Refreshingly different from most U.S. cities, in part due to the absence of skyscrapers (no buildings can be taller than the Washington Monument) and the weight of history, captured though endless museums and monuments. I visited back in 2007 for a packed three days of exploring, here are some of the highlights that weren’t museums or monuments.
The obvious place to start, and as most people find, it’s a lot smaller than expected. Not very easy to get close to anymore due to security, would have been interesting to have visited sooner.
United States Botanic Garden
Round the corner from Congress are some pretty nice greenhouses, a welcome splash of greenery among all the monuments and traffic. Government Departments
Plenty of neoclassical monoliths, Washington looked back to Ancient Greece when it built most of its civic buildings.
Washington National Cathedral
Inconveniently located almost exactly half way between metro stops, the National Cathedral wasn’t completed until 1990, 83 years after work started, due to funding issues. I loved the modern take on stain glassed windows, not many cathedrals have space shuttles in the windows.
Arlington National Cemetery
A moving place, 624 hectares in Richmond over the Potomac River from Washington itself, home to America’s war dead. General Lee’s original mansion on the hill overlooks the external flame for JFK, with his brother’s understated grave close by.