The summer is the perfect time for an exciting and spontaneous weekend trip. As Masons, we always want to learn and grow in our Craft and carry light with us wherever we go. So, why not combine the two? This weekend, pack your bags and head to Washington D.C. for a mini Masonic vacation! This historical city is home to countless significant Masonic landmarks, as well as prominent spaces that have, at some point in time, touched Freemasonry. Not to mention, D.C. was also the home of President George Washington, a notable and influential Freemason still remembered today for his establishment and devotion to the United States.

To help you plan your getaway, below is an itinerary that highlights many of the Masonic treasures D.C. has to offer. Broken down by day and activity, we walk you through each excursion to help you decide what to partake in during your next trip to the nation’s capital.

Did we miss any? Add other Masonic places you’ve discovered in the D.C. area and we’ll update the post!

House of the Temple Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction

Day 1 – Downtown D.C.

First stop – The House of the Temple

The House of the Temple is located at 1733 Sixteenth Street. Also known as The Supreme Council headquarters for the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, this institution includes a library, archives, and museums that are open to visitors for guided tours. The building opens at 9 am and admission is free. Stroll around the corridors, spend some time in the library, take photos, and make sure to stop by the gift shop for the full experience. The museum even offers a virtual tour online, so catch a sneak peek beforehand.

Book signing

Second Stop – National Air and Space Museum

Visit the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution and head to the second floor to see the Apollo 11 exhibit, featuring astronaut and 33° Scottish Rite Mason, Buzz Aldrin. To keep the momentum going, take a break in the museum café, head online, and watch the Air and Space Museum’s interview with Buzz Aldrin from 2013 where he talks about his book, Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.

Third stop – National Mall

Just a short walk from the Air and Space Museum, head on over to the green on the National Mall for a late afternoon break. Bring a blanket, a picnic snack, and relax with a Masonic book. We suggest A Sublime Brotherhood, American Freemasons, Reclaiming the Soul of Freemasonry, or The Spirit of Freemasonry. Check out the SRNMJ online shop for reading suggestions and books you can purchase just in time for your mini vacation.

With the Lincoln Memorial in front of you and the Washington Monument in your rearview, this D.C. location is a prime spot to seek inspiration and reflect (right near the reflection pool!) on the day’s events.

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial

Day 2 – Old Towne Alexandria, Virginia

Cross the bridge to Virginia to start your day off walking in the footsteps of historians, politicians, and past presidents alike.

First stop – The George Washington Masonic Memorial

Begin your journey at The George Washington Masonic Memorial. You are going to want to carve out your whole morning, because this beautiful building has a lot to offer. The Memorial is also a museum, an active Masonic temple, a research library, a cultural space, and a community and performing arts center. Experience it all with a group tour that spans Memorial Hall, Replica Lodge room, The Family of Freemasonry Exhibit, The George Washington Museum, The Knight Templar Chapel, and The Observation Deck. Here, there is so much history and architecture to take in.

Gadsby's Tavern Museum

Second stop – Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

If you are hungry, head on over to the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and enjoy lunch at what was one of George Washington’s favorite places to dine. Once a setting for dancing, theatrical and musical performance, and local meetings, the Tavern used to be a community center back in the late 1700s. Also, there is no problem a Gadsby sandwich and a hot cup of onion soup can’t fix.

Third stop – Mount Vernon

For the final stop of the day, visit the home of America’s first president, George Washington. The vast property is meticulously groomed and the mansion, the heart of the property, has been beautifully restored throughout the generations. Enjoy a tour of the first and second floors, explore the gardens and grounds, and look inside more than a dozen outbuildings that used to be essential to maintaining the estate. If you have time, make sure to visit George Washington’s final resting place, the museum and education center, pioneer farm, the distillery and gristmill and the book shop as well.

At the Airport If you happen to have a long wait ahead of you, there is no better way to start or end your trip than with some Masonic fun! Luckily, our website has playful quizzes, an active forum to start discussions with other Brothers, blogs, inspirational videos and much more to keep you busy and entertained.

Have you attended any of the places mentioned above? We would love to hear about your experience in the comments below. Did we miss any? Let us know and we’ll update the post!