I consider myself lucky. I grew up about 40 minutes outside Washington, DC in a suburb of Maryland.
During my childhood, my parents took me and my 4 siblings to DC to explore all that it has to offer.
- We played on the grassy expanse of The National Mall
- Raced each other down the steps of The Washington Monument, and
- Attended concerts given by the Army-Navy Band at DAR Constitution Hall
Like many people who live near a popular destination, I’ve realized that I’ve taken for granted all the great things that are practically in my backyard.
However, recent conversations with out-of-town visitors have made me reflect on how fortunate I am to live so close to DC and all the things I love about it.
Here they are in no particular order. I think you’ll love them, too!
12 THINGS YOU’LL LOVE ABOUT WASHINGTON, DC
1. It’s Easy to Get To From Out-of-State
Whether you’re traveling to Washington, DC for business or pleasure, there are 3 airport options:
- Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) – in Arlington, VA
- Dulles Internationa Airport (IAD) – in Dulles, VA
- Baltimore-Washington Airport (BWI) – in Linthicum, MD
Although none of these airports are actually in DC, they are all relatively close to the District with Reagan National being the closest.
2. There Are a Variety of Transportation Options
There are so many ways to get around once you’re in DC, you may have trouble choosing. You can drive your own car; take a cab; use a rideshare service (Uber, Lyft, Via); take the Metro (my favorite option); take a bus; rent a bike from Capital Rideshare; or rent an electric scooter. And of course, you can always walk.
3. It’s Very Walkable
If you’re looking for a way to explore DC while getting some exercise, then you should consider touring the city on foot. Many of the most popular tourist destinations, museums, and monuments are located in close proximity to each other, making walking a viable (and free) option.
Touring on foot is my favorite way to stay healthy when traveling. I have so much fun exploring and taking pictures that I don’t realize how much walking I’m actually doing or how many steps I’m getting in. Win-win!
4. There’s History Everywhere You Look
There are few cities that are as full of history as the Nation’s Capital. Named in honor of George Washington, DC is the center of U.S. politics and the home of the POTUS. The White House is probably the most popular historic site in the District.
Did you know that although the city was named for our country’s 1st president, George Washington never actually lived in The White House during his presidency?
It’s true. Washington oversaw the design and construction; however, John Adams and his wife, Abigail, were the first actual residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Washington, DC also boasts The Capitol, a multitude of monuments, sculptures, and historic landmarks that bring to life DC history.
5. It’s Full of Culture
If you’re looking for culture, DC has it all. There are a variety of theaters (such as the Kennedy Center, pictured and National Theater) and concert venues throughout the city. DC also has an array of great museums, most of which offer FREE admission which is almost unheard of in big cities. What more could you ask for?!
6. There’s Beautiful Architecture Everywhere You Look
If you love architecture as much as I do, you’ll find an endless selection of amazing buildings to admire throughout the city.
A few of my favorites include the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Washington National Cathedral (pictured above), and Union Station.
7. There Are Plenty of Options for Outdoor Enthusiasts
If you enjoy being active, there are endless ways to enjoy the outdoors in DC.
- You can walk, jog, or ride your bike around the city
- Kayak or go stand-up paddleboarding in the Potomac River
- Play sports on The National Mall in downtown DC
- Check out one of the many parks throughout the District
8. There Are Several Beautiful Waterfront Areas
DC has several great waterfront areas to enjoy, each of which offers a unique experience.
- The Wharf area has been revitalized in recent years and features The Anthem Theater, one of the most popular concert venues in the District.
- The Navy Yard is another popular area with a variety of shops and restaurants.
- Washington Harbor just south of Georgetown and offers great waterfront restaurants with scenic views of the Kennedy Center and Roslyn, VA.
- National Harbor, which although not in DC, is just a short drive away.
9. It’s Made Up of a Bunch of Eclectic Neighborhoods
The District is made up of a variety of unique neighborhoods, each with its own charm and appeal.
The U Street area is popular with millennials because of its bars and vibrant nightlife. And Ben’s Chili Bowl, a DC landmark, continues to draw tourists and locals alike.
Adams Morgan is an eccentric neighborhood known for its diversity, bars, and eclectic shops.
And of course, there’s Georgetown, one of the best-known DC neighborhoods just minutes from Washington Harbor, downtown DC, and Arlington, VA.
10. There are a Ton of Free Activities
On a budget? No problem! There are a ton of free activities to do in DC.
- Spend an afternoon on The Mall flying a kite, having a picnic, or take a stroll around the Tidal Basin
- Check out an exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Gardens
- Walk or ride around looking for the amazing murals, street art, and graffiti that can be found throughout the city
- Visit the Smithsonian National Zoo with (or without) child(ren)
11. DC Hosts Several Popular Annual Festivals
DC is host to some fun annual festivals. My favorites are the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Blossom Kite Festival which precedes it. Both are held in the Spring, making DC a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
I’ve been going to see the cherry blossoms almost every year since I was a child and enjoy the tradition to this day.
12. It’s Stunning at Night!
Have you been to Washington, DC before? If so, what’do you like best about it?
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