It’s an eclectic city, pulsing with history, art, museums, and memorials. It’s our nation’s capital and home to the White House. It’s Washington, D.C., and it’s more accessible than ever!
Scootaround, a mobility enhancement company, now hosts innovative scooter tours of this historic city. So, you and your travel companions can enjoy a three-hour guided tour of the National Mall and Tidal Basin area, complete with an electronic headset to hear every interesting historical and architectural detail.
While particularly exciting for those with fatigue or mobility issues, the tours are enjoyable and appropriate for anyone who wants to experience the sites in a whole new way. Scootaround also teamed up with Bike the Sites so bike riders and scooter users can enjoy the sites together. Call 888-441-7575 or visit www.scootaround.com for complete details.
The National Mall, a splendidly landscaped public park, is one of the most popular places in the city for tourism as well as thousands of rallies, protests, and demonstrations each year. The White House, U.S. Capitol, and Arlington National Cemetery are all in close proximity.
The area also houses the World War II, Korean War Veterans and Vietnam Veterans Memorials; the Lincoln, Jefferson, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorials, and Mount Vernon, the majestic home of George Washington, complete with a hands-on Pioneer Farmer exhibition for the kids.
Step back into the present day with a tranquil ride in the Tidal Basin Pedal Boats or eat at ESPN Zone – the ultimate sports entertainment complex!
Take the children for a peek into the miniature world of dollhouses, antique toys, and games at the Washington Doll House and Toy Museum. Afterwards, visit the unusual gift shops and Edwardian Tea Room. Call 202-244-0024 or visit www.washingtondcmuseumsinfo.com to learn more.
A new addition to the over thirty museums in D.C., the International Spy Museum, offers a host of espionage artifacts, special effects, interactive displays and other fascinating programs. Only a small portion of the museum is dedicated to fictional spies. This is the real deal! Dial 202-EYE-SPY-U or log onto www.spymuseum.org.
Welcome Spring with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, held each year in honor of the magnificent pink flowering trees that were a gift from Japan in 1912. The 2006 festival is planned for March 25th through April 9th. To learn more, call 202-661-7584 or visit www.nationalcherryblossom.com.
No visit to Washington, D.C. would be complete without exploring the Smithsonian Institute, which is comprised of numerous permanent and rotating exhibits, the American Indian Museum, the Postal Museum, the National Zoo, the Air & Space Museum, and more.
Other don’t-miss destinations include the accessible National Archives, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the Torpedo Art Factory, and the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, also known as the "Money Factory," where you can watch millions of dollars being printed. Call 202-874-3019 or visit www.moneyfactory.com
If retail therapy is more your style, stop by Union Station for a lively and very accessible shopping experience, featuring diverse entertainment, and a smorgasbord of International cuisine. Or, shop at Georgetown Park, D.C.’s largest mall.
Don’t worry about seeing everything in this special city. You won’t. But chances are, you’ll be back!
D.C. Visitor Information Resources Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
Toll-Free: 1-866-DCISFUN (324-7386)
For a copy of the 2005-2006 Washington, D.C. Access Guide:
Access Information, Inc.
21618 Slidell Road
Boyds, MD 20841
This article first appeared in the Winter issue of MSFocus, the national magazine of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.