- Type: Landmarks
NileGuide Expert Says:
While exploring the Capitol grounds, seek out the Summer House. This small open-air brick structure sits nearly hidden in the northeast corner of the grounds and provides a secret retreat from summer heat or windy winter days. Enter through an archway and enjoy one of the twenty-two brick chairs that surround its fountain.
- The United States Capitol is breathtaking inside and out. The Capitol grounds bustle throughout the day with visitors, staff and professionals on official business. Large shade trees attract joggers and walkers to the wide footpaths through the landscaped 274-acre grounds. Officially opened on December 2nd, 2008, the new Capitol Visitor Center is a destination in itself. The Center's entrance is located at First Street and East Capitol Street NE. To maintain an unobstructed view of the Capitol, the entire 580,000-square-foot Visitor Center resides underground. Immense skylights flood the Visitor Center galleries with light and give breathtaking views of the Capitol Dome from inside. Tours of the Capitol building are free but require reservations. Several options are available for booking tours, accessible through the Capitol Visitor Center website. You can book a staff-led tour through your Representative or Senator, arrange a tour directly through Capitol Visitor Services or try for a same-day pass through the Visitor Center information desk (limited number available). Note that no large backpacks, daypacks or luggage are allowed. Anything larger than 14" wide x 13" high x 4" deep is prohibited. All bags are subject to search and security screening. See website for complete list of prohibited items (examples: aerosol containers, pointy objects, food, beverages and weapons). The three closest Metro stations are Federal Center SW and Capitol South (both orange/blue lines) and Union Station (red line).
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