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A Walk through Penn Quarter and Chinatown

Lincoln assassination history, three great museums and a cultural escape
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.4 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  North of the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue is Penn Quarter, a neighborhood with several of Washington D.C.'s favorite museums ... more »

Tips:  Getting there: If taking the Metro, the Gallery Place-Chinatown stop will drop you off right in the center of this track.

Pick two... more »

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Points of Interest

Used for stage shows beginning in the 1860s, Ford's Theatre is well known as the site of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1875. After being fatally wounded, Lincoln was carried across the street to the Petersen House where he died the next morning.

After being used as a warehouse and office building, the theater was renovated in ... More

This rowhouse across the street from Ford's Theatre is the actual site of President Abraham Lincoln's death. The government bought the house in 1896 for $30,000, and it has been a historical museum run by the National Park Service since 1933. Take a look inside and you'll see that the home has been made to look the way it was when Lincoln died ... More

Art and history lovers should stop by the National Portrait Gallery, a museum dedicated to portraying famous individual Americans through portraiture. This gallery is one of the city's gems when it comes to Smithsonian Museums that aren't located along the National Mall. The galleries reside in the Old Patent Office Building, the third oldest... More

Get ready to enter a world of international espionage at the International Spy Museum, one of the most fun places to visit in Washington, D.C. Directly across from the National Portrait Gallery, this privately owned museum begins by giving visitors five minutes to memorize details of one of 16 spy profiles they are to assume as their "cover." Each... More

Another favorite, the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, draws anyone interested in criminology. More than 100 interactive exhibits are inside, including a crime lab, a simulated FBI shooting range and a full-scale model police station. There are also plenty of famous relics from famous crimes, including the Volkswagen Bug that belonged to... More

6. Friendship Arch

After you stop by the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, walk two blocks north and look to your right. The Friendship Arch that spans H Street is the most visible landmark of Chinatown. Built in 1986, the arch is decked out in the classical art of the Ming and Qing dynasties in glittering gold and red.

Look closely and you will see four ... More

Steps from the Friendship Arch, the large and imposing Tony Cheng Restaurant is the perfect place to grab a quick lunch in Chinatown. Voted one of the best bargains in the city by Washingtonian, expect the restaurant to be packed with customers around noon (but with a fast turnover, you won't have to wait long if a table is unavailable).

Create ... More

8. Mary E. Surratt House

Once Mary E. Surratt's eight-room boarding house, this building is where John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators met to plan Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Later, Mary E. Surratt was convicted of taking part in the conspiracy and became the first woman executed by the U.S. federal government. Wok & Roll, the restaurant that now occupies the... More