Washington, D.C, is the capital city of the United States of America. It is home for presidents of the U.S, government officials and politicians in general. Although Washington is located in the state of district of Columbia, the surrounding parts of Maryland and Virginia states are normally included, socially speaking, as part of d.c. Locals and residents tend to call this part of the state as Washington, DMV (Washington, D.C metropolitan area) or simply d.c!
Due to the political importance of Washington and its history, travelers from all over the globe visit this city all times throughout the year to have glimpse of its historical monuments and museums. Therefore, as a previous resident of this charming city, I have gathered a list of 9 places to visit in Washington, d.c, from a personal experience.
Smithsonian National Zoo
Smithsonian national zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. It opened in 1889 and is located in the north of Washington, D.C. The zoo is opened daily from 8 am to 4 pm, and Elephant trails are open from 9am to 4 pm. It is great for families of all ages. I visited the zoo twice and it was amazing during both visits. My first visit was during fall, and during the lights season. The lights season was basically where the zoo opens for visitors at night yet not for the zoo but for the decorated lights in all over the zoo. My second visit was going to the zoo in February. Surprisingly, it was very pleasing, despite it was quick and short.
Adams Morgan is a neighborhood a little to the northern side of downtown D.C, two and a half km from The White House. It is a hub for nightlife, in my opinion. In fact, Adams Morgan is one of the best neighborhoods to go to when you don’t know where to go, honestly! It is known for its multicultural atmosphere, beautiful graffiti and social life in general. With is being said, I typically visit Adams Morgan during mornings and afternoons because of its amazing coffee shops and restaurants. The center and most famous street in Adams Morgan is the 18th street. There, you have different types of restaurants from Indian cuisine, Middle Eastern falafel shop and Korean bar & restaurant. As for coffee shops, I personally recommend Tryst and Songbyrd record café and music house. I find them great spots for gatherings with friends and working/ studying! Generally speaking, I strongly recommend visiting Adams Morgan, if you have the time during your visit in Washington.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens
Oh boy, where do I start with this! Hillwood gardens are my absolute place to go to when I am feeling down (specifically sitting close by the Japanese designed gardens!) With its beautiful landscapes and interior, I was amused and drawn to it since my first visit! I have been to Hillwood several times, and each time was better than the one before it! Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens is an art museum, a decorative art museum. It is mainly focused on French gardens, specifically orchid collections. Furthermore, Hillwood was a residential house belonging to Marjorie Merriweather Post, an American philanthropist and businesswomen, before it was developed into a public museum and gardens. Post had her first guests at Hillwood at late 1950’s and it was announced a public museum and gardens since.
Smithsonian Arts and Industries building
The Smithsonian arts and industries building is the oldest U.S national museum. It was first opened in 1879. It is located in the National Mall, which is in close distance to The White House (30 min walking). Next to the Arts building, you will find the Smithsonian Castle and Enid A. Haupt Garden. The castle was built in 1855 and I am assuming the landscape surrounding it as well. The Smithsonian building is great for someone who’s interested in landscape and art. I personally discovered the castle while I was driving by. Then, I planned a proper visit the following week and I never regret it! At the garden, you will be introduced to hundreds types of flowers and have some time to relax, too. On top of that, the architect and landscape designs are both impressive, and truly two major things to appreciate about this location.
Washington National Cathedral
The Cathedral church of saint Peter and saint Paul in Washington, as known as Washington national cathedral. The cathedral was first constructed in 1907. However, it wasn’t finally built until83 years after, in1990. Since I moved to Washington, I knew I wanted to visit the cathedral. Despite believing an Islamic faith, I always wanted to capture some photos of it’s incredible interior design. My visit to the cathedral was very pleasing, overall. Additionally, there is also the Bishop garden close to the cathedral building. The garden is elegantly designed, which I found it to be very much relaxing.
The Wharf DC
The Wharf dc is not a new place in dc. It is a waterfront and full of joy since it was established! However, the entire place was developed in the past few years into a wonderful location to hangout with friends and family. Here, a full post about Review: The Wharf DC!
The White House
Of course! Who travels to Washington, D.C. and not visit The White House! With it being the most well-known building in all over the United States, it is not surprising to expect millions of visitors to the U.S each year. It is the residential building of all presidents of the U.S during their time of presidency. It is where President Donald Trump and his family currently lives. Nevertheless, it maybe a little harder to have a closer look at the White House from the fence, if you happen to visit anytime soon, due to security reasons. Though I have visited the White House many times before, I kept taking photos of it every time because it is a beautiful building.
For some reason, I’ve always loved going to Gravelly Point after downtown d.c, specially during fall season! Not only it was close to Washington, but I enjoyed watching planes landing at Ronald Raegan international airport. If you were a fan of airplanes, at gravelly point, you will be able to watch them flying overhead before landing from a proximity, take closer shots of them as well (If you’re into photography). Also, since gravelly point is located at the Potomac river, it is a great location for launching kayaks for those who loves some water activities!
Georgetown historic district
And finally, my number one favorite neighborhood in all Washington, d.c, Georgetown. Georgetown is indeed an exquisite neighborhood. With its history, architecture and cobblestone streets, no wonder thousands of people visit this location daily; specially the area around Main street. At M street (Main street), you will find large numbers of fashion and interior design shops, as well as business offices, coffee shops and high-end restaurants. An example of amazing bakeries and coffee shops are Georgetown cupcake, Baked & Wired, Blue Bottle Coffee and Laduree.