Comfort Inn Downtown DC/Convention Center
1201 13th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 682-5300
Fax: (202) 408-0830
Arts & Museums
Mary McLeod Bethune, a noted teacher and political leader, lived in this house from 1943 until her death in 1955. She served as director of the Division of Negro Affairs under Franklin Roosevelt and was an advisor to three other U.S. presidents. The house was the original headquarters for the National Council of Negro Women. Founded by Bethune, the group sought to promote women in society and eliminate all forms of discrimination. Today, the home is a museum dedicated to Bethune and all American black women. A large collection of writings, artwork, photographs and memorabilia are on display. Donations accepted.
The history of the female artist is a sub-theme in the National Museum of Women in the Arts, which houses the works of women artists from the 16th Century to the present. The comfortable mid-range scale of the museum is ideal for leisurely viewing of the permanent and visiting exhibitions. Painting and sculpture are nicely balanced with the decorative arts and photography.
Joyce Muis Lowery, the director, leads this gallery and studio in its mission to celebrate the work of disabled students in a vocational arts program. A charming glass replica of the Washington Monument sits in front of the building. Inside, view a wonderful variety of art from beginning children, apprentices and full-fledged artists. Worth noting is the Christmas inventory sale (30 percent off), which is an annual highlight.
Open all year round, the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum has wax models of famous personalities from a number of different fields. The life-like statues give visitors a feel of being in company of their favourite movie stars, musicians, politicians and other well-known figures. Special events can also be planned with the museum.
Step in the world of spies at the Spydrive in the Washington Spy Museum. This is a 'classroom on wheels' that takes you into the dark side of this beautiful capital. It is said that there are more spies in Washington DC than anywhere else in the world. You will see the places where spies lived and operated, the devices they used and how these agents were caught. This two and half hour classroom will hold you spellbound in these chessboard stories of espionage where loyalty, courage and duty for one's nation clash with betrayal and backstabbing.
Any fan of American art should stop by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The George Catlin collection is especially extensive, but fine artists like James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Willem de Kooning and Jasper Johns are also well represented. The museum is surprisingly eclectic. You will find a wide array of crafts from Native Americans and other ethnic minorities. Contemporary creations are especially intriguing. Do not miss the giraffe made of bottle tops or the Hampton Throne. Created in the garage of a local maverick, this foil-and-copper display includes a variety of household items and numerous religious symbols.
Famous and distinguished Americans are honored at the National Portrait Gallery in portraits, photographs and other visual media. A wide variety of politicians, artists, scientists and social activists are represented. This gallery is a remarkable testimony to the diverse figures the United States has produced, from Grace Kelly and Boris Karloff to George Washington, Mickey Mantle and Gertrude Stein. Photographs, prints, drawings and sculptures supplement the paintings. Of particular interest is the Hall of Presidents, which features a portrait or sculpture of each chief executive.
The famous assassination of President Abraham Lincoln here on April 14, 1865 has placed this theater firmly in history. Opened just four years before that fateful night, the theater has now been restored to its 1865 appearance and is again a showcase for plays. The basement-level Lincoln Museum displays artifacts from the assassination, including the gun John Wilkes Booth used to kill Lincoln. Mementos from Lincoln's life are also on display. Across the street is Petersen House, the place where Lincoln died.
The International Spy Museum provides a unique glimpse into the innovative world of espionage and its impact throughout history and present day. The state of the art exhibits include artifacts and spy stories from all over the world. Check the website for more information and upcoming events.
Walk through three floors and explore history of crime- fighting and punishment to cutting-edge interactive labs and simulators. Experience hands-on exhibits and check out medieval guillotines, learn about past notorious criminals such as Bonnie and Clyde and Al Capone, and make an escape from a jail cell. Visitors can experience up-close the newest technologies today for fighting crime and catching the bad guys. Try the FBI Shoot Out and the high-speed police chase simulators, or visit the full CSI Lab and conduct forensic investigations. The museum also houses the actual America's Most Wanted Studio where visitors can learn more about community involvement in fighting crime. The museum offers a variety of educational and interactive activities for people of all ages. It's so much fun, it's a crime! - Shirley Hsieh
Your love for crime stories and hunger for knowing more about them will find peace at the Crime Museum. This a privately owned museum having 6 galleries informing the visitors about the crime investigation. Spanned over three floors, this museum informs you about technology and procedure used for crime solving. Having hundreds of interactive displays, you learn about the forensic sciences used during crime investigations like blood analysis, fingerprinting, dental and facial reconstructions and much more. Visit their website for more information and bookings.
Founded in April 2004 by Daniel Koshland in honor of his wife Marian who was a renowned molecular biologist and immunologist, the Marian Koshland Science Museum is one of the most visited museums in Washington D.C. The mission is to get the general public more involved and aware about the crucial role science plays in daily life. Check website for more on permanent and temporary exhibits. A learning experience is guaranteed.