Off The Beaten Path Attractions In Washington D.C.

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We've been to Washington twice now. It is one of the most educational visits we have taken and I highly recommend a trip. Even if it's just for a few days. 

Washington has its fair share of iconic tourist attractions as you would expect, and photo-opportunities like standing outside the White House are destined to appear in many people’s collections.

Whilst you will want to take in the usual sights when visiting Washington DC, there are actually a fair number of oddball and interesting attractions that are not as well known, but will provide plenty of talking points when you are sharing your photo memories with others.

Once you have checked into your hotel in Washington DC sneak away from the crowds at the Lincoln Memorial or the Smithsonian and try some of these quirky and fascinating attractions.

Unusual museum exhibits

If you are not too disturbed by the prospect of witnessing a stomach-shaped hairball that will make you wonder what some people do to themselves or even a mega colon (no explanation needed), you should plan a trip to the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

The slightly macabre showpiece of this museum is the bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln, which is encased alongside fragments of his skull. One thing is for sure, there are plenty of talking points and this is not your usual array of museum exhibits.

Tales from the crypt

Menacing gargoyles and moon rocks embedded into the stained glass windows, are some of the first visual clues that your visit to Washington National Cathedral is not going to be similar to other house of worship visitor experiences.

The cathedral is rightly described as a national treasure as well as an architectural wonder and the building exudes stunning beauty and originality both inside and out. You can join the gargoyles to get a great view of the city from an elevated position and enjoy some incredible artwork that depicts the American story of faith.     

You might also be brave enough to check out the crypt in daylight hours, with Woodrow Wilson’s marble tomb serving as a reminder of the importance of this interesting cathedral.

How the other half live

It is not often that many of us will be invited into a mansion on Embassy Row in order to get a good look at a gilded ballroom and all the trappings of a high-society property.

Anderson House is an exception to that rule and the headquarters home of the Society of the Cincinnati, even lets you cast your eyes over some fancy chandeliers and other fine fittings, for free.

There is no charge to visit Anderson House and it is an attraction that is worth straying off the beaten path to visit when you are in the capital.

Secrets of the temple

Thanks to a few best-selling books and the odd movie or too, the concept of Freemasonry is embroiled in all sorts of theories and conspiracies.

You can actually get a chance to separate fact from fiction by visiting the House of the Temple while you are in Washington. The building is the clubhouse, museum and library of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and they even offer guided tours, which doesn’t seem too secretive.

Street art’s finest

Capitol Hill is not the first place you think of when talking about graffiti, but The Fridge is a gallery that rewards those who manage to find it.

This is a friendly spot that is tucked away behind an alley that is beside the oyster shop. You might to check their website for more details on what to expect and where to find The Fridge.

You will be rewarded for your efforts with some amazing contemporary art and some sculptural exhibits that you won’t find hanging in your usual art gallery.

If you take in some of these more quirky tourist attractions during your visit, you will be able to see a bit of Washington culture that gives you a different perspective on this great city.

John Capone is an athletic recruiter. He loves to share his travel and sports experiences online. His articles can be found on many travel and sporting websites. 

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