Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States of America, arguably the seat of power of the world’s most influential and powerful country. Located at the meeting point of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, surrounded by Maryland to the northwest, southeast and northeast and Virginia in the southwest. The city of Washington shares the same boundaries as the District of Columbia (D.C.).
The area around Washington D.C. has been inhabited by indigenous people for at over 4000 years. In 1790 the territory of Washington D.C. was established as the capital of the U.S. It was named after the first US President George Washington and designed by Major Pierre Charles l’Enfant. Purposely planned to have broad avenues lined by trees the city was built as a capital city with planning for various statues and memorials.
Three major airports service the city. These are Ronald Regan National Airport, Dulles International and Baltimore International Airport. From all three airports it is possible to get easy transport to Washington DC.
Today the economy of Washington D.C. is influenced strongly by the federal jobs that are in the city. However over the last number of years this has begin to change with government jobs accounting for less than 30% of the jobs available in the city now. Large multinationals have come to the city and banking, insurance and other professional services are now major employers.
Getting around Washington D.C. could not be easier with a fantastic choice of Bus, rail and Metro servicing the city. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is in charge of all local transport. Amtrak and MARC Train provide access from outside the city by rail and Greyhound Lines and Peter Pan provide bus links to and from Washington D.C.. Major road interstates run through the area of Washington D.C. and the city has approximately 1100 miles or paved roads.
The city’s climate is very seasonal – but it can be unpredictable. Summers tend to be humid and hot. We would recommend visiting in the Autumn (Fall) or Spring where you stand the best chance of getting sun filled days and chilly (but not too cold) evenings. Winter can be cold with regular snow.
Places to visit while in Washington D.C. include, The city of Washington Museum, Ford’s Theatre, Holocaust Museum, White House (restricted access), Union Station, National Zoo, Washington Monument and the Smithsonian Institute’s museums, galleries and zoological garden. Many local companies offer organised bus tours of all the top visitor attractions in the city. Children often go free and Washington D.C. really is child friendly. The National Aquarium and the National Children’s Museum are also to be fund in Washington D.C.. As you can see if you are into museums, then Washington D.C. might be what you consider heaven.
There are lots of malls and stores if you are interested in splashing out: The worlds best loved brands can be found in Ballston Common, Fair Oaks Mall, Potomac Mills Outlet Mall, Reston Town Center, Springfield Mall, Tyson’s Corner Center, Tyson’s Galleria, Union Station, White Flint Mall and Landmark Mall.
Once noted for it’s crime problem the city got the unwelcomed nickname of the “murder capital” in the 1990’s. Since then major efforts at local and state level have aimed to reduce the crime level and murder rates have declined substantially. However Washington D.C. still has a major crime problem, the problem may have moved out of the city center and in to outlying suburbs.
As you would expect Washington D.C. enjoys a varied ethnic cuisine. Ethiopian, Asian, Indian, Mexican as well as typical US and European style food is all well catered for in the city. Try the Blue Duck Tavern for traditional American dishes or Restaurant Nora in Georgetown for quality sea food. The delightful Two Quail restaurant on Massachusetts Avenue is a great place to bring someone special in your life. Other places we would recommend would be Meskerem, Milo, Pasta Mia, Woo Lae Oak and Ten Penh. There really are hundreds of great little restaurants to choose from.
You will be spoiled for choice of venues to go out at night. Whether you are into quiet intimate cafe/bars or rock ’till you drop nightclubs Washington D.C. has them all. Newspapers to look out for events in the city would be the Washington Post and it’s free daily the Express and the weekly (free) Washington City. The There are also a multitude of free magazines and event guides that can be picked up all over the city. Washington D.C. has it’s own native music style known as “go-go”. Punk and Indie Rock are also very strong in the city.
Interesting fact about Washington DC – There is one lawyer for every 19 residents!