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177.0 km2 (68.3 sq mi)
0–125 m (0–409 ft)
Exploring Washington, D.C.
Washington, in the District of Columbia, situated at the fork of the Potomac and Anacostia river, is the federal capital of the United States of America. The city, with its 530,000 inhabitants, is the seat of political activity for both the State and numerous international organizations, which together employ around 35,000 people. The city is divided into quadrants, with The U.S. Capitol forming the centre. The north-south streets are numbered. The east-west streets have letter names, listed in alphabetical order, A to W. After W Street, the east-west streets have two syllable names in alphabetical order, A to W. Then there are three-syllable names in alphabetical order. The next "alphabet" contains streets named after flowers, plants and trees, again in alphabetical order. The number and letter streets form a regular grid, which is overlaid by diagonal avenues that bear the name of the various U.S. states.
The central nucleus of the city is located between K Street and Capitol Hill. The Capitol, home of the American Congress, is situated on Capitol Hill. It is from here that the Mall, the main axis of the city begins and runs until the Potomac River. This vast grassy expanse is lined with museums including those of the world-famous Smithsonian Institution and federal government offices, and leads up to the Washington Memorial. The Mall continues to The Lincoln Memorial until finally arriving at the river.
Hotels and lodging
Courtyard Arlington Rosslyn 1533 Clarendon, Arlington, Virginia 22209. Phone: 1-703-528-2222. Located near Ballston, Georgetown University, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon and White House.
Residence Inn Fair Lakes Fairfax 12815 Fair Lakes Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22033. Phone: 1-703-226-4900. The extended stay hotel in Fairfax offers complimentary internet access, weekly social hours and spacious suites with full kitchens.
Courtyard Dunn Loring Fairfax 2722 Gallows Road, Vienna, Virginia 22180. Phone: 1-703-573-9555. The Courtyard Dunn Loring Fairfax hotel near the Washington, DC Metro is centrally located to give travelers access to Washington, DC, Tyson's Corner and the Merrifield and Falls Church business districts.
Courtyard Dulles Town Center Hotel in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Dulles, Virginia at the intersection of Route 7 and 28, near Town Center Mall. 147 rooms and 10 suites with complimentary Internet and on site parking. Breakfast and dinner available at the Bistro.
Courtyard Dulles Airport Chantilly Chantilly, Virginia hotel with 24-hour shuttle to nearby Dulles Airport. 137 rooms and 12 suites with complimentary wireless Internet.
Bedford Springs Resort The New Bedford Springs Resort offers guests a singular luxury resort experience, complete with a fully restored Bedford Springs Old Course, world-class spa, and opulent accommodations—all nestled on 2,200 historic acres featuring seven natural mineral springs.
Residence Inn Alexandria Old Town South at Carlyle 2345 Mill Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22314 Phone: 703-549-1155 The Residence Inn Alexandria Old Town South at Carlyle is located in the vibrant Carlyle community near historic Old Town Alexandria. The hotel is a short walk to the Eisenhower Avenue Metro Station and numerous dining, entertainment and retail options with free shuttle service to the local area.
Courtyard Arlington Crystal City/Reagan National Airport 2899 Jefferson Davis Highway. Arlington, Virginia 22202. Phone: 1-703-549-3434. Complimentary shuttle to the Crystal City METRO Rail Station.
Residence Inn Washington, DC Downtown 1199 Vermont Avenue, NW · Washington, District Of Columbia 20005 . Phone: 1-202-898-1100. Extended stay hotel located near Dupont Circle, Farragut Square, and just one mile away from The National Mall.
Courtyard Washington, DC/U.S. Capitol 1325 2nd Street NE. Washington, District Of Columbia 20002. Phone: 1-202-898-4000. Located on the Metro's Red Line and near Capitol Hill.
The Abraham Lincoln Memorial, erected in 1922, resembles a Greek temple, with 36 Dorian columns, one for each of the states, which made up America, at the time of the president’s death. The White House is situated to the east, at number 511, 10th street. The Ford’s Theatre is located to the north-west. It is here that President Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. A Museum, bearing his name, is housed under the theatre and possesses both the assassin’s pistol and diary . The Pentagon, site of America’s Department of Defense, is located at Arlington, on the bank of the Potomac river. This enormous pentagonal-shaped building covers an area of 12,000 acres. It is possible to book a guided tour at The Visitor‘s Centre.
The more interesting aspects of the city are to be found in and around The Mall. Pennsylvania Avenue, a wide 2.5 km long street, connects The Capitol to The White House and is the site of the annual President’s Parade. The White House, open to the general public, was built between 1792 and 1800. The building, designed by James Hoban, is built in Neoclassic style. The Smithsonian Institution Museums, located only short distance away, house The Freer Art Galleries; The Hirshorn Museum and Garden; The National Air and Space Museum; The National History Museum and The National Museum of American History. The 16 million exhibits on show, bear witness to the industrial, cultural and economical development of this country.
Other note-worthy buildings include: The Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts, host to theatre plays, operas, musicals and films, and The Corcorana Gallery of Art, (subway stop -Farragaut West), this private gallery’s collection of American paintings and sculptures is second only to the Metropolitan in New York. An excellent bus and underground network, with stops at all the principle monuments, makes touring the city very easy indeed. The ticket is valid for travel after 9:30 am Monday to Friday and at all times during the week-end and can be purchased from the ticket booths in the station. Taxis do not have meters, the fare depends upon the number of city zones crossed in the course of the ride. The capital is linked by three airports: Washington National, Dulles International and Baltimore-Washington International .
There is nothing more magnificent than night-time visit to the monuments, all of which are illuminated. From the viewing room at the top of The George Washington Memorial, it is possible to obtain a superb view of the entire city. Starting from The Lincoln Memorial, crossing The Memorial Bridge and entering Arlington, it is possible to visit The National Military Cemetery, where among others, John F Kennedy and his brother Bob, have been laid to rest.
The changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is carried out every half hour from April to September and every hour during other times of the year. Equally impressive, is the monument dedicated to the Marines, it details the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi during the battle of Iwo Jima during The Second World War.
The Botanical Gardens, built in 1816 and one of the oldest gardens in America, are located near The Capitol. Do not miss: The Library of Congress, situated in front of The Capitol.-This complex, which consists of three buildings, the oldest dating back to 1897, is elaborately decorated with murals, mosaics and sculptures and contains over 80 million volumes; The National Gallery of Art, one of the most important in the world, The Phillips Collection, the oldest contemporary art museum in the country; The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, The American Mint and The Pentagon Building, where guided tours are possible of this, the largest military complex in the world.
There are many shopping centres, which generally open from 10am to 8pm or 9:30 pm during week-days. Some of the more notable centres are: The Old Post Office Pavilion in Pennsylvania Avenue, a historic building, from whose clock tower it is possible to look out over the city.
The Chevy Chase Pavilion in Wisconsin Avenue and the Fashion Center at Pentagon City, (subway stop- Pentagon City).
Maps and transportation
Getting to Washington D.C.
You can get to D.C. in several ways via the :
- The Washington Metropolitan Area Authority aka. The Metro - WMATA
- The Virginia Railway Express (VRE )
Exploring Washington D.C.
The old town of Alexandria, situated a few kilometres south of Arlington, is well worth a visit. The town has superb 18th century buildings, which have been restored and transformed into elegant shops and restaurants.
Mount Vernon, the splendid residence of G.Washington, is located along the G. Washington Pway. Travelling north-west towards Canal road, we reach The Great Falls, the last waterfalls created by The Potomac river, before it enters the city. It is advisable to walk along the bank of either canal C or O and follow one of the paths that leads to the falls.
The beautiful Rock Creek Park, is situated along 16th Street, to the north of The White House. The park, with its majestic trees and wild animals, allows the visitor the possibility of discovering traces of the country’s history, while strolling along The Algonquin Indian Trail.
askalo Washington DC is a community controlled location-based Q&A online platform that is useful for sharing answers tailored to Individual local needs regarding any local topic, including the topic of Living, in which useful tips about things to do and see in DC are shared by local people with local knowledge.
Practical information and resources
Currency : US$
Electric supply: 110-120 volt, 60 hertz.
Climate : Temperate
Language : English
Opening hours : The shops are open from 10am to 6pm, the shopping centres from 9am to 9pm
Telephones : Telephone area code: 202
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