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What to see in Washington, D.C.

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Visiting Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., offers so much to do and see that it's often difficult to plan your trip. While visiting the nation's capital with family, check out these museums, monuments and memorials.

Natural History Museum

Smithsonian Museums

The Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum and research complex, features 19 museums and galleries plus the National Zoological Park. The Smithsonian museums and galleries are a terrific place to begin your family vacation in Washington, D.C.

1National Air and Space Museum

Kids and adults alike love the aircraft replicas and outer space memorabilia. This museum also offers numerous family programs and a public observatory as well as IMAX and planetarium shows.

2National Museum of American History

Your children will love to learn about the history of our country at this Smithsonian museum. Your whole family will enjoy the exhibits, displays, music and theatrical performances, hands-on activities and special events.

3National Museum of Natural History

This museum features amazing exhibitions and collections as well as hands-on and immersion experiences. The museum features more than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts, plus offers a number of programs and events just for families.

Visit the Smithsonian official website at si.edu to learn more about the Smithsonian museums, galleries and zoo. Many of the museums in Washington, D.C., offer free admission or free days each week.

Monuments and memorials

Older children can learn about the culture and history of our country by visiting the many monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C. Here are just a few of these landmarks that are worth a visit on your next family vacation.

1MLK MemorialMartin Luther King Jr. National Memorial

This memorial is set to be dedicated in August 2011. The highlight of this location will be the "Stone of Hope" -- a 30-foot statue of Dr. King and a wall inscribed with excerpts from his addresses, sermons and teachings.

2Theodore Roosevelt Island

This 91-acre wilderness preserve features 2 1/2 miles of foot trails, and in the center of the island, a 17-foot bronze statue of Roosevelt.

3Washington Monument

Dedicated in 1885, the Washington Monument took 40 years to complete and is Washington, D.C.'s most recognizable landmark. Families can take the elevator to the top of this 555-foot monument for an amazing view of the area.

Washington, D.C., offers dozens of other memorials and monuments that your family can visit while vacationing in the area. Many of them are very closeto each other, at or near the National Mall, making it easy to see several in a short time. Washington, D.C., is the ideal destination for families who want to experience a cultural vacation.

Check out these other top cultural vacation destinations for families >>

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