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Home to our nation’s capitol, the Washington, D.C., area is full of American and military historical sites, museums, and modern attractions. So whether it’s spending hours going through the Smithsonian’s gigantic collections or seeing professional sports from all five major leagues (baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and soccer), you’re covered.
The military history of the area goes back all the way to 1791, when what is now Fort McNair was founded on Greenleaf Point, which sits at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. In fact, West Point in New York and Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania are the only two military installations that have been in continual operation for longer than Fort McNair.
The next oldest in the area (and the oldest installation in the Marine Corps) is the Marine Barracks, which opened in 1801. It houses the Commandant of the Marine Corps (and has since 1806), the “President’s own” U.S. Marine Band, and Marines who perform ceremonial duties around the world and in select security details as needed. Other military facilities include the Naval Observatory, founded in 1830, and the relatively newer installations of Bolling Air Force Base (founded in 1917) and Andrews Air Force Base (1945).
The nation’s capitol is one of those rare cities with a fantastic blend of the old and the new, offering attractions for both history lovers and those who want something more fresh and modern. Even better, a great many of the places listed below are free to visit! Here are some of the more popular attractions: