"Washington D.C." Top 5 Page for this destination Washington D.C. by doug48
Washington D.C. Travel Guide: 5,668 reviews and 15,140 photos
the history of washington d.c. dates back to prehistoric times. approximately 6,000 years ago a tribe of native americans called the anacostines lived in this area. in 1607 captain john smith founded the jamestown colony on the chesapeake bay and a year later sailed up the potomac to the area that was to become washington d.c. the first african indentured servants came to the region in 1615. this new source of labor expanded the plantation economy in the area. in the 1650's the concept of slavery was accepted and more plantations were established. irish-scottish immigrants led by captain robert troop established trading settlements in georgetown and alexandria in the late 1600's. an event in lexington massachusetts in 1775 was to drastically change the area between the potomac and anacostia rivers. this event was the beginning of the revolutionary war. in 1781 british general cornwallis surrendered at yorktown virginia and the colonists gained their independence from britian. at the first meeting of the new united states congress in new york in 1789 it was decided to make the area around georgetown it's new capital. the new city was named after the united states first president george washington. major pierre charles l'enfant designed the city plan and the united state's government moved there in 1790.
washington has survived serveral crisis's over the last 221 years. the city was burned by the british during the war of 1812. it survived the civil war and the terrorist attack of 9/11/2001. washington's 221 year old history makes it one of the most interesting cities in north america to visit.
there is so much to see and do in washington it would probably take a year to take in all of the sights of the city. you can take in the highlights of washington in a couple of days but to really experience the city it takes at least a week. the main attractions can be broken down into several areas, government buildings, monuments, museums, and neighborhoods.
in terms of government buildings the capitol and the white house are the most visited sites but there are scores of other government buildings that are of interest to the tourist. the most visited monuments are the lincoln memorial, the washington monument and the jefferson memorial but again these are just a small sampling of the hundreds of interesting memorials, monuments and statues in the city. washington is a city of museums. it would take a week to visit all the various museums of the smithsonian complex. other than the smithsonian there numerious fine museums all over the the city. finally washington is also a diverse city of interesting neighbohoods. alexandria, georgetown, old downtown, and N.W. d.c. are very interesting areas to visit when in washington d.c.
in my things to do section of this page i have tried to break down a visit to the city in terms of time. my first group of tips is what i consider the must see sites in washington. then i have posted a number of tips on the best museums in the city. the next group of tips cover important government buildings and my final group of tips cover some neighborhoods and a sampling of lesser known statues and monuments. these tips a just a small sampling of the things to do in d.c. and there are scores of interesting places, museums, and monuments that i did not have time to include.
before you visit washington d.c. it is wise to do some internet home work in preparation for your visit. because of the events of 9/11/2001 there are new security restrictions to many of the tourist sites in the city. some buildings such as the capitol and the white house require advance reservations to tour these attractions. also some museums during the peak summer tourist season require advance ticketing. in my things to do section when possible i have listed websites for entrance information. one positive factor about the new enhanced security in washington d.c. is that the tourist areas are probably the safest of any city in the united states.
an excellent guide book for washington d.c. is "dk eyewitness travel, washington d.c." pub: dk eyewitness travel. www.dk.com
a nice day trip from washington d.c. is the historic town of fredericksburg. fredericksburg has a charming downtown... more travel advice
the reagan national airport has a metro station which is the easiest and cheapest way to get to downtown washington dc.... more travel advice
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