Washington, D.C., is full of rich, accessible history. In fact, Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who laid out the plans for the city, named the streets in alphabetical and numerical order so it would be easy for everyone to find their way around. This international city, full of people from all over world, is a city of neighborhoods, each with a distinctive flavor.
The city’s many attractions – including the U.S. Capitol Building, the White House, even the Bureau of Engraving, where our money is made – are fascinating. Our museums help visitors learn about U.S. history and culture, and many of them offer free admission. Come to the Nation’s capital and visit the Museum of the American Indian, the Anacostia Museum and Center for African-American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery and the entire Smithsonian complex, just for starters.
I like to tell visitors that the Nation’s capital represents them, too. There is an embassy representing every country in the world here, and I encourage them to visit these places and learn about D.C. from that perspective. Because we are a melting pot, D.C. offers many types of cuisines – visitors will find everything from Ethiopian food to great French and Italian restaurants.
Take time to explore our rich artistic and cultural community. Blues Alley in Georgetown is famous for good reason. The 14th Street and the U Street corridor have jazz clubs that are really amazing. Many streets there have been renamed for jazz greats: Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald. The whole neighborhood is important to the African-American community. Elsewhere in the city, attend a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Theater, the Howard Theatre, Ford’s Theatre and many other excellent venues.
In Washington, D.C., you’re just two hours from the mountains and two hours from the Atlantic coast. Sometimes I like to take visitors on the scenic Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park, giving them a very different experience. There they can see where pioneer families lived and worked.