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Mid-Atlantic Dental Meeting: Explore Washington, D.C.

The Mid-Atlantic Dental Meeting arrives in Washington D.C. on May 5 and concludes on May 6. For doctors who are attending, Spring is an ideal time to visit the District. Temperatures tend to be tamer, and flowers and trees will be in full bloom. While you’re in town, here’s where you’ll want to spend your time, including bars, restaurants and museums.
Candyce H. Stapen
PUBLISHED: Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Mid-Atlantic Dental Meeting arrives in Washington, D.C. this week, running from May 5-6.

A planned city, Washington, D.C., was built to embody the new country’s aspirations. The broad boulevards and wide circles, laid out when horse trails marked the town, show the breadth of the Founding Fathers’ dreams. The District unfolds as a graceful mix of monuments, memorials, museums and neighborhoods. There’s always more to see, whether you visited last year or toured with your high school buddies decades ago.
 
If the Mid-Atlantic Dental Meeting brings you to town from May 5-6, you’re in luck. Spring is the best time to explore. The mild weather makes walking a joy and the profusion of tulips, dogwood and azaleas sweeten the scenery.
 
MUSEUMS, MONUMENTS AND OFFICE BUILDINGS
 
Washington, D.C., is a feast for the eyes. No other city has the White House, the Capitol, and the National Archives, where the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are on view. The scores of monuments and memorials pay official homage to our country’s heroes, and the Smithsonian Museums (https://www.si.edu/museums) offer free access to U.S. treasures.
 
The newest Smithsonian museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which debuted last September, presents the African American experience in the United States. The multi-layered story starts with slavery, winds though segregation and protest, and culminates with black triumphs in sports, stage, movies and other arts. Because of the museum’s popularity, visitors must obtain free timed-entry tickets. Check the Smithsonian website.
 
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Find out about bugs, bones, blue whales and much more at the National Museum of Natural History, home to the 45.5-carat Hope diamond. At the Hall of Human Origins, you can merge your face with that of a pre-human, and visit the Insect Zoo for the tarantula feeding. The National Museum of American History houses such favorite and eclectic finds as the flag that flew over Fort McHenry (the original Star-Spangled Banner), First Ladies’ gowns, Thomas Jefferson’s lap desk, and Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”  
 
At the National Air and Space Museum, peruse the history of aviation from the dreams of the Wright brothers to space flight. A swirl of curves, the 250,000-square-foot National Museum of the American Indian, constructed of yellowish Kasota limestone, glows softly like an adobe-built kiva at sunset. The facility presents artifacts and cultural information about native nations hailing  from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego.
 
Three non-Smithsonian facilities well worth touring are the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which tells the somber story of the millions of Jews and other victims of Nazi brutality in World War II; the International Spy Museum, which delivers the low-down on espionage; and the Newseum, whose scores of theaters, galleries and interactive stations demonstrate how free speech, supported by news-gathering and distribution, is essential to democracies.
 
 
Take advantage of spring’s warm weather to walk or bike the National Mall and adjacent areas, pausing at the Lincoln, Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Vietnam War, Korean War, and World War II memorials, as well as the Washington Monument. To tour the U.S. Capitol or the White House, obtain tickets well in advance by contacting your senator or representative. The Capitol Visitor Center distributes a limited number of same-day tickets. Even without passes, allow time to explore the exhibits at both the Capitol and the White House visitor centers.
 
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