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Washington DC: Capitol with culture

Washington, DC is a conservative town by nature, therefore it doesn't exhibit the energy or force field of a New York or Chicago. Rather, the beauty of our Nation's Capitol lies in its architecture and the classical convergence of culture, power, and politics. Besides, where else can you brush shoulders with the world's most powerful leaders in a country living the greatest experiment in democracy known to humankind?

arlington cemetery
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The highlights of any cultural trip to Washington, DC should include the following as a minimum:

  1. The White House
  2. U.S. Capitol
  3. Washington Monument
  4. Lincoln Memorial
  5. Jefferson Memorial
  6. Smithsonian Museums
  7. Corcoran Gallery of Art
  8. Arlington Cemetery
  9. Supreme Court
  10. National Archives

Washington, DC has an excellent subway system with reasonable fares. Also, tourists may want to check into the inexpensive trolley - an open air vehicle that permits you unlimited stops and boardings at the more popular tourist attractions.

Since Washington summers can be hot, humid and oppressive, best to take your drinking water with you. Wear breathable clothing such as cotton during August, otherwise you will swelter with the best of 'em. Most of all, bring plenty of memory cards with you for you will wish you had more. There are numerous "photo ops" everywhere in the capitol.

Best Way To Get Around:

It's actually easier to get around by bike, taxi, subway, bus, or on-foot. Washington, DC traffic can be atrocious, especially at rush-hour, and if you're not familiar with street names, one-ways, and traffic circles, you're better off with transportation alternatives. Parking can also challenge the timid, with few vacant spots luring many vehicles. Best to park your vehicle at home and leave the driving to others - the bus, taxi, or subway driver.

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