Why Choose to Retire Amongst America’s History in DC

For excitement, glamour, and all of the things that make life interesting, it's hard to beat senior living in Washington DC. The stunning nation's capital offers activities and amenities you'll love, whatever your taste. History fans in particular will be thrilled by all the DC area has to offer. With world class museums, monuments, and historical sites, you'll never run out of things to do in this city on the Potomac.

 

Living in Washington DC

You may think that Washington DC is only for politicos, but in reality, it is a hub for everyone from artists to retired active adults to outdoorsy types. Of course, for the history buff, Washington DC holds a special charm. As part of the DMV -- Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Corridor -- Washington DC offers an array of opportunities to visit and learn about the history of the region and the country.

 

Washington DC Attractions for History Buffs

While Washington is known for its tourist attractions, you'll find many museums and historic sites that are a little more off the beaten path. Plan your visits downtown during the low tourist season, December through February and hit outlying areas like Revolutionary and Civil War battlefields in Virginia or historic Annapolis, Maryland during the more crowded times of year to enjoy all DC has to offer.

 

Washington DC Monuments

Of course, Washington is known for its spectacular monuments. Your first visit will no doubt be to the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial, but there is so much more to see. Here are a few monuments that are equally spectacular, close to the Mall, and particularly beloved by locals.

 

Jefferson Memorial

One of the most spectacular and picturesque memorials is the Jefferson Memorial, beautifully framed by cherry blossoms and seated alongside the Potomac. Here you'll find a bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson along with quotations from his writings, including the Declaration of Independence.

 

FDR Memorial

Nestled along the Tidal Basin is the memorial to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Along with the museum there is an outdoor sculpture garden offering visitors an opportunity to stroll among representations of Roosevelt’s life, his family, and even his little dog, Fala.

 

War Memorials

Among the most spectacular of the memorials are those dedicated to veterans of World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam War. These are some of the newer memorials on the mall, and each has a distinctly different design while sharing a profound emotional impact on visitors.

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Dedicated in 2011, this Memorial pays tribute to pastor, humanitarian, and civil rights leader King with a series of granite statues and sculptures. It is located close to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

 

Washington DC Arts and Culture

As the nation's capital, Washington DC serves as a hub for the arts, both visual and performance. Its infrastructure of free museums offers visitors the opportunity to experience a range of exhibitions centered on everything from popular culture to fine arts to horticulture. Here are some of the most exciting, history-related venues you will find in the DC area.

 

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Built as a memorial to President John F Kennedy, the Kennedy Center is the home of the Washington National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera. In addition to these performances you'll find year-round Broadway shows and smaller theatrical performance venues, Be sure to make a reservation for lunch or dinner in the rooftop restaurant and take in the panoramic views of the Potomac.

 

Smithsonian Museum of American History

Recently renovated, the Smithsonian Museum of American History offers an extraordinary glimpse at the cultural heritage of the country, from the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner to Julia Child's kitchen. Be sure to visit the very popular exhibit of inaugural gowns of the First Ladies.

 

National Cathedral

This spectacular Cathedral located near the National Zoo is a study in both architectural and historical achievement. Schedule a tour with one of the knowledgeable docents or attend services just as so many famous historical figures have done throughout the decades.

 

Mount Vernon

Located just up the parkway is the sprawling and spectacular home of George Washington. Mount Vernon offers tours of the house and grounds, including a barnyard with rare breeds of animals harkening back to the time of Washington's ownership. Be sure to make time for lunch or dinner in the Inn for a taste of Early American cuisine.

 

Washington DC Dining

Washington DC has some of the most exciting dining in the world, with everything from the innovative cuisine of Jose Andres to the classic steakhouse menu at Old Ebbitts Grill. Washington’s love of history extends to its iconic restaurants and you can still eat in places popular with politicians of both the past and present. George Washington’s favorite restaurant, Gadsby Tavern Inn, is right down the road in Alexandria where he dined with John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and the Marquis de Lafayette.

 

Washington DC Shopping

Washington offers some of the most exciting shopping on the East Coast, whether you are looking for the latest fashion or hard-to-find antiques. For contemporary glamour, check out the Tysons Center complex in nearby McLean VA, featuring all of the latest upscale fashion and furniture. For antiques, consider the U Street Corridor or head out to Leesburg for a day in the country.

 

Washington DC Day Trips

With close proximity to Virginia wine country and historic sites, Thurmont MD’s Camp David, and historic Annapolis, home of the US Naval Academy, there are many fun and interesting places just an hour or two outside the city. Head out for a day or make it an overnight trip in one of the many inns along the route.

 

Washington DC Colleges and Universities

Whether you visit the hallowed halls of Georgetown or head out for the day to nearby Charlottesville, home of Thomas Jefferson’s UVA, there are a variety of colleges and universities in the area that are truly spectacular. And the best part? Most of the schools have special programs for senior adults offering free or reduced price classes and events.

 

Considering a retirement community in the DC area? Your home base for exploring DC should be a Del Webb community. Contact us today to find an active living 55+ community close to all of the action.

 

 

Contributed to Your Home blog by Christy Murdock Edgar

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