The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

#7 in Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts picture
ccahill/Getty Images

Key Info

2700 F St. NW

Price & Hours

Free
Hours vary, see website for details

Details

Entertainment and Nightlife, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Many travelers highly recommend a visit to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, built and named for America's beloved Camelot president. The Kennedy Center houses the National Symphony Orchestra, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet and the Washington National Opera, as well as a number of other theater and musical performances throughout the year. Although ticket prices run a bit high, you can take in a performance for free on the Millennium Stage.

Past visitors loved taking in a show at The Kennedy Center, adding that the venue's rooftop terrace offers breathtaking views of the Potomac River and the surrounding area. To learn about the theater's history and architecture, recent travelers recommend joining one of the building's free guided tours. Tours are offered several times a day by theater volunteers on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You can get to The Kennedy Center via a free shuttle bus that runs from the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro station. Fee-based parking is also available in the property's garage between 6 a.m. and midnight daily. Theater performances are scheduled throughout the day, and the box office is open daily from 10 a.m. or noon to 9 p.m. Restrooms, a gift shop and two eateries are available inside. For more information about upcoming show times and ticket prices, check out The Kennedy Center website.

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Lincoln Memorial

Although the Lincoln Memorial is just one of the District's many monuments, the larger-than-life Honest Abe is also among travelers' favorites. History buffs might enjoy the man of few (albeit powerful) words' two famous speeches, the second inaugural address and the Gettysburg Address, which are both etched into the memorial's opposing walls. Meanwhile, art history and architecture aficionados will enjoy admiring the building's striking design by Henry Bacon, complete with 38 Doric columns, 36 of which signify the states in the Union at the time Lincoln passed away.

Though most agree the Lincoln Memorial is worth checking out during the day or at night, many recent travelers say the most captivating time to visit is after dark when the attraction is lit and less crowded. Plus, evening temps will make peak summer visits more comfortable.

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