Washington D.C. – A Capitol with Character
Washington D.C. offers visitors a view into American politics and history, as well as American culture, architecture, and food. While there isn’t a sweeping skyline for travelers to take in, D.C. is unparalleled in what she offers.
Being the seat of American politics, there is no shortage of stops for those interested in government. From the White House and the Eisenhower Building, to Congress, the National Library, and the Capitol Building, be sure to set aside a good day or two while visiting to soak up these sites. The great thing about D.C. is that almost everything is accessible free of charge. My favorite tour is in fact a walking one, starting at the White House and circling to the side, passing the beautiful Eisenhower Building and coming up on the Washington Monument. Constructed in the 19th century to honor the nation’s first president, the obelisk style building was once the tallest in the world. From her shaddows, you take a right and walk to the Reflecting Pool where you can see families of ducks and memorials to all 50 states and US territories. At the end of this stands the Lincoln Memorial, a gigantic and view-consuming structure that houses a colossal statue of Abraham Lincoln. On its walls, the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address, two of Lincoln’s most famous and revered speeches.
A world traveler would also be interested in going down embassy row, lined with buildings representing countries all around the world Tours are available for most, and often for free on foot. Starting at Dupont Circle, you walk past these institutions as well as million dollar mansions of private residence, a somewhat odd sight for the middle of a large city.
Of course you can’t miss the Smithsonian Museums, free entry and open every day of the week. From the iconic Air and Space Museum to the Natural History Museum, there is something for everyone to find interesting. These world class institutions are some of the best stocked museums in America and conduct extensive research and preservation on materials.
Explore the City
If you desire a more guided exploration of the city, take advantage of free walking tours by foot. Half a dozen are offered all times of the day and week and are led by trained staff of all parts of the city. For those interested in the darker side of Washington D.C.’s history, there are tours detailing murder, scandal, and controversy all over D.C.. A crowd favorite is the one surrounding the White House… who doesn’t love a good ghost story in the nation’s capital?
When it comes to food, D.C. offers a cultural conglomeration of any kind of food imaginable. Dine where ambassadors dine and visit Le Diplomate (if you don’t really have a budget), or opt for a local favorite at Old Ebbitt Grill. If you want something lighter and more hip, all you have to do is take a stroll around Georgetown to find a hype-worthy cupcake shop and coffee house. Again, no shortage of options.
D.C. has more than meets the eye when it comes to things to do and places to see. The staples definitely can’t be missed, but adventure out a little more when it comes to dining and nightlife. Whether visiting for a week or a weekend, you’ll be sure to have a great time.
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