Washington D.C Solo Group Travel
The nation’s capital offers plenty more than just its world-famous buildings and monuments. However, these headline attractions are every bit as impressive as you will have imagined. Whether, it’s the White House, Lincoln Memorial or Capitol Hill- you’ll feel imbued with a sense of the grand history that seems to permeate the streets here. D.C is a living museum but one that’s constantly evolving and it’s a place that has to be explored to get a real understanding of not just America’s past but it’s present and future too. You can discover the delights of D.C on our East Coast Adventure and our Full Coyote trip.
D.C has been the nation’s capital since 1790 when it was established by the constitution itself to serve in this role. Since then it has been the epicentre of both national and international politics and a by-word for intrigue, power and politics. The fact it became the capital came out of a compromise between the northern states desire for the fdereal government to assume the war debt and the southern states who wised for a location friendly to slave-holding interests. George Washington therefore picked this location and the district was marked out to be distinct from the surrounding states. The president chose a French designer, Pierre Enfant, to create a city of grand streets, large public spaces and a grid system with the Capitol at the centre. This explains why some of the grand boulevards share traits with Pierre Enfant’s native Paris.
However, the city did not get off to an auspicious start and was decimated by the war of 1812 with Great Britain when much of the city was burnt. It’s expansion really began again during the Civil War when it became a hub for freed slaves. Slaves owned in Washington were emancipated in 1862 which led to a considerable African American population. An army also was set up to protect the capital during the war. The population grew by more than a quarter of a million between 1860 and 1910.
At the start of the 20th century, the city started to attempt to complete the original designs. This expansion of the grand streets in the centre and the National Mall coincided with a development of the city out into the suburbs and absorbing Georgetown into the city’s limits. The city continued to grow throughout the century to become the impressive symbol it is today. That said, the 60s and 70s led to serious civil unrest which had a long-term effect on the inner-city areas which suffered from poverty and high crime for decades. This led to an exodus of people from the city to the suburbs. It was only in 2000- that the city’s population reversed this decline. This growth has been largely sparked by millennials as DC has bucked by the national trend by getting younger as a city. Millennials make up 35% of the population compared with 23% nationally. It’s now easier than ever to get a soya latte, avo on toast or craft beer.
The Washington of today is evolving and once crime-ridden areas are now hipster spots. DC today is a tolerant, buzzing, international city that offers the visitor both a history lesson and a whole lot more.
The Buildings – Yes – it’s touristy, un-original to say and obvious but these incredible structures are remarkable, beautiful and the most powerful symbol of America. Catching your first glimpse of the White House is always going to be a jaw-dropper.
Ride a Segway – There’s a lot of sight-seeing to be done and hence a lot of walking. It’s therefore popular to grab a Segway to eat up the miles.
The Museums – Even if you are not a museum person- there’s some fascinating things to be seen and discovered at the array of free museums. Our favourite is the recently developed Museum of African American History and Culture.
Jazz Bars – D.C was the home of Duke Ellington and has always had a thriving jazz scene. There’s a whole load of options to suit a range of tastes and we’d thoroughly recommend diving into this scene.
DC’s residents are the biggest wine drinkers in the entire country hence the many wine bars serving the oenophiles
DC stands for District of Columbia which is in itself named after the famous explorer, Christopher Colombus.
DC is a real international city with 170 embassies and 15% of the residents speak another language in their homes.
Two U.S presidents kept alligators in the White House- although there have been no sightings of them on the streets… (the alligators that is)
Our favourite restaurant is Le Diplomate– it’s enviable location means it’s an ideal spot to people watch and see the city’s famous political gossip scene in full flow. Either go to town and get a full French feast or simply grab a coffee and watch the world go by.
There’s so much to see and do in a short amount of time so it’s definitely worth wearing a comfy pair of shoes as you’ll want to walk a lot!
Big Cities Destinations