Rick Bowmer/AP

Digital D.C.: A Virtual Visit to the Nation's Capital

January 19, 2009
by findingDulcinea Staff
We all know that Washington, D.C. will be mobbed on Inauguration Day. Wouldn't it be great to see the nation's capital without all those people in the way? Become a virtual tourist with help from the sites below.

On the Mall

You don’t need to battle crowds and claustrophobia in the national capital in order to experience the view from the 550-foot tall Washington Monument. Thanks to the National Park Service Web site, you don’t even have to leave home to enjoy photographs, read up on the history and learn about the construction techniques used to complete the monuments and memorials on the National Mall.

Located in the center of the nation's capital, the National Mall and Memorial Parks Association is responsible for the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Ford's Theatre National Historic Site, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and many more. Navigate to the middle of the page on the NPS Web site and click on a specific monument. From there, you’ll be able to view in-depth information and pictures.

More than statues and memorials, Washington, D.C., is known for its lawmakers and politicians, both historic and current. The majestic, domed Capitol building, where Congress convenes, can be seen from most of D.C., since all other structures are, by city ordinance, required to be shorter. To learn the history behind this famous building, explore the Architect of the Capitol Web site.

Hidden Gems

Located in the Cathedral Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and serving as the seat for the presiding bishop of the American Episcopal Church, the National Cathedral is the sixth largest in the world and the second largest in the United States. Construction on the cathedral began in 1907, when the foundation stone was laid in the presence of President Theodore Roosevelt, and lasted for 83 years; the last finial was placed in 1990.

The Capital Crescent Trail serves as a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. The trail connects the D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown to Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Maryland, and runs for about 11 miles along the right-of-way formerly used by the Georgetown Branch rail line of the Baltimore and Ohio (B & O) Railroad.

To Market, to Market

The Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington, D.C., is aptly named after the open-air bazaar that features fresh produce, local cheeses, and other treats. Public fresh-food markets were included in Pierre L'Enfant's original plans for the City of Washington; today, Eastern Market is one of the few public markets left in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the market itself, the Eastern Market neighborhood is a great place to live. Recently named one of the top 10 neighborhoods in the U.S., the tree-lined streets and quaint atmosphere make for a delightful walking tour. Take a look at the official Eastern Market Web site for information on location, participating vendors, and so forth.

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