With its neoclassical government buildings and broad avenues, Washington, D.C., looks its part as America's capital. Majestic monuments and memorials pay tribute to notable leaders and great achievements, and merit a visit. But D.C. also lives firmly in the present, and not just politically; new restaurants and bars continually emerge, upping the hipness factor in neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to U Street. Fun museums and tree-shaded parks make it a terrific place for families. You may come for the official sites, but you'll remember D.C.'s local flavor, too.
Washington is a monumental city. In the middle of traffic circles, on tiny slivers of park, and at street corners and intersections, you’ll find statues, plaques, and simple blocks of marble honoring the generals, artists, and statesmen who helped shape the nation. Of these tributes, the greatest and grandest are clustered west of the Mall on ground reclaimed from the marshy flats of the Potomac—which also happens to be the location of Washington's most striking display of cherry trees.
Ever tried Ethiopian food? Washington, D.C. is home to the world’s largest community of Ethiopian emigres, and you won’t find better tibs or kitfo anywhere else in this country. Or maybe you’d like to try great Burmese cuisine, or the inventive tapas creations of chef Jose Andres. Whatever your tastes, when you visit Washington, D.C., make sure you bring your appetite.
Washington, D.C. has tons for you to do on your visit, no matter what your taste. There are great museums for art lovers, America’s most important monuments, and lots of great activities for the kids — all easily accessible via one of the world’s best subway systems, the Metro.
In Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood you can find designer shops of every variety, offering clothes, antiques, and much more. Or you can take a quick drive to the suburbs and visit some of the biggest and best-stocked malls in the country. The Tyson’s Corner Center alone includes over 300 shops, with 120 more right across the road at the Tyson’s Galleria.