In May 2017, more than 15,000 clinicians and researchers from around the world will come together in Washington, DC, for the ATS International Conference. While the greatest attraction for attendees will be hearing the latest advances in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep research, Washington is home to a number of historical and cultural sights you shouldn’t miss, including:
The Smithsonian is the world's largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries (including the National Air & Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History and National Portrait Gallery), the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities. The Smithsonian collections include 138 million pieces of iconic artwork and artifacts, including the Star-Spangled Banner, Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Michael Jackson’s fedora, and the original Teddy Bear that was named for President Theodore Roosevelt.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Be sure to book your timed passes in advance on their website.
Millions of people visit the National Mall each year. From the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, the mall sprawls over 1,000 acres and is a symbol of American democracy. National Mall and Memorial Parks are open 24 hours a day. The early evening and morning hours are the most picturesque times to visit.
Researchers at the United State Holocaust Museum have documented 42,500 ghettos and concentration camps erected by the Nazis throughout German-controlled areas of Europe from 1933 to 1945. Visitors can reflect in silence and light a candle in the Hall of Remembrance, the official memorial for the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. The museum’s Permanent Exhibition houses more than 12,750 artifacts, 49 million pages of archival documents, 80,000 historical photographs, 200,000 registered survivors, 1,000 hours of archival footage, 84,000 library items, and 9,000 oral history testimonies.
The United States Botanic Garden is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to the well-being of humans and Earth’s fragile ecosystems. From roses to orchids, the rainforest to the Mid-Atlantic, rare and endangered plants to the latest in home gardens, you’ll find a world of plants and environments in both permanent exhibits and gardens.
Free Admission, Advanced Reservations Recommended
Home to the original Charters of Freedom, including the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, the National Archives Museum depicts America’s national mosaic, telling the stories of the American journey to young and old, scholars and students, cynics and dreamers.
For foodies, DC also offers a number of culinary tours to satisfy your taste buds. Learn more or book a tour.
Visit Destination DC to start planning your conference trip!