Getting there: 902 Wythe St., Alexandria; 703-746-4356; www.alexblackhistory.org. Open 10 a.m-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Admission is $2.
Famous for: Founded in 1807 by three former slaves — George Bell, Nicholas Franklin and Moses Liverpool — the Bell School is recognized as the first school for African Americans in the District.
And there’s more: The founders all worked as caulkers at the Navy Yard.
Getting there: The site, at Second and D streets SE, is marked with a plaque.
Famous for: This U Street hangout has been serving up half-smokes to luminaries including President Obama, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Nat “King” Cole, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald. Legend has it that Bill Cosby met his wife, Camille, at Ben’s.
And there’s more: During the riots after King’s assassination, much of the city closed down. Ben’s stayed open, after curfew, to give activists and firefighters food and a place to stay.
Getting there: 1213 U St. NW; 202-667-0909; http://benschilibowl.com. Open 6 a.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Thursdays, till 4 a.m. Fridays, 7 a.m.-4 a.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sundays.
Famous for: Founded in 1865, Blues Alley is the oldest continuing jazz supper club in the United States.
And there’s more: Performers have included Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Eva Cassidy and Ramsey Lewis.
Getting there: 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-337-4141; bluesalley.com. Open 6 p.m.–12:30 a.m. seven days a week.
Famous for: Called Club Caverns when it opened in 1926, this club has showcased performers including Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Ella Fitzgerald, Ramsey Lewis, Sarah Vaughan, Thelonious Monk and Bill Cosby.
And there’s more: Caverns also has a restaurant, the Tap and Parlour.
Getting there: 2001 11th St. NW; 202-299-0800; bohemiancaverns.com, tapandparlour.com. Doors at the Caverns open at 7 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tap and Parlour hours: 5-11 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (brunch), 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays (dinner).
Famous for: The first high school graduation for African Americans in the country took place in 1877 at the Charles Sumner School. Sumner also educated African American students in elementary and secondary school.
And there’s more: Now in its 25th year as a museum, the Sumner School site houses the official archives of D.C.’s public schools.
Getting there: 1201 17th St. NW; 202-730-0478; http://sumnerschool.tumblr.com/info. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays–Fridays. Archival materials available 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays by appointment.
Duke Ellington Mural
Famous for: This 24-by-32-foot mural of Ellington, completed in 1997, was created by G. Byron Peck.
And there’s more: Peck hired D.C. students to paint the mural with him.
Getting there: The mural is above the U Street/Cardozo Metro stop at 13th and U streets NW.