Washington, D.C., and the surrounding Northern Virginia/Maryland area, is home to six military installations. In an area with public transportation connecting so many people it is a great place to live and visit. For those reasons, and obviously historical ones, D.C. is a great place to get away to.
You can find just about anything you want to do and see there, including some of the most important places in American history. One of the most wonderful parts of visiting here is that so much of it is already free, which can make tracking down discounts a little tough. Many of the museums and tourist areas are available for anyone to visit without having to pay anything. Make sure to call ahead, and visit one of the local MWR to see what ticket options are available.
And remember the golden rule of military tourism – bring your ID!
The following are 9 military discounts to some of the best places to visit in D.C.
1. Spy Museum
The Spy Museum is high on the list of unique things to do in Washington, D.C. Covering the history of spying over the many years of our country, this museum clues you in on many things that used to be Top Secret. Upon entering you will obtain a cover that you will carry through many of the exhibits in the museum. It is a great place to take children and is very family-friendly. It is quite pricey as museums go, but worth it. And the museum offers a discount for military members and their families.
Ford's Theatre museum access is free. However, because of the popularity, reserving tickets online for a timed entry -- and paying the Ticketmaster processing fee -- is highly recommended. But Ford's Theatre also puts on live-action plays in the theater portion, and they offer 50% off tickets to military for some of their performances.
For all the baseball fans out there, check out a Washington Nationals MLB game while you're in town. You can receive a discount on select games and seatings. Pick up some food outside the gates or bring your own for an affordable couples or family outing.
A short jaunt from the heart of D.C., you can find the coolest aquarium. With a full Black-Tip Reef mini environment and a dolphin show, the National Aquarium is something to check off the list when you come and visit the Nation’s Capitol. Military discount tickets can be purchased through their consignment ticket program, which means they can be purchased at one of the local base MWR offices (Fort Belvoir, Fort Myer, Bolling and Andrews AFB).
Another unique experience in the D.C. area is the Signature Theatre. They offer 25% off their full ticket price for veterans, military members and immediate family through the Blue Star Theatres program.
The Hard Rock Cafe restaurants have a long history of supporting the military, and in the D.C. area you can get a 15% discount every day.
The Capital Wheel at National Harbor, Maryland outside D.C. is a ferris wheel that takes you 180 feet in the air above the Potomac River. Get a military discount on tickets year round.
Bobby McKey’s in National Harbor offers a unique night of fun as two to four piano players in teams of two take requests and keep the crowd singing. They offer free cover charges for service members on Fridays (as well as spouses). You can also get 20% off your food and drink tab on Fridays.
The Museum of the Bible is located a few blocks away from the National Mall. Check out the museum's exhibits, go on a guided tour and take a break at the café after using your military discount on walk-up admission tickets.
--Heather Sweeney contributed to this story.
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