The Greater Metropolitan DC area encompasses not only the immediate District of Columbia, but Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland and parts of West Virginia and Southern Pennsylvania.
Beyond the inspiring monuments and news-making public figures, Washington, DC is a city of colorful and diverse neighborhoods, filled with hip boutiques and galleries, historic homes and small museums, urban parks and spectacular gardens. Neighborhoods are ideal for walking and almost all are accessible by Metrorail or Metrobus. Some of these neighborhoods include:
One of Washington DC's most colorful neighborhoods, centered on 18th Street and Columbia Road, NW, Adams Morgan features an array of ethnic restaurants, boutiques, hip specialty stores and late-night entertainment.
Across the Anacostia River at the end of the 11th Street Bridge, this neighborhood began as the first suburb of Washington City. The great 19th-century abolitionist Frederick Douglass made his home here at Cedar Hill. His residence is now a National Park Service site and is open to the public. The Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum also resides in this historic community.
In addition to the charming diversity of its residential architecture, this Northeast Washington neighborhood features the largest concentration of Catholic institutions outside the Vatican. Catholic University, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center and the Franciscan Monastery with their offerings of beautiful gardens, architecture and art call this community home.
East of the US Capitol Building lies a neighborhood of fine Victorian row houses, diverse restaurant fare and specialty shops. In addition to the US Capitol, the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress, this community boasts the Folger Shakespeare Library, Union Station, the Sewall-Belmont House and Eastern Market, the oldest working public market in the city.
Surrounding the world's largest single-span Chinese arch at 7th and H Streets, NW, Chinatown boasts numerous restaurants, the US Mint Museum, the MCI Center and the annual Chinese New Year's Day Parade.
Lying just east of the White House, downtown Washington, DC is experiencing a renaissance, boasting the new $778 million Washington Convention Center, new and refurbished hotels, smart shops, wonderful restaurants, art galleries and bookstores. Downtown is also home to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Old Post Office Pavilion, the Warner Theatre and the National Theatre.
Dupont Circle, at Connecticut and P Streets, NW, is the hub of a lively neighborhood of Victorian row houses and Beaux-Arts mansions, many of which have been restored to house embassies, international restaurants, boutiques and more. The area features many museums including The Phillips Collection, Woodrow Wilson House, Textile Museum, Heurich House, and the National Museum of American Jewish Military History as well as the largest collection of private art galleries in the city.
Just west of Dupont Circle, along Massachusetts Avenue, lies the largest concentration of the city's 150 international embassies, many of them housed in grand late 19th and early 20th century Beaux-Arts mansions.
This riverfront neighborhood east of Georgetown is now home to the world-renowned John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, George Washington University and the Watergate complex. A cluster of charming 19th century houses remains to remind the visitor of its early history as a working class community.
Once a thriving colonial port, this charming historic neighborhood, centered on Wisconsin and M Streets, NW, features specialty stores, nightclubs and intriguing restaurants. Dumbarton House, Tudor Place, the C&O Canal, Old Stone House and Dumbarton Oaks represent the ancient history of this unique community.
Surrounding the White House is a neighborhood of historic elegance, refinement, and power. Its story, and legendary tales of the Square's notable residents, are told through many nearby museums and institutions, including The Octagon Museum, Decatur House, Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, the American Red Cross Museum and St. John's Episcopal Church.
While there are too many other local communities to describe here, Alexandria and Baltimore are tourist favorites.
Alexandria is located on the west bank of the Potomac River, six miles below Washington, D.C. and nine miles north of Mount Vernon. The city encompasses 15.75 square miles at an average elevation of 30 feet above sea level.
Alexandria, which is almost 50 years older than the City of Washington, is one of America's most historic communities. It has many authentic eighteenth-century buildings, and the charm of the "Old and Historic District" is carefully preserved by strict architectural and demolition control. Alexandria began its historic preservation and urban renewal projects in the 1960s.
Since 1988, it has experienced unprecedented commercial development. Today the Old Town historic district is known for its array of museums, architecture, special events, fine restaurants and hotels, and other attractions that draw more than 1.5 million international and domestic visitors to it each year
With something around every corner to either see or do, Baltimore, home of the Ravens football team, is certainly an exciting place to visit. You may want to explore a few of their famous museums such as the Baltimore Aquarium or the Maryland Science Center. Baltimore also has a very rich, cultural history and by touring a historic site like Fort McHenry - home of the National Anthem - you will gain a new perspective of Baltimore. Another highlight of the city is the Baltimore Inner Harbor, where many restaurants, bars, and shopping opportunities are located.