Washington DC Overview
You may know Washington D.C., the capital of the United States, primarily as the seat of power in the American government. However, besides its fame for playing host to the White House and Capitol Hill, D.C. is also a cultural mecca. It is one of the most globally diverse places to live in the world, making the social and artistic scenes varied and plentiful. From historical monuments to boozy, late-night cafes, DC life is definitely not all work and no play, though the city is a humming business center by day. The District of Columbia can be a wonderful place for families to grow, in a variety of habitats. Historic neighborhood townhouses, high-rise condos and more line the streets. If you’re looking for an urban lifestyle and a dynamic place to live, finding you new home among the many wonderful Washington DC apartments is worth a look.
Washington DC History
On the banks of the Potomac River, you’ll find the capitol city originally named for and founded by the first American president, George Washington. Originally home to the Nacotchtank Native Peoples, by the end of the 18th century, the cite was chosen to be the capitol of the nation. Since then, the city has grown to reach a population of over half a million residents, notable for their diversity.
Washington DC Weather
Weather in D.C. is pretty typical for the mid-Atlantic coast. July is usually the warmest month, averaging about an 89-degree daily high, and January is the coldest, with average lows hitting 29 degrees. You can expect a few big snows in the winter, lots of rain, heat and humidity in summer, and mild to chilly springs and autumns. Basically, you’ll need both your heavy coat and your swimsuit if you choose to live here.
Getting Around Washington DC
Washington D.C. has one of the country’s most robust and clean metro services. One of the many benefits to life here is that you can reduce your carbon footprint by not owning a car. The city is very well serviced by public transportation, including buses, undergrounds, and rail trains that extend out to park-and-ride stations further in the surrounding suburbs. Taxis and car service apps are also available readily, and you’ll see a constant stream of walking commuters headed to work in the morning, and back home at night. But if you need to get outside the city, the closest airports are Ronald Reagan and Dulles, but going a bit further to the Baltimore/Washington airport, a traveler can sometimes find less expensive airline fares.
Commuting in Washington DC
Okay, not everything about living in D.C. is perfect. The traffic here is infamous, especially during peak commuting hours, or whenever the President’s motorcade needs to scoot through your neighborhood. ‘The Beltway’ is Washington’s major freeway that circles the main city, possibly making it America’s most famous “ring road,” and probably on your commute when you need to get across the city, or out if it. Because this route is so integral to the system of roads, real gridlock is as likely to be found on the Beltway, as is political gridlock on Capitol Hill. Another good reason to ditch your car and ride the metro?
Washington DC Media
You’ve probably heard of the Washington Post. Not only is it D.C.’s main newspaper, it’s also the oldest daily newspaper still surviving in the United States, and holds the distinction of being the most read. It’s true, most of the media here does have an emphasis on political news, as does the Washington Post. But major cultural powerhouses like Smithsonian are also published out of the District.
There’s a sense of excitement in the air a lot of the time in Washington D.C. The ethnic and cultural diversity add to the vital social scene. The global leaders operating around you add to the sense of historical importance of the place. And the world-class universities bring young people to keep the city vibrant, and attract major artists, scientists and thinkers to the scene. No matter what neighborhood in D.C. you live in, you’re likely to be neighbors with someone who does something cool or interesting. D.C. has history, an impressive downtown district, charming brownstone blocks, major industry, and tons of free public parks, monuments and museums. The global cuisine is delicious, and there is culture all around you. What’s not to love?
Washington DC Landmarks
The Lincoln Memorial, besides being an important patriotic symbol, has become an American pop culture icon as well. It sets the stage for the dramatic introspection scene in any movie set in D.C. It hosts millions of visitors per year, and even the Simpsons have been there. The normal tourist circuit also includes a trip to the White House, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Veterans’ Monument, and the National Mall—a grand promenade where many of the monuments and museums are located. One of the coolest things about the major landmarks of D.C. is that many of the world-class museums are free to enter. This fact goes right along with the spirit that D.C.’s collection of monuments was built with. Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the French designer hired by George Washington to plan much of the city, is said to have laid out the National Mall as a wide, open walk, showing the idea that all citizens are equal. The city’s many impressive universities are also major destinations for those who visit and live in Washington. Some of the most notable schools include Georgetown, American, George Washington, and Howard Universities.
Things to do in Washington DC
D.C. is home to plenty to get out of the Washington DC apartment and enjoy from enriching options like the National Gallery, the National Ballet, and the Washington National Opera. But if you’ve had your fill of historical and scholarly offerings, you’re in luck because D.C. isn’t all stuffy. Especially in college neighborhoods like Georgetown, bars, bookstores, coffee shops, and cafes line the streets. The neighborhood around Dupont Circle is notable for its thriving LGBTQ community, row houses, and shopping. Popular nightclubs include Town Danceboutique, with a famous drag show, Heist, and Ultrabar. Finally, Madam’s Organ, located in the hip neighborhood, Adam’s Morgan, is a lively jazz and blues club that is a popular host to visitors and locals.
Washington DC Festivals
Every year tourists from all over the world come to D.C. for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Each year in early spring, the city holds events and a parade to honor the bond between Japan and the United States. The festival’s originates from the former Tokyo mayor’s gift of the more than 3000 Cherry trees that color the city in pink and white every March and April.
Washington DC Vacation spots
Washington D.C. is a great place to live, not only because of everything appealing found in the city, but also because of the amenities in close proximity. Care for some fresh seafood and an afternoon sail? The Chesapeake Bay town of Annapolis, Maryland is less than an hour away by car. Rehoboth Beach is another popular seaside destination for D.C. locals, but this vacation town is less sipping champagne on a yacht, more blended margaritas on a beach towel. Finally, Washington D.C.’s prime spot on the eastern seaboard means that Philadelphia, New York, and Boston are all within a day’s drive or train ride. With so much at your fingertips, move to D.C. and never be bored again.
Where to move in Washington DC
Finding the perfect neighborhood with apartments in Washington DC is easy with so many great options! In Dupont, you’ll find sophisticated D.C. insiders, most of whom have enough cash for one of those famous historical row houses. In Georgetown, you can walk the cobbled streets at dusk, watching the twinkle lights that illuminate the red brick shops. Anacostia may be your vibe if you’re into the artsy scene, and Capitol Hill might be the place for you, if you love the historical parts of D.C. most.