Thursday, September 15, 2022

8 Compelling Reasons To Visit Washington DC

 This is a collaborative post. Please welcome today's contributor.

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Washington DC is a city of politicians, lobbyists, and stretched limousines, ferrying VIPs from one important location to another. It’s also the nation’s capital. Yet the city doesn’t get a lot of air time. And most travel-focused people never visit it. There are too many other things to see.

And that’s a shame. Because while DC might not be the most beautiful city in the world, it certainly has a lot of heritage, culture, and history. After all, the city is the foundation of the American political economy. And, for many years, it’s been the center of global power thanks to all the international institutions located there, the political decision-makers, the Pentagon, and, of course, the White House. You can feel the significance of the place the moment you step off the plane. It’s quite remarkable.

Naturally too, there are many reasons why people want to visit America’s capital city Here are some of the highlights.

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There are a lot of Free Things to Do

If you visit New York, you can only really have a great time if you take a stack of cash with you. But when you go to Washington DC, that’s not the case at all. There are a lot of free things that you can do. For instance, you can visit:

  • The Smithsonian Museum

  • Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and Jefferson memorials

  • The US Capitol Building

  • The National Gallery of Art

  • The National Archives

All these attractions are paid for out of federal funds as a celebration of the nation. So you can spend the entire day wandering around without having to reach into your wallet at all. 

You Can Do Some Plane Spotting

If you love watching airplanes fly low, then Washington DC is the place to do it, thanks to the location of the airport. (It’s very different from NYC).

The best place to catch a glimpse of incoming aircraft is Gravelly Point Park in Arlington, Virginia. It’s a nice spot for a picnic, plus you can enjoy the views over DC itself.

There are Plenty of Shopping Opportunities

Washington DC isn’t quite New York or Boston, but there are still plenty of shopping opportunities in the city. What makes the city unique is the number of independent stores. You’d think that the nation’s capital would be dominated by all the big brands, but that’s simply not the case. There are so many quirky and bijou outlets here to keep you busy all day long.

Pay attention to the book stores you encounter in particular. There are some real classics which keep old books that you simply can’t find anywhere else.

Also keep an eye out for various boutiques. Washington DC is set up to cater to wealthy clientele who expect the best service for everything, from wedding dresses to manicures.

Visit the National Zoo

If you love animals, you’ll want to check out the National Zoo on Connecticut Avenue. The venue’s star attraction are the giant pandas that spend their time playing in their enclosure and chewing on bits of bamboo. Plus there are plenty of other creatures to gawp at, including meerkats, everyone’s favorite.

Stay in a Delightful Hotel

For centuries, Washington DC has hosted guests. And because of that, it has one of the most incredible hospitality sectors on the planet. 

Finding hotels with hot tub in room in Washington DC is pretty straightforward. There are dozens of establishments offering all sorts of incredible experiences to guests. Room service is also excellent. And thanks to various delivery service providers around the city, you can order pretty much anything you want without actually having to leave the hotel.

Go Covert at the International Spy Museum

The US is the biggest spying superpower on the planet, and has been for many decades. Because of this, it has a rich spy history, and that’s something that the International Spy Museum celebrates in style.

The museum, though, is more than just a showpiece. You can actually take part in regular spy games and interactive experiences here. These live action adventures introduce you to what it is like being a spy on the streets of DC. Just don’t blow your cover!

Sit in on the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court gets a lot of attention in the news media for its role in American politics. But hardly anyone actually visits and sits in on a session, watching how it makes rulings.

You can be the exception. The court sits in sessions running from October to April. During these periods, you can listen to all the arguments and counterarguments, and then watch as it passes verdicts. What’s more, it’s free to enter, whether there is a session ongoing or not. You can find the court on First Street, NE.

Check Out the Ethiopian Food Scene

Most people don’t associate Washington DC with Ethiopian cuisine. But the connection between the two is actually quite surprising. It turns out that DC is home to a large Ethiopian population, people who migrated to the city over many years and brought their food culture with them.

Go to the Shaw area of town and you’ll see multiple Ethiopian eateries dotted all over the place. Going to a restaurant like this is a fundamentally different experience than anywhere else that you’ve been. Make sure that you try the spongy injera bread made of teff flour (a local grain that substitutes for wheat). During meals, you use it as a kind of spoon to scoop up various curries and vegetables. Cutlery is optional.

After Work Hours Can Be a Lot of Fun

Working in Washington DC can be extremely stressful. But this is what makes the city’s happy hour so unique. In the evenings and at the weekend, everyone floods out of the offices and to the restaurants and such for drinks, appetizers, socializing, etc and they expect establishments to cater to their need to relax. Because of this, happy hour is a major event. You can get cocktails, pizzas, and mezcal from various inns and eateries.

No matter what you decide to do, Washington DC is definitely a wonderful place to visit.


  1. I have not been myself, but Jason and Mariah were lucky enough to go on her 8th grade field trip. Jason's been bugging me to go ever since. He says there is so much to see and do, we'd never get bored. I think I would like to go in the spring though, when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. It seems like the prettiest time for a visit.

    1. When my son was in the Army he'd go to the cherry blossom festivals in DC. The pictures were always so gorgeous.

  2. I would love to visit D.C one day. I'm a big history buff, and I think visting the monuments would be fantastic.

  3. You could spend days at the Smithsonian alone. So much to see there.

  4. It's a place I've never wanted to visit. There are many and this is just one of them. I don't see VIPs here at all. I'll leave it at that.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend, my friend. ♥

  5. Washington DC is gorgeous, I've heard so much about it but I've never been yet. Soon I hope.

  6. I've never even thought about going to D.C. but I guess maybe I should put it on the radar for a trip soon.

  7. I always wondered how the city relaxes after a stressful work day there. This is Washington DC we're talking about! I bet the food and drinks are amazing and tasty.

  8. I love visiting DC, such a beautiful city with so much history.

  9. I love visiting DC, such a beautiful city with so much history!

  10. Washington DC looks like a great place to visit and so educational too!

  11. I've always wanted to visit Washington D.C. I think it would be amazing to be able to go there. Seems like there is a lot to do there too.

  12. My husband wants to visit DC. Glad to know that they have hotels with hot tubs

  13. Oh wow I had no idea there was so much to do in DC. Maybe we should go there next time we are in America.

  14. I would absolutely love to go and visit DC with the whole family! Such a really exciting and wonderful place!

  15. I totally agree with all of these. We love Washington, D.C.

  16. My sister used to live near DC and we loved to visit with her and go into Washington DC. There is so much to do there.

  17. A visit to Washington D.C is on my bucket list.

    Hugs and blessings, my friend πŸ’™πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’œ

  18. DC is like New York I think - it is in so many movies, that everyone has to visit.

  19. We've been to D.C. once before and loved it. We hope to go back again soon! -LYNNDEE

  20. Washington DC is a must visit place for sure! Thanks for these awesome suggestions!

  21. I've always wanted to go to DC. It would be so cool to see the Smithson museum.

  22. There is so much to see in Washington DC.


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