Landmark Educational Tours

Top 10 places to visit on a school trip to Washington, DC

US Capitol west side in full sun

Washington, DC is one of the top destinations for student travelers in America! This destination is home to rich culture, a timeline of history, and you cannot forget the good eats! From the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to the National Archives to the National Zoo, there is something for every tourism type! Here are the top 10 places to visit on your Washington DC school trip for your middle or high school trip.

  • The U.S Capitol
  • The Library of Congress
  • Supreme Court Buildings
  • Smithsonian Institutions
  • The National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • The Washington Monument
  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • The Lincoln Memorial, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans War Memorials
  • The Thomas Jefferson, FDR, and MLK Memorials
  • The National Archives

1. The White House

Visit the home of our nation’s leader. The White House has been the home to all of our presidents except one. There have been many families who have lived in this building and an unthinkable amount of history here. Did you know that George Washington did not live in the White House? The first president living in the white house was John Adams! On a school trip to Washington, DC with Landmark, student travelers have the opportunity to take a photo in front of the White House! 

2. The U.S. Capitol, The Library of Congress, and Supreme Court Buildings

The building blocks of our democracy are within the walls of these buildings. Be sure to talk to one of our Landmark Specialists about scheduling a meeting with your state’s senator or house member! Students will have the opportunity to see where the action happens on Capitol Hill! Your state official or the United States Capitol Tour Guide will walk your students through the importance of our civics and their positions as an elected officials in our government. A typical middle school trip to Washington, DC also includes stops at the Library of Congress and Supreme Court buildings!  

3. Smithsonian Institutions

A fan favorite is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This museum holds hundreds of the world’s most important aviation and space items in history. This would be a great place to have students pick a topic and do research to later present to the class. Take a look at the exhibitions the museum has to offer here.

Another top pick for high school students is the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Visit exhibitions like the American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith or The First Ladies presidential dresses.

4. The National Museum of African American History and Culture 

The National Museum of African American history and culture is one of the newest museums with a powerful message. Here you can see the history of slavery in our country and celebrate today’s African American life and culture. When planning a school trip to Washington, DC, note that timed tickets are required and in high demand for this museum. Booking your school trip early gives student groups the perfect opportunity to score tickets! 

5. Arlington National Cemetery

While in the nation’s capital there is nothing more patriotic than the Arlington cemetery, a beautiful tribute to our nation’s veterans. Arlington Cemetery is also the home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There is a guard there 24/7 and a special time is the changing of the guards which is another great thing for your students to experience. There are also opportunities available for groups interested in participating in an honor wreath-laying ceremony. 

6. The Washington Monument

One of the most iconic monuments in DC. The Washington Monument was built in honor of George Washington and it stands tall, built of marble, at the national mall. When on a school trip, students gaze at the 555, 5, and 1/8 inch tall obelisk jutting into the sky. Did you know that the current memorial was not the original winning design? The original winning design included a pantheon featuring Washington driving a horse-drawn chariot with a 600 foot-tall Egyptian obelisk from the center. Due to the war, the project sat for many years until completion in 1889. 

7. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

This museum is a powerful and moving experience for all visitors. Here, the tragic events of the holocaust, which took place from 1933 to 1945, are told in detail to make sure we are witnesses and prevent it from ever happening again. 

8. The Lincoln Memorial, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans War Memorials

See Lincoln’s imposing sculpture as he overlooks the National Mall. While you are in the area take a moment to appreciate the veterans and all who lost their lives for our country at the Korean and Vietnam veterans war memorial.

On your next middle school trip to Washington, DC with Landmark Educational Tours;  experience a local licensed guided walking tour for two hours as your students explore these memorials. 

9. The Thomas Jefferson, FDR, and MLK Memorials

The capital of our country is filled with monuments that are there to honor the individuals who have built our country and shaped it into the United States we know today. FDR, Martin Luther King Jr, and Jefferson memorials are a must-visit with your students to see the historical importance behind these men.

10. The National Archives

See the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These are the documents that formed the United States and define our country.

There are so many attractions that Washington, D.C. offers for middle school and high school visiting school groups. These top 10 places to visit on a school trip to Washington, DC are the most common among our groups. Connect with a Landmark Specialist in order to customize and personalize each group’s itinerary! 

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Students at the Washington Monument!
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Students at the Lincoln memorial on a school trip to Washington D.C!

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