In 1790, the beautiful District of Columbia was set aside along the Potomac River per the Constitution of the United States, and the city of Washington was founded to serve as the nation’s capital. D.C. is surrounded by Virginia and Maryland and is easily accessed along I-95 which stretches the entire east coast from Maine to Florida. Two major airports, Washington National (DCA), Dulles International (IAD) and Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) serve the area and bring millions of visitors each year.
As you are planning, you will be amazed at the number of wonderful Washington D.C. hotels available for your stay. The city was designed in quadrants, divided by major roads emanating from the Capitol building. Easy to navigate, east-west streets are letters and north-south streets are numbered, each followed by its designated quadrant (e.g. 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW). An abundance of Federal Government offices may be found here, and governmental business attracts its fair share of out-of-towners. However, tourism is also big business here!
Washington, D.C. is quite beautiful, with trees covering over a third of its 68 square miles and almost 20% of its acreage preserved as park land. Its pulchritudinous setting is only enhanced by the amazing architecture of National Memorials dotting the landscape; Historic Sites are plentiful as well, allowing you to explore the city and be visually stimulated all the while. The White House is likely the picture which comes to your mind when considering D.C. The President’s abode on Pennsylvania Avenue is actually a National Park, and self-guided tours are available with advance planning.
The National Mall is where you can visit many sites, including the Washington Monument and the beautiful Reflecting Pool, along with the Lincoln Memorial, National World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Korean War Veterans Memorial. Just south you will find the Tidal Basin and famous cherry trees, along with the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Consider taking a Moonlight Tour of Monuments for a unique experience. A variety of Smithsonian Museums may be explored along with the National Gallery of Art. Iconic undertakings include visiting Arlington Cemetery to see the Eternal Flame honoring President John F. Kennedy and inspecting the National Cathedral, 2nd largest in the country and the national house of prayer.
History is on display in this great city, but there are other things to do as well. Walk the streets of upscale neighborhood Georgetown for upscale boutiques or attend a symphony or ballet at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; choose a professional or college ballgame as D.C. has some of the best, or ride a bicycle through Rock Creek Park; hike along some of the over 800 miles which compose the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail which winds through D.C. and three states. It’s time to put a checkmark next to a visit to Washington, D.C. on your bucket list!