Washington, DC: we all know it’s the capital of the United States and seat of the country’s government, but what’s it like for visitors and tourists?
To get the low-down, we spoke to Elliott Ferguson, who’s been President and CEO of Destination DC, Washington since 2009. Who better to speak to than the guy who spends every day exploring and promoting this city that’s monumental in every sense of the word?
“The FDR Memorial is one of my favourite memorials. It’s like walking through a history book because the memorial features different rooms and takes visitors through Franklin’s influence on American history.”
“The other monuments and memorials – including the Lincoln Memorial and MLK Memorial – as well as experiencing the incredible theatre scene are a must when visiting Washington, DC.”
“Spring and Fall generally have the best weather and include events like the DC Jazz Festival, Passport DC and Cherry Blossom Festival.”
“A visit to the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post. Free walking tours on the mall, a tour of the Museum of the Bible, Library of Congress, a visit to the United States Botanic Gardens, a twilight tour of the monuments and memorials by bus, a visit to the National Geographic museum, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Anacostia, the National Cathedral and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles Airport.”
“The number of outdoor activities available including kayaking and biking. Visitors are often surprised at how green and walkable the city is.”
“I’m not big on tchotchkes so I would suggest something from Eastern Market. A food & arts market where you can find something by a local artist whether it be a painting, sculpture or piece of jewellery.” [Ed’s note: for anyone not weaned on American films and TV, a “tchotchke” (pronounced CHOTCH-key” is a trinket or decorative item.]
“The White House remains a U.S. and Washington, DC icon regardless of who is office. Since 9/11, the process to visit the White House has become more extensive for U.S. citizens and even more challenging for international visitors.”
“Local chain Dolcezza. There are several locations around the city including a stand inside Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and one at the new Wharf district.”
“Famers & Distillers – It’s near the office so I often have business meetings there.”
“Experience the new waterfront at the Wharf as well a delicious meal at Kith and Kin for Afro-Caribbean cuisine.”
“David Mark Rubenstein – he’s contributed a lot to Washington, DC including significant donations for the Washington Monument preservation, the Kennedy Center expansion project, the giant panda programme at the National Zoo, and many more.”
“Visit washington.org for itinerary suggestions, come with a plan, start early, wear comfy shoes and spend at least four days.”