The Real Washington DC
Founded on July 16, 1790, Washington DC serves as the capital of the United States of America. Formally known as the District of Columbia, but affectionately referred to as The District or just DC, this capital city is located on the eastern seaboard, tucked between the states of Virginia and Maryland. In addition to being the capital of the country, Washington DC is lively city that is filled with history and culture. A trip to Washington will not only allow you to gain insight about the government of this powerhouse country, its spirit will captivate you.
Washington DC was founded by the Constitution of the United States and the location was chosen by the first president of the nation, and the city’s namesake, George Washington. The location was chosen due to its strategic location between the northern and southern states, and was thought to be a good linking point between the two regions of the country. The city was designed by the Frenchmen Pierre Charles L’Enfant and features sweeping avenues and decorative spaces that pay homage to the founders and important events of the country. During the War of 1812, the majority of the city was burned to the ground. Despite the damage, Washington DC was rebuilt and today, the dramatic design that L’Enfant envisioned still exist and the city is perhaps even grander than was originally imagined. This city is impressive not only because it serves as the seat of government for the country, but also because it is among one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.
Perhaps one of the most eye-catching elements of Washington DC is the architecture. The city is dotted with breathtaking structures that catch the eye and captivate and leave an unforgettable impression on all who visit. Notable buildings include the many monuments and memorials that pay tribute to some of the most influential politicians of the country, including the towering Washington Monument, the whimsical Jefferson Memorial and the awe-inspiring Lincoln Memorial, which overlooks a glimmering reflecting pond. The domed Capital Building, which sits at the head of the city, is another one of the awe-inspiring architectural features, as well as the stately White House, the home of the president. These are just a handful of the notable buildings found within Washington DC. Virtually everywhere you turn, you’ll find a breathtaking building that serves an important purpose or represents something important to the nation.
In such an important city, you would assume that education would also be of utmost importance; and you would be right. This city houses some of the most influential colleges and universities in the United States. The famed Georgetown University is one of the top universities in the country and has educated some of the most influential leaders of the United States. The renowned George Washington University is also located in Washington DC, as is American University and Howard University.
Although Washington DC is the capital of the United States, government isn’t the only thing that happens in this city. In fact, the city is bursting with cultural activities, so you’ll surely find no shortage of activities to partake in on your visit. Explore magnificent works of art and learn about the history of the country and the world at the many museums of the world famous Smithsonian Institute. Take in a concert or a performing arts show at one of the performing arts centers, including the Kennedy Center or the Wolftrap Farm Park. Take a stroll along the cherry tree lined streets or go kayaking along the Chesapeake and Ohio (C & O) Canal or the Potomac River. You can also explore the areas that surround Washington DC and are considered to be part of this capital city, including Georgetown, Alexandria and Arlington.
While visiting Washington DC, getting around to the different regions of the city, as well as the surrounding areas, can be done with ease. The city features one of the country’s most efficient and easy to use train systems – the Metro. Hop on the Metro and follow the colored coded train lines to your destination. Within a short period of time, you can easily go from the northern part of DC to the southern part, or travel between nearby Arlington, Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland. There are also cab services and a bus service that you can use to travel throughout the city.
With so much history, beauty and activities, a trip to Washington DC is sure to be unforgettable. To learn more about this capital city and for help planning your itinerary, including information about monuments, museums, places to stay and top things to do, take a look around this Rediscover Washington DC site. Happy traveling.