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Welcome to District of Columbia

With its neoclassical architecture, sweeping city boulevards and towering national monuments, Washington, D.C., has a larger-than-life look and feel that makes it unlike any other city in the country.

As the seat of American federal power, Washington, D.C.. is home to political power centers like the White House, U.S. Capitol Building and Supreme Court. But it’s also a casual sightseer’s paradise, with the majority of must-see sights clustered around the National Mall and Memorial Parks, which is where you’ll find legendary landmarks like the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial all within easy strolling distance of each other.

As you explore the city, you’ll find echoes of ancient Rome in buildings throughout the downtown core, which is ringed by a series of eclectic neighborhoods, each one sporting its own distinct flavor. Historic Georgetown, trendy Capitol Hill and bustling Dupont Circle are among the most popular with locals and visitors alike. Each neighborhood offers a mix of narrated walking tours, upscale restaurants, curbside cafes and hip taverns.

When it’s time for a break from landmarks and monuments, there’s the Smithsonian Institution’s massive network of 19 museums and galleries, as well as a zoo to keep you busy. Highlights include the National Air and Space Museum (home to the Wright Brothers’ flyer), the National Zoological Park (home to nearly 2,000 animals) and the Castle (home to the main Smithsonian Visitor Center).



D.C. has one of the highest percentages of park space in the country, so finding a scenic spot to stretch your legs and get some fresh air won’t be any trouble at all.

Within the city center, you’ll spend more than your fair share of time strolling the National Mall, walking from one iconic monument to the next alongside the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and Constitution Gardens. Just south of the Mall, the waters of the Potomac River spill into the calm-watered Tidal Basin, which is a popular spot for paddle boating.

In Georgetown, you’ll find the southern end of Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, which is a great place for walking, hiking and biking along the nearly 100-year-old commercial canal. Just to the south, in the middle of the Potomac River, sits Theodore Roosevelt Island. While the only way to reach the island by land is from the Virginia side of the river, the island is actually part of DC., and offers an abundance of trails and woods.


D.C. is a lively town year-round, with something for every taste. Festivals, sporting events and an abundance of theater options fill the yearly calendar.

If you’re looking for big league sporting action, you can take in a Nationals (baseball), Redskins (football), Wizards (basketball), Capitals (hockey) or D.C. United (soccer) game and root for the home team. If you’re a fan of live performances, you can enjoy Jazz in the Garden at the National Mall each Friday during the summer months. Over at the Kennedy Center, check out a free daily show at its Millennium Stage.

Visitors arriving in the spring will want to check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival in April and the National Memorial Day events in late May. If you’re traveling with kids, the White House Easter Egg Roll is a must. This historic Easter egg hunt on the south lawn of the White House dates to 1878.

Summer sees D.C. ring in the Fourth of July with the National Independence Day Parade down Constitution Avenue, fireworks over the Potomac River and a live concert on Capitol Hill.