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The location of the city, along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, appeased northern and southern forces. Founded in 1790, and almost completely burned to the ground in 1812, the District of Columbia has a number of historical attractions and family-friendly exhibits. Luxury hotels in Washington DC are plentiful if you are planning on traveling in style. Choose from some of the finest luxury hotels in Washington DC Dupont Circle if you want to be right in the center of the main attractions.

Avoid crowds with a visit to these lesser-known landmarks:

1. Chesapeake And Ohio Canal – approximately 184.5 miles in length, the canal was essential in transporting materials to businesses and communities on the Potomac River. Surrounding park area allows hiking, boating and bird watching. Cross-country skiing is available during winter months. Contact a visitor center for additional information on permit fees.

2. Exorcist Stairs – in the Georgetown section of the city, visitors can travel a set of stairs featured in the horror film, The Exorcist. A total of 75 steps provide local residents with free cardiovascular training. The stairs remain a popular attraction.

3. Giant Adirondack Chair – people equate this attraction with a popular childhood novel called The Giving Tree. The enormously large chair, located on the front lawn of the Ellington School in Georgetown has remained a popular photo location for passers-by. Use caution during nice weather- the chair is known to heat up considerably in the sun.

Get more out of your visit with the following free attractions:

4. National Theatre – as of July 2011, they host free performances on Saturday mornings. Family-friendly entertainment ranges from puppet shows to ballet performances. All tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis 30 minutes before show time.

5. DC by Foot- kid-friendly tours – Lessons are taught through games and puzzles. As of July 2011, there is no charge for the tour, but tips are appreciated.

6. The Library of Congress – Thomas Jefferson’s original library has been re-created. At any given time there are free concerts, lectures or poetry readings hosted on the premises.

Satisfy curiosities and enrich young minds at the following attractions:

7. Madame Tussauds Washington DC – Frommers travel guide highly recommends this wax museum. Beyonce and Evander Holyfield are among the featured exhibits.

8. Newseum – children stay productive for hours in the interactive newsroom, located on the second floor. Computer games test knowledge on current events and journalism.

9. National Air And Space Museum – highly recommended. The facility shows IMAX films and planetarium shows. Flight simulators and an orbital walk-through stimulate young minds.

10. National Museum of Natural History – another popular trip. Two and Three-Dimensional IMAX films are shown. Insect zoos and shrunken heads keep more adventuresome guests entertained. Mild-mannered guests may find the outdoor butterfly garden more to their liking.

Photo Credit: Andy Dunaway/USAF via Getty Images

(Note: This is a paid advertorial post for editorial placement. Our experiences and opinions have not been influenced by the Advertiser, Advertising Agencies, Marketing Companies, PR Agencies or any other third parties. For further information please see our disclosure page.)

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