There's no denying that Washington, DC, the world's first planned capital, is also one of its most beautiful capitals to travel to on holiday. And although the federal government dominates many of the city's activities and buildings, there are always places where you can leave politics behind. Washington is a city of vistas -- pleasant views that shift and change from block to block, a marriage of geometry and art. Unlike other large cities, Washington isn't dominated by skyscrapers, largely because, in 1910, Congress passed a height-restrictions act to prevent federal monuments from being overshadowed by commercial construction. Its buildings stretch out gracefully and are never far from expanses of green. Like its main industry, politics, Washington's design is a constantly changing kaleidoscope that invites inspection from all angles.
As host to visitors and transplants from around the world, Washington benefits from the constant infusion of different cultures. Despite D.C.'s lack of true ethnic neighbourhoods and the kinds of restaurant districts found in many other cities, you can find almost any cuisine here, from Burmese to Ethiopian. Even the city's French-trained chefs, who once set the standard in fine dining, have been influenced by contemporary cooking, spicy Asian and Mexican fare, sushi, and appetizer-size Spanish tapas. High-end restaurants in town have also begun to add bar menus with smaller plates that are much less expensive than their entrées but done with the same finesse.
One place to find particularly unique goods in Washington, D.C. is in the many museum gift shops, both on the Mall and elsewhere. Not only can you buy postcards and books about the artists whose works are on display in the National Gallery of Art or the Corcoran, but you can often find clothing and jewelry -- from sweaters to silk scarves -- inspired by these artists. And dinosaur puzzles, astronaut food, and field guides are just some of the other items you can find in the science museums. African masks that could have inspired Picasso; kitchenware as objets d'art; bargains on Christian Dior, Hugo Boss, and Burberry; paisley scarves from India; American and European antiques; books of every description; handicrafts from almost two dozen Native American tribes; music boxes by the thousands; busts of U.S. presidents; textiles by the armful; fine leather goods -- all this and more can be found in the nation's capital.
(Original information sourced from www.discoveramerica.com)