D.C. Tips – George Washington

Are you planning to attend ALA’s Annual Conference in 2010? We hope so!

To encourage you to attend, over the next nine months, the YALSA Local Arrangements Committee will be blogging to highlight things to see and do in Washington D.C. Our nation’s capital has a lot to offer; we hope the information we share will entice you to come to the conference and excite you for a visit to DC! To tempt you to our nation’s capital, here is just a taste of the wonderful things to do in and around Washington, D.C!


There is no better place to start a D.C. introduction than with the father of our country, George Washington. Just inside the Virginia border, overlooking the Potomac river, lies Mount Vernon.   This was Washington’s home before, during, and after his presidency.  There are tours available at Mount Vernon, where you can hear stories about Washington’s life there, and see period furniture, much of which was owned by Washington.  In addition to Washington’s home, there are many other buildings on the grounds of Mount Vernon that were needed at the time to run a sizable estate.  The smoke house, the wash house, and the clerk’s quarters are all available to tour, and visitors can also explore the grounds, including the tomb of George and Martha, several gardens, and a working farm.

Throughout the grounds, visitors will meet and be able to talk to re-enactors to ask questions and learn more about life at Mount Vernon during Washington’s time. Additionally, just a few years ago, an orientation center and museum and education center were added. There, visitors can learn more about Washington, Mount Vernon, and life in his time through movies, interactive exhibits, and the presidential library.

The house and grounds are open to the public upon purchase of a ticket, which currently costs $15.00. A distillery and gristmill associated with Mount Vernon also recently opened three miles down the road, and you can visit for an additional fee. More information about Mount Vernon can be found online, including a virtual tour and many educational resources.

If you want to celebrate our first president without spending too many George Washingtons, you can visit the Washington Monument. Located on the National Mall, the monument is the tallest structure in D.C. A bit of trivia:  No other structure in Washington, D.C. may be taller than the Washington Monument!

Admission is free, although you must obtain a timed ticket at the Washington Monument Lodge, located on 15th Street. Inside the monument, an elevator and 897-step stairway can take visitors to the observation deck.

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