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Things to Do Around Washington, D.C.

DC's Official Travel Website, Washington.org, is a comprehensive resource to plan activities during your stay in Washington, D.C. The website includes 197 things to do! While we recommend that out-of-town visitors utilize the Washington.org web site, we have provided some general guidance on things to do below.

Smithsonian National Zoo

The National Zoological Park is a part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum and research complex. The National Zoo is a 163-acre zoological park set amid Rock Creek Park in the heart of Washington, D.C. Open to the public 364 days a year, it is home to 2,000 individual animals of nearly 400 different species. The Zoo's best known residents are our giant pandas, Tian Tian and Mei Xiang and the new cub Bao Bao. The zoo has recently welcomed a number of new babies, including tiger cubs.

The Zoo is one of Washington's and the Smithsonian's most popular tourist destinations. They welcome up to two million visitors—from the local community, the country, and the rest of the world—every year, free of charge.

The National Zoo is located just north of the Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel along Connecticut Ave.

Popular Museums

Smithsonian Museums

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. Termed "the nation's attic" for its eclectic holdings of 137 million items, the Institution's Washington, D.C. nucleus of nineteen museums, nine research centers, and zoo—many of them historical or architectural landmarks—is the largest such complex in the world. Additional facilities are located in Arizona, Maryland, New York City, Virginia, Panama and elsewhere, and 168 other museums are Smithsonian affiliates. The Institutions's thirty million annual visitors are admitted without charge; funding comes from the Institution's own endowment, private and corporate contributions, membership dues, government support, and retail, concession and licensing revenues

Spy Museum

It is the only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on an all-but-invisible profession that has shaped history and continues to have a significant impact on world events.

The Museum features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display. Many of these objects are being seen by the public for the first time. These artifacts illuminate the work of famous spies and pivotal espionage actions as well as help bring to life the strategies and techniques of the men and women behind some of the most secretive espionage missions in world history.


The Newseum — a 250,000-square-foot museum of news — offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. The exterior's unique architectural features include a 74-foot-high marble engraving of the First Amendment and an immense front wall of glass through which passers-by can watch the museum fulfill its mission of educating the public about the value of a free press in a free society and telling the stories of the world's important events in unique and engaging ways.

Corcoran Gallery of Art

In the words of its founder, the Corcoran is "dedicated to art." Its museum presents, interprets and preserves the art of our times and of times past; its college of art nurtures and helps shape new generations of artists and designers. Education is a central focus, not just in the Corcoran's classrooms but in its galleries and throughout the greater Washington region. Though American art is the collection's emphasis, the art of other nations and cultures is, when appropriate, acquired and exhibited.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Federal support guarantees the Museum's permanent place on the National Mall, and its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors.

National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art was created in 1937 for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress, accepting the gift of financier and art collector Andrew W. Mellon. The paintings and works of sculpture given by Andrew Mellon have formed a nucleus of high quality around which the collections have grown. Mr. Mellon's hope that the newly created National Gallery would attract gifts from other collectors was soon realized in the form of major donations of art from Samuel H. Kress, Rush H. Kress, Joseph Widener, Chester Dale, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Lessing J. Rosenwald, and Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch as well as individual gifts from hundreds of other donors.


Details on available tours offered in conjunction with the Congress are available under Events & Activities.


Want to run, walk, or jog around the city and take in some of Washington, D.C.'s spectacular sights? Check out mapmyrun.com to map your own routes or look through the routes other users have already created.

If you'll be in town after the ICA 2014 conference, and feel like participating in a 10 mile or 5K run there will be a run happening in conjunction with the cherry blossom festival. The courses will feature beautiful Washington, D.C. landmarks, and the Cherry Blossoms, but remember to register early to guarantee a position in the run.

Washington, D.C. is also a very bicycle friendly city. With bike lanes on many streets and bike rental stations located throughout the city, riding a bike is a fun and convenient way to travel around Washington, D.C.

  • Capital Bike Share - information about renting bikes and where stations are located
  • Bike Washington - For ideas on scenic bike trail/routes to take in Washington, D.C.

Golf/Sporting Events

Do you plan on bringing your golf clubs and hitting the links, or attending a professional sporting event while visiting Washington, D.C.? A golf outing to the University of Maryland golf course is being offered as an included tour limited to 50 participants. There are numerous other golf courses in the area if you wish to play on your own.

Washington, D.C. has three professional sports teams that are in season during ICA 2014.

Check the team websites to see the latest information about schedules and ticket purchases.

Washington DC Map with Tourist spots

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