Ah, Cool September! The humidity is gone. Heat-stroking highs of August have vanished. Flowers bloom, skies are blue, and grass is green. But, getting closer to history is what a visit to WDC is about! Let’s talk Presidents. One of the most important was Abraham Lincoln. Would you like to walk where he did? You can! He didn’t like summer in DC either. To get some relief, he and his family spent June to November in a large home on a hilltop overlooking the city. Today, this home is known as “Lincoln’s Cottage”.
You can walk through the same rooms Mr. Lincoln did! He and his family lived here from June to November for three consecutive years. He wrote the Emancipation Proclamation in this house. Mr. Lincoln was a poor country lawyer. This home is not filled with priceless antiques. In fact, most of the furniture has been purposely removed. Instead, it is a “museum of ideas”. As you are led through the rooms by a knowledgeable guide, you will be questioned about events, quotations, and other methods to make you think. This tour requires “mental participation”. As you lay your hand on the same staircase banister Mr. Lincoln did, think about the consequences of one man’s leadership. There is also an excellent free Visitors Center and Gift Shop.
+ Located at 140 Rock Creek Church Road, NW (just off North Capitol Street west of Catholic University)
+ Timed Entry tours of the cottage are available by purchasing tickets and it’s best if done in advance via www.lincolncottage.org
+ Adults are $15 and Children (ages 6-12) are $5 (same-day tickets are available in the gift shop)
Ford’s Theatre is another “Lincoln” must-see! For $3, you can go inside the actual theatre and look up at the box where the President sat on the last evening of his life. Today, Ford’s Theatre is a working professional theatre hosting excellent productions. Your tour ticket also includes a walk through the Petersen House where President Lincoln’s wounded body was taken after he was shot. See the bedroom where he lay after being shot by John Wilkes Booth. To reserve timed-entry tickets go to www.fords.org. Daily options of up to 4 sites can change (check the online calendar). Same-day tickets are also available at the box office. Located at 511 10th St, NW (Metro: Gallery Place or Navy Memorial)
“American’s President’s” Reopens on September 22nd! The newly renovated exhibit will reopen at the National Portrait Gallery! Wow, have I missed this exhibit while the space was being renovated and updated. It includes portraits of all the Presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama. There are some interesting stories behind these portraits. Lincoln held his second Inaugural Ball in this beautiful Greek Revival building. It actually houses two art museums plus a cool interior courtyard with a water feature your kids will love to play in. (O.K. the adults can play, too.) At lunchtime, the food trucks line up outside. Shake Shack is just across the street! Yum! The museum allows visitors to bring in outside food and eat in the spacious courtyard.
+ Free: Open daily 11:30 AM to 7 PM
+ Located at 8th & F Streets, NW (just 3 blocks from Ford’s Theatre/Metro Gallery Place or Navy Memorial)
Clara Sachs | USA Guided Tours Tour Guide and Blog Contributor