City Guide | Washington D.C.
By Kate Klassa
Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States of America, and the D.C. area is home to 6 million people.
Washington D.C. is a planned community designed by 19th century French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant, which is why many of the streets have a European city feel to them.
Fly into Ronald Reagan National Airport or Dulles International Airport and take the Metro into the city. National Airport is on the blue and yellow Metro lines. Dulles does not have a Metro station, but a Silver Line shuttle can take you to the nearest Metro station in about 15 minutes.
Metrorail has 6 metro lines and Metrobus has many bus routes that run across the city and into the neighboring states of Virginia and Maryland. Trains run every 8-20 minutes depending on the time of day and buses run every 20 minutes.
Smithsonian museums. D.C. has eleven Smithsonian institutions, so pick a few and explore them in-depth (all Smithsonian institutions have free admission). The African American Museum and the Air and Space Museum are the most popular.
The National Mall. The Mall is a wide strip of grass between many of the Smithsonians and government buildings that runs from the Washington Memorial to the Capitol building. If the weather is nice, buy food from one of the nearby food trucks and make a picnic of it.
Library of Congress. You must apply for a special pass to enter the reading room, but the general public can visit the beautiful, spacious lobby.
Newseum. The Newseum follows the history of journalism and the free press and features related exhibits, including sections of the Berlin Wall and the radio tower from the Twin Towers. Adult tickets are $25 and are good for two consecutive days.
Georgetown. An upscale area with plenty of rowhouses, shopping, and eating to keep you entertained.
Mount Vernon Trail. Walk along part of the 18-mile trail that follows the Potomac River and stretches from the bottom of Alexandria to Roosevelt Island.
Neighborhoods. To see the “real” D.C., pick a few neighborhoods to wander through. D.C. has an eclectic mix, so choose what you’re interested in before going. For nightlife and vintage shopping head to Adams Morgan, and for an up & coming neighborhood popular with millennials go to Logans Circle.
D.C. restaurants. D.C. is home to an impressive food scene, and local favorites include Busboys & Poets (plenty of vegan friendly options!), Ted’s Bulletin, Jaleo, and Founding Farmers. For something on the more caffeinated side, some popular favorites are Ebenezer’s, Compass, Filter, Swing’s, and Baked & Wired.