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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

1. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

See the most popular monuments of the U. S. capital illuminated at night on a guided trolley tour. The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and makes three stops for you to get off the trolley and explore the memorials on your own and take photos. Enjoy entertaining commentary from a professional tour guide who will entertain you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. The three stops on the tour are: 1. The Martin Luther King Memorial & the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial 2. The Iwo Jima Memorial (aka US Marine Corps War Memorial) 3. The Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Besides stops at the major memorials, you will also get spectacular views of the Washington Memorial the White House, the National Mall, the Capitol Buildings, the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian Museums and Castle, the FBI & Dept of Justice Buildings, and the World War II Memorial.

New York City: Full-Day Washington DC City Highlights Tour

2. New York City: Full-Day Washington DC City Highlights Tour

Discover the political center of the world on a full-day trip to the Capital City of Washington DC. See the iconic buildings of Capitol Hill and visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Depart from central New York and head south to Washington in comfortable air-conditioned buses or minivans. Pass through New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland before arriving in the nation's capital. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery and stand at the Kennedy family gravesite. Continue to Capitol Hill, and see the Capitol, Senate, and White House. Learn about the buildings and their functions in the US government. Arrive at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, embark on a panoramic city tour before your departure back to New York.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Guided Tour

3. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Guided Tour

Let your guide help you navigate through the over 145 million specimens at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History with on this tour. Discover an extensive collection of human artifacts, dinosaur bones, preserved plants, and animals. Meet your tour guide outside of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and begin your tour. Go directly to the collection highlights without getting lost. Save time and energy by visiting with a guide that knows the museum well. Listen to additional commentary on exhibits from your guide. See the world's most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts. View dinosaur remains and tools used by early humans. Admire unusual gemstones and ancient mummies.

Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

4. Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

Glide around the streets of Washington DC on a guided tour by a battery-operated electric cart. See all the major monuments of the United States capital, like Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial with an onboard guide. After getting comfortable onboard, head first towards the Smithsonian complex. Admire the size of the largest museum and research complex in the world.  Next, discover three of the most well-known monuments in Washington DC. Admire the monuments to Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, arguably the three most beloved presidents of the U.S. From here, take a moment to pause and remember those who lost their lives in battle as you visit various war memorials. Pause at the memorials to World War I, World War II, the Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam War Veterans memorial sites.  Get your camera ready for when you pass by one of the most recognizable landmarks in the whole world, the White House, the home of the U.S President. Finally, feast your eyes on Capitol Hill, home to the United States Congress.

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

5. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

Test your night photography skills and see some jaw-dropping views while learning the history of the United States on this monuments tour at night. Hop into the electric-powered vehicle and learn about the monuments illuminated at night with your guide. Start at National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, before heading towards the Smithsonian complex. Your guide will regale you with the story behind the amazing museums at the largest museum complex in the world. Drive past two of the city's most famous monuments, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Afterward, wander through the Franklin D Roosevelt and Martin Luthe King memorials and enjoy a stroll along the serene Tidal Basin at sunset.  Continue past the World War I and World War II Memorials before arriving at the Lincoln Memorial. Here, be amazed by the views of the Potomac River and the National Mall sparkling in the dark.  Be entertained by stories of the city’s history, statues, and famous buildings on your way to the White House. Take a monument here to capture what is possibly the most iconic American landmark, known worldwide.  Your tour will end by exploring Capitol Hill. Home to the world-famous dome of the United States Capitol, plus the United States Supreme Court Building and the Library of Congress. 

Bike Tour: Capitol Hill, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall

6. Bike Tour: Capitol Hill, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall

Take a guided bike tour in Washington, D.C. to see all the city’s important sights and landmarks. The tour route includes Capitol Hill and the National Mall, Union Station, the Lincoln Memorial, and more. Along the way you’ll see the Smithsonian museums, the Washington Monument, and the war memorials. You’ll learn about the city's history and current events from your guide as you cycle past the major monuments and memorials. You'll also get some practical touring tips for later use! Take in the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, the White House, the World War II Memorial, and many more important sights. This cycling tour is rated as easy and covers approximately 7 miles on level terrain.

From NYC: Philadelphia and Washington DC 2-Day Tour

7. From NYC: Philadelphia and Washington DC 2-Day Tour

Day 1: NEW YORK – PHILADELPHIA – WASHINGTON DC Depart New York through New Jersey and Pennsylvania and to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia. Arriving in the historic area of Philadelphia, visit the famous Liberty Bell, one of the symbols of freedom in America, Constitution square, and Congress Hall. Stroll Elfreth’s alley, the oldest continuously inhabited street in America. Continue on a panoramic tour of Philadelphia that includes the financial district, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Historic Philadelphia, and more. Depart Philadelphia and see the famous “Rocky Steps” and then continue east to Lancaster county home of the Amish people. Enjoy an authentic Amish Buggy ride through the Amish farm country. Learn how Amish culture survived centuries without the benefits of technology, to this day their towns survive without the central power and sewage systems, that modern civilization take for granted. Learn how the Amish adapted, incorporating technology to create farms that are self-sufficient and make use of renewable sources of energy. After the ride, visit the marketplace where you can shop for handmade arts crafts and products. In the late afternoon, depart east for an evening arrival in Washington DC. Day 2: WASHINGTON DC – NEW YORK Start the day with a visit of Thomas Jefferson Memorial, by the Tidal Basin, surrounded by famous Japanese cherry blossom trees. Visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the Changing of the Guard, and the Kennedy family gravesite. The next stop is Capitol Hill. See the US Capitol and the White House to understand the core of the US government. Continue to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (while Air and Space Museum is closed due to renovations) before visiting the Lincoln, Korea, and Vietnam Memorials. In the late afternoon, depart north for an evening arrival in New York.

Washington DC: See the City Segway Tour

8. Washington DC: See the City Segway Tour

Arrive 30 minutes before the tour time for instruction on how to ride a Segway, then head off on a thrilling guided Segway tour of Washington DC and its main landmarks. Listen as your guide recounts fascinating stories about these iconic locations, narrated via a state-of-the-art radio system. Before departure, receive training and get fitted for your equipment. Watch a brief video and presentation, then receive one-on-one instruction from the experienced staff. Don't be nervous! Many of the visitors are first-time riders and most people get the hang of it within a few minutes.  Once everyone is comfortable, you will do a quick soundcheck and off you go!  The first stop is the White House, just across the street from your starting point! From there, continue to explore as many of the following sites as possible: Lafayette Square US Treasury Constitution Gardens Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Vietnam Veterans Memorial Korean War Memorial DC War Memorial Tidal Basin WWII Memorial Washington Monument Smithsonian Museums National Gallery of Art US Capitol National Archives US Navy Memorial FBI Building Freedom Plaza and more!

Washington DC: Museum of Natural History Tour for Families

9. Washington DC: Museum of Natural History Tour for Families

Enjoy a private family-friendly tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall, which can be customized based on your family's interests. Partake in interactive kid-friendly activities such as holding bugs at the insect zoo and marvel at the beloved Dinosaur Hall and the mummies exhibit.  Discover the enormous collection of natural gems and minerals, artifacts of early human civilizations, a live coral reef, and much more. Explore alongside an expert guide and learn behind the scene facts about one of the biggest and most visited natural history museums in the world.

Washington DC: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour & Boat Cruise

10. Washington DC: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour & Boat Cruise

Enjoy a full day of exploring with your 24-hour hop-on hop-off bus ticket. From the open-top double decker, you’ll see amazing views of the White House, Capitol Hill, Jefferson Memorial, and more. Learn about the city’s most magnificent landmarks with expert digital commentary. Hop off at The Wharf to enjoy your roundtrip Potomac River cruise onboard the city water taxi. You can cruise along the water to see the John F. Kennedy Center, the Washington Monument, Arlington Memorial Bridge, and more before hopping back on the bus to continue your day. Your ticket gives you access to the city loop, giving you the freedom to hop off and explore at your own pace. Big Bus Washington DC is the authorized interpretive transportation services concessioner of the National Park Service and National Mall & Memorial Parks giving you the closest access to meaningful monuments and memorials. Your ticket also includes 1-hour bike rental, so you can get off the tourist trail and discover more of the city.

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What people are saying about Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,676 reviews

Carl was a great tour guide/photographer who went above and beyond to make sure we saw the best views at every stop. Made our trip from Florida that much better. We loved the extra touch of warm blankets in the seat to cover up from the wind.

This was an excellent overview of what the National Mall has to offer in terms of the monuments and attractions. The information shared was insightful and can inform what you choose to explore later in more detail.

Nick did a wonderful job of giving our Spanishvisitors just enough information about the monuments mall Capitol and White House. He was very sweet with the 4 year old in our group. He is a very skilled driver.

Our Guide Nur was amazing! We were here for a quick weekend trying to pack in quit a bit, this tour allowed us to get through the Natural History Museum in just a few hours.

Informative, friendly, fun tour of DC at night. Carl was an excellent guide with a wide array of knowledge areas. We had a blast!