It is high time I wrote a blog post about Washington, DC, my new and wonderful city. I have been hesitant to write anything until I really felt like I knew the city; and about now, I feel like I’m finally starting to do so. Still, I have a lot to learn, and plenty of places to see. In the comments, feel free to leave suggestions of things to do and places to visit. In the meantime, though, here are the top reasons I think Washington, DC, is an incredible place to live.
1. Abundant history. I know many travelers are more hooked on adventure and athletics than museums, but I believe knowing the place you are visiting is important to really understanding a place. By that logic, if you are traveling the United States, you should learn about the history of your country. And I really believe there is no better place to do that than in Washington, DC. You have the monuments; the political infrastructure; and the ample museums. There is no end to the self-education you can pursue on your days off here.
2. Political clout. Washington, DC, being the capital of the United States, runs on politics. The downtown winds around the staple department headquarters, the White House, and memorials built to honor past political figures. Strolling the streets on a weekday, those dressing in jeans are the ones who stand out; everyone else rushes by in dark, well-pressed suits. Everyone has somewhere important to be. And the added bonus for us jean-clad pedestrians: some of the best opportunities for eavesdropping found anywhere. Here’s are some places you’re likely to end up mingling with the political elite.
3. Amazing restaurants. The bonus of hosting important organizations, people, and projects is they demand excellence in the places frequented between meetings: the many restaurants of DC. The Washington, DC metro area’s Zagat Guide, of which I do own a copy, is 316 pages this year. New restaurants are constantly coming on the scene; and only the best of the best last. I’ve only eaten at a few of the better restaurants downtown, but so far some of my favorites include Oyamel, Ceiba, and Acadiana. Still, I would recommend, if you’re visiting, to check out the Washingtonian’s annual list of the best 100 restaurants in Washington, DC. I just received my issue with the list, and cannot wait to hit as many of the decadent-looking restaurants as possible.
4. Unboring suburbs. In Wisconsin, I grew up thinking there was a limited amount to do in suburbs. In Virginia and Maryland, that is not the case. Technically, I live in a suburb myself; and I don’t mind it a bit. Because the amount of history Washington, DC has left behind it is so grand, it spans more than just the downtown area. There’s Arlington Cemetery, innumerable memorials, Mount Vernon, and more, that can be found spread out around the area. Plus, with their locations so close to the capital, even the suburbs are built up to resemble more their own individual cities than a suburb. Of course there are the two-story homes and green lawns; but there is also ample shopping, regular festivities, great restaurants, and bars for younger adults.
5. Public transportation. I may be wrong, but I would venture to say that Washington, DC has some of the best public transportation in the country. Not only does the metro reach downtown DC, Virginia, and Maryland, it’s also much cleaner than NYC’s subway. Plus, it’s cheap. There’s also an enormous bus system that runs through the area. And when both of those fails, cabs abound. It’s easy to flag one down, and, as long as you’re not taking the taxi from Reagan National (they add a $3.00 additional charge), it’s reasonably affordable. It makes not having a car, like so many of us do, easily possible.
If you have suggestions on things to do in Washington, DC for readers or for me, please leave them in the comments section. And in the meantime, maybe I’ll see you downtown!