Our Washington Travel Guide
Washington DC. Quite possibly one of the most important and famous cities in America, if not one of the most important and famous in the entire world, is an absolute marvel of a location, with enough history and landmarks to entice anyone to visit. From the Lincoln Memorial, to the Washington Monument and even 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the home of the most powerful man in the world. Any fan of American History, culture or even American Patriotism would get a massive kick out of this.
And let’s not forget all the history buffs out there as a few ground-breaking movies have been filmed in the heart of Washington State, from the cult classic sci-fi action Independence Day, the sequel to the introduction of a key member of The Avengers, Captain America and the Winter Soldier and iconic horror “The Exorcist”.
Even if you’re not a fan of history and mainly looking to get a nice sun tan while you’re on holiday, while it may not have the pristine beaches of California or Florida, it’s no slouch when it comes to heat; in the dazzling summer sun the temperatures can reach as high as 27°C (80.6°F), so you better throw some sunscreen into your suitcase. However, do note from previous travellers to Washington DC that while it may be a scorcher outside, most buildings obviously come equipped with air conditioning, and staying in there too long can get quite freezing, so it’s recommended to bring a sweater… just in case.
Getting around Washington
Travel is quite easy for any travellers as Washington comes with its own Metro, dubbed the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority with connections all across the city, making travel a breeze. Not just that, but there’s an abundant of airports and train stations for people entering the city, leaving or just passing on through, the main station being the Washington DC Union Station.
If you ever get lost, that’s not an issue for the city of Washington DC, as if you ever get lost or need any help with anything, you can always visit the DC Tourist Information Centre for any kind of enquiries. But if that doesn’t help, simply asking someone like a police officer for directions is just as effective, as many Americans are very friendly and will provide a helping hand when asked, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Another thing to note is if you or your children, if you have any, get hurt in any sort of way, there are an abundance of hospitals to look out for, some of the most prominent being The George Washington University Hospital, The Howard University Hospital and The Children’s National Medical Center.
Washington DC is also home to some absolutely amazing events, one of which being the National Cherry Blossom Festival, being a fan of cherry blossoms myself, this is an incredible sight. As well as this, Washington DC on June 13 celebrates the LGBTQ+ community by throwing a phenomenal parade called Capital Pride, not only is it a great way to represent the community, but it’s a fun day out, get to meet new people and take part in all the festivities.
Staying safe around Washington
One thing that any travellers will need to be aware of is crime. Washington DC, if you stay in the majorly populated areas, you should be okay. But, and there’s the key word there, if you travel outside of the centre of DC, you may need to watch your back a little, with a crime rate of 68.5%, trouble will arise depending on where you go, areas such as Northeast Washington and Southeast Washington are considered more unsafe than others, as gang crimes are somewhat common in these areas. One other thing you must keep an eye on is your wallet, as Washington DC, due to being a massively populated city of approximately 5,378,000, is very crowded and because of this, if you leave your personal belongings out in the open, it will be ripe for the taking. Take it from my personal experience, you do not want this happening. When I was in college, as part of my history A-Level of American history, we were given an opportunity to visit Washington DC, and obviously, as a fan of American History, I immediately jumped on board with this. While I was travelling down M Street in Georgetown, it was extremely packed and we were told to keep a close eye on our teachers, and at the time, I had my wallet in my back pocket, in hindsight, not the smartest idea but what are you gonna do, and if you can’t tell where this is going, it was stolen from me, in broad daylight – the nerve of them. Thankfully, I kept most of my money in my suitcase, so when you travel around, only take with you as much money as you think is necessary for each day, please do not keep all your money in your wallet the entire trip.
Unfortunately, you must be aware that if any young adults plan to go to America for a holiday, know that the legal drinking age is 21, and if you’re caught with alcohol, you’re liable to arrested and prosecuted.
So if you’re ever looking for your next holiday destination once the world has stopped trying to kill us, Washington DC is a definite high up on the list, I highly recommend anyone who loves travelling and history to give Washington DC a try, if you haven’t already.
For more information, check out our full Washington travel guide.
Written by Alex Larkin.