Elizabeths Asylum

    An asylum that Abraham Lincoln visited, that treated Ezra Pound, and that practiced a new approach to mental health is on its way to becoming new federal offices.

  14. Photo By: Carol M. Highsmith, Library of Congress

    Frederick Douglass House (Cedar Hill)

    Thanks to Helen Pitts Douglass (Frederick's wife), Cedar Hill still stands to tell the compelling story behind their family, share the history of the abolitionist movement, and celebrate the many possibilities that come with freedom.

The Mother Road turns 100 years old in 2026—share your Route 66 story to celebrate the Centennial. Together, we’ll tell the full American story of Route 66!

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