At the time of writing, the Federal Government is still shut down and many travelers have canceled their trips to our nation’s capital. But they shouldn’t! Even though some of the thousands of activities in and around DC are momentarily closed, there are still plenty of things to see and do.
One of the best non-Federal museums in DC, the Newseum is the premier institution for the study of news and journalism in the country and perhaps even the world. Occupying prime real estate on Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol Building and the National Mall, the Newseum features 7 levels of interactive fun. Among the popular exhibits are the Berlin Wall Gallery that features the largest display of sections of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany; the Front Pages Gallery that presents front pages from more than 80 international newspapers every day; and a special exhibit on the history of the Internet, TV and radio. Even if the government has reopened by the time you read this, the Newseum should be near the top of your DC travel itinerary.
National Building Museum
Although this museum isn’t hidden or even unknown, for some reason most visitors to the nation’s capital don’t seem to visit. Personally, this is one of my favorite DC museums and is well worth an afternoon of your time. Created by an Act of Congress in 1980, the National Building Museum offers a wide range of exhibits related to development, architecture, construction and engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, and urban planning. Their permanent exhibits are excellent, but be sure to check for unusual temporary ones as well. I visited a couple of years ago when they had a fascinating look at public transportation in the U.S. which offered information and points of view I had never before seen.
Eastern Market is a DC treasure and a secret we locals tend to keep to ourselves. Located just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, during the week the market offers fantastic fresh meats, cheeses and produce from a variety of local farmers and vendors. It is on the weekends though that Eastern Market explodes into a frenzy of food and art. Every Saturday and Sunday, vendors from all over the Mid-Atlantic descend on Washington to sell their arts and crafts, antiques and of course food. It can get quite busy, so be sure to visit early.Do you have any tips for visitors to Washington, D.C. during the shutdown?