It’s easy to get hooked on visiting our Nation’s Capital. Visit Washington, DC in March and stumble upon the lovely pink cherry trees blossoming along the Tidal Basin. Or perhaps you’ll unexpectedly catch a kite festival at the Washington Monument or an international food festival.

Seeing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will tug at your heart. It is a ritual to be observed with solemn heart and closed mouth. If you can, listen to one of the guards explain the too-grueling-for-me work they have to do to become a guard. Arlington as a whole, can easily wipe out my emotions. The mathematically precise layout and the vast loss of life represented can overwhelm. 

The Smithsonian Museums are free—free! Who can resist a free museum? Not I!

Smithsonian Castle in Washington DC

Start your Washington, DC tour at the Smithsonian Castle

Pittsburgh’s Senator John Heinz History Center

Shortly after I came to Pittsburgh in 1999, I attended an event at the Heinz. How easily the vast space and its many offerings hooked me!  When I continued to live in Pittsburgh, I became a member and have renewed every year since. Not only is the museum expansive, they produce a well-done quarterly magazine about Western Pennsylvania.

Why am I mentioning the Heinz?

Because much to my delight, the Heinz is an affiliate with the Smithsonian Institution. Being an affiliate means Smithsonian exhibits tour here, I receive the Smithsonian Magazine*, and get discounts at Smithsonian stores. What a win!

Check this link to see if your state has a affiliate museum. Maybe this is just the enticement you need to join the Museum of the Rockies or the Buffalo Bill Center! 

*This magazine is one of the best I’ve ever read. It includes historical and current stories pertinent to every day life.