The nation’s capital, Washington D.C. is a microcosm of the wider U.S.A.

With its low skyline and rows of delicate cherry trees, Washington D.C. is as picturesque as a village. But this city’s appeal is undeniably larger than life. As the seat of the national government – from the White House to the Capitol Building to embassies from around the globe – it boasts a cosmopolitan population. Acres of parkland, iconic monuments, and dozens of free museums into the mix, and visitors are in for a treat.

Things to know before you go

  • The two-mile-long National Mall stretches from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol. The Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art (all free) are located on this grassy expanse.
  • Originally an 18th-century port, charming Georgetown has been home to famous residents from J.F.K. to Elizabeth Taylor. Today, the area is best known for its M Street boutiques, as well as its restaurants and nightlife.
  • A forested oasis in downtown Washington, Rock Creek Park is ideal for strolling, cycling, and picnicking. Families will enjoy the thousands of animals – including giant pandas and Asian elephants – which reside at the park’s National Zoo.

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About the author

Kathryn Tomasetti

Nice, Italy

Kathryn Tomasetti is an American-born, Italian-raised food and travel journalist. Her voyages to locals-only markets and off-the-beaten-track beaches around the world have appeared in Delicious magazine and National Geographic.