Discover Washington: 10 Unique Experiences That Prove There's Only 1 DC

Washington DC

Hannah Lajara

Release Date

Friday, June 14, 2024

Sure, Washington DC may be known as the capital of the US, which is definitely a one-of-a-kind fact that no other city can say – But there’s so much more to this city that gives it its own unique charm beyond its political facade that Canadian travellers may not be aware of.  
Here are 10 unique things that Canadians can see and do in DC that prove that there’s Only 1 DC:
  • Experience the Ethiopian culture in its largest population outside of Africa. Despite its name, Little Ethiopia in Adams Morgan and Shaw is in fact the largest Ethiopian community outside of Africa. Visitors can have a full cultural immersion with the neighbourhood’s restaurants, shops, and markets and can enjoy authentic experiences, including a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.
  • Dine at the table of presidents. Since opening in 1933, Martin's Tavern has been a local favourite among presidents and diplomats and has been the setting of major debates, landmark decisions and iconic moments, like JFK’s proposal to Jackie Onassis.
  • Sleep in the “Residence of Presidents.” The Intercontinental brand provides a well-known experience worldwide, but the The Willard InterContinental Washington DC offers guest a unique experience in that it has hosted every U.S. President since the 1850s. Popular at all times of the year, it is particularly frequented by locals and tourists, alike, during the holiday season for its lavish decorations.
  • Explore America’s oldest urban national park. Spanning 1,700 acres or 7.098 km², Rock Creek Park is a true urban oasis, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city with historic landmarks, including Peirce Mill and the Old Stone House. Established in 1890, it is the oldest urban national park in the country.
  • Explore the largest collection of Shakespeare in the world. And no, it’s not in England – The Folger Shakespeare Library, which opens its doors again this June 21st, houses the world's largest Shakespeare collection and features a Tudor-style theatre where drama enthusiasts can watch a collection of professional productions among the impressive lineup of shows.
  • Visit the only Da Vinci in the Americas. The National Gallery of Art is home to over 141,000 works of art from around the world and throughout time. Among the pieces is the only Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas. The gallery is free to enter, making it a must-see attraction.  
  • Tour the world’s largest library. Filled with millions of books, manuscripts, maps and more, the Library of Congress is the largest in the world. Opened in 1800 by Thomas Jefferson, it is also the US’s oldest federal cultural institution.
  • Experience the world’s first museum solely dedicated to female artists. Female leaders and female empowerment are a big part DC’s past, present and future, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts is the perfect example. Recently renovated, the museum highlights over 5,500 works by approximately 1,000 artists from across centuries.
  • Visit the oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the United States. Whether a food-lover, a history-lover or simply a curious traveller, The Municipal Fish Market at The Wharf is a fascinating stop on any visitor’s itinerary. The lively waterfront market opened 1805 and today offers a vibrant atmosphere and showcases DC’s iconic seafood, with its fresh catches and food stalls with incredible eats.
  • Visit a mall where everything is free. This may not be a mall as most people may think of it, but the National Mall, downtown DC’s most iconic park, is home to over 100 monuments and memorials, all of which are completely free. Among the list are the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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