As the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. is certainly not lacking of museums, monuments, exhibits, historic landmarks and a fantastic potpourri of cuisine and nightlife. The District of Columbia is vibrant and alive with thousands of college students, passionate non-profits and swarms of local and international…
As the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. is certainly not lacking of museums, monuments, exhibits, historic landmarks and a fantastic potpourri of cuisine and nightlife. The District of Columbia is vibrant and alive with thousands of college students, passionate non-profits and swarms of local and international government employees. The city itself coexists as both the District of Columbia and the city of Washington. When the city was established, it was planned specifically to serve the United States as seat of government. A dispute arose between Virginia and Maryland as to which state would be home to the nation’s capital. Thus, the decision was made to establish Washington DC as an independent, non-state entity. What is most interesting about the city is its inhabitants are rule by the United States Congress, which has ultimate authority over DC and resulting in less government representation for residents than they would enjoy in a state.
The National Mall… but That’s Not All!
Although you will never find yourself short of things to do or see in Washington DC, there are several must visits in the District. A tour of the Capitol Building is a fascinating way to see the several stages of democracy as they emerged over the course of the nation’s history. The building itself was partially burned, along with the rest of the city, in 1814 by British forces and inside you can still see the remains of the old dome and the surrounding new, taller dome. You can also view the first Supreme Court, then housed inside the Capitol. This tour is most exciting because the building is an active part of today’s government, full of congressional interns, staffers and Congressmen.
Take a walk on the wilder side of Washington DC’s Rock Creek Park and visit the famous National Zoo, which is home to America’s famous pandas. Washington DC also offers the very popular Spy Museum, which covers the history of intelligence, espionage and code breaking in the United States and worldwide. The world renowned Smithsonian Institution is the most famous collection of museums and galleries, including the National Air and Space Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the recently added National Museum of the American Indian. From the Smithsonian collection you will have the best view of the Capitol and the Washington Monument at either ends of the grassy Mall.
The Bounty Beyond Washington DC
Many of Washington DC’s attractions are beyond the limits of the District. Once you book your airfare to Washington DC, plan to explore the outlying areas like Arlington National Cemetery, just across the Potomac in Virginia. Take a bike ride from there down the scenic green waterside of George Washington Parkway to Mount Vernon, the home and plantation of the nation’s first president, George Washington. Washington DC is also surrounded by several National Parks and recreation areas, including Shenandoah National Park and Anacostia National Park. Find your airfare to Washington DC today and experience the heart and soul of America’s traditions, culture and democratic institutions.