Compare cheap hotels in the USA for great deals. The United States of America will bring out the child in every visitor! The home of Mickey Mouse, the Big Mac, Coca Cola and The Simpsons, the USA is magical in every way! Disneyland and Universal Studios in Florida, Sea World in San Diego, Legoland in California, Hershey’s Chocolate World in Pennsylvania, Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, The Space Centre in Houston and The National Zoo and Museum of National History in Washington are just some of the wondrous attractions that make the USA the best family holiday location on the planet!
Those of a slightly older generation will be thrilled by the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Niagara Falls waterfalls (which border Ontario, Canada and New York, USA), the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and Times Square in New York, the White House in Washington, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francesco, the Florida Keys in Florida and the very active Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii.
Add in the unusual, strange and downright bizarre attractions along the infamous, nearly four thousand kilometre, Route 66 highway, including the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St Louis, the Cadillac Ranch in Texas, the Wigwam Motels in Arizona and the Blue Whale of Catoosa, Giant Milk Bottle and Totem Pole Park in Oklahoma, and you get a feeling for just how much the USA has to offer, whether you are staying put in the likes of Florida or holidaying by camper van along the highway!
The USA also represents fast food heaven for many, with American diners offering dishes to make your taste buds explode with satisfaction! Gigantic hot dogs, triple-decker burgers, golden southern fried chicken and juicy spare ribs smothered in rich sauce, all washed down with a bottle of thirst-quenching coca cola (or Pepsi!) are just some of the more common treats on offer.
Those seeking the more exotic can try Cajun, Tex-Mex or Creole cuisine. Wine lovers will also be surprised at the choice of quality, American produced wines available. Amazingly, there are over three thousand vineyards in the USA, however, the most popular wine growing region is California, where nearly ninety percent of the country’s wine originates. Wine tasting tours of the Napa Valley in California can be experienced by bicycle, car, limo, train, hot air balloon or horseback!
The USA has become increasingly popular as a shopping holiday destination, with stores like Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Sears, JC Penny, Forever 21, Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue…and not forgetting Wal-Mart, to choose from, as well as having some of the biggest shopping malls in the world, including the massive 3.5 million sq ft Mall of America in Minnesota, the 2.8 million sq ft King of Prussia Mall in Philadelphia and the 2.5 million sq ft Destiny USA Mall in New York!
If you are all shopped out, a seat at any one of the country’s many American Football stadiums to cheer along the likes of The Chicago Bears or The Dallas Cowboys would be a truly uniquely American experience! Equally American and thrilling would be a visit to a basketball match, where you might get the chance to see The Harlem Globetrotters slam dunk another score! Ice hockey and Nascar car racing are also popular American sporting attractions for the visitor to experience.
Festival lovers will be spoilt for choice in the USA with literally hundreds of major festivals taking place each year, including the creepy Halloween Festival of the Dead in Salem, the colourful Albuquerque International Balloon Festival in New Mexico, the Music City Festival in Nashville, the tasty Food and Wine Classic in Colorado, and the world’s largest popular musical festival in Milwaukee, called Summerfest, when up to one million people have been known to attend over the annual eleven day music event! So order those American dollars right now and visit, not only the city, but the country that never, ever sleeps. Review cheap hotels in the USA online & save, we hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable trip!
Compare cheap hotels in Chicago for great deals. Chicago is the third biggest city in the USA and typically attracts up to fifty million visitors each year! Everything Chicago does it does on a grand scale! Its museums are renowned internationally and it is home to one of the biggest aquariums, science museums, contemporary art museums and natural history museums in the world! And despite Chicago being described as ‘the windy city’, temperatures during the summer months can very often reach over thirty degrees.
The main port of call for tourists visiting Chicago is Navy Pier, a one thousand metre long pier on the shores of Lake Michigan, built in nineteen fourteen. The pier is the city’s most visited attraction and is crammed full of goodies including weekly fireworks displays, an Imax theatre, a stained glass museum, the Crystal Gardens, the Pepsi Stage, and Pier Park, home to a massive forty-six metre high Ferris wheel, carousel and other rides. The kids will also love the pier’s Chicago Children’s Museum! The pier also offers some fabulous sightseeing cruises, or even better, a dinner cruise! A water taxi service also operates from the area.
After a hard day’s sightseeing/shopping, visitors to Chicago can get away from all the hustle and bustle by visiting not one but two wonderful city parks. Millennium Park is a twenty-four acre oasis attracting over four million visitors each year. Inside the park visitors will discover pavilions, an ice skating rink, the Crown Fountain, a dance theatre, a stunning Cloud Gate sculpture and a four thousand seat ‘bandshell’! Millennium Park is connected to the city’s second park, Grant Park, which is an incredible three hundred and nineteen acres in size! And if that isn’t enough space to keep the kids out of trouble a visit to the city’s Lincoln Park Zoo might do the trick! The zoo houses over one thousand animals, including an impressive reptile house.
The cuisine specialities in Chicago are perfect for ‘on the hoof’ eating, as you go from one amazing attraction to another, stuffing your face in between with Chicago deep pan or thin crust pizza slices, a juicy Chicago hot dog or a scrumptious Chicago ‘Italian Beef’ sandwich.
Sports fanatics will enjoy Chicago’s atmospheric match days, when they can cheer along the NFL’s Chicago Bears (American Football), the NBA’s Chicago Bulls (Basketball), the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks (Hockey), the MLB’s Chicago White Sox (Baseball) or the MLA’s Chicago Fire Soccer Club (soccer).
1. The Art Institute of Chicago: One of the most renowned art museums in the works, housed in a magnificent renaissance building. Artists exhibited include Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, El Greco, Cezanne, Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec. The museum attracts around two million visitors and has a restaurant and gift shop onsite.
2. Museum of Science and Industry: One of the biggest science museums in the world, the Museum of Science and Industry houses over two thousand items in seventy-five halls that will thrill young and old, including a model railway that is over three thousand square feet, a German submarine and the Apollo Eight space rocket/craft.
3. Shedd Aquarium: The Shedd Aquarium is one of the biggest aquariums on the planet with over two and a half thousand fish from over one a half thousand species, and uses an incredible five million gallons of water in its aquariums! The aquarium is also home to a number of Beluga whales.
4. The Field Museum of Natural History: With over twenty-four million specimens, The Field Museum of Natural History is one of the biggest natural history museums on the planet! Some of the exhibitions include mammals from Africa and Asia, a hall of gems and a DNA extracting centre! The museum is also home to the best example of a T Rex skeleton in the world. The museum’s library contains an eye watering quarter of a million photographic images and two hundred and seventy-five thousand volumes.
5. Willis Tower (Sears Tower): Once the highest building on the planet, the Willis Tower has one hundred and eight floors and stretches over four hundred and forty metres into the sky. The skyscraper has an observation deck with glass observation boxes for those not afraid of heights.
6. Chicago Theatre: Large theatre with seating capacity of over three and a half thousand patrons, the Chicago Theatre is a world famous theatre venue, regularly hosting glitzy shows. The theatre is seven floors high and is wonderfully decorated inside with chandeliers and murals.
7. The Museum of Contemporary Art: Contemporary art museum housing wonderful works by artists including Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon. A gift store and restaurant are onsite.
The city is a sight to behold, particularly when you consider that it was built in a desert…which of course means that it is bathed in wonderful sunshine for approximately three hundred days every year! The world’s capital of entertainment, this neon city is so bright that it can even be photographed from space.
Shopping in Las Vegas can be as extravagant as you want it. Las Vegas has the biggest gift shop on the planet called Bonanza Gift Shop, as well as a Fashion Show Mall. Most of the city’s shops (and restaurants) can be found attached to the enormous hotel complexes in the city.
Las Vegas is all about the strip with its amazing casinos and hotels. The strip is nearly seven kilometres long and contains fifteen of the largest hotels in the world! A sample of the some of the more famous/infamous hotels/casinos on the strip include: The Palazo: The tallest building in Las Vegas with an incredible three thousand rooms on offer! The Palazo also has a Lamborghini dealership onsite as well as some classy boutiques, including Ralph Lauren and a large ‘Barneys New York’ outlet; Caesars Palace: Enormous hotel/casino offering four thousand rooms!
Also onsite are numerous restaurants/pubs, including the Gordon Ramsey Pub and Restaurant Guy Savoy, as well as a four thousand seat concert/show venue, a stunning fountain and a luxury shopping mall with one hundred and sixty shops; The Venetian: Luxury hotel/casino offering over four thousand rooms with its own waterway, gondola rides, venetian bridge and Saint Marks Square! An upmarket shopping mall, The Grand Canal Shoppes, is attached to the hotel.
Of course Las Vegas is also known for its spectacular shows. Past/current performers have included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Celine Dion, David Copperfield, Elton John, Cirque de Soleil and Donny and Marie Osmond! Something else the city is known for are its ‘quickie’ wedding ceremonies!
The Chapel of Flowers (offering a live internet feed of the ceremony!), The Little White Chapel (with its Tunnel of Vows drive-through!) and the Graceland Wedding Chapel (with its Elvis-themed weddings!) are just three of the more popular matrimonial establishments in town. Celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Britney Spears, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Ray Cyrus, Pamela Andersen, Denis Rodman, Carmen Electra, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore have married in one or other of these unique venues.
1. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: Situated about fifteen miles from Las Vegas, this stunning conservation area, with its stunning rock formations, attracts over one million visitors each year. The area is very easy to tour around using the loop road, at the start of which is a visitors/interpretive centre. The area is particularly popular among cyclists, rock climbers and hikers.
2. Fremont Street Experience: A pedestrian mall covered with a giant four hundred and sixty metre long LED display canopy with over twelve million lights! Free music shows/concerts and light and sound shows are a regular attraction here.
3. The Neon Museum: Unusual outdoor museum exhibiting over one hundred and fifty old Vegas/Nevada neon signs in its six acre ‘boneyard’ site.
4. The Shark Reef Aquarium: Aquarium with one of the biggest tanks in the USA, holding a staggering one million, three hundred thousand gallons of water! The aquarium contains over two thousand fish. The shark tunnel is particularly exciting.
5. Aventuredome: This one’s for the kids…and the kid in all of us! Wonderfully loud indoor amusement park with terrifying rides, miniature golf, rock climbing and clown shows. The park’s rollercoaster is the largest indoor rollercoaster in the world.
6. The Las Vegas Natural History Museum: Natural history museum with dinosaur, mummy and marine exhibits, among so much more.
7. MOB Museum: A most unusual museum that concentrates on the history of organised crime! Learn all about infamous characters like Al Capone and shoot a real Tommy Gun.
8. Las Vegas Springs Preserve: One hundred and eighty acre nature reserve with desert botanical gardens and nature trials/walks, galleries and a theatre.
9. Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Not far outside Las Vegas is this motor racing track that run NASCAR events, with a capacity for over one hundred and thirty thousand visitors, (The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing).
10. The Smith Centre for the Performing Arts: Wonderful performance art centre that puts on fantastic music/dance shows, as well as being home to the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra.
New York is the largest populated city in the USA and does everything on a grand scale to keep its nine million inhabitants…and tourists very, very happy! The city itself is divided up into the five mini states or boroughs of Manhattan (with its stunning skyscraper skyline), Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island. The first point of call for many visitors to ‘The Big Apple’ tends to be Times Square, which attracts nearly forty million visitors each year…so claustrophobics need not apply! Times Square is known internationally for its colourful illuminated billboards/signs and of course its annual New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Times Square leads off to another iconic part of New York City, Broadway, the theatre capital of the world. Broadway is home to forty wonderful theatres, including The Ambassador Theatre, The Broadway Theatre, The Gershwin Theatre and The Majestic Theatre. Popular long-running Broadway shows include Chicago, Les Miserable’s, The Loin King, The Phantom of The Opera, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia and Wicked. Broadway theatres typically attract twelve million patrons every year…so make sure to pre-book you ticket in advance!
The most famous city park in the world is New York’s Central Park, which is a great oasis of tranquillity for those who need to escape the never-ending ‘vibrancy’ of the city that supposedly never sleeps! This massive park covers an area of nearly eight hundred and fifty acres and attracts over thirty-seven million visitors annually. The park is filled with manmade lakes/ponds, walking/running trails/paths/tracks, ice skating rinks, a zoo, amphitheatre, wooded areas, children’s playgrounds and so much more!
New York is the ultimate shopping destination for many visitors. World famous stores like Bloomingdales, Tiffany and Co, The Apple Store, Macy’s, Toy’s R Us, The Disney Store, Abercrombie and Fitch and Saks Fifth Avenue. The city’s premier shopping street is Fifth Avenue. Another great way of spending a few hours in this amazing city is to immerse yourself in one of the many passionate basketball, American football, ice hockey or baseball games, where you can shout along to wonderfully named teams such as The New York Yankees, Buffalo Bills, New York Knicks, New York Mets and the Buffalo Sabres.
1. Empire State Building: Famous for its role in Hollywood blockbusters, King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle, this iconic building has over one hundred floors and climbs nearly four hundred metres into the sky! Its observation decks offer stunning views across the city and over one hundred and ten million people have visited the decks to-date.
2. The Statue of Liberty: Probably the most recognisable attraction in the world, this forty-six metre high statue is perched on Liberty Island and typically attracts over three million visitors each year. Although the statue is free to enter there is a charge for the ferry across to the island. Daily access to the statue’s crown is limited and tickets should be booked way in advance.
3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The biggest art museum in the USA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has over two million exhibits on display including items from Africa, Egypt, Asia, Greece, Rome, a number of Islamic countries and of course America. Paintings, photographs, books, musical instruments, sculptures, drawings and costumes are just some of the wonders on display. The museum is one of the most visited attractions in the USA, with over five million visitors passing through its doors each year.
4. Grand Central Terminal: Famous rail terminal seen in countless movies including Men in Black and Around the World in Eighty Days, this enormous terminal is spread out over nearly fifty acres! As well as marvelling at the building’s awesome interior (including its painted planetarium-like ceiling, restaurants and shops/markets), keep an eye out for the clock on the entrance wall, which is the largest tiffany glass item ever made.
5. The Museum of Modern Art: One of the most impressive modern art galleries in the world, the gallery contains works by Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, Dali, Warhol, Bacon, Monet and Matisse. The museum is free to enter on Fridays after 4’oclock and typically attracts up to three million visitors each year.
6. The Brooklyn Bridge: Massive nineteenth century suspension bridge carrying vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists nearly two thousand metres across the East River. The bridge is perched over eighty-four metres above sea level. Other attractions include the Radio City Music Hall, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the Chrysler Building, the Rockefeller Centre and the GE Building.
A trip to Orlando is all about the kids (or the big kid inside you!). Orlando is situated in Florida State and is recognised as the world’s premier theme park holiday destination. The city attracts over fifty million visitors each year…who have all one common objective in mind, family fun! Add in the steaming, thirty-plus degree temperatures over the summer months and you have the makings for a truly ‘hot’ family holiday!
Every kids dream is to visit Disneyland (or Walt Disney World), which is the jewel in Orlando’s crown. Disneyland now comprises of four magical theme parks, the main one being Magic Kingdom, with its magical fifty-five metre tall Cinderella castle entrance. The world’s most popular theme park focuses on Disney character-themed rides and attracts over seventeen million visitors each year! The park is separated into six exciting sections/lands including Adventureland, Fantasyland and Frontierland and is filled with restaurants and gift shops…and even has a barber shop!
Be warned that the Magic Kingdom car park is a mile from the actual theme park, however, there is a tram system to take visitors to the ticket office and transport hub. Visitors can then get to the park (located on the other side of a lagoon) by Disney monorail, ferryboat or bus. Many visitors to the park decide to stay in one of the many nearby hotels, including those run by Disney. The other three Disney theme parks include Epcot (technological-themed park, which is twice the size of Magic Kingdom!), Disney’s Hollywood Studios (show business themed park with its iconic, Fantasia-based sorcerer’s hat!) and Disney’s Animal Kingdom (animal theme park with a stunning forty-four metre tall tree sculpture!).
Orlando doesn’t just do theme parks on a large scale! The shopping malls/centres are equally impressive. One of the largest malls in the country, never mind the city or state, is called The Florida Mall, which accommodates over two hundred and fifty outlets! Another popular Orlando shopping mall is called The Mall at Mellinin, which has around one hundred and fifty shops, including Bloomingdales and Macy’s,
Tasty fast food outlets, gastro pubs and fine dining restaurants are all on offer in this family-friendly city. From pizza to T-bone steak, all tastes are catered for, including Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Indian, Greek, Cuban and more! The International Drive Resort in Orlando has an enormous selection of over two hundred restaurants to choose from, including Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream, Banshoo Sushi Bar and Chili’s Bar and grill.
1. Universal Studios Florida: Attracting around eight million visitors each year, this theme park celebrates all that is good and exciting in the land of movies and television. Some of the current rides include Transformers 3D, The Simpsons, Men in Black, Shrek and Revenge of the Mummy.
2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure: Wonderful theme park with six individually themed islands, including Marvel Super Hero Island, Jurassic Park, Toon Island, The Wizard World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent and Seuss Island. There is a large selection of restaurants at the park’s Port of Entry, along with a large lighthouse in case visitors get lost in this vast park (which attracts nearly eight million visitors each year).
3. Sea World Orlando: Enormous aquatic-based theme park spread out over two hundred acres, which attracts around six million visitors each year. Some of the attractions include The Waterfront at SeaWorld (with its huge sky tower), Wild Arctic (with its beluga whales, polar bears and walruses), Kraken (a roller coaster with no floor!) and Journey to Atlantis (magical indoor boat ride/trip). The park also hosts fabulous shows including a killer whale performance and a dolphin and human acrobatics show.
4. Discovery Cove: Another aquatic themed park where visitors can swim with dolphins. Other park attractions include a coral reef, free flight aviary with over two hundred and fifty tropical birds, and an area called grand reef where visitors can snorkel with rays or cross a scary bridge above a shark infested pool.
5. Wet n Wild Orlando: Another aquatic theme park spread out over a fun-filled and very wet thirty acres! Attractions include enormous tube slides, a children’s beach area and a wave pool.
6. Orlando Science Centre: A science and technology museum with a planetarium and laser shown, a dinosaur exhibition and the largest telescope in Florida.
7. Lake Eola Park: Picturesque Park with enormous lake, amphitheatre, Chinese pagoda and children’s playground; Amway Centre: Why not take in an exciting basketball game or music concert in this arena. Plenty of food and drink choices onsite and magnificent views wherever you sit.
Named after St Francis of Assisi, San Francisco was once a gold rush town. Today, however, it is one of the most populated and visited cities in the USA and is synonymous with its stunning Golden Gate Bridge. The iconic bridge, which crosses over the Golden Gate Strait, is nearly three kilometres long and carries vehicles (across six lanes!), pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge is considered to be one of the modern wonders of the world and so it is no coincidence that it is the most photographed bridge on the planet!
Also synonymous with San Francisco are the steep hills and traditional cable car network (as made famous in the seventies The Streets of San Francisco TV series!). The San Francisco cable car network is especially popular with tourists, carrying around seven million passengers each year. There are three lines operating and the maximum speed of the cable cars is only fifteen kilometres per hour, so you will have plenty of time to take in the sights along your route!
The principal tourist spot in San Francisco is Fisherman’s Wharf, where visitors can discover a vast array of shops/shopping centres, restaurants (particularly of the seafood variety), an aquarium, wax museum, a museum dedicated to the bizarre, a WW2 submarine and a maritime historical park! The area is also home to many exhibitions/shows and hosts a fabulous 4th of July fireworks extravaganza each year. Another popular tourist spot is The Castro, also known as San Francesco’s Gay Village, where visitors can discover the GLBT History Museum, Castro Theatre and the city’s first gay bar, Twin Peaks.
One of the more interesting shopping areas in the city can be found at Pier 39, where a wonderful shopping centre has been constructed on top of a pier! The pier has an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, buskers, an arcade and a carousel, as well as offering fabulous views of Alcatraz Island and The Golden Gate Bridge. The waters below the pier are also extremely popular with the local sea loins, so much so that there is a Marine Mammal Interpretive Centre on the pier so you can discover everything you wanted to know about sea loins but were afraid to ask!
Another interesting shopping/dining spot in the city can be found in Chinatown, which is home to the biggest Chinese community outside of China itself! Chinatown also hosts a colourful Autumn Moon Festival in September. Another popular shopper’s paradise can be found in Union Square. As well as being a major plaza, Union Square is packed with department stores, galleries and theatres.
1. Alcatraz Island: Alcatraz Island (or The Rock) is only one and a half miles offshore and is home to the once infamous Alcatraz Prison. The braver among you may be interested in taking the creepy night tour of the prison, often led by ex prisoners! Because of the popularity of this attraction it is imperative that you order tickets online weeks before your visit.
2. The California Academy of Sciences: One of the biggest natural history museums on the planet! The most popular sections to visit are the aquarium, rainforest and planetarium. From albino alligators to being able to take ‘a visit to Mars’, this museum will enthral young and old.
3. Golden Gate Park: Enormous, rectangular-shaped city park spread out over one thousand acres (which makes it bigger than central Park!). The park attracts over thirteen million visitors each year so you’ll never feel lonely as you visit the parks major attractions, including The Japanese Tea Garden, Academy of Science Museum, The Music Concourse with is Spreckels Temple of Music stage, De Young Museum, Conservatory of Flowers conservatory, botanical garden, lakes, windmills and more.
4. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Modern art museum with just under thirty thousand items on display, including works by Andy Warhol and Henri Matisse. The museum has a large rooftop garden.
5. Lombard Street: Infamous, very crooked and narrow San Franciscan Street with 8 hairpin turns! The city views from the street are pretty amazing.
6. AT & T Park: Baseball park/stadium and home to The San Francisco Giants. The park has wonderful views across the bay and city. The park also has a social media café and The San Francesco Giants Wall of Fame.
7. Palace of Fine Arts: Gorgeous Park with Roman/Greek-styled palace structure and lake filled with swans and ducks. Very photogenic spot.
8. The Walt Disney Family Museum: Interactive museum dedicated to Walt Disney, with displays/exhibits relating to his achievements in the film and theme park worlds. His many awards are also on show.
9. San Francesco Zoo: One hundred acre zoo with nearly seven hundred animals to experience, including an insect zoo.
Washington DC (District of Columbia) is the capital city of The United States of America and lies next to the Pontiac River. Visitors to the city will be comforted in the knowledge that it has four distinct seasons, so the weather can be fairly predictable with guaranteed snow in winter and hot/humid summer months! The city has its own Washington Metro (over 80 stations), as well as Washington Metrobus (nearly 1,500 busses), so commuting around the city should be a doddle!
Washington DC is synonymous with the iconic White House building, the home of the US president. Designed by an Irishman called James Hobin in the eighteenth century, the White House operates very limited public tours, although one has to apply to a member of congress first and then pass a background check! So, chances are, a nice photograph with the building as a backdrop will be your best experience here!
Lovers of performance art will adore the city as it has the Washington Ballet, National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera, United States Navy band and a proud theatrical tradition (with matching venues) to offer up to the lucky visitor. Those preferring sporting distractions will be pleased to hear that the city is well represented in American football, basketball, baseball and soccer competitions/leagues!
For a nice romantic city stroll, a visit to Washington’s National Mall is highly recommended. This national park is framed by the Lincoln Memorial at one end and the United States Capitol at the other. In the middle is the Washington Memorial Obelisk, the tallest obelisk on the planet, at a grand height of just over five hundred and fifty-five feet! Other attractions in the park include the Constitution Gardens, a reflection pool, a theatre and various memorials.
The main shopping areas in Washington DC are Capitol Hill (fine food/arts and crafts market stalls, boutiques, etc) and Georgetown (popular retail stores, boutiques and antique outlets – also great for restaurants and nightlife) and The Penn Quarter (department stores, galleries, museums, restaurants and cinemas). The city also has some wonderful shopping malls, including the Gallery Place and the 3 story DCUSA mall. For a more ethnic experience, a trip to Washington’s Chinatown will awaken the senses.
1. United States Capitol: Enormous building covering sixteen acres on top of Capitol Hill, where the US Congress (government) meets. The building has a visitor’s centre, and outside are formal gardens with a reflection pool. The building looks even more impressive when lit up at night, showing off its beautiful dome to great effect.
2. National Air and Space Museum: Home to the biggest display of spacecraft and aircraft on the planet, this aviation museum attracts over nine million visitors annually! Some if the items exhibited include the Apollo 11 command module, a Boeing 747 aircraft, a space suit, ballistic missiles and a Hindenburg airship model.
3. The Lincoln Memorial: Memorial building with iconic statue of Abraham Lincoln, situated at the National Mall Park. Made from white marble, the stature is nearly six metres tall. Inside the memorial building are fifty feet tall columns separating the structure into three rooms, inside of which are murals and inscriptions carved into the walls.
4. The National Museum of Natural History: Attracting over seven million visitors annually, this natural history museum is the most popular natural history museum on the planet! Housed inside an enormous 1.3 million square feet building, the museum has an incredible 126 million plant, animal, etc specimens! Some of the exhibits include one of the biggest emeralds in the world, nearly fifty dinosaur specimens and an insect zoo. Entrance to the museum is free.
5. The National Zoological Park: Wonderful zoo with over two thousand animals representing four hundred species, including giant pandas! Some of the more popular attractions include The Kids Farm, The Reptile Discovery House and The Great Ape House. Entrance to the zoo is free.
6. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Poignant two acre memorial park to the US army men who fought in this bloody war. The highlight of the memorial is a wall etched with the names of over fifty-eight thousand names. Another popular part of the memorial is The Three Soldiers bronze statue.
7. The National Gallery of Art: Containing some of the most renowned works in the world, the National Gallery of Art attracts over four million visitors annually and is free to enter. Artists exhibited include Van Gogh, Raphael, da Vinci, Titian, El Greco, Manet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Picasso and Matisse.