Cheap travel: 12 things to do in Washington DC for $10 or less

Cheap travel: 12 things to do in Washington DC for $10 or less
2016-06-10 17:14:15 UTC
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There are two types of tourists: the ones who love the idea of traveling with other tourists (and chatting about their hometowns) and the ones who try to stay as far away from other tourists as possible to enjoy seeing a new place. Regardless of which group you're in, both groups are more than likely looking for affordable deals. Here are a few.

Travel all over Pennsylvania Avenue for as low as $1.75

Do yourself a favor and get ahold of Metro SmarTrip Card to save money, avoid overpriced tour bus rides and cabs, and see Washington DC at its best. If you're from a city that has a regular subway system, their system should be intuitive. It may be initially confusing for some tourists to see all of the routes underground appearing to crisscross each other, but the staff is used to tourists and is willing to help.

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While the White House is the most obvious hot spot for tourists (and some locals), the 21-day to six-month wait time can really hinder other plans. After contacting a member of Congress to get an invite, notification about whether the invite is approved could be as late as a week before the trip and cancellations are common. For that reason alone, don't hold your breath for this one. 

Free White House visit: Yay or nay?

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But there is another free perk connected to a visit to the White House. Pennsylvania Avenue visitors can stroll around the outer perimeter (behind the gate) for free, checking out the location, snapping photographs and enjoying the surrounding park area. 

White House Visitor Center: Get a free history lesson

While the Visitor Center doesn't quite have the same pizzazz as the real thing, it's one of the best places to get souvenirs, check out the history of the White House from 1801 and on, and watch a presentation from the sitting president. 

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Get a free African-American history lesson

There was plenty of media coverage about the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial that opened in 2011, and the towering monument is worth all the hype. So are the MLK quotes guiding visitors to the main attraction.

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But after getting the camera angle just right to see both MLK's head and your own body, there's not much else to do. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library has far activity going on. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library: Art, literature, history all in one for free

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History enthusiasts, art lovers and bookworms will feel like kids in a toy store. Of course there's nothing wrong with the card catalog, but doesn't it sound much cooler to hear "You can find that book on the Langston Hughes shelf?" Obviously it's not a good idea to try to check out any of the books inside if you're not local, but there are so many fascinating handouts by the art that you'll still leave with memorable freebies. 

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Memorial alert: Honest Abe, Thomas Jefferson, Roosevelts and more for free

There's probably no other sitting statue more exciting to see than former President Abraham Lincoln. 

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But he's not the only other exciting memorial to see. A few other memorials that are free to browse around in include these: 

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

For Pinterest lovers who can't get enough of a few good quotes, the next two memorials are the places to be. 
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

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Patriotic pride: Vietnam Veterans Memorial

For obvious reasons, DC is the place to be to learn more about America's history. There are countless statues and memorials that aren't linked to politicians, which are just as important. Here are a few statues to be on the lookout for. 

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National World War II Memorial: Rep your state

It's only natural to take a photograph next to your state once you get to this beautiful fountain area.

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(Recommended Reading: "Maui Hawaii makes vegan, vegetarian cuisine easy to come by")
(Recommended Reading: "Cheap travel: 10 things to do in Maui Hawaii for $5 or less

Where's the grub? Nearby affordable restaurants

At some point while traveling around to these places, you're going to get hungry. Finding a restaurant with a happy medium between vegan and vegetarian travelers and omnivores is quickly solved at places like Chop'T. They have quite a few locations, but one of the most convenient ones is a couple of blocks from the Metro Station at 618 12th Street NW


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If you're looking for a restaurant with more guilty pleasures, Yeungfong Chinese Restaurant is yet another restaurant that'll please both omnivores and vegans and vegetarians. 

Yeungfong Chinese Restaurant

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Yeungfong does a great job of getting hotel deliveries to guests on time, hot and delicious. Make sure to check out those restaurant brochures on your lobby floor, nightstand and smartphone apps for more.