D.C. is by no means a geographically large city, only covering roughly 70 square miles. It, however, has so much to offer within its boundary stones. Whether you’re interested in history, government, art, or exploring new neighborhoods, Washington, D.C. has it all.
Typically, and understandably, the first image that comes to mind when people think of the nation’s capital is the National Mall, stretching nearly two miles from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, lined with monuments and Smithsonian museums.
My favorite Smithsonian (all of which are free!) is the National Museum of African American History and Culture. As the newest museum, it can be a challenge to get up early and get a free ticket for timed entry, but it is so worth it. This beautiful museum illustrates an important and incredibly powerful narrative of human history.
While I could go on for days covering museums, memorials, monuments, and pieces of history in D.C., some of my favorites are a little more off the beaten path. Completed in 2011, the magnificent Martin Luther King Jr. memorial overlooks the Tidal Basin across from the Jefferson Memorial. He is surrounded by many of his inspirational words, including an engraved quote from his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
While memorials and museums serve the purpose of forever displaying and honoring history, Washington D.C. is constantly creating what will be the history of tomorrow.
This city is full of beauty, whether in architecture or art installations. To get my art fix, I have frequented the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery throughout my summer here. My favorite exhibition is America’s Presidents. The newest portrait of President Barack Obama is my personal favorite as he took a less traditional route with his presidential portrait.
From the intimacy of the neighborhood streets of Capitol Hill, to the elegance of Georgetown, to the vibe of Adams Morgan, Washington D.C. has a neighborhood for everyone that will instantly feel like home. One can only hope to be fortunate enough to actually call some of these neighborhoods “home” one day. Kalorama, neighboring Embassy Row, is just that. The grand brick and stone mansion pictured above is the French ambassador’s residence.
Washington, D.C is a great city for interns to spend a summer, semester, or longer. There are so many various environments; every day is a new adventure. Also, I can’t stress enough that all of these incredible museums and must-see attractions are FREE. This city has such an eclectic mix of neighborhoods and atmospheres that, while small compared to similarly popular cities, feels more than comparably expansive.