Area Museums and Historical Sites

Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens is the oldest national historic preservation organization in the country, and it has always been in the forefront of the restoration field. Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in America and is open 365 days a year. Mount Vernon was the home of our first President George Washington. The grounds are well-preserved as is the home itself.

Alexandria Lyceum is a grand hall built in the late 1800’s to provide a place for lectures, scientific experiments and quiet reading. Since that time, it has been a Civil War hospital, a private home, an office building and the nation’s first Bicentennial Center. In 1985, The Lyceum became Alexandria’s History Museum, providing exhibitions, school programs, lectures and concerts, volunteer opportunities and space for rental functions for the community. The Lyceum Museum Shop carries a wide variety of maps, books, note cards and special items related to Alexandria’s history. The present-day Lyceum Company serves the museum as a membership and fund-raising organization.

Walk to Old Towne! Old Towne is filled with historic landmarks, carriage rides and walking history tours.

Just a few miles down George Washington Parkway is the nationally renown collection of museums called the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is a wonderful zoo.

Civil War enthusiasts might want to inspect Fort Willard just as President Lincoln did. Fort Willard has long since abandoned its military use and is now a quiet park like Fort Hunt.

If you are interested in architecture and local history visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House or the Woodlawn Plantation. The Collingwood Library and musuem is dedicated to providing information about our national heritage to the American Public. Collingwood is available to anyone who cares to learn of the heroic efforts made by American Patriots, particularly members of the Masonic Fraternity, in founding and developing this, the greatest nation on earth.

Collingwood is a resource as a local library but also interesting place to visit in it’s own right.

For more information or to set up an appointment call Stuart at (703)765-0300.

Free Fun: The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History is a timeless classic site that visitors and Virginians alike should frequently visit. The free museum, with the help of professional curators, has made this national exhibit a great place for historians, children, and just the general public to enjoy themselves.

The first floor presents an accomplished array of first impressions. Upon entering the museum, you will be greeted by the famous African Elephant (pictured below). Other exhibits include “Orchids- A View from the East”, The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, “African Voices”, The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, The Dinosaurs/Hall of Paleobiology, The Fossilab, and The Sant Ocean Hall. A kid friendly place for younger visitors is the Discovery Room where museum instructors allow the public to discover history using interactive objects and hands on activities. This personal empiricism is great for learning through self-guidance and pacing.

The Second floor of the museum includes the Hope Diamond, an exhibit on Cyprus, the Butterfly House, The Carmen Lucia Ruby, The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals, the Korea Gallery, the Osteology Hall of Bones, an exhibit on Reptiles and Amphibians, and the The O. Orkin Insect Zoo.

The museum is located at the intersection of 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW in Washington DC. It is open 364 days a year from 10 AM to 5:30 PM normally.

 

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Wild Weekend Fun! The Smithsonian National Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is a great activity to do on the weekend for animal lovers and tourists alike. For those living in Arlington, Virginia, the zoo is a nice local place to visit due to its proximity to home. Open 364 days a year and home to 2,000 animals and over 400 different species, the National Zoo is a nice free place to visit any time of the year. The park is 163 acres and set in the center of Washington, DC.

Animals include cheetahs, elephants, anteaters, clouded leopards, gorillas, monkeys, foxes, tigers, and giant pandas. There are also bird houses with hundreds of beautifully colored and ornamented feather creatures. The park features several reptiles and amphibian houses and also has an extravagant collection of marine animals including the cow of the sea, the manatee.

Perhaps the most famous of all inhabitants of the Zoo are the giant pandas Mei Xiang and baby Tian Tian. They are housed under a Giant Panda Cooperative Research and Breeding Agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association. They will be at the Smithsonian Zoo until at least 2015 and are the focus of research regarding conservation, breeding, and preservation of these lovable furry bears.

The Zoo is located at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008 and is accessible by the Red Line Metro at the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan stop. Parking is $15 for the first three hours and $20 for the next three. For more information: nationalzoo.si.edu

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National Musuem of Natural History

Smithsonian Institution
Museum of Natural History in Washington DC

The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s preeminent museum and research complex.

The Museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programs. Opened in 1910, the green-domed museum on the National Mall was among the first Smithsonian building constructed exclusively to house the national collections and research facilities.

Julie at Natural History Museum
Julie at Natural History Museum

Newseum — a museum dedicated to news

The Newseum is located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. between the White House and the U.S. Capitol and adjacent to the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall. 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 providing a forum where the media and the public can gain a better understanding of each other.

The Newseum features seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces and visitor services. It offers a unique environment that takes museumgoers behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made. The Newseum offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.