Department of the Interior Museum

White House Area & Foggy Bottom

Responsible for managing the nation’s natural resources, the Department of the Interior operates this small museum to educate the public about its current goals and programs, but the major drawcard here is the building itself, which contains tremendous New Deal murals from the 1930s and 1940s, as well as 26 photographic murals by Ansel Adams, plus panels by Maynard Dixon and Allan Houser. Bring photo ID to enter the building.

It's possible to view most of the murals on your own as you walk through the structure, but the best way to see them is on a guided tour. These hour-long jaunts are offered at 2pm Tuesday and Thursday; call to make a reservation two weeks in advance (though staff can sometimes do it with less notice).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby White House Area & Foggy Bottom attractions

1. Art Museum of the Americas

0.11 MILES

The Organization of American States operates this small art museum in a separate building on its property. It features changing exhibits of modern and…

2. Organization of American States

0.16 MILES

A forerunner to the UN, the OAS was founded in 1890 to promote cooperation among North and South American nations. Its main building on the corner of…

4. Federal Reserve

0.17 MILES

‘The Fed,’ is the Olympus of the Gods of the American Economy. Housed in a monolithic white building that closely resembles a Soviet ministry, it is…

5. Octagon Museum

0.17 MILES

Designed by William Thornton (the Capitol’s first architect) in 1800 for one of the largest slave-owners in the state of Virginia, this minimally…

7. Signers' Memorial


Honoring those 56 visionary men who signed the Declaration of Independence, this memorial in Constitution Garden shows how diverse this group of signers…

8. C&O Canal Lockkeeper's House

0.22 MILES

At the northeast corner of Constitution Gardens, this 1835 stone gatehouse is a remnant of the days when the Washington City Canal flowed through this…