"Washington DC" Washington D.C. by smschley

Washington D.C. Travel Guide: 5,767 reviews and 15,479 photos

My two favorite cities are Paris and Washington DC. This is interesting to me since some have called Washington the “Paris on the Potomac”. Commissioned by President George Washington, the French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant transformed his visual conception of a spectacular city into reality with sweeping boulevards, stately streets and tranquil parks. True to L’Enfant’s plan, Washington, DC has developed into a majestic city with a dynamic cultural scene.

The initial plot of land authorized by the Constitution for the seat of the US government was a 100-square mile area. The actual site was picked by President Washington after inspecting many Potomac sites in January of 1991. Pierre L'Enfant thought of it as the Capital City. Jefferson referred to it as Federal Town. Washington, however, considered this undignified, and instead used the name Federal City. The first commissioners appointed to acquire the property for the new capital and construct the first government buildings made the obvious choice and named the city Washington. At the same time, they decided to call the entire 100 square-mile area the District of Columbia. Congress later went along with this decision through legislative references to the area.

Today Washington contains Ninety-six historic places that bring the 200-year history of the city to life, from the famous national landmarks and monuments such as the White House, the Capitol Building, and the Mall, to the historic neighborhoods and local landmarks that make the city so unique.

From its celebrated symbols of patriotism to its undiscovered neighborhoods, the sights and sounds of the nation's capital inspire millions of visitors every year. Packed with famous sights, free attractions, and an endless calendar of special events, Washington, DC offers year-round inspiring experiences.

Beyond Washington DC's most familiar vistas, the capital city unwinds into a lively urban center. Casual cafes and upscale bistros line the trendy streets of Georgetown, while the downtown district sizzles with a host of new restaurants. Spontaneous Jazz notes tumble out the windows of U Street's nightclubs, while world-class performers take the stage at the highly acclaimed Kennedy Center. Kayakers tackle the Potomac River as it winds past the elegant marble tributes to America's great leaders

  • Last visit to Washington D.C.: Aug 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2007 at 12:33 AM

    I thought the weather in Washington was extreme the whole time I was there...


“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.”

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