washington museums tourist scavenger hunt

Washington Museums 3hr self-guided walking tour scavenger hunt

Are you looking for things to do in Washington DC? Our tourist scavenger hunt will take you to most of the Washington museums around the National Mall. These include from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as well as the Smithsonian Castle. Further, you will also seethe Capitol and many other sights!

You will have to solve challenges at every step to discover your next destination. At each stop, you will learn some history as well as interesting facts.

Washington is the capital of the United States and is located along the Potomac River in the District of Columbia, surrounded by the state of Maryland.

This activity is adapted for social distancing. Do it in a small group (up to 6). The guide is our mobile website, on your smartphone. Go at your own pace, no time limit. No need to touch anything or enter any building.

Peace Monument

You’ll see

  • National Mall
  • Smithsonian Institution Building
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • The Capitol
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
  • Ulysses S. Grant Memorial
  • National Museum of American History
  • And much more!

We visited Washington on a few occasions since 2010, including this scavenger hunt in 2019.


  • Starting point: in front of the  Federal Train Station metro, at 302a 12th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA, entre Pennsylvania Ave NW and Constitution Ave NW.
  • Distance: 4 km / 2.5 mi
  • Difficulty: normal
  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Method: on foot
  • Required:
    • A fully-charged smartphone with a data plan (WiFi is not enough)
  • Suggested:
    • Bottled water
    • A local road or tourist map
National Mall

Ancient History

Various Algonquin tribes inhabited the Potomac Valley when the Europeans first arrived.

The Residence Act of 1790 created the Capital District along the Potomac River. The states of Maryland and Virginia donated lands, including the village of Georgetown, as well as Alexandria. Consequently, theses created the District of Columbia. Indeed, this district is under federal jurisdiction exclusively. The city of Washington was then founded in 1791.

Several important buildings were burned down during the War of 1812.

Finally, in 1846, the District of Columbia returned the city of Alexandria to Virginia.

The Civil War of 1861 provoked a major expansion of federal organizations and therefore the population increased, especially with freed slaves from the south. The population in 1870 was 132,000.

Recent History

The Second World War (1939-45) also contributed to an increase in the size of the city, which in 1950 was over 800,000.

Washington eventually became the rallying point for public protests for civil rights, anti-war movements, and other popular causes.

As of 2018, Washington’s population is just over 700,000.

Mary Linvingston Ripley Garden
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