Top 7 Coolest Historic Sites to Visit in D.C.
Published on 8/1/21
The Nation's Capital is less than 70 square miles, but the small area squashed between Maryland and Virginia that makes up Washington, D.C., is home to hundreds of fascinating museums, galleries, monuments and historical sites. Getting high and visiting some of the varied and unique sights that the city has to offer is always a good time. Let's take a look at some of the best spots in D.C. to visit when complemented by marijuana.
Washington D.C. Cannabis Laws
Before hitting the town, it is helpful to investigate the state of cannabis legality in the District. D.C. marijuana laws are incredibly ambiguous. The city legalized medical cannabis in 2010 and personal recreational use was approved via Initiative 71 in 2015. That ballot did nothing to address legal sales and distribution, though. The U.S. Congress is in control of how D.C. can use its budget and since 2015 has sought to enforce reactionary legislation determining how people in the city live. The Harris Rider, an addendum annually tacked on to legislation by Maryland Representative Andy Harris, prevents D.C. from using any funds to create and operate a recreational cannabis market.
The result is that Washington now has a cannabis gifting economy. There are no recreational dispensaries in D.C. Sales of weed are done with products like t-shirts and stickers that have inflated prices to cover the cannabis that is "gifted" with the purchase. This absurd situation only increases the possibility of scams that can lead to the type of violence and uncertainty that legal markets are designed to eliminate. It also prevents the city from collecting taxes that could be used in a variety of beneficial initiatives. As it stands, D.C. residents can legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to three mature plants in their homes. If you are wondering how to find weed in D.C., a quick online search will give your plenty of delivery or in-person smoke shop options.
When will recreational dispensaries open in D.C.? Hopefully soon. For a complete breakdown on the D.C. weed scene, check out our article about the increasing possibility for full legalization.
Washington D.C. Attractions
Thanks to the Founding Fathers, there is a wealth of options when it comes to free things to do in D.C. Most of the famous attractions sit within the umbrella of the Smithsonian Institutes and are always open to the public and always free.
The site of defining events like the March on Washington and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech, "this imposing monument built to honor our 16th president is an excellent place to begin a day of weed-fueled sightseeing and think about the things to do in D.C. today that will make the most of your time. The massive columns and enormous statue of Lincoln seated looking impassively to the east over the Reflecting Pool toward the Washington Monument will impress even the most cynical tourist. Views from the back of the marble-floored building stretch across the Memorial Bridge to Arlington Cemetery. Beginning in 2022, visitors will once again be allowed to tour the undercroft of the memorial that is filled with psychedelic stalactites and stalagmites. Admission: Free.
Planes hanging from the ceiling, pods from Apollo missions that returned from space, and freeze-dried ice cream for those munchies draw hundreds to the Air and Space Museum daily. Be sure not to miss the iconic IMAX film "To Fly." While not the first IMAX ever made, it is a shining example of timeless art that has been screened daily since the museum opened on July 1, 1976, and conveys the thrill of flight in shockingly realistic terms. Located on the south side of the National Mall. Admission: Free with ticket fee required for IMAX films and special exhibits.
Even if you are not attending a performance or concert in this gorgeous space, a stroll through its vaulted ceilings and luxuriously carpeted red halls is a must. Perched above the Potomac River just south of Georgetown, the Kennedy Center is home to the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, and hosts the annual Mark Twain Awards and Kennedy Center Honors. After enjoying the vast interior space, head out back for a view over the river and the adjacent Theodore Roosevelt Island. Admission: Free entry to halls and public areas.
The Hirshhorn is a contemporary art lover's dream. The building was designed as an open cylinder elevated on four huge "legs," and its airy, circular space is filled with modern exhibitions with a focus on American artists working in mediums from music to film to oil-based paintings. The accompanying sculpture garden is a joy to explore with its quirky and provocative creations. Located on the south side of the National Mall. Admission: Free.
You are already enjoying the flowers of one plant so why not check out some others? The Garden is next to the U.S. Capitol and was established by Congress way back in 1820. It's not very big, but the over 60,000 plants of all shapes and sizes that it holds are entrancing. The Garden is also a quiet, mellow zone that can provide a welcome break from the crows on the Mall. In winter, the tropical areas are great spots to avoid the outdoor chill while getting lost in an urban rain forest. Admission: Free.
Housed in an ornate Greek Revival-style building near Chinatown with vaulted ceilings and swaths of natural light, the National Portrait Gallery is full of portraits and videos that focus on the American story. These are the people who shaped the country's history and culture, whether they were activists, unknowns, athletes, or antiheroes. The gallery is also home to America's Presidents - the nation's only complete official collection of presidential portraits outside the White House. Located at 8th and F streets N.W. Admission: Free.
Getting high and going to the library? Yes. This is the country's library, and it is a gorgeous building with dark wooden reading rooms and access to some of the greatest works the U.S. has produced like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address. The main reading room is a domed masterpiece that features eight giant marble columns topped by 10-foot-high female figures representing features of civilized life and thought: Religion, Commerce, History, Art, Philosophy, Poetry, Law and Science. In addition to rare books, the photographs, audio recordings, cultural relics like baseball cards, vintage movie posters, and early jazz recordings are fascinating to explore.
Have you recently enjoyed cannabis in D.C.? What sites did you especially enjoy? Let us know in the comments section!