By Julie Trahan, Travel consultant
In this year of presidential elections, Gendrontours invites you to discover the U.S. capital, where major world decisions are made, day in and day out. In Washington, everything is clean, classic and oozing of patriotism. No matter where you look, there is sure to be an American flag standing tall and strong, flapping proudly in the wind. Lovers of politics, history and culture… this is the place for you!
All things political
Anyone planning on going to Washington should expect to visit the city’s major historical monuments and emblems: the iconic White House, the Pentagon, the Capitol (with its highly recognizable dome), the Lincoln Memorial with its obelisk and statue of the 16th President of the United States. You’ll also want to stop in at the Library of Congress, which houses an incredible 138 million documents stacked across 850 km of shelves! If you have the time, you absolutely must visit the National Archives Building, where you can see the original Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States. Lastly, make sure you take a few minutes to pay tribute to the soldiers who gave their lives, from the American Civil War to today, by making your way to Arlington National Cemetery located across the Potomac River. Along with soldiers who have died in the line of duty, many dignitaries have also been buried here, including JFK.Safe and clean
When visiting this hub of U.S. politics, keep in mind that there is a very heavy police presence here, especially in the northeast portion of the city where the political elite are concentrated. This area is also where you’ll find the main tourist attractions. As such, you’ll be able to stroll the streets without a worry, enjoying the surroundings of crisp white buildings standing in contrast to the impeccably manicured green spaces. Plus, getting around in Washington is as easy as it gets; the streets are laid out in a straight checkerboard pattern and all main roads lead you back to the central squares.Sociocultural life
If culture is your thing, a single visit to Washington will not suffice. The city has 200 museums for you to explore. And, the best part is, 95% of them are free! The Smithsonian Institution, established in 1846, currently includes 19. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of sites dedicated to key areas of interest such as aviation, space exploration, art, history, natural science and native peoples. Those who are into architecture will certainly have plenty to see as they explore the city’s splendid mix, which includes Ancient Egypt, classical Greek, Medieval Europe and 19th century France. Indeed, Washington is known for its neoclassical style, particularly evidenced in the structures of Georgetown University. Enjoy the gardens and green spaces as you get acquainted with modern or contemporary art at the National Mall, an immense park that is home to several commemorative monuments.If you’re in the mood to enjoy some fresh air, the Potomac River is a great place to start. Running through the heart of the city, the river offers you the chance to enjoy water sports and other recreational activities. Or, you can simply hop on a cruise and explore. On the culinary side, Washington does not disappoint. You will have access to a wide variety of ethnic restaurants and boutiques. This wonderful city boasts tremendous culinary diversity and something for every budget. For a vacation rich in history, Washington, D.C. is definitely the place to be!