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44 Inaugural Experiences

Destination DC, the official convention and tourism corporation for the nation’s capital, has invited inauguration-bound travelers to take advantage of 44 free and affordable experiences while in Washington, DC.

The top ten on the list include:
1. Stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech and where Marian Anderson performed her historic 1939 Easter concert.
2. Catch a free concert featuring Aretha Franklin on January 19 at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.
3. Explore famous and infamous moments in history by following the “Civil War to Civil Rights” heritage trail through downtown DC.
4. Visit the newly remodeled National Museum of American History, where you can view a copy of the Gettysburg Address on loan from the White House. The theme of Obama’s inauguration, “A New Birth of Freedom,” is taken from the Gettysburg Address. Look for Obama’s name in the “American Presidents” exhibition.
5. See poignant images from the Civil Rights era on display in Road to Freedom, a special exhibition of more than 200 powerful photographs at the Smithsonian Institution’s Ripley Center, on display through March 9.
6. Live Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy by joining a volunteer program through Serve DC.
7. Check out the presidential portraits on display at the National Portrait Gallery.
8. Tour the magnificent Library of Congress and test out its new interactive exhibits, like the re-creation of Thomas Jefferson’s original library.
7. Only Bill Cosby and the Obama Family can eat for free at DC’s legendary Ben’s Chili Bowl — but visitors can soak in the local flavor and chow down on the cheap with their signature half-smokes — for just $5 or a chili dog for $3.60.
8. Cheer on the Inaugural Parade along Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20.
9. Watch a peaceful sunset at the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima Statue).
10. Learn what it was like to be a guest at a past presidential inauguration through The Honor of Your Company is Requested: President Lincoln’s Inaugural Ball, a special exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The remainder of the list is available here.

For the latest Inaugural information, travel tips and advice, log on to Destination DC’s official inauguration website, www.washington.org/inauguration.

Here’s also a schedule of events leading up to Inauguration Day.

If you are jetting (or riding) to D.C. this weekend, share your experiences with us when you return! Safe travels.


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