By Anna Lynn Sibal
It is not surprising to know that Washington, D.C. is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the United States of America. After all, it is the capital city, the political, economic and cultural heart of the world’s largest superpower. People from all over the United States, and from all over the world, come to Washington, D.C. to do business, if not to see the sights in this majestic city.
There is just so much to do and see in Washington, D.C.; it is not possible to explore the whole of it in just one long weekend. It takes time, and perhaps more than just one visit, to enjoy everything that Washington, D.C. holds for its visitors.
But if you have only a short time to stay in D.C. and it is your first time to visit, here are seven sights that you must see in the city.
The White House
The White House, the official residence and place of work of the President of the United States, is Washington, D.C.’s primary tourist attraction. It is a mansion done in the late Georgian style, named after its white paint and modeled after various stately homes in Ireland and France. It also houses various historic and artistic objects associated with previous presidents and first ladies of the country.
The National Mall
The National Mall is a large park where many of Washington, D.C.’s historic memorials are located. At its western end stands the Washington Monument, the obelisk made of granite, sandstone and marble that commemorates the contribution of George Washington to American history. At its eastern end is the Capitol Building, the house of the US Congress. In between are various museums, galleries and gardens dedicated to American history, science and art.
The Capitol Building
On Capitol Hill is the Capitol Building, the home of the two houses of the US Congress – the Senate on the north wing and the House of Representatives on the south wing. The Capitol Building is considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the entire United States, and houses numerous works of art in the form of frescoes, murals and statuary.
The Smithsonian Institute Building
Nicknamed as The Castle, the Smithsonian Institute Building is the administrative building of the education and research institute. The moniker comes from the combined Romanesque- and Gothic-style architecture upon which the building was made. It is located on the southern side of the National Mall.
The US Botanic Garden
Also located at the National Mall, the US Botanic Garden is the home to various collections of plants, some descending from the original specimens brought to the US in the Wilkes Expedition of 1838. The plants in this garden are mostly tropical and it is also the repository of plants claimed by US Customs.
The National Zoo
The National Zoo, the name by which the Smithsonian National Zoological Park is more known, is a free-access public zoo in Washington, D.C. It is home to around 2,000 animals belonging to 400 hundred species, housed in spaces mimicking their natural habitat. Among the most notable of the animals living in the National Zoo are the giant panda bears on loan from the Chinese government.
Georgetown is a genteel neighborhood located northwest of Washington, D.C. During the colonial times, it was a major commercial center of Maryland before being integrated into the capital city. Today, it is the location of many upscale restaurants and shopping malls, as well as the homes of affluent statesmen, politicians and government figures.
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