Watching the Supreme Court in Action: Behind the stately marble facade of the Supreme Court building, the nation’s nine black-gowned justices reveal their intellectual brilliance and individual personalities as they listen to and question both sides of an argument. Will the famously silent Justice Thomas talk today? Will Justice Sotomayor tell one of her charming personal anecdotes to illustrate a point? Will Chief Justice Roberts reveal a willingness to assume the "swing vote" role long held by the now-retired Justice Kennedy? Who will volley the wittiest remark into the discourse? Only one way to find out: Wait in line for entry and a coveted seat inside the courtroom.
- Viewing Washington Landmarks by Moonlight: There is nothing as spectacular as the Lincoln Memorial illuminated at night, unless it’s the sight of the White House, the Capitol, or the Washington Monument lit up after dark. Go by Old Town Trolley, by bike via a Bike and Roll excursion, or by boat aboard a Potomac Riverboat Company cruise; all three operations offer narrated day and nighttime tours.
- Visiting Your Senator or House Representative: If you’re a U.S. citizen, take advantage of your constituent status and stop by your senator’s and/or representative’s office on Capitol Hill to offer your two cents on current issues. Pick up passes to the Capitol’s Senate and House chambers and attend a session to observe your elected politicians at work. Make sure you’ve reserved Capitol tour passes online and tour the Capitol.
- Bicycling Past the Potomac River and Around the Tidal Basin: Rent a bike and cycle the paved bike/pedestrian path that extends 11 miles from the Lincoln Memorial, alongside the Potomac River, and through Rock Creek Park to the Maryland border. Or head the other direction, following the combination of street, sidewalk, and pathway that encircles the Tidal Basin and leads to the 3.5-mile roadway looping East Potomac Park and beyond along the southwest and southeast waterfronts. On view are Washington’s landmarks. For a really epic ride, follow the pathway past the Lincoln Memorial, cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the trail on the other side, and pedal the 19 miles to Mount Vernon.
- Participating in a Protest: What causes do you believe in? Find out if there’s a gathering on the National Mall, a protest at an embassy, or some other public event that reflects your point of view, and join in! This is the capital of the United States, the world’s most successful democracy, imperfect though it may be. Countless protests take place here annually (on a near-daily basis since the 2016 presidential election). It can be thrilling and inspiring, just plain fun, and, in fact, profoundly effective to meet up with other citizens of this country and the world and make your principles known.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.