Washington, DC, Attractions Offer Fun, Educational Experiences for ATS 2023 Attendees

This May, more than 11,000 clinicians, researchers, and other respiratory health professionals from around the world will come together in Washington, DC, for the ATS International Conference. While the greatest attraction for attendees will be hearing the latest advances in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep research, the U.S. capital city is home to a multitude of historical and cultural sights to explore, including:

The Smithsonian Institution

Free Admission
The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries. It features the National Air & Space MuseumNational Museum of Natural HistoryNational Portrait GalleryNational Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, and nine research facilities. The Smithsonian collections include 138 million pieces of iconic artwork and artifacts, including the Star-Spangled Banner, actress Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz,” singer Michael Jackson’s fedora, and the original Teddy Bear that was named for President Theodore Roosevelt.

National Museum of African American History & Culture

Free Admission
The National Museum of African American History & Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by an Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts, and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The museum opened to the public in September 2016 as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Be sure to book your timed passes in advance on the museum website.

National Mall

Free Admission
Millions of people visit the National Mall each year. From the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, the mall sprawls over 1,000 acres and is a symbol of American democracy. National Mall and Memorial Parks are open 24 hours a day. The early evening and morning hours are the most picturesque times to visit.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Free Admission
Researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have documented 42,500 ghettos and concentration camps erected by the Nazis throughout German-controlled areas of Europe from 1933 to 1945. Visitors can reflect in silence and light a candle in the Hall of Remembrance, the official memorial for the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. The museum’s permanent exhibition houses more than 12,750 artifacts, 49 million pages of archival documents, 80,000 historical photographs, 200,000 registered survivors, 1,000 hours of archival footage, 84,000 library items, and 9,000 oral history testimonies.

United States Botanic Garden

Free Admission
The United States Botanic Garden is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to the well-being of humans and Earth’s fragile ecosystems. From roses to orchids, the rainforest to the Mid-Atlantic, rare and endangered plants to the latest in home gardening, you’ll find a world of plants and environments in the permanent exhibits and gardens.

National Archives Museum

Free Admission, Advanced Reservations Recommended
Home to the original Charters of Freedom, including the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, the National Archives Museum depicts America’s national mosaic, telling the stories of the American journey to all.

For foodies: DC also offers several culinary tours to satisfy your taste buds. Learn more or book a tour.

Visit Destination DC to start planning your conference trip!


Register today for the ATS 2024 International Conference! Don’t miss this opportunity to take part in the in-person conference, May 17-22 in San Diego. Join your colleagues to learn about the latest developments in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.

Not an ATS member? Join today and save up to $540.