District of Columbia

United States of America
Washington Monument featuring a monument and a sunset

Washington D.C. is more than just the seat of power in America, it’s also one of the nation’s cultural treasures, featuring some of the best museums in the country.

Bounded by Virginia, Maryland and the Potomac River, the District of Columbia lures millions of people annually to explore the history and excitement of the capital of the United States of America. Every citizen should make a trip to explore Washington D.C. at least once in his or her lifetime; global citizens are welcome too.

The White House is a good place to start. The President of the United States lives here and conducts many matters of federal and international importance. Contact your Member of Congress at least 21 days in advance if you would like to join a tour of the inside.

Walk to the National Mall, not a shopping mall, but the 146-acre (59-hectare) green space near the White House. The monolithic Washington Monument rises from the mall and appears in the Reflecting Pool that stretches west toward the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Walk around the Tidal Basin to see the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. To the east is the Capitol Building with its striking white dome. Make a reservation for a tour.

In the area, visit the Smithsonian National Museum, the Newseum and the National Gallery of Art. See dance, theater or a symphony performance at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center.

In pleasant weather, use Capital Bikeshare rentals to go farther afield. Ride to Georgetown to see the renowned university and visit the quaint shops and cafés along the Potomac River. Cycle or drive to Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of more than 400,000 service members and their family. Look for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Washington D.C. is not only the political center for the United States, but also a place where foreign visitors come to negotiate relationships, conduct business and see the sights. Walk along the section of Massachusetts Avenue known as Embassy Row to see some of the more than 170 embassies in the city.