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Washington DC -- Neighborhoods -- Capitol Hill -- Sights -- Arlington National Cemetery Bureau of Engraving and Printing Corcoran Gallery of Art Federal Bureau of Investigation Ford's Theater National Historic Site National Archives National Gallery of Art National Museum of Women in the Arts Newseum Old Post Office Pentagon Phillips Collection Smithsonian Institution The Mall US Holocaust Memorial Museum Washington National Cathedral Travel Options Flights Hotels Vacation Rentals Cars Washington Dc ? The City History City Transportation Tours Eating Entertainment And Nightlife Arrival Best Of Explore Washington Dc Hotels in Washington Dc Buy the Book The Rough Guide to Washington DC, Third Edition WASHINGTON DC READ IT HERE That the marshy swamp where WASHINGTON DC now stands was chosen as the site of the capital of the newly independent United States of America says a lot about then-prevalent attitudes toward government. Washington, DC (the boundaries of the two are identical) - also known as DC and The District - can be unbearably hot and humid in summer, and bitterly cold in winter. Such an unpleasant climate, it was hoped, would discourage elected leaders from making government a full-time job. This disdain for politics is still apparent: DC is run as a virtual colony of Congress, where residents have just one, nonvoting representative and couldn't vote in presidential elections until the 23rd Amendment was passed in 1961. Other than the federal government, tourism is DC's biggest industry. The city attracts almost twenty million visitors each year. Conveniently, most arrive in midsummer, when the lawmakers have gone home, so overcrowding is rarely a problem. The nation's showcase puts on quite a display for its guests, and admission to virtually all major attractions is free. The most famous sites are concentrated along the central Mall , including the White House, individual memorials to four of the greatest presidents, and the superb museums of the Smithsonian Institution. Downtown, however (broadly speaking the area immediately north of the Mall, between the White House and the Capitol), can seem very empty, even intimidating, at night, and you're more likely to spend your evenings in the hotels and restaurants of the city's more motherly neighborhoods, such as historic Georgetown , arty Dupont Circle and the funkier Adams -Morgan district. The City Because the city was built from scratch, Washington's regular town plan is easy to grasp. Centered on Capitol Hill and its governmental monoliths, the District is divided into four quadrants - northeast, northwest, southeast and...