Discover DC for Yourself
Live and explore DC like a true local! From Delta Hall to the outer neighborhoods, there is so much to see here in Washington, DC!
Getting Around and To Washington, DC
- Public transportation in Washington is outstanding with extensive rail and bus service.
- The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority operates Metrorail and Metrobus service that serves Washington, Virginia, and Maryland.
- The DC Circulator buses offer routes through various areas of DC including a bus that travels from Capitol Hill to Georgetown.
- Washington is served by three airports and an AMTRAK train station. Washington Reagan National is by far the closest airport to downtown DC and the only airport that is served by METRO.
- Getting to and from Washington:
- Washington Reagan National Airport
- Dulles International Airport
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
- Union Station – Served by AMTRAK and regional rail lines and located only a few blocks from Delta Hall!
- Delta Hall is in the 19th century neighborhood adjacent to the U.S. Capitol known
as Capitol Hill. Pierre L’Enfant, designer of Washington, selected this area’s high
ground as the ideal location for the city’s capitol building. In addition to this
area, which has lots of areas to explore, there are many interesting neighborhoods
throughout the city.
- Downtown, located between the Capitol and White House north of Pennsylvania Avenue, is a newly revitalized district with the Convention and MCI Centers, theaters, restaurants, hotels, and stores.
- Dupont Circle is a vibrant neighborhood adjacent to downtown and is home to many shops, restaurants, and private art galleries.
- Georgetown, located west of Dupont Circle, is a famous district that is partially residential and partly commercial. It is home to Georgetown University and a hugely popular nightlife, restaurant, and shopping area.
- Adams Morgan is northeast of Dupont Circle up 18th Street and is famous for its eclectic nightlife and its wide array of ethnic eateries
- Kalorama, located northwest of Dupont Circle along Massachusetts Avenue’s Embassy Row (Washington’s ambassadorial quarter), is full of beautiful mansions and handsome town houses
- Foggy Bottom, south of Dupont Circle, is home to George Washington University, the Kennedy Center, and many international organizations, including the World Bank and the U.S. Department of State
- Cleveland Park and Woodley Park comprise the Connecticut Avenue Corridor, which is home to many shops and restaurants. The National Zoo and Washington National Cathedral are found in these neighborhoods.
- Alexandria, Virginia, with its beautiful water-front Old Town, is a historically preserved district with tons of shopping and nightlife, easily accessible by the METRO.
Performing Arts and Entertainment
- The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with six theaters, is the dominant performing arts organization in the city and a leading institution in the country. The Kennedy Center offers a wide variety of local, national, and international troupes and performers in over 3300 performances a year. You can find individual performances or examine multiple programs in opera, symphony, jazz, ballet, dance, theater, film, chamber music, comedy, and celebratory festivals. Depending on availability, students can obtain half price tickets. Additionally, free performances are offered daily at 6:00 PM at the Millennium Stage of the Grand Foyer
- The Capital One Arena hosts sports, concerts, ice shows, and other events
- The National Theater is a historic downtown theater that often shows Broadway musicals
- The Warner Theater
- Ford’s Theater, the theater where President Lincoln was shot, hosts more intimate productions and a chilling historic feel
- The Shakespeare Theatre hold superb productions of plays by the Bard and other classics
- Arena Stage, Washington’s premier regional theater, emphasizes the classics as well as major new works
- The Studio Theatre is a small company with edgy contemporary productions
Historic Sites and Monuments
- Washington is home to many historic sites. Take the time to visit those that are well
known in addition to seeing some places off the beaten path.
- The National Mall holds most of the top sites: The Washington Monument; the Lincoln, Jefferson, and Roosevelt Memorials; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Korean War Memorial, and many more.
- The U.S. Capitol, its associated buildings, and surrounding grounds offer up lots of history. Across the street are the three buildings of the Library of Congress as well as the Supreme Court.
- Arlington, Virginia hosts a large number of sights, especially Arlington National Cemetery with its Veteran’s memorials, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Kennedy grave sites, Iwo Jima, Memorial, and Carillon. The Pentagon is also nearby.
- There are, of course, many other historic sites to visit:
- The National Archives is where key government documents are kept and displayed
- The Bureau of Printing and Engraving is where money is created
- Ford’s Theater and Lincoln Museum is the site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination
- Dumbarton Oaks contains eclectic museums and superb gardens
- Hillwood Museum and Garden hosts the Merriweather Post mansion
- The Tudor Place Historic House is an old Georgetown estate
- The Octagon House is one of the oldest homes remaining from the earliest days of the capital; it is now devoted to architecture and design
- The Washington National Cathedral, the site of many of Washington’s major political-religious ceremonies, is a beautiful and massive Episcopalian cathedral
- The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, on the campus of Catholic University, is the largest Catholic church in America
- US Naval Observatory is home to the Vice President
- Mount Vernon, plantation home of George Washington, is a few miles down the Potomac
Museums and Galleries
- The Smithsonian Institution is a collection of museums that offers one of the most comprehensive bodies of art and artifacts in the world. All Smithsonian museums are free and open to the public.
- The Smithsonian map can quickly direct you to your choice of websites for:
- The Anacostia Museum, focusing on African American culture
- The Freer Gallery and Sackler Gallery for Asian art
- The Hischorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the lovingly-termed concrete donut that holds modern art and sculpture
- The National Air and Space Museum, the incomparable collection of America’s contribution to flying
- The National Museum of African Art
- The National Museum of American History with artifacts from the Star-Spangled Banner to Dorothy’s ruby slippers
- The National Museum of the American Indian
- The National Museum of Natural History, great for kids of all ages who like dinosaur bones, giant cockroaches, sparkly gems, and stuffed everything
- The National Portrait Gallery
- The National Postal Museum, the holder of the nation’s amazing collection of stamps
- The National Zoological Park, now with pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian and all their furry friends
- The American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery
- Not all of Washington's great museums are associated with the Smithsonian:
- The Newseum explores the history of news and reporting and includes amazing artifacts from a chunk of the Berlin Wall to a piece from the original World Trade Center
- The Holocaust Museum comprehensively examines the terrible and systematic genocide of Germany’s Nazi regime
- The National Building Museum celebrates architecture, design, planning, and engineering
- The International Spy Museum is the latest addition to the scene featuring tons of fascinating spy facts
- DC is also home to some of the best art museums in the nation:
- The National Gallery of Art has two wings, West for classic and East for modern, both exceptional in terms of collection, architecture, and special exhibits
- The Phillips Collection, America’s first modern art museum, is one of the country’s best small galleries and home to some great impressionist works
- The Corcoran Gallery of Art has an excellent American collection
- The National Museum of Women in the Arts
- The Kreeger Museum of Modern Art
- Finally, there are many art galleries in town, with a large concentration nearby, organized by the Galleries of Dupont Circle