Washington, DC, formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States, founded on July 16, 1790. The City of Washington was originally a separate municipality within the Territory of Columbia until an act of Congress in 1871 effectively merged the City and the Territory into a single entity called the District of Columbia. It is for this reason that the city, while legally named the District of Columbia, is known as Washington, D.C. The city shares its name with the U.S. state of Washington, which is located on the country’s Pacific coast.
The city is located on the north bank of the Potomac River and is bordered by the states of Virginia to the southwest and Maryland to the other sides. The District has a resident population of 599,657; because of commuters from the surrounding suburbs, its population rises to over one million during the workweek. The Washington Metropolitan Area, of which the District is a part, has a population of 5.3 million, the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country.
Article One of the United States Constitution provides for a federal district, distinct from the states, to serve as the permanent national capital. The centers of all three branches of the federal government of the United States are located in the District, as are many of the nation’s monuments and museums. Washington, D.C. hosts 174 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The headquarters of other institutions such as trade unions, lobbying groups, and professional associations are also located in the District.
The city is governed by a mayor and a 13-member city council. However, the United States Congress has supreme authority over Washington, D.C., and may overturn local laws. Residents of the District therefore have less self-governance than residents of the states. The District has a non-voting, at-large Congressional delegate, but no senators. D.C. residents could not vote in presidential elections until the ratification of the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1961.
DC is also one of the most exciting and fascinating destinations in the world. You have easy access via private jet charter with JetWay Private Air through a number of local private airports including Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Manassass, VA Airport (HEF). You can maximize your time with an aircraft rental with JetWay. We will get you your best deal on a private jet charter quote that includes any private jet type available in the market at the best price and with the highest levels of safety and service.
When you visit Washington, DC consider the following attractions: “Saturday Morning at the National,” National Theatre’s free performance series designed for the whole family (shows range from puppet and magic shows to showcases of music and ballet). Or take in a free performance at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage every evening at 6pm (acts include everything from performances by the National Symphony Orchestra to gospel groups to jazz musicians to poetry slams). Or feel the beat of a local tradition by heading to Meridian Hill Park on Sundays (weather-permitting) between 3 and 9pm to hear the famous drum circle, a fixture in the park for more than 40 years that brings together people together from all different backgrounds to hear drum beats and watch African dancing (for a hands-on experience, bring your own drum to join in). Or check out free, live music at the National Gallery of Art on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm (concerts feature choral, Afghan, opera music and more, and are held in the West Building at 6th St. & Constitution Ave, NW entrance).
For history buffs the following are must dos: sit in the lobby of the Willard InterContinental Hotel, the hotel is where Julia Ward Howe wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” where President Ulysses S. Grant popularized the term “lobbyist” and wherRev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his renowned, “I Have a Dream” speech). Then, have a heart-to-heart with Honest Abe at the Lincoln Memorial, walk along the Reflecting Pool to remember and honor U.S. soldiers at the WWII Memorial. Also, see the original Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights at the National Archives, and stick around to research your own family’s immigration records! Then, visit Arlington National Cemetery to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Or watch history being made by sitting in on a ground-breaking Supreme Court ruling. You could trace the names of loved ones lost at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall, a place of deep reflection for many visitors, or test your history knowledge at the National Portrait Gallery, where the nation’s only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House is located. In Washington, DC there are more things to do than you have days to do it! And you can maximize the amount of attractions that you can visit with a private jet charter from JetWay Private Air through a number of local private airports including Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Manassass, VA Airport (HEF). Spend only a few days in DC and see a wide variety of sights and attractions with an aircraft rental from JetWay. We offer you the very best deals and pricing on private jet charters by negotiating tirelessly for you and using our experince. And our great pricing is accompanied by the highest levels of safety and service.
For visitors looking for an international flavor, you can get a taste of Little Rome with a visit to the myriad Roman Catholic institutions located in the Brookland neighborhood of DC, including the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Franciscan Monastery and Garden, Catholic University and the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center. Take pictures near the Chinatown Friendship arch at the corner of 7th & H Sts, NW, then head to Tony Cheng’s for dim sum priced under $8. Pay as little as $5 to hear lectures at the Alliance Française de Washington and brush elbows with others who love European culture.
Head to 16th Street to tour the Mexican Cultural Institute, a neighborhood jewel in Columbia Heights, where you’ll be inspired by the latest exhibition of visual art by Mexican artists (open Mon.-Fri. from 10 am-1 pm and 3 pm-6 pm). Go to the Goethe Institut in Penn Quarter to learn all about German culture, and see the work of German artists in the gallery.
For those interested in the arts and culture, view French paintings of modest size but high-quality in the National Gallery of Art’s permanent exhibition, Small French Paintings, on view on the ground level of NGA’s East Building. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the preservation of art in the Lunder Conservation Center. It’s the first art conservation facility allowing the public permanent access to views of essential conservation work. There you’ll see staff from the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum hard at work through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Adventure more and take a free or nearly free docent-led tour at one of DC’s many museums and other cultural institutions, including the National Archives, the National Air and Space Museum, the Washington National Cathedral (a small donation is required) and many more. Before you go, make sure to check the website of each venue for specific details.
DC is a celebratory city with many festivals taking place throughout the year. Check Washington.org’s event calendar for the latest information on the DC’s most popular festivals, full of activities and free-of-charge to attend including the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the DC Caribbean Carnival, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and more. Stroll up Massachusetts Avenue to get a first-hand look at the beautiful architecture of embassies from around the world. Everyone knows that Washington, DC is the United States’ “seat of power,” but did you know that it’s also home to the world’s biggest seat? The “Big Chair,” in Anacostia happens to be the world’s largest (and, at 19 ½ feet, stands as tall as Lady Freedom on top of the Capitol). Make sure to check it out – it’s free to visit, and serves as a gathering spot for the Anacostia neighborhood. For a great and inspiring aerial view of the city (without the wait you’ll find at the Washington Monument), visit the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue.
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