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Monday, October 25, 2004 - Friday, October 29, 2004

Community: #10

Visitors Center: 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm (eastern), Sat 9am-4pm (closed Sunday)

Phone: 1-866-DCISFUN



Population: 572,059 (2003 US Census)

Gender: 46.9% male, 53.1% female

Race: 58.9% African American, 30.5% White, 3.2% Asian, 7.4% Other

Median Income: $42,118

Personal Rating:   (5 thumb max)

The crown jewels of American government, Washington D.C. is not only a magnet for government lobbyists, its magnetic qualities also attract a slew of tourists as well. Offering up a plethora of sights and exhibits, many of which are free, it's no surprise that this seat of American power and influence is one of the most visited places in the United States.

At the center of it all is the National Mall. There you'll find the most important of places, for both government and tourism alike. Boasting the U.S. Capitol Building at one end and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial at the other, within the National Mall you'll find such sights as the Smithsonian Institute Complex, the Washington Monument, the White House, a variety of art museums, quite a few war memorials, and many wide open spaces that give the visitor a sense of peace and calm amidst a busy government in action.

Getting in and out of the Capitol is a pleasure, just park the car and ride public transportation. The train/subway system is top-notch, wisking you around in clean, well-maintained cars and dropping you off in strategically, well-placed stops.

If you're a serious tourist and wish to take in most of the sights and sounds that D.C. has to offer, be prepared to not only walk around an awful lot, but also expect to stay at least 4 full days. If you're smart, you'll do a lot of research before you arrive, so you can efficiently plan your schedule to pack in as much as you can. As for me, well, of course I'm not going to do any research, I'm not so smart.

Come along with me as I bungle my way through Washington, D.C. You know what? Research is way overrated, what moron would ever suggest doing such a ... oh, wait, never mind... For me, looking into things first is like reading the book before you go see the movie, it just wrecks the plot, there are no real surprises. Or maybe I'm just lazy?

In any event, come along with me, you won't be disappointed. My visit to America's Capitol is hands-down the crown jewels of this travel site.

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