In And Around Washington

The free performances at the Millennium Stage make up only a portion of the cultural events offered at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The center also houses the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Opera, the Washington Ballet and the American Film Institute. The center also has restaurants, gift shops and great views of the city.

The capital offers a plethora of historical sites commemorating events that shaped the United States over the past 200 years. All of the memorials overseen by the U.S. National Park Service are free to the public. Some of the major sites include:

A complete list is available at the National Capital Parks Web site.

Washington also is home to the many museums and galleries of the Smithsonian Institution, and they, too, are free of admission to the public. Among these are the National Air and Space Museum, which maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. The collection includes the original Wright brothers' 1903 Flyer, the "Spirit of St. Louis," the Apollo 11 command module, and a moon rock sample that visitors can touch.

Not far from Washington is Monticello, the home designed and built by Thomas Jefferson. An architectural masterpiece, Monticello is the only American house to be placed on the United Nations' World Heritage List of sites that must be protected at all costs. Tours of the house and grounds are offered daily.

For a comprehensive look at the Washington D.C. area, try The 2000 Guide to Washington. This online trip-planner outlines everything to do, see and eat while visiting the capital.

The National Registr of Historic Places: Washington is an excellent guide to lesser known Washington sites.