Washington D.C. Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Washington D.C. is situated on the east coast
of the USA, along the banks of the Potomac River. The city has an area of just under 70 square
miles, but it sure packs a lot in! Washington was founded as the nation’s capital
in 1791. As soon as you land here you get a sense of
the power and history that this metropolis represents. Most visitors start at the National Mall,
a two-mile green strip often referred to as “The Nation’s Front Lawn”. Clearly there’s no shopping to be done at
this Mall. What it does offer is a sweep of the country’s
most famous monuments and museums, all in one place. Begin your tour of the Mall at the Zero Milestone, the proposed reference point for distances
on all US maps. To the north you’ll see America’s most famous
residence, The White House. To the south stands the Washington Monument. Rising 555 feet, this marble obelisk is the
centerpiece of the National Mall. The US Capitol Building, on top of Capitol
Hill, is the nation’s seat of federal government. Rest a while by the Reflecting Pool. Surrounded by America’s most iconic tributes
to its heroes and founding fathers, it’s easy to let your mind wander back through
the various chapters of America’s history. Nestled in the trees is the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial. Engraved in its walls are the names of tens
of thousands of soldiers who lost their lives in the battlefields of
Vietnam. The nearby Lincoln Memorial is where Martin
Luther King Jr. made his famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. Admire the many sculptures and waterfalls at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
further along the Mall. Across the Tidal Basin, Thomas Jefferson keeps a watchful eye on the
White House from his own memorial, built in the style of ancient Rome. The Mall is also home to many of the nation’s
Smithsonian buildings. To learn more about this interesting collection
of museums and galleries, stop by at the Information Center in the Smithsonian
Institution Building called the Castle. The whole family will enjoy the Smithsonian
National Air and Space Museum, where you can let your imagination fly high
among historic airplanes and spacecraft. Create your own headlines at the Newseum, an interactive museum dedicated to the world
of news media. The Botanic Garden of the Capitol Building
offers an escape from monuments and museums. But the Mall is not the only attraction in
D.C.. To explore the many attractions outside of
the Mall, the convenient Capital Bikeshare system is
available all over the city. In picture-perfect downtown neighborhoods
such as DuPont Circle, browse bookstores by day and try the cafés
by night. Another charming central suburb is Foggy Bottom, named after the fog that rises from the Potomac
River. Here you’ll find the Watergate Hotel and the
Kennedy Center. Pass Washington Circle to get to Georgetown. With its eighteenth-century buildings, it
is the oldest district in D.C., and today university students give it a lively
atmosphere. Wisconsin Avenue and M Street offer many boutique
stores and galleries. North from here is the National Cathedral, one of the largest churches in the United
States. In the nearby Smithsonian National Zoo, the residents are sure to delight monument-weary
children. Another family favorite is the International
Spy Museum. Play undercover agent in an interactive game
where nothing is as it seems! Just across the river in neighboring Virginia
is the nation’s most hallowed ground, Arlington National Cemetery. Wander among rows of tombstones dedicated
to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their
country. President John F. Kennedy’s final resting
place, marked by an ‘eternal’ flame, is one of the most visited graves. From Arlington House you can look back over
D.C. and its surrounding suburbs. Washington has a lot more to offer than the
political buildings and stately monuments that it is so famous for. And no matter how often you’ve seen these
landmarks in the news or in movies, nothing beats
the real thing!

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