American history and political buffs flock to Washington, D.C., to see the beautiful monuments and memorials around the National Mall, take tours of the Capitol Building or the White House, or visit the renowned Smithsonian Museums. But Washington, D.C. — a city under the sole jurisdiction of Congress — has its own history separate from the federal government that is also worth visiting.
As the nation’s capital, the city is the focal point for political history, but that’s not all it has to offer. This city of 658,893 has seen a tremendous population growth of 9.5 percent in the past five years, transforming it from being “only the capital city” to a hotspot of its own. Its own neighborhoods celebrate city life, and there are plenty of things to do, from family outings to the Smithsonian National Zoo, to walking the riverwalk for some fresh seafood, to paying homage to the city’s historical sites — including the Ford Theater or the home of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The city is also committed to education, as 88.4 percent of its residents are high school graduates and 52.4 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. It is home to a number of prestigious universities, including Howard University, American University and George Washington University. Its commitment to the arts shows in its renowned Kennedy Center shows as well as its local productions on the U Street Corridor or at popular venues such as the 9:30 Club and the Black Cat.
The weather can be mild year-round, with some cold winters and warm summers, but there is always something to see. During the warmer months, visitors flock to the National Mall for kite festivals and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and organizers plan snowball fights during the winter. No matter when you visit, or where you live in town, you can be sure there is something for everyone to do.