The Smithsonian National Postal Museum was built in 1914 and served as Washington D.C.’s post office through 1986. It houses a research library as well as exhibit space and gift shops.
The museum portion opened in 1993. You can get to it by taking the red line Metro to Union Station. This was one of the most interesting museums I’ve visited. Our niece accompanied us.
The history of the U.S. Postal Service was presented by means of staged displays, a mail train car, a stagecoach, vintage airplanes, postal trucks and much more. We could sit in the driver’s seat of a truck or check out a mail train car, stare at Owney, the preserved mascot dog, and see a variety of uniforms.
I found the postal police section very intriguing. I didn’t realize we even had a Postal Inspection branch that investigated related crimes.
A gift shop and stamp shop are present, plus historic examples of stamps through the years. No café, though, but you’re right across the street from Union Station with its food court and restaurants. We could have spent more time here browsing through the exhibits and reading all the informational signs, but it’s a lot to absorb in one day. Be sure to put this on your list of places to visit next time you’re in our capital city.
Outside, we trundled past the gleaming capitol building to view the United States Botanic Garden. We arrived at the Garden Court entrance and veered to the right with a section on Rare and Endangered plants. We walked through sections with orchids, tropical foliage, medicinal plants, desert cacti, Hawaii, and other collections. While amazed that this conservatory could be built in the middle of our capital city, I’m spoiled by the many gardens in Florida.
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