For all the years I have gone to DC I never grow weary of the Smithsonian Museums along the Mall. I generally go on line prior to visit and make reservations if their are any big shows and plan my week accordingly. Even with tickets for the big shows you will wait in line to get in if you go early. I encourage opening the Mall because it allows you to have a day of going in and out of all the museums and their respective gift shops. My favorites are always The Museum of American History, The Natural History Museum and The National Gallery. Best variety in gift shops seems to be The American History Museum (amazing cd's and dvd's) and The National Gallery. Lunch at the restaurant joining the wings of The National Gallery is wonderful. A full wall waterfall screens out the people noise. Lunch is anything you can think of and very elegant even though its self-serve. I like going in November or March. it is unforgettable!
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