Founded in 1790, Washington, DC is not a part of any U.S. state. Rather, the Disavelict of Columbia was formed from land along the Potomac River donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Today, with a bustling political community and vast multicultural influence, Washington, DC has become a metropolitan hotspot.
Be it the towering Washington Monument, or the serene waters of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Washington, DC offers much to explore, including hundreds of museums, monuments, and historic neighbourhoods. Washington, DC’s dining and nightlife are also deservedly famous. But you won’t get a flight to Washington, DC just for burgers and fries. The city’s multicultural makeup makes it a prime location for truly global dining.
A crowning feature of the city, the National Mall is home to dozens of attractions and receives approximately 24 million visitors each year. Almost two miles long, a walking excursion along the Mall offers many historic landmarks, such as the United States Capitol building and the Lincoln Memorial—site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
The cornerstone of the National Mall is the Washington Monument. At 555 feet high, the Washington Monument is the world’s tallest stone structure and was once the world’s tallest building. Its foundation is set directly in the middle of the Mall and can be seen for miles around. An excellent end to any tour of the National Mall is a visit to the White House, an expansive 132-room mansion that serves as the official office and residence of the President of the United States.
National Cherry Blossom Festival
One of the best times to visit Washington, DC is the spring, when the cherry blossom trees bloom into a sea of pink and white. Visitors in late March and early April can also experience the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, which commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to Washington, DC. The festival offers hundreds of performances, special exhibitions, boat rides, parades and cultural fairs, many of which are free and open to the public.
Filled with quaint cobblestone streets and 18th and 19th century architecture, Georgetown is a perfect blend of old and new. Founded in 1751, the historic neighbourhood predates Washington, DC and is a National Historic Landmark—though the bustling entertainment centre brings modern flair to the district.
Visiting guests can stroll down M Street or Wisconsin Avenue for unique and upscale shopping. Grab a coffee at any of the neighbourhood’s cafés, or sample tastes from over 140 restaurants and gourmet stores.
Although Washington, DC is the capital of the United States, its constant stream of foreign emissaries and travellers makes it a culinary hub with influences from around the world.
Every variety of global cuisine is represented here, from Chinese to Thai to Indian and Italian, and back again. Be sure to visit Zaytinya, offering an innovative fusion of Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisines under the direction of chef Jose Andres. In addition, Zaytinya’s wine list features unique wines from the Eastern Mediterranean—including Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Israel.
After dinner, stop by one of Washington, DC’s historic jazz clubs along the U Street corridor. This area, where jazz legend Duke Ellington played his first notes, is known for historic venues like Bohemian Caverns and the Lincoln Theatre.
Just 26km south of Washington, DC rests the home of the first president of the United States, George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. Situated along the Potomac River on nearly 50 acres of land, the site has become the most popular historic estate in America. Guests to Mount Vernon can visit the Mansion, over a dozen original structures, Washington’s tomb, a working blacksmith shop and view breathtaking vistas of the Potomac River.
Those who love the outdoors will want to take advantage of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Here, visitors can walk, bike, hike or boat within the 185-mile park. Head toward the towpath for a biking and jogging experience like no other. If leisure is more your style, opt for the canal boat ride—pulled by mules alongside the canal.