Washington D.C. Featured Attractions Student Tours
Update on Student Tour Sites in Washington D.C.
Student travel groups now have access to The Washington Monument again. It reopened to the public in May 2014, after the earthquake of 2011 cracked the structure. The National Harbor (NH), on the shores of Prince George County, Maryland, is now open to the public. Here, The Capital Ferris Wheel offers a phenomenal view of Downtown Washington D.C. from 175 feet above the Potomac River. Taking a ride on the Ferris Wheel is a great addition to any student travel itinerary. Duck Tours, amphibious tours of the streets of Downtown D.C. and the harbor, are also a great add on to any student tour of Washington D.C. Don’t forget to schedule a visit the 911 Memorial at the Pentagon, an impressive outdoor memorial to each individual who died that day.
Our Nation’s Security and Student Travel to Washington D.C.
Student tours of Washington D.C. may encompass major attractions such as the White House, U.S. Capitol, and the Pentagon. When entering public government buildings, students may no longer carry backpacks. For Pentagon tours, all electronic devices must be left behind. Teachers and trip leaders must prepare their student tour groups prior to entering government buildings. Security policies are strict and must be observed in order for groups to gain admittance.
911 Memorial – The Pentagon
When visiting Washington D.C., student groups may want to visit the 911 Memorial at the Pentagon. This outdoor memorial is built to honor those who died at the Pentagon on that ill-fated day. Tours of the Pentagon’s interior may also be scheduled in advance.
Arlington National Cemetery Student Travel Tour begins at the cemetery visitor’s center and includes the Kennedy gravesites, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the Changing of the guard ceremony, Arlington House and the Robert E. Lee Memorial.
Duck Tours of Washington D.C.
Take student travel groups on a land and water tour of the Washington D.C. streets and the Potomac River. Duck tours are more popular than ever in major cities, and Washington D.C. has its own Capital Duck Tour student travel groups are sure to enjoy.
Explorers Hall at the National Geographic society contains exhibits depicting famous National Geographic sponsored exhibitions. The Hall encompasses the entire 1st floor of the building. Its centerpiece is an 11 foot sphere, Earth Station One, said to be the world’s largest free standing globe. The globe illustrates such detail as the relief of the ocean floor.
Ford’s Theatre is where Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865, has been restored to its 1860’s appearance. Short talks recounting the atmosphere of Washington during the Civil War and the story of the assassination are presented.
Peterson House the place where Abraham Lincoln died after being shot at Ford’s Theatre.
Holocaust Memorial Museum is a great student travel tour destination. The Museum presents the history of 6 million Jews and millions of others including Roma (gypsies), Soviet POWs, Poles, Dissidents, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the disabled, who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis during their rule of Germany 1933-1945.
J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building Covers an entire city block. Exhibits explain the history and jurisdiction of the FBI, as well as the work of the FBI laboratory. This student tour includes a firearms demonstration. Closed to tours until futher notice.
Library of Congress is across from the Capitol, off Independence Ave., is a complex of three buildings. The oldest building, the Thomas Jefferson, is richly ornamented. The library’s Art Deco John Adams building offers a reading room for business and science, Near Eastern, African, Asian and the Hebraic. The newest structure, the contemporary James Madison Memorial Building, contains reading rooms, exhibit halls and an information center to assist first-time visitors.
Lincoln Memorial is in line with the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Between the memorial and the monument lie two reflecting pools and the new WWII memorial. The stately marble structure, designed by Henry Bacon, stands just before the approach to Arlington Memorial Bridge. The 36 columns, one for each state in existence at the time of Lincoln’s death, symbolized the Union.
Mount Vernon home of George Washington, our first President of the United States. Student tour groups need to travel one hour outside of Washington D.C. to Mount Vernon.
National Archives preserves and makes available for research, federal government records of enduring value. Exhibition Hall displays the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and a copy of the 1297 Magna Carta, as well as temporary exhibitions. Student tour groups may view originals of these historic documents and more.
National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution is devoted to the history and development of air and space technology and is one of the world’s most popular museums. Student tour groups are thrilled to visit this popular museum in Washington D.C.
National Harbor (NH)
Prince George County, Maryland
The National Harbor is one of the newest attractions for student travel groups who want to visit the shores of the Harbor and view Washington D.C. from across the river. The NH has shopping, dining and entertainment as well as access to Boat Tours of the Harbor. Student groups can now take a ride on the New Capital Ferris Wheel opened in 2013.
National Museum of the American Indian was chartered by Congress in 1989 as the 16th museum of the Smithsonian Institution. This museum has one of the largest and most extensive collections of Native American art and artifacts in the world—approximately 800,000 objects representing over 10,000 years of history, from more than 1,000 indigenous cultures through the Western Hemisphere. The hallmark of this museum is that all aspects of its exhibitions and programs are presented from the Native perspective—“in the Native voice.”
Smithsonian American History Museum
This museum collects and preserves more than 3 million unique American artifacts! Everything from the original Star-Spangled Banner and Abraham Lincoln’s top hat to Dizzy Gillespie’s angled trumpet and Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. The collections on display form a vast and fascinating mosaic of American life. The exhibitions within the walls of this vast structure explore major themes in American history and culture, from the War of Independence to the present day. The following are some of the exhibitions on display. The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, surveys the history of U.S. military conflicts and examines ways in which wars have been defining episodes in American history. America on the Move immerses visitors in the sights, sounds, and sensations of transportation in the United States from 1870 to the present. Other popular exhibitions that have drawn literally tens of millions of visitors to the Museum over many years include The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden, Within These Walls . . ., First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image, and Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration 1915–1940. An array of temporary and traveling exhibitions offer student travel groups on tour something new on almost every visit.
Smithsonian Natural History Museum
Prominently located on the National Mall, this museum displays treasures of nature and of humankind. They tell of forces that generate, shape, and sustain natural and cultural diversity. More than a century of careful collecting and research by scientists has resulted in an unsurpassed world collection of more than 120 million natural and cultural objects! You’ll see the Scanning Electron Microscopy Lab (SEM Lab) which has assisted researchers to explore and understand our world at the microscopic level. Here, you’ll take in the incredible gem and pearl collection including the Hope Diamond, The Pearl of Asia, The Pearl of Kuwait, and The Hope Pearl. Student tour groups may also want to see a flm in Johnson's Imax Theater. The National Museum of Natural History is dedicated to understanding the natural world and our place in it.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the S.E. side of the Tidal Basin is a circular domed structure supported by Ionic columns. The central memorial room contains a heroic bronze statue of Jefferson, by Rudolph Evans, surrounded by panels inscribed with Jefferson’s most significant writings.
Tomb of the Unknowns The Tomb of the Unknowns, near the center of the cemetery, is one of Arlington's most popular tourist sites. The Tomb contains the remains of unknown American soldiers from World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict and (until 1998) the Vietnam War. The Tomb is guarded 24-hours-per-day and 365-days-per year by specially trained members of the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard).
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December, 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.
The United States Capitol is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world and it is a must see for an educational student travel tour. It has housed the meeting chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives for almost two centuries. Begun in 1793, the Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored; today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors the men and women who served in the US Armed forces in Vietnam.
World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the United States, the more than 400,000 who lost their lives in the war, and all who supported the war effort from the homeland. The memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people. The Second World War is the only 20th Century event commemorated on the National Mall’s central axis.
The memorial opened to the public on April 29, 2004 and was dedicated one month later on May 29. Located between Constitution and Independence Avenues on 17th Street, it is flanked by the Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west. The memorial is now operated by the National Park Service and is open to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week