Day 3 Washington, D.C.
Smithsonian Museums visit
Options include the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Details: National Archives visit
Visit the building that houses the most important documents in the history of the United States, including the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.
Details: Smithsonian Museums visit
Choose between visiting the Air & Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, the American History Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the American Indian Museum or the American Art Museum. In a tomb in the Smithsonian Castle lie the remains of John Smithson, an Englishman who left his fortune to the U.S. government in 1829 for the establishment of a museum in his name. (The government was a bit at a loss, given that Smithson had never visited the U.S., had no connections to the U.S., and never told anyone why he was leaving his money to the U.S.) Since then, the Smithsonian Institution has grown into 16 museums, covering everything from art to zoology. See the giant squid and the insect zoo in the National Museum of Natural History, check out the Wright Brothers’ plane in the National Air and Space Museum, or venture with your Tour Director into the further reaches of this world-class institution.
Details: Holocaust Museum visit
With more than 900 artifacts, 70 video monitors, and four theaters screening historic film footage and eyewitness testimonies, the Holocaust Museum provides a comprehensive—and moving—account of the Nazi persecution of Europe's Jewish communities and others during the 1930s and 40s. See newspapers and newsreels from the period, recreations of ghettos and concentration camp barracks, and a room filled shoes stolen from deported Jews that helps make real the sheer number of people killed during this tragedy.
Details: Ford's Theatre visit
Ford’s Theatre may not be the best place to visit if you’re in government—not only was Lincoln assassinated here in 1865, but 22 War Department clerks were also killed when the floor collapsed in 1893. Tour the infamous theater and see how John Wilkes Booth crept up behind the president’s private box, shot him point blank, and leapt down to the stage below (breaking his leg in the process).