America's Top 10 Cultural Icons

Take a photo tour to explore the Capital Region’s rich history. Discover fascinating monuments, museums and attractions that tell the story of the United States through this list of American cultural icons.

The White House, Washington, DC
Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall, monuments, attractions, Washington, DC, USA
Washington National Cathedral
Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia
Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Harriet Tubman Byway, Maryland
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The White House

For the closest view of the President’s iconic residence, see it from the north side along Lafayette Park.

Did you know? The White House boasts a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, movie theater, billiards room, and bowling lane for the First Family's recreation.

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National Mall

This 2-mile park connects the Lincoln Memorial and U.S. Capitol with more than 25 famous monuments, memorials and museums within and along its borders.

Fun fact: The National Mall has served as a gathering place for American celebrations and civic demonstrations for more than 200 years.

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Arlington National Cemetery

Visit the final resting place of presidents, military heroes and more than 300,000 of America's veterans among the green rolling hills of Arlington National Cemetery.

Did you know? Notable memorials include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the burial site of President John F. Kennedy.

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Washington National Cathedral

With 112 gargoyles and 215 stained-glass windows adding to its beauty, Washington National Cathedral is the second largest cathedral in the U.S. "A spiritual home for the nation," it offers visitors tours, worship services and concerts.

Fun fact: Look for the bust of "Star Wars" villain Darth Vader carved into a gargoyle upon the cathedral's northwest tower, the result of a design-a-carving competition while the tower was under construction in the 1980s.

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Monticello

Just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, tour the scenic mountaintop home and gardens of President Thomas Jefferson. Get a day pass for the grounds and house, or take a closer look at slavery in the U.S. on a tour showing how slaves worked and lived on the plantation.

Fun fact: Monticello is Italian for "little mountain."

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Mount Vernon

Perched on the banks of the Potomac River, the estate of George Washington, America’s first president, features idyllic landscapes, a restored mansion and interesting artifacts.

Fun fact: Mount Vernon is named after British Navy Admiral Edward Vernon.

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Colonial Williamsburg

Step back in time with a visit to this historic town that recreates early Colonial life in Williamsburg, Virginia. Explore the blacksmith shop, courthouse, hospital, homes and other restored buildings. Shop Merchants Square, have a meal in a tavern, and consider spending the night at the inn.

Did you know? Williamsburg was the state capital of Virginia for most of the 18th century.

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Library of Congress

In America’s largest library and oldest federal institution, you’ll find a Gutenberg Bible and a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Fun fact: The Library of Congress contains more than 158 milllion books sitting on 838 miles of bookshelves.

Photo credit: Carol Highsmith

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Antietam National Battlefield

This national park in Sharpsburg, Maryland, commemorates the American Civil War Battle of Antietam. It has a visitor centre and field hospital museum.

Did you know? The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest single-day battle in the Civil War, leaving more than 23,000 soldiers killed, wounded, or missing.

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Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

Explore this scenic drive to 36 sites related to the legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who risked her life to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom. See where she grew up, worked and more.

Did you know? The new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center is set to open in March 2017.

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History & Culture