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A few days or a long weekend spent in this enigmatic city will never be forgotten. The enigma is formed by the contrast of things that will be seen. There is glamour on one street and destitution on the next. Overabundance on one street corner and poverty a short distance away.

This article is about things to see while in D.C. Landmarks not to be missed and national treasures to be savored.

Driving within the perimeter of the city can be quite a nerve-wracking experience, so optimal enjoyment might be found using an alternative form of transportation.

Perhaps the most famous landmark is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Tours are given, but it is much better to obtain VIP tickets from your state representative if a White House tour is planned. Tours run Tuesday through Saturday, but calling first is advised due to closure at times for official events.

You will want at least a day to explore the treasures of the Smithsonian. There are many museum buildings, a few of which are the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, and the National Museum of Natural History. Various art galleries are available as well.

This is where you’ll find the flag from Fort McHenry, the Kitty Hawk plane, a piece of rock from the moon, the Hope Diamond, and thousands of other bits and pieces from the history of this country. It would serve tourists well to research before arrival so you’ll know in which buildings the things you want to see are housed.

Near the Washington Monument, you’ll find the National Holocaust Museum. The main exhibition, named "The Holocaust" covers three floors with photos, testimonies, and authentic pieces of this painful period of history. Bear in mind that this particular exhibition is recommended for those over age 11.

There are many monuments to see in this city. The most famous might be the Washington Monument, which can be seen from all over the city and from places far removed from the city such as Arlington. The Lincoln Memorial sits near the reflecting pool, and very nearby is the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial, “The Wall.” 58,000 names of those dead and missing who never returned home are written on that monument. 58,000 reasons to shed a tear while standing in view of this monument.

If you enjoy tours, you might like to take one through the Bureau of Printing and Engraving to see how our currency is printed. Or perhaps a tour through the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the US Capitol. Tours also are offered at Ford’s Theatre and Lincoln Museum, but is closed to tours when there is a matinee or when rehearsal is happening. Tours are conducted weekdays at the Library of Congress, the State Department, the Supreme Court, and the Pentagon as well.

Other points of interest might be the National Zoo, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the National Aquarium. For a totally breathtaking experience, a stop at the National Cathedral almost guarantees it.

Two places not within the city perimeter, but definitely worth a side-trip are Mount Vernon if you have an interest in seeing the home of our first president, and Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington is across the Memorial Bridge in Virginia. Here you see not only row upon row of markers standing in formation as soldiers, but also things like the eternal flame at the resting place of John F. Kennedy, a memorial to the Challenger astronauts, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with its infamous changing of the guard.

This article was begun with the thought of “a few days or a long weekend” but it’s easy to see how a longer stay would never leave one lacking things to do and places to see. It is filled to the brim with history, heritage, and patriotism.