viernes, 5 de junio de 2015

Visit Washington: The US capital

On the banks of the Potomac River

Introduction Washington DC, is the capital of the United States includes the so-called District of Columbia (DC). The city and the district are located along the Potomac River.

Washington is surrounded by the states of Maryland (southeast, northeast and northwest) and Virginia (west.). The Potomac River as it passes through Washington is almost completely within the boundary of the District of Columbia because of colonial riparian rights between Maryland and Virginia.

The city began as a planned city, and was developed in the late eighteenth century to serve as the permanent national capital, after various locations formerly occupied that position since the country's independence in 1776; meanwhile, the federal district was formed to make the difference between the national capital and the states. The city was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States.

The highest point in the District of Columbia is in Tenleytown, 125 m. The lowest point is at sea level, which occurs along the banks of the Anacostia and Potomac shore all except the top (the area of ​​Little Falls and Chain Bridge).

The geographic center of the District of Columbia is located near 4th Street, L Street and New York Avenue (not under the Capitol Dome, as they say)

 Landforms Washington DC include Theodore Roosevelt Island, Columbia Island, the Three Sisters Islands and Hains Point.

Its climate is typical of the Mid-Atlantic areas away from water bodies, with four distinct seasons. Summer tends to be hot and humid, with daily high temperatures in July and August. Spring and autumn are mild, with high temperatures in April and October. Winter has sustained cool temperatures and occasional snowfall.

Washington DC has many natural areas and bird watching sites within the city. Parks and natural areas of the District of Columbia include Anacostia Park, National Arboretum United States, the huge Rock Creek Park, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Theodore Roosevelt Island, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Potomac River and the Anacostia River.

The Potomac River, which flows through Washington DC, has been considered one of the most natural urban rivers in the nation. The Potomac Gorge is considered one of the most significant natural areas around the national park system. Here they were held professional fishing tournaments, and bald eagles that have reproduced naturally have returned to the area.

 It is a major tourist spot, with monuments and architectural works of special interest.

It is advised to purchase personal travel insurance that covers medical expenses as foreign healthcare is not free and involves high costs.
A planned city
Sightseeing in Washington DC is one of the few US cities which it has been built according to a plan. In 1790 President Washington hired a French engineer from Lafayette's army named Pierre L'Enfant to design a capital like Paris glorious city.

Washington DC is a city with history where you can discover for yourself classic places like the National Archives and the National World War II Memorial. Connect the power of experience as a bike tour of the National Mall and the neighborhoods of DC or the CSI experience at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment.

In the environment of the National Mall are:

    The Washington Monument
    The Lincoln Memorial
    The Jefferson Memorial
    The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
    The National Monument to World War II
    The Monument to the Veterans of the Korean War
    The Veterans Memorial Vietnam
    The Albert Einstein Memorial

 Today, Washington is a city of variety and contrast. The central area has a very beautiful design with wide avenues lined with magnificent buildings and spacious green parks built monuments. The surrounding neighborhoods vary from modern commercial districts and upscale residential neighborhoods to ethnic enclaves and working class neighborhoods.

It is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the US with many ethnic and specialty restaurants in a variety of exotic cuisines neighborhoods. A huge number of employees in government and corporate communities living in suburban Virginia and Maryland.

There are plenty of things to see in Washington DC. You can tour the Capitol Building, the White House, the Supreme Court and many federal government agencies such as the Chamber of Engraving and Printing (where money is printed) and the FBI. You can also visit the monuments of Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt. Or you can see Arlington National Cemetery, the monument commemorating those who died during the Vietnam War soldiers Monument in commemoration of those who died during the Korean War and the monument commemorating the Battle of Iwo Jima. You can spend several days touring many parts of the Smithsonian Institute, one of the best and largest collections of museums worldwide


    National Museum of African American Art and Culture
    National Museum of Air and Space
    National Museum of American History
    India National History Museum
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
    Corcoran Gallery
    Freer Gallery
    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
    Holocaust Museum
    International Spy Museum
    National Archives
    National Art Gallery
    National Museum of African Art
    National Museum of Natural History
    National Portrait Gallery
    Phillips Collection
    Renwick Gallery
    Cultural Center Pope John Paul II
    National Museum of Women in the Arts

Washington DC offers many historical and educational attractions, a variety of cultural activities and entertainment, many opportunities to enjoy foods from various ethnic backgrounds and a variety of options to go shopping. Outside the city, within walking distance, there are many battlefields of the Civil War; and President Washington's home at Mount Vernon is just south of DC. The port city of Baltimore and Annapolis, where the US Naval Academy, is just an hour away. Even Philadelphia and New York are half day trip.

Washington has three airports service. Washington National Airport, now called Reagan International, is just across the Potomac River. It offers domestic flights to cities in the United States. Dulles Airport is located in suburban Virginia, 30 miles west of the city. It offers many international flights and a variety of connections to domestic flights. Baltimore Washington International Airport is about 30 miles north of DC, near Baltimore. It offers both domestic and international travel.

Metro DC, is pretty good. Easy access from Washington International Airport and from numerous locations in the city to most major attractions.

Driving in Washington can be tricky. The system routes the city is quite good, but access to and from the downtown area is difficult. The main routes are congested during rush hour, early morning and late afternoon.

The Capitol

    The Capitol building is located on a small hill on the east side of the Mall. It is a beautiful white building of classical Greek design in the center is covered by a large central dome with porticos of columns, a grand staircase and two wings. The south wing houses the US House of Representatives and the north wing of the United States Senate. When any of these groups is in session you can see a flag waving on the respective wing. You can visit for free from 9am to 8pm from March to August and until 4pm the rest of the year.

The White House

    The White House, the official residence of the President of the United States. It is located at 1000 Pennsylvania Avenue two blocks north of the Mall near the Washington Monument. Best viewed from the Ellipse, an open field located behind the White House and Lafayette Park across from the building. A limited number of tickets for the tours are given free by the Visitor Center of the White House 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, from Tuesday to Saturday throughout the year.

Other attractions

    There are so many things to see and do in Washington DC that it would require many pages to describe them all.

        In the Holocaust Museum, just south of the Mall presents a collection of terrible persecution in Europe in the years 1933-1945.
        At Arlington Cemetery, across the Memorial Bridge, you can visit the last resting place of George Washington, John and Robert Kennedy as well as thousands of statesmen, politicians and veterans of the armed forces of the United States.
        The Mint, south of the Washington Monument offers free tours where you can see as print US dollars.
        The FBI Building on E Street, north of the Mall, offers free tours of criminal laboratories including a demonstration of how to operate a Thompson gun.
        At the National Zoo on Connecticut Avenue, north of the Georgetown district, you can spend an entertaining day.
        The Georgetown District, northeast of the mall, is a great place for shopping in trendy boutiques or to go eat in fancy restaurants.

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