D.C. spoils you for other cities. You might find elsewhere offers you something more to your personal liking, but free admission to a bevy of world-class museums, free summer concerts and always something happening on the Mall are hard to beat. The city spans out from the spokes of its many traffic circles into a series of easily traversable neighborhoods, watched over by the Washington Monument, dotted with markets and parks, supportive of a burgeoning and increasingly diverse restaurant scene, and occupied by people from all cultures. Outsiders tend to forget there are people who actually live there, transplants and natives with their funny Washingtonian accents, all sharing space, building a community, and contributing to an energy unlike any other city thanks to a general desire to make change, big or small.
Other cities might be larger, newer, flashier, with taller buildings and more magnificent views. But Washington, D.C., is the only one designed for power and for people, mapped out by a Frenchman who wanted to create something both grandiose and egalitarian. The buildings and monuments lining the city’s major thoroughfares were constructed with a similarly ambitious approach, taking inspiration from the great civilizations of the world, resulting in an architectural hodgepodge that somehow seems to be part of a singular vision and bestowing a beauty fitting for the most important city in the world.