It’s exciting to know that, on a nearly year-round basis, you can take your family on a guided tour of Washington, DC, our US Capital and a fascinating city to visit. This is a good city for families to visit as it teaches children how our government works and there are dozens of interesting things to see and do.

Guided tours of Washington DC can be walking tours, driving tours or a combination of both. In many cases, because traffic can be difficult around the capital, it pays to spend most of your time on a guided walking tour. As you may know, most aspects of central Washington DC are centered on a large rectangular “mall” with places to visit throughout. Pick a spot and follow through from there.

Perhaps you’ll want to start out at our nation’s capital building. It’s a busy place where you may be able to view the places where the Senate and the House of Representatives meet and make our laws. Most guided tours will show you specific points of interest, including interesting architecture, paintings and statues.

The Smithsonian Institute lies in several buildings on either side of the capital building. On guided tours of these areas, you may wish to pick the buildings and areas you think you and your family will like the most. Perhaps you will choose the Air and Space Museum. You’ll see old rockets, space suits, famous airplanes and even a planetarium show. Kids love this museum and adults get a chance to be kids for a change.

The Holocaust Museum is tucked away along the south side of the mall and it’s not as easy to see; however, many guided tours of the area will show you the way. This museum is a must-see event that will teach you and your children a great deal about what so many people suffered through.

As you walk along the mall, the large obelisk, the Washington Monument looms as the center point in the mall. Guided tours of Washington DC often stop here. To the South, you’ll see the Jefferson Memorial and, to the North, you’ll see the White House. While the lines may be long, you can often get in to see a guided tour of the inside of the White House.

Further down on the mall are the Vietnam Memorial Wall, a striking design that moves nearly every one who sees it. Guided tours of the area will also take you to the newer memorial to World War II veterans. If you come at the right time of the year, usually in early to mid-spring, you can see the cherry blossoms in full bloom along both sides of a rectangular, shallow reflecting pool. In wintertime, however, the pool is drained.

None of the guided tours of Washington DC will let you miss the Lincoln Memorial with its famous statue of the seated Abraham Lincoln. From the top of its steps, you can see the entire mall in all its glory.

If you’re on one of the guided tours of Washington DC that has a driving component, they’ll probably take you to see Arlington Cemetery, where many famous people have been buried. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, also called the Tomb of the Unknowns. As a way to finish the trip, drive by the massive Pentagon to see how huge it is how many people work there.