Family Friendly Cities: Visit D.C. for Monuments & Museums - United Hub
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Family friendly cities: Visit D.C. for monuments & museums

By Bob Cooper, August 17, 2017

More than the seat of government, Washington, D.C., is a place of history and culture that can be riveting for adults and kids alike. A visit to the nation's capital will remind you--and show your kids--how democracy got started and why it's important. It won't cost you much, either, because almost all of D.C.'s sights are free.

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Massive Monuments

America's heftiest symbols of democracy are the monuments that flank the National Mall and Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C. But you can do more than Instagram them. Although the elevator to the top of the Washington Monument is closed for renovations until 2019, there are frequent talks and walks led by National Park Service rangers at the monuments, which also include the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II, Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials.

Smithsonian Arts & Industries Castle in D.C.

Magnificent Museums

Once visitors leave the Reflecting Pool monuments, they can reflect on the nation's history inside the National Mall's eight Smithsonian museums, the world's largest museum collection. All are open daily except on Christmas, and like the monuments, all are free. Anyone with a sense of curiosity could spend hours in each of them. They include the Air & Space Museum, Museum of Natural History, Museum of American History, American Indian Museum and African American Museum. Another family favorite—three blocks from the Mall, although it's not a free Smithsonian museum—is the International Spy Museum ($15-$22), which traces the history of espionage from Revolutionary War spies to modern-day moles, with exhibits sure to fascinate older kids and adults.

A Sumatran tiger

The National Zoo

Some would say the real weasels and sloths are across town, but never mind that—the Smithsonian National Zoo is one of America's finest zoos. And it's free. The 300 species include the beloved giant pandas (Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and male cub Bei Bei), the American Bison (the zoo's first species when it opened in 1887), African lions, Sumatran tigers, a Great Ape House and Amazonia—a re-creation of the Amazon River biome with titi monkeys in the trees and turtles in the water. Scheduled often are elephant-training demonstrations, meet-a-reptile sessions, lemur feedings and more.

Red Creek Park in Washington D.C.

Rock Creek Park

The National Zoo is only one of the attractions in Rock Creek Park, a national park for 43 years that's still administered by the National Park Service. A nine-mile-long bike path and 32 miles of hiking trails follow the wooded creek through the park between the Potomac River and the Maryland border. Park visitors can rent a bike ($11/hour) or a kayak, rowboat, pedal boat or standup paddleboard ($16-$22/hour) for use in the park, or do a trail ride at the park's equestrian center. The park also features historic fort ruins, a nature center, a planetarium and a public golf course.

The White House at sunset.

The White House

A White House tour takes some planning, but it can be the highlight of a D.C. visit. The self-guided East Wing tour lets visitors see the State Dining Room, White House movie theater and nine other rooms. Requests for the free, first-come/first-served tickets must be made to your member of Congress at least three weeks ahead. If no tickets are left, you can still check out the White House Visitor Center, which is free, open daily, and showcases White House artifacts and films.

If you go

United Airlines offers hundreds of flights to Washington Dulles International Airport from dozens of cities, and MileagePlus Rewards can help pay for your car rental and a family-friendly hotel room once you arrive. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your getaway.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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