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5 Fun (and Free) Things to Do in Washington DC

Since I spend plenty of time in DC (thanks to my big sis), I figured it only made sense to make a little travel guide for DC.

While it is super easy to fill your time in DC with the Mall, and Smithsonian's, I wanted to focus on some other fun, and free, things to do in DC. So, this guide looks at other things to do that are free, but not museums!

So, read on for my guide for 5 Fun (and Free) Things to Do in Washington DC!

1. The National Cathedral

The National Cathedral

Not many people know that DC is home to The National Cathedral!

This gorgeous building is a well-kept little secret that is filled with gorgeous stained-glass windows!

Opt to take a guided tour, and hear all about who donated which windows (NASA's has a moon rock in it!), and who is buried beneath the Cathedral itself (Hint: One is Helen Keller!).

Visiting The National Cathedral is both a historical and religious experience, and the perfect place to escape from some of that famous Washington DC heat!

2. The Bell Tower

The Bell Tower
The Bell Tower

Not many people know this hidden gem exists. It took us quite a while to find it ourselves!

The Bell Tower offers gorgeous panoramic

views of the Mall, and the surrounding


Easily accessible by elevator, the views are something everyone can enjoy!

While finding your way up into this old Mail Office's tour is a little tricky (You have to sneak in though the Starbucks around the corner), it is absolutely worth the trip to the top! And, if you've got time, take a peak at the lobby of the Trump Hotel that shares the same building! It's also gorgeous to look at!

3. The National Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoo

While this is technically a Smithsonian, I'm adding it to this guide because it definitely does not feel like a museum (but their amazing guides will definitely have you learning about your favorite animals)!

This zoo is very well-kept, and the animals all are very healthy and well-taken care of. The staff is amazing at answer questions about the animals, their habitats, and their care!

Be sure to wear comfy shoes! It's a big zoo, with some hills, so there is a lot of walking involved! Also, be sure to check out the pandas as they are some of the cutest, and rarest, animals at the National Zoo!

The Smithsonian National Zoo

4. The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress

Not many people know that you can actually go inside the Library of Congress.

Being a huge bibliophile, I love visiting the Library of Congress!

While there are some exhibits to see (like Thomas Jefferson's personal collection), just soaking in the gorgeous


makes this stop more than worth it!

Also, it's totally free to get a library card. Just fill out the online application, and show up to get your picture taken, and you can be a card-carrying member of the Library of Congress! Which is honestly the coolest free souvenir ever (at least in my opinion)!

5. The United States Botanical Garden

The United States Botanical Garden
The United States Botanical Garden

I know not everyone is interested in looking at plants, but the United States Botanical Gardens are worth the stop!

This building is home to flowers from all over the world, and with an ever-changing main hall exhibit, there are always new flowers to see!

The rooms are split into different areas of the world, and a section all about poisonous plants, so not only will you see pretty flowers, you'll learn a little something about the environments they thrive in! The United States Botanical Garden is right down the road from The Library of Congress, so after you get your library card, you can stop to smell the flowers!

So, there you have it! My guide to 5 Fun (and Free) Things to Do in Washington DC! Hopefully, you can add some of these to your itinerary next time you're in our Nation's Capital!

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