What to see in Washington, D.C.?
Going on an American holiday? Find out what to see in Washington, D.C.
For those of you who have not visited Washington, D.C., your first sight of the world's power center and political vortex may come as a surprise. For all of its intensity, foreign embassies and intrigue, Washington, D.C. is a beautiful place to visit and perfect for romantic breaks.
Of course, you know this from the pictures of the White House, the US Capitol, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial, setting for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. It is also the stage where the great emancipator Abraham Lincoln is honored at the Lincoln Memorial with its ever present dignity and grandeur, the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream” speech.
You may have heard about the long and broad National Mall which stretches neatly between the Washington Monument and the Capitol building with the dozen or so Smithsonian Museums that flank it. But did you know that beyond DC‘s throbbing tourist attractions and busy federal offices, that it‘s mostly neighborhoods made up of private homes and quiet residential neighborhoods? In Northwest DC there are big old trees lining the streets and the apx. 6.9 km2 Rock Creek Park, with its walking trails, bicycle paths and wildlife including the white-tailed deer; not what you might expect to find running freely in this world capital. Nature lovers can also make their way over to the National Zoo or the Planetarium also in the park.
Another option: Paradise
On the other side of Washington in Northeast DC there‘s another place to go where you can get enthralled in a place apart from the pressures of the world that is perhaps a reminder of what few of us get enough of. The United States National Arboretum is a virtual paradise established in 1927 by an Act of Congress to serve the public need for scientific research, education, and gardens that conserve and showcase plants for the sake of enhancing the environment. In short, it‘s 15.3 km of natural splendor along exquisite almost magical winding roadways (and a good place to go after you've seen your share of monuments and other sightseers).
Keeping it light and lovely
There are no skyscrapers in Washington, D.C. In fact since 1910, by an act of the US Congress, buildings were limited to a height of no more than 130 feet. This was to maintain a light and airy atmosphere in a center where elements of national and eventually world history would be shaped.
There is no heavy industry in the Capital. It is not a big metropolis. Noise is not a problem. And while the District of Columbia spends not even one cent on advertising it draws more visitors than any other location in America. Hearing or reading about it is one thing, but seeing it, seeing it for yourself at least once and well is a pleasure that should be on the top of everyone's travel itinerary.
WOW air offers cheap flights to Washington, D.C. from London and Dublin and other great European cities all year round. Have a great USA holiday in this monumental capital.
Text: Paul Michael Herman
Photo: Thinkstock Photos