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Washington, DC has unfairly gained a reputation for being all work and no play. Considering that it is the capital of the United States and home of the national government, it is understandable that one would assume as much. However, for those who visit will find one of the most well-rounded cities in the country.
Of course, a trip to Washington, DC must include visits to the giant monuments celebrating the history of the nation. All located in the southwest quadrant, the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument are even better when seen firsthand than in the history books. Government buildings such as the Capitol and the White House are awe-inspiring and no visit is complete without a trip to these symbols of democracy.
While in this area, however, the real treats are the plethora of museums scattered about. There is literally something for everyone. For the kids, the Air & Space Museum is unmatched. Not only is it home to artifacts such as the Spirit of St. Louis, but it allows visitors to sit in the cockpit of real-life spaceshipsThe Smithsonian and The National Museums of Art and History are also world-class establishments. For those interested in modern and contemporary art, the Hirschorn is one of the nation's finest.
Washington, DC is not simply monuments and museums. Two neighborhoods that offer plenty of shopping and nightlife entertainment are Georgetown and Adams Morgan. Georgetown, home to the university by the same name, features beautiful colonial brownstones mixed in with loads of boutiques and restaurants. Adams Morgan has probably the best row of bars and clubs in the city. All along one strip is where the young professionals and college students come to converse and relax when night time rolls around.
Another treasure within the District of Columbia is its National Zoo. Located in the middle of the city, the zoo somehow stretches on for miles, whisking any visitor away from the urban setting. Although there are thousands of different animals here, the crowd favorite has always been the giant panda.
Washington, DC may be the epicenter of serious lawmaking and important decisions, but that doesn't mean it's lacking in personality. Anyone who visits soon realizes that the people who live there do so because they love it. With a perfect dose of history and culture, style and substance, it's really no wonder why they do.