Souvenir Shopping Part 1, Washington D.C. (Self Guided)

It would be a pity to leave Washington DC without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Washington D.C., that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
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Souvenir Shopping Part 1 Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping Part 1
Guide Location: USA » Washington D.C. (See other walking tours in Washington D.C.)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Author: Daniel
Capitol Hill Flea Market

1) Capitol Hill Flea Market

Established in 1983, Capitol Hill Flea Market is one of the most diverse markets in the nation which is voted as the second best market in the world. Located between 7th & C Street SE in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Washington DC, this flea market always offers a wide-ranging stock of antiques, collectables and vintage items. Over here, you can find various items from around the world such as ceramic sculptures, rugs, jewelry, painting, prints, frames, eclectic furnishings, vintage clothing, silverware and many more. Held every Sunday, this flea market gathers over 100 exhibitors who offer the visitors a wide range of international items.

Operation Hours Sunday: 9 am - 5 pm
The Supreme Court Gift Shop

2) The Supreme Court Gift Shop

What to buy here: Supreme Court Cufflinks.

Classic cufflinks with the seal of the United States Supreme Court will not only adorn your cuffs, but be a conversation starter as well. The cufflinks are gold-plated with navy blue background behind the seal, also in gold. The seal was established in 1782 after six years of design consultation. It features an eagle, the national bird, carrying a shield. The eagle is holding a banner in his mouth bearing the words, “E Pluribus Unum,” the motto of the United States. Above the eagle’s head is a grouping of 13 stars representing the 13 colonies which became states upon independence. At the eagle’s tail is one star representing the “One Supreme Court.”

Price for the cufflinks is $65.

The Supreme Court Gift Shop, One First Street, NE, Washington DC 20543; 202-554-8300. Hours 9 am to 4:25 pm Monday to Friday except Federal holidays.
National Building Museum Shop

3) National Building Museum Shop

What to buy here: LEGO White House Building Set.

Build your own model of this classic building, the home of every U.S. president since John Adams. This LEGO set comes with 560 pieces and a booklet on the history and fun facts of this iconic home. The White House is open to the public for tours arranged through your Congressperson or, for foreign nationals, through the Embassy of your country. Reservations must be made in advance. But it’s an amazing sight just from the open ellipse off Constitution Avenue or from Pennsylvania Avenue which is the front of the house. The LEGO set is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Price for the set is $55.

National Building Museum Shop, 401 F Street NW, Washington DC 20001; 202-272-7706. Hours 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm Sunday.
National Gallery of Art Shop

4) National Gallery of Art Shop

What to buy here: Jigsaw Puzzles from the National Gallery of Art.

Enjoy some the beautiful paintings from the permanent collection at the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art anytime with fun jigsaw puzzles. The works of Mary Cassatt, Andy Warhol, Frank Lloyd Wright, among others, are available as 1,000 piece puzzles. Learn more about each of these renowned artists as you reassemble the colorful paintings. Puzzles are appropriate for ages 6 and up, and are a fun family project.

Prices for puzzles range from $14.95 to $19.95.

National Gallery of Art Shop, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20565; 202-737-4215. Hours 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm Sunday except Christmas Day and New Years Day.
Museum of Natural History Giftshop

5) Museum of Natural History Giftshop

What to buy here: Hope Diamond Replica Necklace.

Certainly the most famous gem in the world, the Hope Diamond is on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The diamond is believed to have it origins in India where it was discovered by a Frenchman who brought it back to France. The legend says that it was stolen from an idol and whoever owns it will be cursed. Whether that is true or not, the gem has passed through the hands of people who have certainly fallen on hard times. Sold first to Louis XIV of France, it passed down to Louis XVI and was lost after a raid on the Royal jewels after the execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution. Although what happened afterwards is uncertain, the diamond eventually ended up in the hands of a British banker by the name of Thomas Hope. It was kept in that family for three generations until his great-grand nephew was forced to sell because of his gambling debts. The diamond arrived in New York in 1902 and was eventually purchased by flamboyant Washington DC socialite, Evalyn Walsh McLean, who wore it often. She suffered misfortunes while owning the gem including the death of two of her children, her alcoholic husband running off, and financial problems. Upon her death, it was sold to Harry Winston, Inc., who then donated the diamond to the Smithsonian Institution. While not the real thing, of course, the gift shop at the museum sells a beautiful replica that can be worn as a pin or a pendant. The dazzling blue stone is glass and the white stones surrounding it are cubic zirconia. Curse not included.

Price for the pendant is $110.00.

Museum of Natural History, 1000 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20560; 202-633-1000. Hours 10 am to 5:30 pm daily except Christmas Day.
Political Americana

6) Political Americana

This store sells political memorabilia and presidential items of various sort, including tie pins, cuff links, seals and scarves. If you do a bit of a search, you can find some documents signed by illustrious statesmen, historic photographs and old videos of significant moments in American history. This store aims at providing customers with finest items at affordable prices.
Hours: Mon-Sat: 9am-8pm, Sun: 10am-6pm
White House Visitor Center

7) White House Visitor Center

NOTE: Temporarily closed, a temporary visitor center is located near the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, just west of the intersection of 15th and E streets, NW.

What to buy here: White House Christmas Ornament.

In 1981, the first official White House ornament was sold and since then they have become a popular collector’s item. A new design is offered each year. Some honor past presidents including Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson; some depict famous scenes such as Washington crossing the Delaware; and others highlight historical buildings like the Capitol. An additional ornament was created in 2006 to commemorate the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Many past ornaments are available. Prices start at $16.00 and up depending on availability. The 2011 ornament featured President Theodore Roosevelt and the 2012 ornament will honor President William Howard Taft. Ornaments are also available for charitable groups for fundraising. They are available at the White House Visitor Center and at many gift shops throughout the city and suburbs.

White House Visitor Center, 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC, 20038; 202-737-8292. Hours 7:30 am to 4 pm daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days.

Walking Tours in Washington D.C., USA

Create Your Own Walk in Washington D.C.

Create Your Own Walk in Washington D.C.

Creating your own self-guided walk in Washington D.C. is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Art Galleries and Museums Tour

Art Galleries and Museums Tour

Looking for inspiring and notable art venues? Washington D.C. is well-appreciated for the wide range of art museums and galleries that it offers. Take this self-guided tour and discover the treasures hidden by these art institutions.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
Georgetown Walking Tour

Georgetown Walking Tour

Georgetown is an area located in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., along the Potomac River waterfront. Despite its proximity to downtown Washington, this former port has preserved its own distinct character. Many of the buildings along the tree-lined streets are over 200 years old. Take this walking tour to reveal all the secrets of Georgetown.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

Washington D.C, capital of the United States, is a cocktail of politics, cosmopolitan energy and multiculturalism manifested in a thriving and diverse dining, nightlife and shopping setting. The city is renowned for its historic neighborhoods, world-class museums, memorials, beautiful gardens and arts venues. Take this self-guided walk and discover the city which defines some of the greatest...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km
Nightclubs Tour

Nightclubs Tour

Washington D.C. offers a great nightlife. You can dance all night long in any of the clubs from its liveliest neighborhoods, playing rock, hip hop, punk, jazz, country, gospel or alternative music. Make sure not to miss such an exciting opportunity by checking out the tour below with the suggested music and dance clubs.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 km
Federal Buildings Walking Tour

Federal Buildings Walking Tour

Washington D.C. is a federal district and serves as the permanent national capital. It is is filled with important and memorable places to visit. Most of the nation's monuments and federal buildings can be found in the downtown of the city. The following walking tour will guide you to the most significant federal buildings in Washington D.C.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.3 km
Gardens and Parks Walking Tour

Gardens and Parks Walking Tour

If you are looking for getaway spots from the hustle and bustle of politics and city life, this walking tour in Washington D.C. offers plenty of opportunities for that. There are many large parks and gorgeous gardens where you can admire beautiful flowers, landscape and even learn various historical facts.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

10 Chocolate Destinations in Washington D.C.

10 Chocolate Destinations in Washington D.C.

Let’s be honest, you hear the words "Washington, D.C." and you think politics, history, museums, etc. You can’t take five steps in the city without being surrounded by history. As important as all that culture is, it’s also a bit overwhelming. Make it fun by exploring Washington,...
10 Unusual Things to Do in Washington DC

10 Unusual Things to Do in Washington DC

You might be inclined to think that the capital of the United States consists solely of museums and monuments, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As a local, I’ve found that there are so many more things to do in this city than just the main tourist highlights. Read on to learn 10 of...
Traveler's Guide to Washington DC: 16 Souvenirs to Bring Home

Traveler's Guide to Washington DC: 16 Souvenirs to Bring Home

The capital of the United States is an attraction in its own right and many things that have originated here or in the nearby areas are of great cultural and historic significance. To decide which of them can make for an ideal souvenir for you to bring home, check out the proposed list of local...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Washington D.C. for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Washington D.C. has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Washington DC's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as Washington DC Explorer Pass, Go Washington DC, or Washington DC Sightseeing Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Washington DC's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving your precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Washington DC hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Club Quarters Hotel in Washington DC, The St. Regis Washington, D.C., The Hay - Adams.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Washington D.C., it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Washington DC typically costs somewhere between US$30 and US$90 per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off trolley to enjoy sightseeing of Washington DC in comfort listening in the headsets to the prerecorded narration in a variety of foreign languages or a live on-board commentary (English only) from a local guide, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route as often as you like. The tickets are valid for one day (Silver or Gold Pass) or two days (Platinum Pass).

- Pedal your way around Washington DC on a 3-hour educational and fun bike tour to appreciate the city's most spectacular sights while stopping at some of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning interesting facts about the attractions en route from a knowledgeable group leader.

- If you want to pay tribute to the late members of the Kennedy clan including, primarily, President JFK himself, or the unknown soldiers fallen in the wars fought by the United States throughout centuries, you would definitely be interested in taking a 2-hour guided walk around Arlington National Cemetery and get insight into some of the chapters of the American history along the way.

- Embark on a culinary quest in one of DC’s iconic neighborhoods to see what makes U Street so delicious, satisfying both your stomach and cultural appetites alike on the tour set to explore great eats, architectural trends and the history of the neighborhood over the past century.

- Discover the historic side of Washington, DC in a different light on the Monuments By Night tour. See the National Mall, White House, Capitol Hill and other landmarks ablaze with nighttime illumination after the daytime sun yields way to the moonlit magic!

- Cap off your Washington DC experience with a sumptuous 3-hour dining adventure aboard a cruise ship sailing along the Potomac River offering postcard-worthy views of the nation's greatest monuments to complement the freshly-cooked 3-course dinner.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Washington DC, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Mount Vernon, Gettysburg PA, or Charlottesville VA. For as little as circa US$55 to US$150 per person you will get a chance to visit George Washington’s plantation estate in Fairfax, Virginia, set foot on the site of the largest battle ever fought on the American soil to this date and where President Lincoln delivered his historic Gettysburg Address, enjoy the picturesque views of the Maryland and Pennsylvania countryside, explore Monticello - the home of President Thomas Jefferson, learn about his professional accomplishments and personal life, as well as see the University of Virginia founded and designed by Jefferson himself, and so much more. For any of these tours you will be picked up from a designated place in Washington DC and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.