Washington Hotels , Flights and Travel Packages

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Washington D. C. Travel Guide : Washington, D.C. Tours & Travel Services : Hotels Best Deals & Discounts : Low Cost Flights : Affordable Travel & Holidays Packages

Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States and the seat of its three branches of government, has a collection of free, public museums unparalleled in size and scope throughout the history of mankind, and the lion's share of the nation's most treasured monuments and memorials. The vistas on the National Mall between the Capitol, Washington Monument, White House, and Lincoln Memorial are famous throughout the world as icons of the world's wealthiest and most powerful nation.  Beyond the Mall, D.C. has in the past two decades shed its old reputation as a city both boring and dangerous, with shopping, dining, and nightlife befitting a world-class metropolis. Travelers will find the city new, exciting, and decidedly cosmopolitan and international.

Washington, D.C. Main Districts :  Virtually all of D.C.'s tourists flock to the Mall—a two-mile long, beautiful stretch of parkland that holds many of the city's monuments and Smithsonian museums—but the city itself is a vibrant metropolis that often has little to do with monuments, politics, or white, neoclassical buildings. The Smithsonian is a "can't miss," but don't trick yourself—you haven't really been to D.C. until you've been out and about the city.

Downtown (The National Mall, East End, West End, Waterfront) : The center of it all: The National Mall, D.C.'s main theater district, Smithsonian and non-Smithsonian museums galore, fine dining, Chinatown, the Verizon Center, the Convention Center, the central business district, the White House, West Potomac Park, the Kennedy Center, George Washington University, the beautiful Tidal Basin, and the new Nationals Stadium. 
North Central (Dupont Circle, Shaw, Adams Morgan-Columbia Heights) : D.C.'s trendiest and most diverse neighborhoods and destination number one for live music and clubbing, as well as loads of restaurants, Howard University, boutique shopping, beautiful embassies, Little Ethiopia, jazz on U Street, and lots of nice hotels. 
West (Georgetown, Upper Northwest) : The prestigious, wealthy side of town, home to the historic village of Georgetown with its energetic nightlife, colonial architecture, and fine dining; the National Zoo; the massive National Cathedral; bucolic Dumbarton Oaks; the bulk of D.C.'s high-end shopping; more Embassy Row; American University; and several nice dining strips. 
East (Capitol Hill, Northeast, Anacostia) : Starting at the Capitol Building and Library of Congress, and fanning out past grandiose Union Station and the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood, to the less often visited neighborhoods by Gallaudet and Catholic University, historic African-American Anacostia, D.C.'s "Little Vatican" around the National Shrine, the huge National Arboretum, the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, offbeat nightlife in the Atlas District, and a handful of other eccentric neighborhoods to explore.

Washington, D.C Landmarks & Popular attractions :
If you are sightseeing, chances are you are on the Mall. The National Mall is a unique National Park, filled with an intense concentration of monuments, memorials, museums, and monumental government buildings instantly recognizable to people all over the world. The White House, the US Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial the Jefferson Memorial, the National Gallery of Art, the Air and Space Museum, the National Natural History Museum, the Holocaust Museum, the International Spy Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery are just a few of the top national attractions here, all within walking distance of each other. The tourist-designated sights are just half of the attraction, though—to walk down the National Mall is to thread the halls of world power in the modern era. Here the world's most powerful politicians and their staffs fill the grand neo-classical buildings of the three branches of US Government, making decisions that reverberate in the remotest corners of the world.

There are multiple maps along the Mall, especially by Metro stops, but the place is so jam-packed with things you'll want to see that you should probably take a map with you to avoid missing highlights obscured by other highlights. For a more detailed and larger map than the Wikitravel version, print out the official National Mall map (pdf) [58]. The Mall is larger than it looks, and a walk from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial or the Tidal Basin will take a while and may wear you down a bit. Plan ahead what you want to see and concentrate your activities in one section of the Mall each day.

The eastern section, home to the majority of the museums, is covered in the National Mall article, as are the western portion of the Mall and the Tidal Basin. Many more museums await just north of the Mall in the East End, ranging from the new, flashy Newseum and International Spy Museum to the time tested National Portrait Gallery and the home of the Constitution at the National Archives. The White House is located in the West End, and the Capitol Building is on Capitol Hill.

While the Mall has more than enough sights to keep a traveler busy for a while, the city itself has plenty of big attractions for a visitor who wants to leave behind the sandy paths and flocks of tourists and pigeons of the Smithsonian. The National Zoo in Woodley Park is one of the nation's most prestigious, and the nearby National Cathedral is an awe-inspiring mammoth. Embassy Row is an impressive stretch of some 50 foreign-owned historic and modernist mansions along Massachusetts Ave throughout Dupont Circle and Woodley Park. Also located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood are the Phillips Collection, a nice modern art museum, and the Textile Museum.

The historic neighborhood of Georgetown is another great sightseeing destination, full of beautiful old colonial buildings, the 200+ year-old Jesuit campus of Georgetown University, a pleasant waterfront, and the infamous Exorcist steps. By car (i.e., taxi), you can get to some of the capital's more far-flung and less-frequented attractions, like the magnificent Catholic National Shrine and the National Arboretum in the Northeast, or the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in eastern Anacostia.

Views and Panoramas :
D.C.'s famous height restrictions—no taller than the width of the street the building is on plus 20 feet—have resulted in a skyscraper-less downtown, giving D.C. a distinctly muted feel for what is actually the heart of a huge metropolis. The obvious downside to this law is that it limits the supply of housing and office space, which sends the cost of living and running a business downtown soaring, sparking runaway suburban sprawl, which has helped cause terrible traffic congestion, erode the city's tax base (since suburbs are in Maryland and Virginia), and undermine the vitality of the city's downtown. On the upside, though, this means that you'll have a great view over the city if you make your way to just about any old rooftop or even a nice hill.

There are several classic spots to get a look out over the city. Starting with the cheapest and easiest, the Old Post Office Tower is free and centrally located, just off the National Mall in the East End, with a good view of the nearby federal buildings and a helpful map explaining what you're looking at. Also free, the Kennedy Center rooftop terrace (in the West End) provides a nice skyline somewhat removed from the city, with the the Lincoln Memorial prominent in the foreground. The Washington Monument is another free option on the Mall, though as a vista point its small, bunker-like ports covered with scratched plastic make it less inspiring than might be expected. If you have some money, the Newseum (East End) is a good place to see a remarkable museum and get a close up view of downtown. Finally, the W Hotel (West End), just a block from the White House, has a rooftop terrace, bar, and lounge. While the bar and lounge are expensive, a single cocktail gets a table for several people long enough to take in the view, and suave cheapskates can simply wander around long enough to get a load of the White House from above (close enough to make out the Secret Service overwatch) before heading back to the elevator.

Things to Do in Washington, D.C :

Parks : The District is home to many large parks that offer hiking and biking. Many of the downtown parks are crowded with soccer, football, rugby, kickball, baseball, and ultimate frisbee players. The Mall may be the most famous park, but there are several other beautiful places worth noting, like the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the National Arboretum, Meridian Hill Park, and the C&O Canal Towpath.

Rock Creek Park : It's a national park, full of deer (who overpopulate, due to lack of predators), squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, birds, and even a few coyotes. The paved biking/running trail is one of the nation's best, and it extends all the way from the Lincoln Memorial way out into Maryland (it also connects with the Mount Vernon trail in Northern Virginia).

Roosevelt Island : This is another one of those gems just far enough out of the way where most tourists miss out. The Teddy Roosevelt Memorial is at the center of the island, housing a memorial to the president as well as a couple fountains and several stone obelisks inscribed with his quotes. The rest of the island is a nice natural park of woods and swamp (the swamp has a boardwalk) in the center of the Potomac, with great views of Georgetown University on the northwest side and of the Kennedy Center on the east.

Festivals : With all the government money around, D.C. is awash in free public events all throughout the year, but especially in the summer, many of them right on the Mall. A few highlights include:

A Capitol Fourth : There is nowhere better to celebrate Independence Day than in the nation's capital. Fireworks over the Potomac River, the National Independence Day Parade and a huge orchestral concert on Capitol Hill all make for a big time celebration.

Millenium Stage :  Free daily performances at 6PM on the top floor of the Kennedy Center! Truly, D.C. -  You can see just about any type of big musical, dramatic, or dance performance right at the National Theatre in the [[Washington, D.C./East End|East End]] for free in the fall!
National Cherry Blossom Festival :  Note that Washington's cherry blossoms do ''not'' necessarily bloom during the festival—the bloom varies every year, depending on the winter weather. When the blossoms are out (and they don't stay out for long—a good rain will wash them away), Washington is at its prettiest. The traditional cherry blossom promenade is around the Tidal Basin, although it is absurdly crowded down there. You will pay top dollar to stay at hotels during cherry blossom season.
National Kite Festival at the Washington Monument : The main attraction is of course all the people showing up to fly their kites by the Washington Monument,
Shakespeare in the Park Shakespeare Free for All : The locals' choice for best summer festival might be the free annual performances by the renowned National Shakespeare Theatre Company in the open-air auditorium

The Washington Redskins are one of professional football's most established and storied clubs, currently the second most valuable franchise in the country, boasting a full five NFL championships. They were longtime residents of RFK Stadium but have since 1996 been playing at FedEx Field  in Landover, Maryland.

Theater : For your big-ticket downtown theater, there are basically two options: the enormous, government-run Kennedy Center in the West End and the private Theater District in the East End. The latter houses the Ford's Theatre, the National Theatre, and the Warner Theatre, all of which put on big, well-known Broadway and other dramatic performances, as well as the beloved and internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre Company, which has residency at both the Lansburgh Theatre and brand new Harman Hall. On any given trip to D.C., it would be hard to do better than to see one of their performances. But in this Shakespeare-crazed town, you have your choice of Shakespeare theater companies—you can also see top-notch, smaller performances of the Bard's work at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre on Capitol Hill.

Music
Classical : Classical performances are a dime a dozen in D.C., largely thanks to the efforts of the Kennedy Center, where you'll find the Washington National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra in residence. The Kennedy Center dominates the local classical arts scene with its fame and money, to the point where there aren't really any other major venues in the city.

Pop & rock : The two big music venues in the city are the 9:30 Club and the Black Cat, both of them in Shaw. As a matter of fact, most of the local music venues are right in that area—there are a bunch of great indie rock/music clubs within a few blocks. A couple of new, edgy venues catering to the local rock crowd have also just opened up in the Atlas District.

Jazz & blues : It's a rather well-kept secret that D.C. holds one of the world's best jazz scenes outside of New York City. Blues Alley in Georgetown remains the flagship club, with atmosphere straight out of a Spike Lee movie. But the jazz scene is unquestionably centered in the historic African-American neighborhood of Shaw along and around the U St Corridor, where native son Duke Ellington once played along with the likes of Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald.

For Blues lovers : There is a good regular jam session across the street from the National Zoo, of all places, as well as one off in a Presbyterian church in Southwest. But the biggest event is clearly the annual outdoor summer Blues Festival at Carter Barron in Rock Creek Park.

Washington, D.C. Flights & Airports : Washington, D.C. is served by three major airports :  Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) : is the closest and most convenient airport to D.C., located three miles to the south in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River.  Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), is located 26 miles southwest of D.C. in Dulles . Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), is 30 miles northeast of D.C. and 10 miles south of downtown Baltimore, near Glen Burnie, Maryland.

Summit Tours offers travellers intrested in Washington, D.C. plenty of travel options and Travel Services Including Holidays Packages , wide range of Best Hotels offers and discounts , Return Flights to and fromRonald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) , Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) . Our Holidays Pakages Include Washington, D.C. Culture & Classic Tours - Washington, D.C. Christmas & New Year Tours - Washington, D.C. City Tours - Washington, D.C. Holidays Packages .
 

 
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See AlsoWashington, D.C  Tours  -  USA Travel Guide  -  United States of America  : Cultural Heritage, Ancient & Historical Sites 

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