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Smithsonian National Zoo / Woodley Park Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008


The National Zoological Park is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. The Smithsonian consists of 16 museums and galleries, as well as the National Zoo. The simple words ‘National Zoo’ represent a large, complex, and diverse organization with a multi-faceted mission: To celebrate, study, and protect wild animals and their habitats. The National Zoo is far more than a place where people can see wild animals. It is a 163-acre zoological park set amid Rock Creek National Park in the heart of Washington DC. Open to the public 364 days a year, it is home to more than 2,700 individual animals of 435 different species. The best known residents are the giant pandas, Tian Tian and Mei Xiang. About 2,774 animals and 419 different species currently comprise the animal collection at the National Zoo. About one-fifth of the species are endangered or threatened. Most of the species are on exhibit at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

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Because the city was built from scratch, Washington's regular town plan is easy to grasp. Centered on Capitol Hill and its governmental monoliths, the District is divided into four quadrants - northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest. Dozens of broad avenues , all named after states, run diagonally across a standard grid of streets , meeting up at monumental traffic circles like Dupont Circle. North-south streets are numbered, east-west ones are lettered. There's no J Street, an intentional slight to early Supreme Court Justice John Jay, or X, Y or Z Street. I Street is often written Eye Street. Be sure to note the relevant two-letter code in any address (NW, NE, SW, SE), which shows its quadrant; 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW is a long way from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave SE.

Once in the city, stop at the DC Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center , Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW (Mon-Sat 8am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm; tel 202/328-4748), which can help with maps, tours, bookings and citywide information. Look for visitor information desks at the airports and Union Station. The White House Visitor Information Center , 1450 Pennsylvania Ave NW (daily 7.30am-4pm; tel 202/208-1631), supplies free maps and handy guides to museums and attractions; the most useful is the free Washington DC Visitors Guide .

top 5 washington dc tours
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Popular Attractions
US Capitol Building
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Smithsonian Air-Space Museum
Lincoln Memorial
National Mall
Arlington National Cemetery
Mount Vernon Estate
Washington Monument

Featured Hotels
L'enfant Plaza Hotel
   Walk (.4 mi) to Smithsonian
 • Sofitel Lafayette Sq.
   Bold interiors/unstuffy appeal,
   close to White House
 • The Churchill Hotel
   Historic character, 3 blocks to
   DuPont Circle

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Must See Washington DC 2017
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