Alluring monumental capital of the United States
Bordering the states of Maryland and Virginia, on the east coast of the American Continent, the district of Columbia (abbreviated to D.C.) is home to Washington, the capital of the USA, which lies some 50 kilometres from the sea. The beating heart of Washington, which takes its name from the first president of the United States who is still very much revered by the Americans, is The National Mall, a long park dotted with and surrounded by numerous Neoclassical-inspired monuments constructed mostly of white marble.
The most famous building of all is obviously the White House, seat of the offices and residence of the President of the United States of America, which is also open to the public. Near the Mall is the extraordinary reservoir of Tidal Basin, where in spring the Cherry Blossom Festival takes place, which transforms the area into a spectacle of pink and white.
Washington not only offers spacious, manicured green spaces, but also succeeds in marrying, with great elegance, its historic past with today’s world, as evidenced by the city’s futuristic buildings. It displays all its glories with pride to visitors; the numerous imposing buildings, statues and places of worship were built not just to exalt the capital, but the entire United States.
In the centre of the Mall, standing tall, is the city’s highest building at 169 metres: the Washington Monument, which is surrounded by the United States Capitol with its white dome, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, as well as the Smithsonian Museums, which are among the most famous and visited in the entire United States.
Important museums include the National Air and Space Museum, the American Museum of Art, and the National Museum of African Art, as well as the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The history of the United States is told through the World War II Memorial and the memorial dedicated to Martin Luther King, as well as the memorials to the veterans of the Vietnam and Korean Wars, pages of history sculpted in stone to reflect national pride. Lastly, for lovers of art there is a vast and unexpected selection of museums that are all free to the public and for the most part belong to the Smithsonian Foundation, which was founded by the British scientist James Smithson (1765-1829) to increase and diffuse knowledge.
Shopping enthusiasts should head for the elegant Georgetown district, a striking area of Federal-style buildings, which is filled with the stores of American designers and small antique shops. A lunch break can be taken in the seafood restaurants along the river and a memorable evening enjoyed in one of the traditional bars or lounge clubs offering live music. Another enjoyable experience is a water taxi ride along the Potomac River, on which Washington sits, which offers a truly unique look at the city in just under an hour.
Meat is a local culinary speciality, which is often served as hamburgers in famous steak houses, but also fish, in particular prawns and oysters. There is a wide variety of cuisines, including French, Indian, Mexican, Chinese and even African, because Washington is truly a multiethnic city. The locally produced craft beers are excellent and well worth tasting.
Exciting tours of Washington, by bike, on foot or by bus, are available, so that visitors can fully enjoy the city’s extraordinary sights, during which they’re sure to find beauty around every corner. Even nightlife in the city has a truly special atmosphere: many landmarks are lit up after dark and dozens of bars and restaurants offering drinks and local specialities are open until dawn.
Text by Anna Fusai
Avion Tourism Magazine
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Where to sleep in Washington
Washington. Photo: © Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Washington is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
Hotels in the districts
Hotels in tourist areas
Hotels in tourist areas
Hotels in the District
Hotels near the airport