Background: Panorama of the George Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, photo by Josh Carolina

Living in Washington DC

Living in Washington DC

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Washington DC

Washington DC is not a state, but a federal district as specified by Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution

Washington, D.C. has much to offer. It has has many opportunities for employment with government contractors, government jobs, and employment servicing the government along with its contractors, the region around Washington, D.C. consistently enjoys one of the nation's lowest rates of unemployment. D.C. is pricey, but many inhabitant feel that these amenities in the area more than make up for the high living costs. These amenities include great cultural diversity. Itís typical to hear people speaking Chinese, Russian, French or, Spanish in your local food market, and the restaurants in DC reflect the array of foreign influences. Any sort of cuisine you desire can be find here.

Another bonus of Washington, D.C. are the free museums. Although some of the newer museums, like the Spy Museum along with the Newseum (a magnificent interactive museum featuring the trends and history of the media) charge admission. Located in the middle of downtown Washington D.C. are the Smithsonian museums, which includes the Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, the National Air & Space Museum. and the National Gallery of Art. And all are free!

Climate

Washington is in the northern part of the humid subtropical climate zone. However, the city has a temperate maritime climate  Winters are typically chilly with light snow, and summers are hot and humid.

Demography

  • Washington DC Geography, Facts and History
  • Washington DC Facts & Trivia
  • Washington DC Flags
  • Famous People from Washington DC
  • Washington DC Timeline
  • Washington DC Official Song
  • Education

  • Washington DC Colleges
  • Economy

    Numerous organizations such as civilian contractors law firms, defense contractors, nonprofit organizations, lobbying firms, trade unions, industry trade groups, and professional associations have their headquarters in or near Washington, D.C., as a way to be close to the federal government.

    Tourism is Washington's second-largest industry. Approximately 18.9 million visitors contributed an estimated $4.8 billion to the local economy in 2012

    Flora and Fauna

    Washington DC Official Flower - American Beauty Rose
    Washington DC Official Flower - American Beauty Rose
    Although most of its original flora has been obliterated by urbanization, the District has long been known for its beautiful parks, where about 1,800 varieties of flowering plants and 250 shrubs grow. Boulevards are shaded by stately sycamores, pin and red oaks, American lindens, and black walnut trees. Famous among the introduced species are the Japanese cherry trees around the Tidal Basin. Magnolia, dogwood, and gingko are also characteristic. The District's fauna is less exotic, with squirrels, cottontails, English sparrows, and starlings predominating. Two species (Hay's Spring amphipod and the puma) were listed as endangered and one (the bald eagle) as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as of August 2003.

    Washington DC Birds (Wood Thrush)

  • Washington DC Official Flower (American Beauty Rose)
  • Washington DC Official Tree (Scarlet Oak)
  • Government

    The District of Columbia is unique in that it is governed as a city, county, and state all at the same time. Since 1790 the government of the district has alternated between federal and local control. Under the terms of a 1973 charter, the capital is currently governed by a mayor and a 13-member council, both popularly elected. Eight council members are elected from specific wards and the rest at large. However, Congress must still approve all laws passed by the local government, as well as its budget. Residents of Washington, D.C., won the right to vote in presidential elections in 1961 and the right to a single non-voting Congressional delegate in 1970.
  • District of Columbia Official Website
  • Attractions

    The District of Columbia, on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia, was set aside as the nation's capital, so that the federal government would not be located in any single state. Pierre-Charles L'Enfant was commissioned by George Washington to plan the city, and even today, you can clearly see L'Enfant's layout of a street grid intersected by broad avenues. The most important of these is Pennsylvania Avenue, connecting two iconic buildings: the White House and the impressive domed Capitol Building. Alongside and maintaining L'Enfant's vision of an open and spacious city stretches the wide National Mall with its museums and monuments; this vision is enhanced by a height limitation on buildings, making the skyline free of skyscrapers. National symbols such as the Capitol and the White House are accessible to visitors, along with dozens of other tourist attractions that include world-class museums and important monuments. Almost all of these are in or near the northwestern quadrant along the mall and are best seen on foot. Summer can be unpleasantly hot and humid, so the best times to visit Washington are spring and autumn. As many buildings have security checkpoints and do not allow backpacks, it is wise to carry as little as possible while touring.
  • Guide to Washington DC
  • National Parks

    Anacostia Park, Washington, DC
    Capitol Hill Parks Washington, DC
    Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Various States VA,MD,DE,DC,PA,NY
    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Potomac River, DC,MD,WV
    Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Bay Watershed, DC,DE,MD,NY,PA,VA,WV
    Civil War Defenses of Washington, Washington, DC,MD,VA
    Constitution Gardens, Washington, DC
    Fort Dupont Park, Washington, DC
    George Washington Memorial Parkway, DC, MD, VA
    National Capital Parks-East, Washington, DC
    Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC
    Theodore Roosevelt Island, Washington, DC
    World War II Memorial, Washington, DC

    Sports

  • Washington DC Sports
  • Taxes

    WAshington DC Tax Facts
    • Income tax: 4% - 8.95%
    • Sales tax: 5.75%
    • Property tax: 0.56% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 23.5 cents per gallon of regular gasoline and diesel

    Transportation

    Aviation

    Washington DC Airports. Three major airports serve the district. Located on the other side of the Potomac River from downtown Washington in Arlington, Virginia, the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is primarily responsible for domestic flights. Large international flights land and leave Washington Dulles International Airport, 42.3 km west of the district in the districts of Fairfax and Loudoun in Virginia. Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport is 51.1 km northeast of the district in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

    Rail

    The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) operates the Washington Metro, the city's rapid transit system, as well as Metrobus. Both systems serve the District and its suburbs. Metro opened on March 27, 1976 and, as of July 2014, consists of 91 stations and 117 miles of track. With an average of about one million trips each weekday, Metro is the second-busiest rapid transit system in the country. Metrobus serves over 400,000 riders each weekday and is the nation's fifth-largest bus system. The city also operates its own DC Circulator bus system, which connects commercial areas within central Washington.

    Union Station is the city's main train station and services approximately 70,000 people each day. It is Amtrak's second-busiest station with 4.6 million passengers annually and is the southern terminus for the Northeast Corridor and Acela Express routes. Maryland's MARC and Virginia's VRE commuter trains and the Metrorail Red Line also provide service into Union Station. Following renovations in 2011, Union Station became Washington's primary intercity bus transit center. Three major airports serve the District. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is across the Potomac River from downtown Washington in Arlington, Virginia and primarily handles domestic flights. Major international flights arrive and depart from Washington Dulles International Airport, 26.3 miles west of the District in Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia. Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is 31.7 miles northeast of the District in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

    Roads

    There are 1,500 miles of streets, parkways, and avenues in the District. Because of the freeway revolts of the 1960s, much of the proposed interstate highway system through the middle of Washington was never built. Interstate 95 (I-95), the nation's major east coast highway, therefore bends around the District to form the eastern portion of the Capital Beltway. A portion of the proposed highway funding was directed to the region's public transportation infrastructure instead. The interstate highways that continue into Washington, including I-66 and I-395, both end shortly after entering the city.

    Washington DC Housing

    The median home value in Washington is $571,700. Washington home values have gone up 4.5% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 4.0% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Washington is $546, which is higher than the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metro average of $228. The median price of homes currently listed in Washington is $589,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $525,900. The median rent price in Washington is $2,682, which is higher than the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metro median of $2,150.
    Washington DC Association of Realtors
    Washington DC Real Estate Commission
    Washington DC Real Estate Listings

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