United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The mesmerizing and thoroughly wrenching exhibits here are required visits for any American wanting a better understanding of the Holocaust. The museum’s Permanent Collection provides a chronological history of the catastrophe, from the election of Hitler as Germany’s chancellor in 1933 to the liberation of the concentration camps more than a decade later. The third-floor exhibit, which covers the time period between 1940 and 1945—and delves into the horrors of the camps—is something you won’t shake until long after you’ve left the museum.
Tip: Though it’s a bad idea to bring kids under 12 through much of the collection, there’s a permanent exhibition, "Daniel’s Story," that’s designed for families.