Few areas in the world can match the diversity of the Fort Belvoir area. The installation is minutes from Mount Vernon, Old Town Alexandria, the nation’s capital, as well as so much more of America’s heritage. Alexandria’s Town Crier can usually be seen calling out special events and happenings in the historic port city of Alexandria.
Few areas in the world can match the diversity of the area surrounding the nation’s capital, which is a short trip from Fort Belvoir. In metropolitan Washington, D.C., there are hundreds of historic sites and places to experience history and watch history in the making. Residents and tourists from around the world over can visit the White House, the U.S. Congress and Capitol, the headquarters of 14 federal cabinet departments and other federal agencies and bureaus. Almost every nation in the world has an embassy or diplomatic representative here. The nation’s capital also is one of the worl’d most beautiful cities. Maj. Pierre Charles L’Enfant, a member of Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army staff, laid out the District of Columbia in 1791, with broad avenues and traffic circles, allowing for monuments, memorials, pools and parks. There’s a world-class zoo, shopping for every taste and budget, hotels, theaters and restaurants featuring some of the world’s finest cuisine. Cultural activities from John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to local jazz clubs and dinner theatres cater to every taste. Recreation at Atlantic Ocean beaches in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey are only a few hours away, as are the snow-covered slopes, campgrounds and lakes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian chain in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
Air and Space Museum -
Exhibits include the Wright Brothers’ plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, the Lnagley Theater showing IMAX films, the Einstein Planetarium and hundreds of other aviation and space exhibits. Cafeteria and restaurant facilities are available. The Air and Space Museum has also opened a second facility at Dulles Airport in the Washington area. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., (202) 357-2700.
Arlington National Cemetery
Tomb of the Unknowns, Ampitheater, Arlington House and the grave of President John F. Kennedy are all at Arlington. You can see the changing of the guard at the tomb every half hour in the summer and every hour the rest of the year. Open daily, April through September, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; October through March from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Memorial Bridge and Jefferson Davis Highway, Va., (703) 607-8052.
The U.S. Botanic Garden, established by Congress in 1842, is a living plant museum which is one of the oldest in North America. Exhibits and displays are found in the Conservatory that houses permanent collections of plants from tropical and arid regions and Bartholdi Park where a tapestry of theme gardens surround the historic Bartholdi Fountain. The Conservatory is located on the Capitol Grounds at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and First Street, S.W., in Washington, D.C. Call (202) 225-8333 or visit www.aoc/USBG/.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
See millions of dollars of paper money printed. Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guided tours take 25 minutes. Closed Saturday, Sunday and federal holidays. 14th and C Streets, S.W., Washington, D.C. Metro: Smithsonian, (202) 874-3188.
Corcoran Gallery of Art
One of the three oldest museums in the United States, the collection includesGreek antiquities, American and Europen paintings and changing exhbits. Open daily 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and closed Tuesday. Suggested donation, adults $3, seniors and students $1, children under 12 are free. Family groups are $5. 500 17th Street at New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. Metro: Farragut North or Farragut West, (202) 639-1700.
Ford’s Theater and Lincoln Center
Tours are given daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except when rehearsals or matinees are in progress. Museum remains open. Free except for theater performances. 511 10th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. between E & F Streets, Metro: Metro Center. Tickets: (202) 347-4833, www.fordstheatre.org
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The FDR memorial consists of four outdoor rooms with granite walls, statuary, inscriptions, waterfalls and thousands of plants, shrubs and trees along the famous cherry tree walk on the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. Each of Roosevelt’s four terms in office are portrayed by American sculptors whose works relate memories of the man and his period in an enclosed landscape emphasizing ornamental trees and shrubs native to the mid-Atlantic region. Park rangers are available from 8 a.m. to midnight every day except Christmas day, 900 Ohio Drive, S.W., Washington, D.C. (703) 426-6841.
Great Falls National Park
Take a packet boat ride up the C&O Canal, visit the Great Falls Tavern, and see the massive Great Falls of the Potomac, where the Potomac River drops 76 feet over a massive rock formation. Open daily, 8 a.m. until dark. Entrance fee $4 per car, annual pass $15. Intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Falls road in Potomac, Md. 12 mileds from downtown D.C., (301) 299-3613.
Shopping boutiques, restaurants, nightclubs in the old colonial section of Washington, includes the Old Stone House on M Street, the oldest standing house in Washington, Georgetown University and the C&O Canal. West of Rock Creek Park from the Potomac River north to Massachusetts Avenue.
The Holocaust Museum represents the history of the Nazi killing of Jews. The Museum’s pemanent exhibition spans three floors and presents a narrative history using more than 900 artifacts, 70 video monitors, and four theaters that include historic film footage and eyewitness testimonies. Recommended for visitors 11 years of age and older.
John F. Kennedy Center for the
Contains the Opera House, Concert Hall, Eisenhower Theater, the Terrace Theater and the American Film Institute Theater. The building is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to the public. Group tours are given Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For group information call (202) 416-8341. 2700 F. Street NW, Washington, D.C., shuttle available from Foggy Bottom Metro. For theater and tour information call (202) 467-4600. Internet: www.kennedy-center.org.
Commemorating the 628,000 troops who were killed in Korean “conflict,” this memorial consists of 19 giant polished steel statues. On an adjacent black granite wall, you can see more than 2,000 photographic images from the war that have been sand-blasted onto the wall. Across the Reflecting Pool from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall. (202) 426-6841. Open daily 24 hours a day.
Library of Congress
The world’s largest library with millions of items, it consists of three buildings: the Thomas Jefferson Building, constructed in 1897, the John Adams Building, constructed in 1939, and the James Madison Memorial Building, 1980. Call (202) 707-8000 for various tour times, Closed Sunday and federal holidays. Free. 10 First Street, SE, Washington, D.C. Metro: Capitol South.
The classic Greek Temple memorial is located at West Potomac Park. This grand memorial overlooks the Reflecting Pool. Inside, the 19-foot marble statue of the 16th president is flanked by inscriptions of his Gettysburg
Address and his second inaugural address. Open daily, 24 hours a day. West end of the Mall near 23rd Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. (202) 426-6895.
Marine Corps Museum at Quantico
Open to the public on Nov. 13, 2006, the National Museum of the Marine Corps is a lasting tribute to U.S. Marines — past, present, and future. Situated on a 135-acre site adjacent to the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, the Museum’s soaring design evokes the image of the flag-raisers of Iwo Jima and beckons visitors to its 118,000-square-foot structure. World-class interactive exhibits using the most innovative technology will surround visitors with irreplaceable artifacts and immerse them in the sights and sounds of Marines in action.18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, VA 22172 (800) 397-7585
Marine Corps Memorial
Iwo Jima Statue
Based on Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photaph of six Marines raising the stars and stripes American flag on Mount Suribachi in Iwo Jima, this 78-foot memorial, created by Felix de Weldon, commemorates all the Marines who have died in battle since 1775. Open daily, 8 a.m.-midnight. Route 50 at Arlington Boulevard & Ridge Road, Arlington, VA. Metro: Rosslyn. (202) 619-7222.
Explore Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s mountaintop home, gardens, and plantation. Located in the Virginia Piedmont, Monticello is about two miles southeast of Charlottesville and approximately 125 miles from Washington, D.C.; 110 miles from Williamsburg, Virginia; and 70 miles from Richmond, Virginia. The Monticello Visitors Center is open Mar. 1 - Oct. 31: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Nov. 1 - Feb. 28: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monticello and the Monticello Visitors Center are open every day of the year, except Christmas. Charlottesville VA
434-984-9800 (recorded information)
434-984-9822 (public affairs)
Just outside the post’s Walker Gate is George Washington’s mill; three miles east of Fort Belvoir is Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, America’s most popular historic home. The extensive grounds and panoramic views at Mount Vernon make a trip there a memorable experience. To add to the pleasure of visiting Mount Vernon, a cruise along the Potomac River takes visitors to and from Washington twice daily, (703) 780-2000.
An education and research facility encompassing 444 acres of world-class gardens, including the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, the National Herb Garden, the Asian Collection, the Gotelli dwarf and slow-growing conifer collection, and fern valley native plant collection. Grounds are open daily, except Christmas Day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bonsai Collection hours are 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., free. 3501 New York Avenue., N.E., Washington, D.C. (202) 245-2726.
See the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Main exhibit hall opens daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C. Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial, (202) 301-5000.
National Museum of Women
in the Arts
Permanent collection includes more than 1,000 works by women artists along with rotating exhibits throughout the year. The library is the largest resource of art by women in the world. Open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., free. 1250 New York Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. Metro: Metro Center, (202) 783-5000.
National Zoological Park
Highlights include the Great Flight Cage, Amazonia, and the Great Ape House. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. 3001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Metro: Cleveland Park or Woodley Park-National Zoo, (202) 673-4800.
Presents the history of the U.S. Navy from the Revolution to the present. Weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except summer months, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekends and holidays, 10 a.m. -
5 p.m., free. 9th and M Streets, S.E., Washington, D.C., Metro: Eastern Market. (202) 433-4882.
The combination of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers flowing into the nearby Chesapeake Bay and the serenity of the C&O Canal gives water sport enthusiasts years of pleasure on sailboats, windsurfers and muscle-powered kayaks.
Points of Interest near Post
A few miles south of Fort Belvoir is Gunston Hall, the home of George Mason, who wrote the Virginia Bill of Rights. This document later served as a guide in writing the U.S. Contitution’s Bill of Rights. The city of Alexandria, Va., is about five miles from post. A former port city, Alexandria gives visitors a chance to take a trip back in time along its cobblestone streets and colonial architecture. Shops, restaurants and nightclubs abound in the Old Town section of the city.
Gain access to the world’s largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display. Explore interactive exhibits about disguise, surveillance, threat analysis and more. Discover the history of spying from biblical times to the present day. All tours are self-guided. Open daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Hours are subject to change, so call the SPY-line. (202) 393-7798 (202-EYE-SPY-U) for updated times. Located at 800 F Street, NW Washington, D.C., www.spymuseum.org.