Local Expert Tip
"Check out the many Smithsonian Gardens that surround the museums along the National Mall. These gardens have been created and cultivated to reflect the museum they border and offer a unique perspective that many visitors overlook."
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Five of Washington's most unique features and characteristics.Government
There's no denying that the one thing that most defines Washington, D.C. is the government. The White House, the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court — the three branches of government which impact the lives of every single American — all sit within a few blocks of each other. From there, the list grows with the hundreds of office buildings where the many departments, agencies and administrations that guide our nation reside. Walking through these hallowed halls — where presidents, cabinet secretaries, senators and representatives past and present have toiled to lead and guide our nation — is truly awe-inspiring.Museums
Washington, D.C. may be the museum capitol of the world. A quick search turns up nearly 75 different museums offering their own unique collections. They range from the famous (and we might add enormous) National Museum of American History and the National Air & Space Museum, both part of the 19 museums of the Smithsonian Institution, to the Hillwood Museum, the International Spy Museum and even a Madame Tussauds wax museum. Whether the collections are diverse and all-encompassing or small and eclectic, each offers an important view into a compelling part of American and world history.
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Pulsing with life and constantly in flux, America's capital city is an eclectic entity, fueled by politics and tourism. The District, as it's fondly called, centers on the Capitol and then spreads out into a variety of distinctive neighborhoods. They include funky Adams-Morgan and its diverse ethnic groups, Downtown with its art galleries and nightlife, Dupont Circle with its hip clubs and Connecticut Avenue shopping, and upscale Georgetown, whose rows of brick town homes shelter first-class restaurants and boutiques. Capitol Hill and the National Mall feature many of the city's most prominent buildings and museums, including stately presidential monuments and most branches of the world-famous Smithsonian Institution.
For history-lovers and culture fans, DC is replete with world-class museums and arts venues. The Smithsonian alone includes 15 distinct museums with vast collections of art and artifacts, including the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of American History. At the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, visitors can catch live theater and music performances, and the Folger and Shakespeare Theatres stage classics that resonate with modern audiences. Even annual events take on a cultural approach, as... Read more »