The first planned capital city in the world, Washington D.C. was designed to be a beautiful marriage of art and geometry. The city exudes character from its tree-lined streets, welcoming parks, elegant buildings and luminous monuments. Its public face is marked by marble memorials and politics, but behind that is a culture-seekers haven, filled with music, museums and fine dining.
Nearly all D.C. tourists begin their exploration of the city at the National Mall and for good reason. The beautiful two-mile stretch of parkland is home to the Smithsonian Museums and an intense concentration of monuments. It is the heart of the nation’s capital and a great place for both picnicking and protesting.
Major attractions in the National Mall include the Washington Monument, a tribute to the nation’s first president and the capital’s tallest structure, and the Lincoln Memorial, a hallowed shrine to the 16th president that sits peacefully across the Reflecting Pool. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the monument’s steps to deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, and the Civil Rights Movement leader is immortalized in his own moving memorial nearby. Other remarkable sights on the Mall include the World War II Memorial, haunting Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial.
The other hallmark of the National Mall is the Smithsonian Institute, a collection of 14 galleries and museums featuring more than 137 million objects, including scientific specimens, historic artifacts, cultural exhibits and works of art. Admission is free, and there is truly something for everyone.
The most popular Smithsonian museum is the National Air and Space Museum, where visitors can see the Apollo 11 command module, the Wright brothers’ flyer and Lindbergh’s Sprit of St. Louis. The Natural History Museum is another favorite, home of the 45-carat Hope diamond and an 80-foot long dinosaur skeleton. The American History Museum is another big draw, featuring over 3 million artifacts that tell the story of the country’s history, including the Star-Spangled Banner and the ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”
The National Mall is only the beginning; all of Washington, D.C. is filled with impressive museums and monuments, from the White House to the Capitol. Other memorable museums include the Holocaust Memorial Museum, where visitors learn about the Nazi genocide in clear and graphic fashion, and the International Spy Museum, featuring fascinating undercover tools of the trade.
There is never really a bad time to visit the city, but the best may be during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring. The weather is fresh and warm and the trees blossom into a gorgeous sea of white and pink. Although the blooms rightfully take center stage, the festival also features Tidal Basin boat rides, evening walks by lantern light, hundreds of performances and a six-block Japanese Street Festival with taiko drummers, kimono-clad dancers and dozens of food vendors.
These attractions are certainly worth a visit, but to experience the “real” D.C., visitors should get away from the monuments and museums and explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Adams Morgan, for instance, is where the city sheds its sometimes-stuffy attitude in favor of a hip urban atmosphere. There, you can dine on some of the world’s best Ethiopian food before dancing to a live Cuban jazz band at a funky bar. In Georgetown, you can spend the day shopping at upscale boutiques before taking a romantic walk down the tree-lined streets that line the Potomac. Visit Dupont Circle, the city’s grand hub, home to art galleries, offbeat shops, ethnic eateries and embassies. These and other neighborhoods are just as interesting to explore as the nation’s most famous monuments and museums.
Washington D.C. Geographical Location
Washington D.C. is located on the east coast of the USA while being central to the north and south. It is between the states of Maryland and Virginia though Washington D.C. is not considered a state.
Throughout Washington D.C.’s metropolitan area the population is 5,580,000.
Washington D.C. Language
English is the official language of the USA while Spanish is common especially in the southern regions.
Washington D.C. Predominant Religion
- 51% Protestant
- 24% Roman Catholic
- 20% Other
- 2% Mormon
- 2% Jewish
- 1% Muslim
Christianity is the most common religion although the United States is known to be one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world.
Washington D.C. Currency
The US Dollar is the official currency of the United States.
Washington D.C. Climate
The summers are hot and humid with thunderstorms being common because of the combination. The winters are cold and long usually spanning from November to March with January being the coldest and snow is common.
Washington D.C. Main Attractions
- Washington Monument
- Lincoln Memorial
- Library of Congress
Other Attraction in Washington D.C.
- National Museum of Natural History
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- National Air and Space Museum