Washington, DC

The heart of Capital Region USA, Washington, DC is compact but packs a big punch.

Washington, DC is a favourite of visitors sightseeing in the Capital Region. It’s known for being the capital of the USA, but that’s only the beginning: Attractions in DC include famous monuments, captivating museums (many of them free!) and the National Mall, a two-mile-long national park flanked by the US Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.

The nation’s capital has a booming restaurant scene, diverse neighbourhoods home to people and cultures from around the world, festive annual events and vibrant nightlife. Oh, and a little presidential residence called the White House.

Getting Around

Get a feel for Washington, DC by viewing the map below, and visit this map for a deeper dive into its neighbourhoods.

The best bet for getting around is aboard one of the six Metro lines; you can even reach Virginia and Maryland cities like Alexandria and Silver Spring using the subway system. And after a 50-year hiatus, streetcar service has returned to DC. The route starts behind Union Station and runs along the H Street NE corridor, a newly revitalised area.

Annual Events

Each spring, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the 1912 gift of Japanese cherry trees from Tokyo’s mayor with a parade and other festivities.

In June, the DC Jazz Festival features more than 100 performances at venues across the city. Also in June, experience traditions from around the world at the free Smithsonian Folklife Festival held on the National Mall.

Throughout the month of May, Passport DC showcases the international diplomatic community via a series of programmes, including two embassy open houses: Around the World Embassy Tour and EU Open House.

Held in Rock Creek Park, the Citi Open Tennis Tournament brings the world’s best men’s and women’s players to town in July/August for nine days of world-class tennis.

And thousands make their way to the H Street Festival, a massive block party featuring live music on multiple stages, art exhibits, local food trucks and more.

Twice a year, diners can take advantage of specially priced menus during Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week (August and January). More than 200 participating restaurants offer three-course lunch and dinner menus at a bargain.

What’s New in DC

In 2019, the International Spy Museum relocated eight blocks south to its new and expanded home on L’Enfant Plaza.

The National Children’s Museum also moved to the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown DC following a four-year closure, with a renewed STEM-based focus.

After the first-ever major renovation in its history, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opened The REACH in autumn 2019, an extension of the campus that bridges audience and art through collaborative spaces.

Bordering the south side of the National Mall near the US Department of Education, the brand-new Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial — a Frank Gehry designed tribute to the 34th president of the United States — is scheduled to open May 2020.

Also in 2021, the anticipated completion of the Metrorail Silver Line extension project will add six new rail stations and provide direct transportation between Washington Dulles International Airport and downtown.

To explore the rest of the Capital Region, visit our Maryland and Virginia pages, or view our Holiday Guide online.

map of CRUSA highlighting washington, D.C.

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