Area Information and Tours

We welcome you to the U.S. national capitol area.  Here is a list of sites that we think you might be especially interested in.  Many are accessible by Metro, and there are shuttles from NIST or the Holiday Inn to Shady Grove Metro station.

If you want to join the tours of NIST, you may wish to check this page.

If you want to explore the National Mall, you may wish to get tickets on Big Bus Washington DC. A ticket allows you to get off, visit a site, then get back on as many times as you wish.

Place Est. Cost (if listed) Address Metro Accessible Note FAQ Phone
Air & Space Museum free Independence Ave at 6th Street, SW Washington, DC 20560 Smithsonian stop; short walk – Big Bus Guided Tours available at 10:30 am and 1:00 pm. here 202-633-2214
National Firearms Museum free NRA Headquarters
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
No   here 703-267-1600
National Museum of Health and Medicine free 2500 Linden Ln, Silver Spring, MD 20910 Forest Glen stop; walk   here 301-319-3300
National Zoo free 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 Woodley Park – Zoo stop; short walk parking $22 here 202-633-4888
Newseum Adult: $22.95 + tax 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001 Archives/Navy Memorial stop – Big Bus   here 202-292-6100
Spy Museum Adult: $21.95 800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004 Gallery Place/Chinatown stop – Big Bus   here 202-393-7798
Library of Congress free Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20540
Capitol South stop; short walk – Big Bus tours begin at 10:30am here 202-707-8000
U.S. Capitol Building free East Capitol Street Northeast & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004 Union Station or Capitol South stop; short walk – Big Bus Must book tour well in advance; roughly 4-6 weeks is ideal in order to have the most selection for times. here 202-226-8000
Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Musuem free 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway Chantilly, Virginia 20151 Wiehle-Reston East stop, then bus to Udvar-Hazy   here 703-572-4118
Jefferson Memorial free 701 East Basin SW, Washington, DC 20242 Smithsonian stop; walk – Big Bus Open 24 hours. Gift shop    
Cold War Museum   The Cold War Museum
7142 Lineweaver Road
Warrenton, VA
P.O. Box 861526
Vint Hill, VA 20187
No opens at 11am; Spy Tours via bus require minimum of 25 people   540-341-2008
Mt. Vernon Adult: $17 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121
No   here 703-780-2000
NASA (Goddard) free 8800 Greenbelt Road
Greenbelt, MD 20771
No   here 301-286-8955
National Cryptologic Museum free 8290 Colony Seven Rd, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701 No must schedule guided tours in advance   301-688-5849
Potomac River Cruise ~$20, depending on cruise 205 The Strand, Alexandria, VA 22314 depends on choice of launch dock There's many choices for a river cruise. This is the top rated one on Google. In November, anything on the river will be cold cold cold! here 703-684-0580

 

In addition to sites, there are many large shopping malls in the area.

Place Address Metro Accessible
Lake Forest Mall across the street from Holiday Inn No
Westfield Montgomery Mall 7101 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD 20817 No
Tysons Corner / Tysons Galleria 1961 Chain Bridge Road, Tysons Corner, VA 22102 Tysons Corner stop
Crystal City Shops 1600 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202 Crystal City stop
Arundel Mills 7000 Arundel Mills Cir, Hanover, MD 21076 No
Potomac Mills 2700 Potomac Mills Cir, Woodbridge, VA 22192 No

 

Two other places to hang out are Georgetown in the District of Columbia (Washington), with tons of shops and fun things to do (Megan's favorite is Baked & Wired), and Alexandria, Virginia, which is hip and fun with great restaurants.