Perhaps no U.S. travel destination is better known for free attractions than Washington, D.C.
The Washington Monument, the National Zoo and the museums of the Smithsonian Institution — all 19 of them — are free. That means you can view spacecraft that have been on the moon, walk through a living butterfly house, and see famous sculpture, African art, historic documents and more — all for free.
And some of the Smithsonian’s most popular items will be on view once again when the National Museum of American History reopens November 21 after an extensive renovation. The highlight of the renovation is a new gallery for the nearly 200-year-old Star Spangled Banner. The museum includes collections of everything from popular entertainment and health to food and furnishings. Some notable items include a Kermit the Frog puppet, the first electro-hydraulic artificial heart implanted in a human and a 1950s-era doughnut machine used by the Krispy Kreme company.
For a limited time the National Museum of American History also will display the White House copy of the Gettysburg Address, the last known draft version to have been written in President Lincoln’s hand.