Visiting DC

Restoration (at least work doesn't seem to stop on the outside of the US Capitol).

In September 2016, the $60 million Capitol Dome restoration will wrap up and scaffolding will be removed, once again offering visitors full views of the stunning rotunda topped by "The Apotheosis of Washington," a fresco by Italian-born artist Constantino Brumidi.

To give an idea of the height of the rotunda, the fresco (still visible through the protective sheeting) actually encompasses more than 4,600 square feet.

Restoring the rotunda, set to wrap up in September 2016.

National Statuary Hall features statues of prominent Americans selected by each state.

The Library of Congress is free to tour and features some of the most stunning architecture in the district.

The main reading room at the Library of Congress.

The US Supreme Court building features two self-supporting marble spiral staircases. Touring the building is free, as is attending oral arguments in the courtroom (seating is extremely limited and done on a first-come, first-served basis).

US Supreme Court, still holding out on its ban of cameras in the courtroom.

The grand stairs outside of the US Supreme Court, backdrop for countless news stories, TV shows, and movies.

Night at the Washington Monument.

Visit to reserve your tickets to travel to the top of the Monument for some of the best views of DC and Virginia (tickets are free at theWashington Monument Lodge on 15th Street on a first-come, first-served basis).

From August 1981 until her death in January 2016, Conchita Picciotto carried on the longest continuous political protest in US history and she did it across the street from The White House.

She remained in a tent at the edge of Lafayette Square (sometimes with the help of friends and supporters) for 35 years, even logging more than 12,500 continuous days herself.

Since her death at 80 in a Washington DC homeless shelter, other peace activists have continued her protest.

The World War 2 Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial contains the names of the more than 53,000 Americans killed during the Vietnam War, and includes from than 1,200 missing in action.

One of the quintessential Washington DC experiences is watching sunrise from the Lincoln Memorial.