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The nation's capital. Those three words neatly sum up Washington's global importance as governmental entity and its enormous appeal as a tourist mecca. John F. Kennedy once said “Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm,” and although his tongue was likely firmly in cheek, there's no denying the city's role in efficiently governing the nation while charming millions of visitors each year.

D.C.'s embarrassment of must-see riches—museums, monuments, memorials, galleries—makes putting together a sightseeing itinerary one truly daunting task. The U.S. Capitol and the White House define the jurisdictional entity known as the District of Columbia. The Mall, that green swath stretching from the foot of Capitol Hill west to the awe-inspiring statue of Abraham Lincoln, is where it's at for visitors, encompassing not only the National Gallery of Art, six memorials and one monument but many of the museums identified with one of the world's largest and most remarkable educational organizations, the Smithsonian Institution. But that's just part of the picture; Washington also has vibrant neighborhoods, a cosmopolitan diversity and cultural facilities second to none. With so much to see and do, spring's pale pink explosion of cherry blossoms is the lovely icing on a very special city.

Some top picks in Washington DC:

The seat of the federal government, the United States Capitol should be near the top of any visitor's must-see list. Its main ceremonial space, the Rotunda, is filled with paintings, frescoes and an encircling frieze that together present more than 400 years of U.S. history.

George Washington is the only president who never governed from the White House, but it is one of the few structures in today's city that he would probably recognize. Antique furnishings, presidential portraits and graceful decorative accents make this house a rich repository of Americana.

Climb the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and contemplate Daniel Chester French's powerful sculpture of our 16th president, serenely seated in a colossal armchair.

Take a walk around the Tidal Basin when the cherry blossoms are at their glorious springtime peak (normally early April).

Get dressed up and attend a concert, play, opera or dance performance at the world-class The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Gaze upon the Rembrandts, Monets and other works that are part of the superlative collection of paintings in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art. Then take the underground concourse to see the ultramodern East Building's array of 20th-century art. Spend the afternoon strolling, shopping and noshing in Georgetown, the city's oldest residential enclave and home to some of its most politically and socially prominent citizens.

Let your imagination soar at Washington's most popular museum, the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

Spend a restful, rejuvenating hour wandering among the flowers, plants and trees in the conservatories of the U.S. Botanic Garden.

Head on over to RFK Stadium and check out Major League Baseball's newest team, the Washington Nationals—D.C.'s long-awaited successor to the much-loved Washington Senators.

The nation's capital. Those three words neatly sum up Washington's global importance as governmental entity and its enormous appeal as a tourist mecca. John F. Kennedy once said Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm, and although his tongue was likely firmly in cheek, there's no denying the city's role in efficiently governing the nation while charming millions of visitors each year.

D.C.'s embarrassment of must-see riches-museums, monuments, memorials, galleries-makes putting together a sightseeing itinerary one truly daunting task. The U.S. Capitol and the White House define the...
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Sofitel Lafayette Square Washington DC represents one of the most exclusive locations in the nation s capital. Discover this contemporary downtown Washington DC hotel, situated at the corner of Lafayette Square, bordering the White House.more details
 
 
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