Explore the treasures of Smithsonian and beyond
While staying at Kimpton George Hotel, guests have access to “America’s Front Yard”, a.k.a. the National Mall, a beautiful two-mile swath of green lined with majestic monuments and sleek memorials. This postcard-perfect National Park remains open 24/7 and is home to such iconic sights as the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument, and the majestic, dome-capped Capitol Building. Of course the most prominent Mall resident is The Smithsonian Institution — the world’s largest museum and research complex — which includes 19 museums, galleries, and a zoo (most of which are free!).
Gems near the hotel range from the Smithsonian Castle (visitor center) and Natural History Museum to the National Air and Space Museum, Museum of African Art, Museum of the American Indian, and the brand-new National Museum of African American History and Culture (for which it’s recommended to make online reservations far in advance).
The early morning and evening hours on the Mall prove beautiful, tranquil times to visit, while daytime visitors take advantage of the sensational museums that run along the edges of the Mall as well as tours that cover the terrain by foot. If walking’s not for you, consider cruising the area by bike or Segway.
Also, depending on the time of year you visit, be on the lookout for seasonal events that enliven this historically and culturally rich area. An annually recurring favorite, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an international exposition of living cultural heritage that takes places outdoors on the National Mall for two weeks every summer, overlapping with the Fourth of July holiday. This unique cultural exchange invites visitors to sing and dance, try craft and game workshops, learn traditional recipes, ask questions, and interact with cultural ambassadors.