Home > Student Life > Experience Washington

Experience Washington


World famous for its powerful political institutions, influential institutions of research and scholarship, magnificent museums, iconic historic sites, top notch performances, and unique special events, the capital city is definitely a major tourist magnet. As a cosmopolitan urban center it offers residents many pleasures, too: livable neighborhoods, restaurants of varied cuisine, expansive recreational areas of natural beauty, and sophisticated shopping.

You, your friends, and your guests can’t do everything, but you can certainly take advantage of a lot.

Even as you devote attention to your primary interests, do try to explore and experience Washington as fully as possible. The more you explore, the more personal favorites you are likely to discover.



Tourist Information

  • DC Pages, a guide book and search engine for both short-term visitors and long-time residents
  • Tourism Site for Washington, DC.

 What to Read

  • The Washington Post, a great daily newspaper, is essential reading inside the Beltway. Its Friday Weekend section covers entertainment and the web site's Going Out Guide is crammed with useful materials for living in the city
  • City Paper, Washington's free weekly, comes out on Thursday and can be found found in neighborhood stores. Its forte is comprehensive coverage of entertainment for the coming week.
  • The Washingtonian is a monthly magazine with excellent coverage of goings on in the city.

Great Listings of Events

Performances Venues and Calendars

Ticket Place to obtain half-price tickets on days of performance.

Local Sports Teams

Historic Sites and Monuments

The National Mall holds many of the top sights: The White House; the Washington Monument; the Lincoln, Jefferson, and Roosevelt Memorials; the Vietnam and Korean Memorials; and much more.

Museums and Galleries

The Smithsonian map can quickly direct you to your choice of websites for:

Not all of Washington’s great museums are associated with the Smithsonian.

Some Great Neighborhoods

  • Georgetown, adjacent west of Dupont Circle, a famous historic district, partly residential and partly commercial, and also a hugely popular nightlife, restaurant, and shopping district
  • Adams-Morgan, northeast of Dupont Circle up 18th Street: a much less ritzy, but just as popular, nightlife area famous for its wide array of ethnic eateries
  • The Golden Triangle, adjacent south of Dupont Circle: a business district full of offices, shops, restaurants, and bars
  • Kalorama, adjacent northwest of Dupont Circle along Massachusetts Avenue’s embassy row; Washington’s ambassadorial quarter, all beautiful mansions and handsome town houses
  • Foggy Bottom, south of Dupont Circle: home of George Washington University, the Kennedy Center, and international organizations, including the World Bank and the State Department
  • Eastern Market, the extensive and beautiful historic area west of the Capitol; mostly residential, it holds some good commercial strips, too.
  • Downtown, between the Capitol and White House north of Pennsylvania Avenue, newly revitalized with the Convention and MCI Centers, theaters, restaurants, hotels, and stores
  • Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, is historically preserved and a strong shopping and nightlife district reachable by Metro

Recreational Areas

  • Rock Creek Park is huge, one of the largest forested urban areas in the country, with opportunities for picnicking, hiking, biking, skating, horseback riding, tennis, and golf.
  • Potomac Heritage Trail links three major trail routes along the Potomac River, including the C&O Canal and the Mount Vernon Trail; they’re great for hiking, biking, and camping.
  • The C&O Canal Trail stretches 185 miles west to Cumberland, Maryland, including a major visitors' center fifteen miles out at the Great Falls of the Potomac

The series of interconnected parks and trails is a bicyclist’s paradise. The Washington Area Bicyclist Association works hard to maintain and expand the extensive system of Washington biking trails.