Flights to Washington, DC, deliver you to the seat of the US government. The president calls the shots from the White House, while Congress works just around the corner and the Supreme Court just a few blocks further way.
And then there are the monuments. Who could fail to be inspired by the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, or the Arlington National Cemetery? Close to the cemetery you’ll find the Iwo Jima Memorial (also known as the Marine Corps War Memorial), a bronze sculpture that is one of the most memorable landmarks in the city.
In the past, Washington, DC, had a reputation for being conservative, but that has changed in recent decades, thanks to an influx of young professionals and an ever-more-exciting downtown with cool areas to explore such as Chinatown. Although power brokers remain, filling many of the luxury hotels and fine dining spots, DC’s youthful energy has strongly injected itself into the city, forming an undercurrent of hip restaurants, trendy hotels, and hidden lounges.
But above all, it’s the historical institutions that draw visitors to Washington time and time again. It's impossible not to be affected by the exhibitions on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History or the National Archives; visit the latter to see the Declaration of Independence.
Then there’s the ever-impressive Washington Monument, as well as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where visitors still leave tributes on an almost daily basis. You could spend a week in Washington, DC, and not begin to cover everything—and that's a good thing.