United States Holocaust Memorial Museum#5 in Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.
You need to be in the right frame of mind to visit this sobering museum that focuses on the atrocities of the Holocaust during World War II. Upon entering the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, you'll be given an identification card with the name and personal information of an actual person who experienced the Holocaust; as you move through the exhibits – Hitler's rise to power, anti-Semitic propaganda, the horrors of the Final Solution – you'll be given updates on your person's well-being.
Past travelers felt moved by this powerful museum but cautioned that its graphic collection is not ideal for younger children. Many were especially impressed with its informative, thorough and respectful displays, adding that you can easily spend a few hours perusing its halls. Tickets are not needed to visit the museum's permanent exhibit between September and February but are required in the spring and summer and often run out, so consider reserving yours in advance online. Other exhibits and facilities like the Hall of Remembrance, the Survivors and Victims Resource Center, a library, restrooms and a gift shop can be visited year-round without a ticket.
There are no entrance fees for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, but a $1 transaction charge applies for tickets reserved on the museum's website. The property is open daily (except Yom Kippur and Christmas Day) from 10 a.m. to 5:20 p.m., with extended hours in the spring. It is located just south of the National Mall by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture and the Washington Monument; the museum can be reached by taking the DC Circulator's National Mall bus to stop No. 6 or the Metro to Smithsonian station.
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#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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