Washington, DC, or “the District” as it’s commonly known, is the heart of the American federal government. It’s also a bustling metropolis that lives at the heart of American history and culture, with hundreds of historic sites, monuments, buildings and museums calling this vibrant, picturesque city home. With so many things to see and do, DC can seem a little overwhelming to even the most experienced travelers. There’s something for everyone in this city, from hardcore sports fanatics to politics majors and history buffs. With that in mind, here are just 10 of the attractions and activities waiting for you in the District of Columbia.
10. Watch an NHL Team Practice
Sitting in a cold arena doesn’t sound like a lot of fun at first, but a visit to the Kettler Iceplex in adjacent Alexandria, VA, is a great opportunity to see a pro sports team—for free. The Washington Capitals, including star Alexander Ovechkin, practice here when they’re in town and practices are open to the public. After practice, the players participate in media scrums and interact with fans, often autographing items or handing off memorabilia. Arrive early and sit at ice-level (without paying an arm and a leg) to get a new appreciation of the speed and skill involved at the pro level—and maybe see a different side of the players as they compete with and sometimes even prank their teammates.