Whether you’ve come to see the Star-Spangled Banner or to march in a political protest, it’s hard not to feel patriotic in our nation’s capital—a city filled with inspiring neoclassical architecture and public art. Washington’s treasure trove of museums ranges from the Air and Space Museum to museums of African Art or Women in the Arts. To antidote sightseeing overload, take a break in the city’s many parks or hang out in the funky, ethnic Adams-Morgan neighborhood.
National Building Museum
Inside this spectacular 1887 Renaissance-style structure (featuring some of the tallest interior Corinthian columns in the world), the museum celebrates design, construction, and urban planning. 401 F Street NW (202) 272-2448
The Textile Museum
Explore 5,000 years of textiles at this museum—from Oriental rugs to bark cloth, quilts to clothing, Persian to Peruvian. 2320 S Street NW (202) 667-0441
The White House
The White House has come a long way since 1800, when Abigail Adams dried the laundry in the unfinished East Room. Gutted by British-set fires in 1814, the presidential residence has undergone perpetual remodeling. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (202) 456-7041
Adjoining the National Mall, this green space along the Potomac River attracts joggers, boaters, and cyclists and includes the Lincoln, Jefferson, and FDR Memorials, Constitution Gardens, the Reflecting Pool, and the Tidal Basin.
Four hundred acres of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants offer refuge at the National Arboretum from busier tourist attractions. Wander through the Bonsai Pavilion or the National Herb Garden. 3501 New York Avenue, NE (202) 245-2726
Good Health Natural Foods
For a healthy picnic or a sightseeing lunch break, drop by this natural foods store, deli, and juice bar across from the Library of Congress. 325 Pennsylvania Avenue SE (202) 543-2266
This chic restaurant in Dupont Circle has a woodsy appeal with a “firefly tree” hung with candle-lit lanterns and seasonal cuisine made from fresh, local produce. 1310 New Hampshire Avenue NW (202) 861-1310
Yoga Rooms have special nooks outfitted with yoga props and videos, and Energy Rooms provide in-room exercise equipment. Start your mornings at the Topaz Hotel with daily horoscopes and a wheatgrass drink. 1733 N Street NW (800) 775-1202