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The Perfect Day in Washington, D.C.

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Start your perfect day in Washington D.C. by watching sunrise from the U.S. Capitol Building steps. Then the city's your oyster: Walk the National Mall, visit any of the free Smithsonian museums, monuments, and memorials that strike your fancy. The city's got great independent boutique shopping, thrilling chefs, and fun markets to explore. See if you can fit it all into one day!
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First St SE, Washington, DC 20004, USA
The U.S. Capitol Building is the epicenter of all D.C. political action—this is where the country's most important battles are fought. Home to the House of Representatives and the Senate's meeting chambers for more than two centuries, it's...
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1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA
The most famous residence in D.C. has been occupied by every U.S. president except George Washington (President John Adams was the first, in 1801). Construction began in 1792, so it's the oldest federally occupied building in the city. Tours are...
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2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
The Lincoln Memorial has the hushed and solemn air of a sacred place, and indeed, many of its six million annual visitors behave like pilgrims arriving at a shrine. They linger in the soaring marble space, contemplating the 19-foot tall statue of...
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1750 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
National World War II memorial honors the hundreds of thousands who fought and who died during World War II. I snapped this photograph of the Freedom Wall, which contains 4,000 gold stars to honor the over 400,000 Americans who died during World...
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5 Henry Bacon Dr NW, Washington, DC 20245, USA
One of the most humbling spots—the seemingly endless names that reflect back into the countenance of the visitor—puts a solemn sense of humanity into the memorial.
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600 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560, USA
Opened to the public as part of the country's bicentennial celebration in 1976, this is the largest of the Smithsonian Institution's 20 museums. It is the most-visited museum in the U.S. (and the second-most-visited museum in the world behind the...
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1400 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA
This extraordinary collection encompasses the dark and the light of our nation's racial history, from the shackles, shacks, and whips of slavery to an exuberant lemon-yellow costume worn onstage by Bootsy Collins when playing bass for the funk...
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101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA
Established in 1800, the Library of Congress is the oldest federal institution in the United States. The library was destroyed by British troops just 14 years after its conception, and Congress used Thomas Jefferson’s collection of 6,487...
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3303 Water St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Once upon a time, there was a run-down parking lot located under the Whitehurst Freeway leading into Washington, D.C. It wasn’t a place that anyone, even someone who needed to park a car, would think of coming. Thanks to the persistent efforts of...
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501 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
José Andrés’s futuristic Willy Wonka cocktail factory, Barmini, is a playground for the adult imagination and taste buds. Liquid nitrogen wafts from beakers as mixologists deliver hits of scented smoke to customers along the...
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1346 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Open that teal door down an alleyway in D.C.’s bustling 14th and U Street neighborhood and like in Alice In Wonderland, you’ll be transported to another world. Just inside the door, Maydan's cooks fan and stoke the flames of a firepit....
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480 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
Acclaimed chef José Andrés brings his love of tapas to the D.C. area with Jaleo. The warm and spacious restaurant in Crystal City serves an impressive assortment of traditional small dishes and wines from Spain that include many...