Luckily, I had the good fortune to live in Washington D.C. located four blocks from the White House for three years while I attended university. What I learned in that time is which sites and experiences are some of the most treasured and sometimes, forgotten when visiting such a culturally sensational city such as Washington D.C.
Here are my top six recommendations of sites to see in Washington D.C:
- Complete a Monument Tour: This is an obvious one; however, many people do not walk the distance to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial; which is one of my favorite places to admire in Washington D.C. Additionally, if you are fortunate enough to visit in the Spring, you will see the Cherry Blossom flowers blooming around the memorial that were a gift from Japan as a symbol of American and Japanese friendship.
- Walk Across the Arlington Memorial Bridge and Do Not Take a Car: This is a long walk, but absolutely worth it! Follow behind the Lincoln Memorial and take the Memorial Bridge that crosses the Potomac River. Here you will see spectacular views of Georgetown, the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts, and Arlington Cemetery. Additionally, you will be able to enter the cemetery and climb the hill above the Kennedy Sacred Flame, which will give you one of the best views of Washington D.C.
- Pay the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History a Visit: The best wing of this museum contains some of America’s most precious gemstones. Here, you can pay the Hope Diamond a visit which is one of the most spectacular precious stones in the world.
- Take a Tour of the Washington National Cathedral: Hidden at the top of the Georgetown neighborhood is one of America’s most historic churches. Here is where many presidential funerals and important weddings have taken place. This is one of the most beautiful architectural structures to visit and is often missed by tourists.
- Go Shopping In Georgetown: Georgetown is a beautiful representation of the classic brick East Coast small town feel combined with designer window shopping and great restaurants. If you get off the main streets, you will also encounter some of America’s most traditional and posh homes that have housed famous politicians and diplomats over the years.
- Take a Tour of the Capitol: Many Americans and foreigners do not know that if you visit a Congressman’s Office, that they have to give you a tour if you are from their jurisdiction or if you are a foreigner visiting. When I was interning, I used to tour the Californians around the Capitol and it is a meaningful and informative tour about American History.
Washington D.C. is surely one of my favorite cities that I lived in. What makes Washington D.C. so special is that there is something historical or cultural everywhere you look. Thus, it is best that you at least allow one week of tourism to allow Washington D.C. to teach you about American history and culture as you enjoy some spectacular sights in the process.