Washington DC, District of Columbia Travel Infromation
Washington, D.C. is the capitol of the United States serving as the headquarters to the federal government. The President, Congress, Supreme Court, and nearly half million federal workers live or work in one of the country's most beautiful and historic cities. The site was chosen in 1791 and became the capital in 1800. It spans a distance of 68 square miles (177 square kilometers) with the average elevation a mere 25 feet above sea level. Ranked as one of the United States loveliest cities, many of its buildings are magnificent white marble structures surrounded by lovely lawns landscaped with blooming botanicals. The city is densely populated with suburbs stretching out in all directions.
Within the confines of the District of Columbia is Washington a fascinating and cosmopolitan city. Within the city limits are the core structures of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the U.S. Federal Government. In addition to these sites, which are open to the public, the city hosts the museums of the Smithsonian Institution and several large memorials commemorating individuals and events in American history. Interesting historical structures line many of the wide streets of the city and provide intimate views into the cultural, historical and political past of the United States.
Washington, D.C. contains many green spaces surrounding the National Mall that are open to walking, hiking, rollerblading and biking. Visitors will find it difficult to see all this city has to offer. Outside of the core political district are many unique neighborhoods boasting cultural diversity evident in their restaurants, shops and residents. Washington, D.C. also has the largest metropolitan national park in America, Rock Creek Park. Deep gorges, a rushing creek, equestrians trails, planetarium, and a commuter road closed to weekend vehicular traffic, draws thousands to this woodland oasis.
The District of Columbia experiences four distinct seasons. Winter can be very unpredictable with bitter cold and freezing precipitation or mild, sunny days. Be prepared with layered clothing for winter visits to the region.
Fall and spring are mild and pleasant with colorful foliage and blooming flora respectively. Usually the humidity remains at a very comfortable level during these seasons. During the summer months the temperatures and humidity, along with the crowds, rise to often uncomfortable proportions, although this season brings outdoor events daily.
The District of Columbia expands 68 square miles (177 square kilometers) along the Potomac River between the East Coast states of Maryland and Virginia.
Ford's Theatre National Historic Site- This site was made infamous on April 14, 1865, when President Lincoln was shot while attending a show in the theater. He was carried across the street to the Petersen house, where he died the next morning.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial- Located along the famous Cherry Tree Walk on the Tidal Basin near the national mall this is a memorial not only to Franklin Delano Roosevelt but also to his times.
Korean War Veterans Memorial- From 1950 to 1953, the United States joined with United Nations forces in Korea to take a stand against what was deemed a threat to democratic nations worldwide.
Old Post Office Tower- The Old Post Office is one of the last remaining examples of Richardsonian Romanesque Architecture in Washington, D.C.
Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site- This site includes a portion of Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capitol and the White House, encompassing Ford's Theater National Historic Site, Washington commercial district, the Old Post Office Tower and other federal structures.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial- Located near the Lincoln Memorial at the west end of Constitution Gardens, the polished black granite wall is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 persons who gave their lives or remain missing in the Vietnam War.
Anacostia Park- With over 1,200 acres, Anacostia Park is one of Washington, D.C.'s largest and most important recreation areas.
Fort Dupont Park- A "park for all seasons" describes the 376 rolling wooded acres that make up one of the largest parks in all of Washington.
Fort Washington Park- Fort Washington lies across the Potomac from Mount Vernon and was initially constructed in 1814 to protect Washington, D.C.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site- From 1877 to 1895, this was the home of Frederick Douglass, the Nation's leading 19th-century African American spokesman.
Greenbelt Park- Just 12 miles from Washington, D.C., this woodland park offers urban dwellers access to many forms of outdoor recreation, including camping all year.
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site- This is the headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women established by Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935. It commemorates Bethune's leadership in the black women's rights movements from 1943 to 1949.
Piscataway Park- The tranquil view from Mount Vernon of the Maryland shore of the Potomac is preserved as a pilot project in the use of easements to protect parklands from obtrusive urban expansion.
Sewall-Belmont House National Historic Site- Rebuilt after fire damage from the War of 1812, this red brick house is one of the oldest on Capitol Hill. It has been the National Woman's Party headquarters since 1929.
Description - The National Mall's origins are as old as the capital city itself. The open space and parklands envisioned by Pierre L'Enfant's plan, which was commissioned by George Washington, created an ideal stage for national expressions of remembrance, observance and protest.
Attractions - The National Mall resources include the 2,000 American elms that line the Mall and the 3,000 internationally renowned Japanese cherry trees that grace the Tidal Basin. Gardens that are botanical showplaces display thousands of tulips, pansies and annuals in over 170 flower beds, and 35 ornamental pools and fountains range from the simple to the sublime. This impressive mingling of natural and cultural resources has made our Nation's Capital one of the most heavily visited and photographed places in the world.
Recreation - Visitors to the National Mall will find the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington Monument, and The White House.
Bicycles and inline skates are allowed along paved roads and walkways in the park. They are not allowed in the memorial or monument areas such as in the chambers of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, or along the walls at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials.