Stroll up Massachusetts Avenue to get a firsthand look at the beautiful architecture of embassies from around the world.
Everyone knows that Washington, D.C. is the United States' "seat of power," but did you know that it's also home to the world's biggest seat? The "Big Chair," in Anacostia happens to be the world's largest (and, at 19 ½ feet, stands as tall as Lady Freedom on top of the Capitol). Make sure to check it out—it's free to visit, and serves as a gathering spot for the Anacostia neighborhood.
For a great and inspiring aerial view of the city (without the wait you'll find at the Washington Monument), visit the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Get intellectual by attending a book talk at Politics and Prose, a bookstore and coffeehouse in Van Ness. All in-store events are free and open to the public, and they happen multiple nights a week.
Take a breath of fresh air while learning about D.C. neighborhoods on a Washington Walks tour. All tours are just $15 per person, and themes range from "Memorials by Moonlight" (a nighttime encounter with the National Mall memorials) to "The Most Haunted Houses," featuring a look at the Octagon, D.C.'s most ghost-filled residence (according to guides in the know).
Have a power lunch for less at Old Ebbitt Grill, the oldest restaurant in D.C. There, guests can enjoy raw bar items for less than $10 each since they're 50% off during Oyster Happy Hour, Mon.-Thurs. 3-6 p.m. and 11 p.m.-1 a.m.
Visit Eastern Market on weekend mornings to browse the work of local artisans and sample farm-fresh produce and concoctions.
Make a late-night stop at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café in Dupont Circle to browse conversation-starting titles, grab a $6 smoothie pint and hear free live music Wednesday through Saturday nights.
Take in the splendor of the Robert & Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. When you're done, walk just a few steps to see the latest exhibitions on display at each of the free museums, which stay open until 7 p.m. nightly. Need to check your email or confirm a hotel stay while you're out? You're in luck—the courtyard also offers free Wi-Fi.
Visit the 102-year-old Union Station to find out why its beautiful architecture and special events make it more than just a train station.
500 Seventeenth Street NW Washington, DC 20006
Gallery: (202) 639-1700
College: (202) 639-1800