Five Uncommon Sights to See in Washington Dc

Avoid lines by planning to see these FREE "alternative" tourist sites in DC.

Five uncommon FREE sights to see in Washington, DC

1)  The Old Post Office Clock Tower - the second highest view of the National Mall.

Right down Pennsylvania Avenue between 11th and 12th is the Old Post Office Building and the Clock Tower.  Inside the building is a Food Court and the National Park Service operates the elevator that will take you over 300 feet up to the Tower.  The views are different than the Washington Monument (#1 height at 555+ feet) and there is usually no line or waiting to get up to see this end of the city.  The Bell Choir has a display and the interpretative rangers are helpful.

Nearest Metro Stops:  Federal Triangle on Orange/Blue line or Metro Center on the Red Line.

2) Visit "foreign countries" by taking in an Embassy tour or a scheduled event at an Embassy open house.

If you are a frequent visitor to DC, you may want to try your hand at stepping on "foreign" soil by visiting an embassy.  The Canadian Embassy is just down the street from the Newseum (Judiciary Square) and often has a public display of art.  Others often will host open house type events that can be found online at the embassy's website or in the "Events" or Metro sections of the Washington Post. 

Multiple embassies around Dupont Circle/Farragut West or North on the Red Line

3) Arlington Cemetery/ Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

Though these two sites are in Northern Virginia and not in the District of Columbia, they are worth an easy side trip to visit the home site of Robert E. Lee.  Pay respects at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the changing of the Honor Guard (razor sharp precision and meticulous attention to detail), every 30 minutes.  The Pentagon Memorial Garden is moving and a fitting tribute to the heroes on the plane and in the building.

Metro: Arlington Cemetery on Blue Line, Pentagon on the Blue Line.  Tour buses pick-up and drop off at the Cemetery on a regular basis so you can resume your regular sightseeing without spending too much time looking for parking.

4)  Lunch at the U.S. Department of Labor's sixth floor cafeteria with an outdoor overlook of the U.S. Capitol building.

The Francis Perkins building was built in 1974 to honor the first female Secretary of Labor.  Though not much to look at (the Building, not necessarily Ms. Perkins), the FPB does occupy some prime real estate.  The food service is acceptable but the view of the Capitol Building on the sixth floor patio is worth the trek and security screening. 

Metro Stop: Judiciary Square on the Red Line

5) The Navy Memorial and there's a lot more to "sea" underground.

The "Lone Sailor" stands eternal silent watch on a flattened global map, surrounded by signal flags and bronze reliefs portraying naval battles, heroes, and famous naval groups (SeaBees, Seals).  Directly across Pennsylvania Avenue from the National Archives Building (famously featured in the Nicholas Cage adventure film "National Treasure")  The Navy Memorial also has a visitor's center that is located just steps away from the Metro entrance.  Take in a thunderous movie about life aboard an aircraft carrier, view the online Navy Log to look up enrolled members of the sea services, check out the current historical displays and pick up some reasonably priced nautical souvenirs.  

Metro Stop: Archives/Navy Memorial on either the Yellow or Green Line.


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