View History for Yourself in These D.C. Area Sites

You've heard how First Lady Dolly Madison saved George Washington's portrait from the burning White House in 1814, probably written term papers on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln while watching a play at Ford's Theatre and seen grainy news footage of President John F. Kennedy being laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. After studying the facts in history class, why not take a trip to Washington, D.C. to see where the events actually took place?

Practically the entire metro region is steeped in history so when it came time to pick the most outstanding places, we narrowed down our 10Best choices by only selecting locations where historical events took place or where well-known figures lived. 

If you are willing to take a drive, national battlefields are not to be missed. In December, Antietam offers an annual memorial illumination featuring 23,000 candles – one for each solider killed, wounded or missing during the day-long 1862 battle in Sharpsburg, Md. A three-day reenactment is held every July to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. People from all over the world flock to the small Southern Pennsylvanian town dressed in military uniforms.

Be sure to dust off those history books before coming because they are filled with events that happened right here in the Washington, D.C. area.      


Frederick Douglass National Historic Site


When Frederick Douglass was born in 1818 on a plantation in Talbot County, Md., he was a slave. Over the course of his 77 years, he would escape slavery, become a leader in the abolitionist movement, a respected author and beloved speaker....  Read More



Once the sun sets, the Antietam National Battlefield is enveloped in darkness. Each December, for one day, the battlefield is caressed in the soft glow of flickering candles. Totaling 23,000, each one represents a solider who was killed, lost or...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Monticello


Thomas Jefferson began building Monticello when he was 26 years old and would continue to expand and change the property until his death at age 83. Today, visitors may come to admire his house and gardens which are considered by many to be a...  Read More

Gettysburg National Military Park
Photo courtesy of Gettysburg National Military Park


Every July, thousands flock to this tiny Pennsylvania town dawning Union blue or Confederate gray to witness or participate in a three-day reenactment of the battle that is considered by many to be the turning point in the Civil War. If you...  Read More



Initially owned by President George Washington's adopted grandson,Gen. Robert E. Lee served as custodian of the land until it was seized by the federal government to be used as a military cemetery in 1864. Today, Arlington National Cemetery is...  Read More

Ford's Theatre
Photo courtesy of Ford's Theatre


2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln while watching a performance of 'Our American Cousin' at this venue in April 1865. As a remembrance, the theatre has planned several events to honor the...  Read More

National Mall


To serve as a symbol of unity, strength and wisdom, the 16th President Abraham Lincoln is honored with this memorial featuring a statue seated below the inscription, "In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union,...  Read More



Known as America's first home, George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, just outside of Washington, D.C., features a mansion, outbuildings, gardens, animals, a distillery and gristmill, and a four-acre farm. What was once an active...  Read More

United States Capitol
Photo courtesy of U.S. Capitol


Want to see where bills are endlessly debated and sometimes pass to become laws? Come to watch the House and/or Senate in session at the U.S. Capitol and get a tour of the stunning building too. While you may tour parts of the structure during...  Read More

White House / White House Visitor Center


Given its name by President Teddy Roosevelt, The White House boasts 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms and six levels in the residence. The 55,000-sq.-foot home has served as a safe harbor for U.S. Presidents since 1800 and welcomed leaders and dignitaries...  Read More


Meet Gina Gallucci White

Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She...  More About Gina