The nation's capital, Washington DC is one of the most famous cities on Earth. Home to iconic monuments like the Capitol building, Washington Monument, White House, Smithsonian, and Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC is an incredible place to visit and unsurprisingly ranks among the most-visited tourist destinations in the entire United States each and every year. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


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Taking in the landmarks and seeing the sights on foot is a great way to enjoy DC but the city can also be enjoyed from the water, with kayaking in Washington DC actually being one of the area's most popular and exciting activities. Things to Do in Washington, DC

Between the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Potomac River, and Anacostia River, there are several great kayaking locations in Washington DC and many other lakes and rivers offering both calm and intense kayaking experiences in the surrounding area. In short, kayaking in Washington DC can be a lot of fun for people of all ages and experience levels.

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2.Best Kayaking Locations in Washington DC

Best Kayaking Locations in Washington DC
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Washington DC boasts some really diverse and exciting kayaking locations. With rivers, canals, lakes, and streams both in and around the city, there are numerous kayaking spots to choose from, each offering unique adventures and opportunities. Here are some of the best kayaking spots in DC

1.Potomac River - No mention of kayaking in Washington DC can be complete without talking about the Potomac River. This is one of the city's major waterways and offers all sorts of kayaking fun. With mostly calm waters, it's an ideal spot for families, novice kayakers, or people who simply want to glide along and enjoy the day without the need for any intense paddling. There are some gorgeous views to be found along the river too.

2.Boathouse at Fletcher's Cove - The Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal is one of the top kayaking passages in the DC area and this boathouse provides the perfect starting point for a tour along the C&O. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets, the canal offers some beautiful scenery with low hanging trees and stunning views.

3.Thompson Boat Center - If you want to take in the sights and monuments of Washington DC by kayak, this is the place to be. The Thompson Boat Center offers kayak rentals and is just a short paddle away from some of the city's biggest landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial, Kennedy Center, and Georgetown Waterfront Park. This is one of the best ways to experience kayaking in DC

4.National Harbor - For a unique kayaking experience at Washington DC, consider kayaking around National Harbor. The harbor is a beautiful sight from land, but is even more exciting when explored from the water, allowing kayakers to weave around the various lines of boat and take in sites like the Wilson Bridge and Alexandria Waterfront. Kayak rentals are available in this area and various kayaking tours also include little trips around National Harbor.

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3.Kayaking Rentals and Tours in Washington DC

Kayaking Rentals and Tours in Washington DC
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· Terrapin Adventures - Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry Street, Savage, MD 20763 (301 725-1313)

Offering all sorts of outdoor adventure activities including a high ropes course and zip lines, Terrapin Adventures also provides a super nature kayak tour in the Washington DC area. This fun tour is perfectly suited for all ages and experience levels and is led by Terrapin's friendly, entertaining guides, offering fascinating insight on local flora and fauna and providing memories to last a lifetime. For a family-friendly kayaking tour in Washington DC, Terrapin Adventures is the name to choose.

· Active Nature - Poolesville, MD (202 262-5312)

Active Nature is one of the top names to trust when it comes to kayaking in Washington DC Run by Jason Beakes, who used to star in the US Kayak Team, this company provides a range of kayaking and paddleboard tours around the Potomac River. With various tours designed for both beginners and experienced whitewater kayakers, this company lets you live out the kayaking adventures of your dreams in the nation's capital city.

· Potomac Paddlesports - 9812 Falls Rd, Potomac, MD 20854 (301 881-2628)

This independent outdoor store offers all sorts of kayaking gear and equipment as well as lessons, trips, and more along the Potomac River and C&O Canal. Ideal for everyone from amateurs to seasoned kayaking pros, Potomac Paddlesports offers all the instruction and help you need, as well as running some really fun trips with some of DC's most highly-trained and experienced instructors.

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Best Kayaking in Washington DC

Attraction Spotlight: Washington Monument

Located in Washington, D.C., the Washington Monument is dedicated to the commander of the Continental Army and our first president George Washington, and is recognized as one of the most popular attractions in our nation’s capital. More Things to Do in Washington, DC

The Washington Monument honors and preserves the legacy of George Washington. Together, Robert Mills, Thomas Casey, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed to create the Washington Monument in two construction phases. The first construction phase was private and occurred between 1848 and 1854. The second construction phase was public and occurred from 1876 to 1884. When the Washington Monument was officially completed in 1884, its 555 feet and 5-1/8 inches height was regarded as the world’s tallest building.

The first person to draft designs for the Washington Monument was Pierre L’Enfant. L’Enfant designed the Washington Monument in a way that evoked a sense of honor and had a prominent open space area. The Egyptian obelisk design demonstrates the classic architectural style similar to ancient civilizations that honored pride, achievement, gratitude, and respect.

After plans for the Washington Monument were approved, a private organization formed. This organization was called the Washington National Monument Society. The Society sought out to raise enough funds to carry out the necessary construction and maintenance needed for the new monument. Although the Society was initially founded after seeing L’Enfant’s designs, the Society decided to go with Robert Mills’ purer design of an Egyptian obelisk in 1845.

Three years after settling on Mills’ design, the Society raised enough funds to begin construction. On July 4, 1848, 20,000 people attended a ceremony in which the first cornerstone was placed. Since the deign was intricate and ambitious, construction only reached 156 feet six years after the initial cornerstone was placed.

One year prior to achieving a height of 156 feet, the Washington National Monument Society lost control of their administration and was eventually declared bankrupt one year later. Since there were no funds for the Monument, construction stopped. One year later, in 1855, Robert Mills passed away. Between Mills’ passing and the lack of funds, the monument remained at its current height for two decades.

On July 5, 1876, Congress passed a joint resolution that funded the Washington Monument, thus resuming construction. Lt. Col. Thomas Lincoln Casey, from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, oversaw the remaining construction. Although Mills’ initial design plans entailed the Washington Monument reach 600 feet tall, Casey made modifications that made the Monument’s base large, thus the height smaller.

On February 21, 1885, which was one day prior to George Washington’s birthday, the Washington Monument was dedicated to Washington. One year later, the interior iron staircase was finished, so the Washington Monument was open to the public.

The only attraction at the Washington Monument is the Monument itself. Visitors are allowed to explore the inside of the Monument. The first thing visitors will see is the ground floor lobby, where the famous George Washington statue is located. Then, visitors step inside an elevator and travel to the top floor. Visitors can see various inscribed stones dedicated to Washington from various groups, individuals, and places. The top floor has an observation deck, which will allow visitors to explore the north, south, east, and west areas. The observation deck is located at 500 feet.

In addition to the observation deck, visitors are encouraged to explore the museum located 10 feet below the observation deck. It’s important to note that while there are steps that go all the way to the observation deck, visitors are only allowed to travel by elevator. In addition to transportation regulations, only a select number of visitors are able to explore the Washington Monument on a daily basis. That being said, it’s important to plan your visit in advance.

For more information about visiting the Washington Monument, be sure to check out the Monument’s website or contact the Monument during their standard hours of operation.

Since the Washington Monument is basically one large educational opportunity, the Monument does not offer any other educational opportunities. If you’re interested in learning in-depth information about the Washington Monument, or George Washington, you could tour the Monument with one of the historic D.C. tour groups. After touring the Washington Monument, be sure to check out the Washington Monument Lodge, which is located at the bottom of the Washington Monument. This bookstore sells a variety of objects and souvenirs, such as books and trinkets. All of the proceeds are divided among the National Mall, Memorial Parks, and National Parks.

900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, D.C. 20024, Phone: 202-426-6841

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Attraction Spotlight: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is located on the northwest edge of the Tidal Basin on the National Mall, among the Japanese Gardens in Washington, D.C.. The memorial’s address of 1964 Independence Way is in reference to the year, 1964, in which the Civil Rights Act became law. As with all the park memorials, it is open to the public 24 hours a day.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968) was a pastor from the segregated south in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1954, he joined the leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, (NAACP) and was the architect of non-violent, peaceful protests, which resulted in the integration of the Montgomery’s buses and birthed a movement for equality across the nation. Dr. King was a leader in the movement for desegregation, voting rights, and equality. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial injustice through non-violent means. He was best known for his encouragement of non-violent means of protest, based on his Christian beliefs. He was assassinated in 1968 and posthumously awarded both the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The memorial’s design of Dr. King emerging from a mountain made of pink granite is in reference to a line from King’s famous 1963 I have a Dream speech. This “stone of hope,” which is pulled from the “mountain of despair,” pays homage to a quote from his speech in which faith is the driver that pulls the stone of hope from the mountain of despair. Visitors enter the memorial through a cut-out in the mountain of despair, and see King emerging from the stone of hope, gazing towards the horizon.

A wall of quotes lines the periphery of the memorial. The quotes represent key moments in Dr. King’s Civil Rights struggle. Although the quotes acknowledge that the struggle for equality continues to this day, they showcase the principals of democracy, justice, peace, and love that Dr. King stood for.

The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial is the first on the National Mall dedicated to a citizen who was neither a president nor a war hero.

History: In 1996, at the urging of Dr. King’s fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, Congress approved the establishment of a memorial to him. Over 900 entrants responded to the call for designs. In 2000, the ROMA Design Group won the bid with its design of Dr. King emerging from a mountain. His portrait was carved by Master Lei Yixin, who worked closely with photographs and with Dr. King’s family to create the 30-foot-tall likeness. The words engraved on the memorial were done over a span of two years by third-generation stone carver Nick Benson. Benson also contributed to the World War II Memorial at the park.

The placement of the memorial is nearby the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his pivotal 1963 speech. Its proximity to the Lincoln steps, as well as to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, was purposefully done to highlight the impact all three men had on defining equality in United States’ history; from the proclamation that “all men are created equal,” to the emancipation of the slaves, to the Civil Rights Movement.

The King Memorial was dedicated in August of 2011, exactly 48 years after the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement during which Dr. King gave his famous I Have a Dream speech.

Ongoing Programs & Education: Park rangers are available between the hours of 9:30am and 10:00pm to answer visitors’ questions. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is frequently the site of ranger talks. Upcoming talks which meet at the statue include Herring and Shad: Keystone Fish Species about the fish who migrate to the tidal basin in front of the statue each year to lay their eggs, and Leadership for Freedom: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about the difficult political decisions King made during the struggle for Civil Rights.

What’s Nearby: Visitors to the King Memorial would be interested in seeing other nearby memorials of the National Mall, including the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Other memorials surrounding the tidal basin include the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

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1964 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, Phone: 202-426-6841

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Attraction Spotlight: National Museum of American History

Located in Washington, D.C., the National Museum of American History is a branch of the renowned Smithsonian museums. The National Museum of American History is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and promoting American history.

When it was founded in 1964, the National Museum of American History was initially known as the Museum of History and Technology. The Renowned architectural partners, McKim Mead & White designed the Museum. Almost twenty years after the Museum opened, the Museum of History and Technology decided to change its name to reflect a new mission that was solely dedicated to preserving and promoting American history. Thus, in 1980, the Museum of History and Technology became the National Museum of American History.

Although McKim Mead & White’s design was impeccable, the Museum decided to renovate in September 5, 2006. This renovation cost a total of $85 million and lasted until November 21, 2008. During the renovation, the National Museum of American History was closed to the public. Some of the highlighted changes were; an atrium that was five stories, a grand staircase to link the first few floors, new areas for exhibits, and an updated facility for a welcome center.

A few years after the first renovation was completed, the new Museum director, John Gray, decided to initiate another renovation dedicated to enhancing spaces for exhibits and educational opportunities. This renovation cost a total of $37 million and lasted until 2016. Parts of the renovation reopened to the public in the summer of 2015.

The National Museum of American History is the proud owner of more than 3 million objects and documents that are related to American history. Although the Museum has a dense permanent collection, only a select chunk of their permanent collection is shown at any given time. The Museum’s permanent attractions are divided among the following groups:

Advertising demonstrates how advertising techniques and themes have developed throughout American history.

Agriculture showcases the importance agriculture had on the development of America.

Art displays a select number of art pieces that demonstrate the correlation between art and history.

Clothing & Accessories features numerous outfits and materials from a variety of classes and ages. Thus, showing how clothing reflects history.

Coins, Currency, and Medals is one of the largest displays of currency and valuable medals throughout history, specifically American history.

Communications displays how communication technology has evolved and influenced American society.

Government, Politics, and Reform is one of the most comprehensive exhibits at the National Museum of American History. This attraction tells the story of our government’s history, and how American society and politics have evolved.

Popular Entertainment is one of the most popular and beloved attractions at the Museum. This attraction displays a variety of artifacts from an array of entertainment leaders and mediums. Some of the highlighted artifacts include Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, and an array of Muppet characters, such as the lead Muppet, Kermit the Frog.

In addition to the Museum’s dense permanent collection, the National Museum of American History regularly displays special attractions throughout the year. For an update list of special attractions at the Museum, be sure to check out the Museum’s official website.

The National Museum of American History offers a variety of educational programs for all of their visitors. The educational opportunities at the Museum differ among age groups and professions. Some of the most popular educational opportunities include the Spark!Lab, guided tours, and field trips.

The Spark!Lab is an interactive area for children between the ages of six and twelve to explore history in a fun, creative, and interactive way. Another popular educational opportunity at the Museum is the guided tour program, which allows visitors to explore the Museum in an in-depth and exclusive way. The guided tour program is similar to the field trip program.

For more information about any of the educational opportunities at the National Museum of American History, check out the Museum’s website, or contact them during their hours of operation.

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Constitution Ave NW & 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, Phone: 202-633-1000

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