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The Smithsonian Carousel is centrally located on The National Mall near Smithsonian Castle. The original carousel was built in the year 1947 by the Allan Herschell Company which was later replaced in 1981 with a carousel from Baltimore's Gwynn Oak Amusement Park. This is a big draw for kids with 8 horses and 2 chariots. It is the only one of its kind in the city that is still operational.
The National Archives is a bombproof, fireproof facility that protects the nation's most treasured documents. The methods used for storing the documents safely are nearly as interesting as the documents themselves. Sealed glass vaults are raised into the exhibition areas for viewing each day but sink back into safety each night. Here, you will find the most significant of our national documents--the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Among the other documents and artifacts housed here are copies of the Magna Carta and the Emancipation Proclamation, and the rifle used to assassinate John F. Kennedy.
The U.S. Navy Memorial features scenes of Navy valor sculpted on bronze panels. The panels circle a map of the world carved into the sidewalk. Fountains outside the sculpture panels encircle the entire memorial. The nearby museum features a 35-minute film, 'At Sea', and a ship store where military souvenirs are sold. Be sure to browse the names in the log book. The register contains names and pictures of former maritime servicemen and women.
The nation's law enforcement officers—federal, state and local, who died in the line of duty are remembered with this memorial in Judiciary Square. Dedicated in 1991, the memorial's blue-gray marble walls contain the names of more than 14,000 officers, the first death dating back to 1794. Designed by local architect Davis Buckley, the memorial sits on three acres of federal park land. Information and tours are available at the adjacent visitor's center, which includes a gift shop.
The Pavilion at the Old Post Office was built in 1899 and served as the main post office for the country. Saved from demolition, it was renovated and reopened in 1983. Today, it provides a little of everything, office space for the National Arts and Humanities Endowments, shops and restaurants. Under the building's enormous atrium, visitors may browse, play a round of miniature golf and enjoy free concerts at noon. Do not miss a ride up the clock tower for one of the most spectacular views of the city.
Seeing the nation's capital by bike is not only healthy, but it also allows visitors to get a closer view of DC. This guided bicycle tour takes in many of Washington's magnificent monuments and landmarks; everything from the White House and Washington Monument to the to the Freer Gallery and Rock Creek Park. The standard tour covers about eight miles in three hours. Most of the tour is on paved paths and gravel trails. The company also rents bikes, wheelchairs and scooters.
Named after the designer of the city, Pierre L'Enfant, this plaza is Washington's only paved square, dedicated in 1968 as part of the urban renewal of the city. A central garden provides a touch of nature in the midst of office buildings and the elegant Loews L'Enfant Plaza. An underground mall has shopping and restaurants. The plaza is conveniently located three blocks off the National Mall and several of the Smithsonian museums, and is within walking distance of the Holocaust Memorial Museum.