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The federal agency responsible for instituting America's farm-related policies is housed in two distinctive buildings. The older building is on the north side of Independence Avenue. Construction on the white marble building began in 1905. Of particular interest are the cornices on the north side depicting forests, grains, flowers and fruits. The newer building, built between 1930 and 1936, lies on the other side of Independence Avenue. The Agriculture Visitors Information Center (Room 103A in the Administration Building) offers changing exhibits.
Established on May 29, 2004, the World War II Memorial is the first national memorial to honor the American troops who fought in the war. The design by architect Friedrich St. Florian marks the Pacific and European Theaters of World War II with magnificent arches and remembers the Americans who died with 4,048 stars along the Freedom Wall. It is located on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
The paper currency for the US is printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Kids and adults will love visiting this “money factory.” The guided tour lasts around 40 minutes and is on a first come first served basis. Summer evening tours require tickets, which are handed out at the Visitor Center. Visitors can see a display with a million one dollar bills and view dollars at every stage of production. The bureau runs 24 hours a day and prints $450 million daily.
A part of the President's Park, the Ellipse is a vast open space encircled by an oval trail. The park is home to a number of monuments, including the famous Ellipse Meridian Stone. Also known as the President's Park South the park doubles as an entertainment venue, hosting numerous local events including military pageants, musical events, garden tours and others.
An array of various gardens surrounding the many museums around the National Mall form the Smithsonian Gardens. Gear up to take a tour of these 180 acres of greens, varying from traditional gardens to green houses and vegetable patches in a pair of comfortable shoes and a dash of sunscreen! Visit the Pollinator Garden featuring several spices of bees, wasps, flies and beautiful butterflies. Then head to the National Museum of African Art and enjoy the rooftop Enid A. Haupt Garden (open from dawn to dusk). Relax in the beautifully designed Courtyard Garden or check out the Orchid Collection, indoor plants, and tropical plants at the Greenhouse Nursery. You can also visit the Heirloom Garden, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden, the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, the Victory Garden at National Museum of American History and many more.
Situated in front of the White House within President's Park, the Zero Milestone is based on Ancient Rome's Golden Milestone, and is the physical representation of the idea that all roads lead to Washington DC, the United States' capital. The initial idea was to record the distance to important places in the United States on the stone, but only certain locations within the DC area were ever engraved on the two-by-four block. The idea of the milestone was initially raised and supported by Dr. S.M. Johnson, who was a member of the Good Roads Movement, which called for paved roads across the United States. The Zero Milestone represents the starting point of the United States paved road system, which in turn can be seen as a representation of the unification of the United States.
If you're looking for something to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, head to the Tidal Basin. Set in picturesque and scenic surroundings, it is truly a visual treat. Located between the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, it covers a vast area of 107 acres. Tidal Basin is also utilized as a means for flushing the Washington Channel. It is maintained and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.