Staying at Home? Take a Virtual Tour of Washington D.C. Landmarks

As we face extensive weeks of quarantine, it’s still possible to see some of the world’s great destinations from the comfort of your home. Planning to visit the Nation’s Capital someday? How about a virtual visit to Washington D.C.’s world-class museums and famous cherry blossom trees right now? Check out these links below for immersive tours of Smithsonian museums and other top D.C. Area landmarks.

Catch exhibits like Votes for Women at the National Portrait Gallery, the Dutch Golden Age at the National Gallery of Art, and the prehistoric giants inside the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils – Deep Time. Virtually step inside The White House, the U.S. Capitol or Mount Vernon. This is a fun activity to enjoy with your home-bound students. Show them what awaits when it’s time for that special trip to Washington D.C.!

Space Shuttle Discovery 
See the National Air and Space Museum’s Space Shuttle Discovery, which carried 184 men and women during its 39 missions. The spacecraft traveled almost 150 million miles and spent a total of 365 days in space. Take an immersive tour of the shuttle, including narration from the Smithsonian podcast AirSpace!  
Washington D.C. National Mall
Take a virtual walk around the memorials and monuments on grounds of the National Mall. This website offers 360 degree views of sites like the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial and the Washington Monument. Some scenes are in daytime while others are at sunset. Small kids will like this one!
David H. Koch Hall of Fossils – Deep Time 
National Museum of Natural History’s Deep Time starts at the very beginning—4.6-billion-years ago. But it ends in the future. Along the way, you’ll travel through ancient ecosystems, experience the evolution of plant and animal life, and get up close with some 700 specimens, including giants like Tyrannosaurus rex. 
Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence 
National Portrait Gallery’s Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence outlines the more than 80-year movement for women to obtain the right to vote as part of the larger struggle for equality that continued through the 1965 Civil Rights Act and arguably lingers today.  
National Gallery of Art Vermeer and Masters of Genre Painting ExhibitSee the enduring images of the Dutch Golden Age on this virtual tour of great masterpieces in the NGA collection. 
The U.S. Capitol Complex
Tour the most famous building in America on this interactive website produced by the Architect of the Capitol. Check out the hotspots and lesser known treasures sprinkled throughout the buildings and gardens.
The White House Archives
Take a White House, which was filmed during the Obama Administration hosted by former First Lady Michelle Obama. 
Mount VernonThis beautifully organized, interactive virtual tour gives you lots of detail about the history and functions of President George Washington’s Home in Virginia. 
Cherry Blossoms 
See these beautiful trees in full bloom in the Smithsonian Gardens around the National Mall, including stunning high-resolution photos of the blossoms, and learn about the six different species found in the Smithsonian Gardens.  
The National Zoo
Would you like to see how the animals at the National Zoo are keeping busy? This link allows you to choose to watch the Lion Cam, Naked Mole-Rat Cam, Elephant Cam and Giant Panda Cam. Catch these special critters dining, playing and snuggling. 

Read more about Washington DC in my new book The Unofficial Guide to Washington DC published in January 2020. Order your copy on Amazon _


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Freelance writer and photographer specializing in vivid, deeply reported stories about food, travel and family.

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