Fly To Washington, DC
Washington D.C has been home to the most influential individuals of all time. Known primarily as the home of The White House, which has been the pinnacle of every sight-seers list. However there are other attractions that should not be over-looked.
From catching a show at the John F. Kennedy Centre of the Performing Arts and taking long walks along the Tidal Basin where the cherry blossoms bloom. Travellers are spoilt with so many exciting -yet symbolic places of interest in this histroic city.
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Why visit Washington DC?
- Washington is a city that has been featured in many films but there is no greater thrill than experiencing The White House or the Lincoln Memorial in person!
- This city is home to 11 of the 19 Smithsonian Museums, including the National Air Museum, and what makes this so great is all of these sights are free of charge!
- From the ‘We the Pizza’ in Capital Hill to the ‘Marcels’ on Pennsylvania Avenue or ‘Charlie Palmer Steak’ on Constitution Avenue Washington has the tastiest meals you’ll have in your life!
The best times to visit Washington D.C is beteen September to November aor March through till May. These off seasons you'll find peak traffic has died down during these Autumn months and all that is left is the crisp breezes and changing leaves.
Late March and early April are considered to be the mini peak seasons as most people flock to this city to view the beautiful Cherry Blossom festival which takes place.
The Washington accent is a well recognisable accent in America and around the world, although you may miss out on a few subtle references and localised slang terms, but in all you will be able to understand most of the banter.
- George Washington the previous president of The United States, oversaw construction of the White House, but never lived in it.
- The famous cherry blossom trees were imported in the early 20th century as a ‘gift of friendship’ from the people of Japan to the people of the United States.
- Washington D.C has more Ethiopians residing in and around the city, making it the second-largest Ethiopian population outside of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia’s capital).
Washington D.C is one of the most visited cities in The United States, not only is the main reason behind this the opportunity that most people want to be able to see the magnificent White House, but this city showcases so many more exciting experiences.
Many locals say that you have not experienced DC if you have not gone sailing in Annapolis, apparently a day spent on the water in Maryland’s charming yet beautiful capital and indulging in a mouth-watering crab feast is practically a DC rite of passage.
This is a city that is known for offering the best outdoor attractions which is great for those who adventurous types, places like the Rock Creek Park is DC's favourite place for biking, skating, running and even horseback riding. While you are there, you are also able to explore the old mill and the site of the Civil War battle at Fort Stevens.
The Park now offers free, guided cell phone tours to learn about the history of the park's surroundings. There is over 100 free and almost free things to do in Washington from the National Zoological Park, to Columbia Heights, where you'll find 12-acre Meridian Hill Park Washington is full of surprises.
Other famous attractions include:
- The National Archive & Record Administration
- Museum of Natural History
- Eighteenth Street Lounge
- The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
- The National Museum of Women in the Arts
- The Phillips Collection
- United States Botanic Garden
- The Washington National Cathedral
- The International Spy Museum
- National Mall
When thinking of American food the first thing that comes to mind is generally that it is greasy,processed and fattening. This may be true but Americans have been proven to have an impressive appetite for good stuff, so do not let these opinions influence you negatively try it out for yourself.
Food is at the heart of every culture and as a nation that is formed of immigrants from varied backgrounds the cuisine of Washington and America closely resemble the history of its people.
There are many tantalising and beautiful restaurants that are located across this city which include:
- Pizza at Amys
- Amsterdam Falafel's
- Compass Rose
- Golden Brown Delicious
- Hanks Oyster Bar
- Le Diplomate
- Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier
- Mintwood Place
- Pho 75
- Taylor Gourmet
- The market lunch
- The Red Hen
- Toki Underground
Washington is a very religious city, it is also considered to form part of one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.
American culture has influenced nearly every region of the world, otherwise known as the melting pot of the world, there are various religious faiths that have flourished in the United States that play a very important role in the lives of American's.
The majority of American's usually identify themselves as Christians, while close to a quarter claim no religious affiliation. One should be respectful to other religions so it is advised that you dress modestly and act accordingly in public as a sign of respect for those around you.
Washington is a very safe city, but the only problem is that it does have typical big-city crime issues mostly related with theft. But, you are advised to be aware of your surroundings, especially around H St NE, Southeast DC and Anacostia.
DC, has no unexpected health dangers and excellent medical facilities and the only real concern is that one collision with the US medical system can be really expensive, so remember to buy health insurance before you travel.
During summer months this city can become very humid so it is important to stay hydrated and be prepared for winter as it can become extremely cold.
South African's will need a Visa in order to enter America. You can contact the embassy of in Pretoria (Telephone:012 431 4000 ) for more information, in addition to Visa applications.
You need to leave plenty of time for Visa processing and don’t forget to check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.
The South African Embassy to the USA is in Pretoria.
Address: U.S. Embassy Pretoria
877 Pretorius St
Phone: +27 (12) 431 4000
Fax: +27 (12) 342 2299
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||R90||R100||R215|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||R22||R20||R89|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||R10||R12||R27|
|Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||R35||R35||R134|
Dulles International Airport (Code: IAD) is one of the three major airports in Washington.
Food and beverage: The restaurants that are located in the airport include Dunkin' Doughnuts, Smashburger, Cosi, Starbucks, and The kitchen by Wolfgang Punck.
Currency Exchange: The currency exchange offices include the International Currency Exchange.
Lost Luggage: If you lost any piece of luggage you can contact the various contact agencies where your luggage was lost (this link has a list of the various numbers you can call for assistance
Airport Hotels: The hotels that are located near the airport include Washington Dulles Airport Marriot, The Westin Washington Dulles Airport,Candlewood Suites Washington Dulles Herndon, Hyatt Regency Dulles, and Staybridge Suites Herndon Dulles.
Car Hire: The car hire dealerships that are located at the airport include Europcar, Avis, Advantage, Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Thrifty.
Airport Hub: Dulles International Airport (Code: IAD) is a hub for Silver Airways and United Airlines.
The information on this page is correct as of March 2016. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, Travelstart.co.za takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.