Visiting the Capital
Every year thousands of visitors flock to Washington DC in an attempt to experience the history and grace of our country’s capital, in waves of tour groups and class trips these visitors congest much of DC’s landmarks during most of the summer holiday. In having visited DC twice now I can attest that visiting the city during a nontraditional tourist time makes the experience all the more real on top of cutting down on lines at your favorite memorial.
When to Go
Visiting DC during spring break or even over a long holiday weekend would be a wonderful way to sidestep the craziness of DC during tourist season and enable you to have a front row seat to the goings on in Washington. Another plus to going in the spring or fall is missing the extremes of DC weather especially the cold in winter.
My first trip to DC was during the fall of my junior year. There were a few tour groups but I did not notice more than one or two during our nightly wanderings of the memorials and our visit to the White House. The World War Two memorial is one of my favorites in the DC area. It only opened to the public in April of 2004 yet this memorial is a must see for those visiting.
The Lincoln monument, also a must see is especially spectacular at night and its proximity to the white house and the Vietnam memorial make it a convenient stop in a night walk or tour. The DC area is only a great place to visit for historical and political reasons but it maintains an amazing nightlife and some really fantastic restaurants featuring food from all over the world.
The metropolitan area is huge and has everything to offer from trendy hot spots to some fabulous blues clubs and sports bars. If you are interested in focusing on nightlife geared to the college student and young professional check out downtown DC near Georgetown and American University.
That area is not as chic and sophisticated as some of the other club scenes but where it lacks poise and elegance it makes up for it with fun hang out spots aimed at attracting the twenty something crowd.
Go See the Inauguration
If taking part in DC nightlife is not your thing maybe being a part of history is. This year is not only a historical year for our country in the election of Barack Obama to the office of president but it is an especially opportune time to visit Washington DC and be a part of history in the making.
The Inauguration of President-elect Obama is set for January 20, 2009 with weeklong events scheduled to take place in the Washington DC metropolitan area from January 15th through the twentieth culminating with the actual inauguration on the 20th. If you have any way of being in DC for the inauguration or the week of events prior to it you should take advantage of the opportunity, I know I would.
The week will attract not only the who’s who of the political world but also many of Hollywood’s elite. Staunch Obama supporters including Oprah are expected to make the trip and be at the inauguration. All of this will wind up to make DC the place to be this January, so take advantage of the opportunity if you can.
By Sandra Alves