Cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin with a view of the Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C. Credit: Destination DC.

The capital city is home to more than politics, scandals and monuments.  As the presidential election draws nearer, check out what this former swamp city has to offer. Everything from national parks to historic canals and gardens await your visit!


Botanic Garden

A natural place to start, it boasts outdoor gardens and a year-round conservatory that is host to hundreds of species of plants and flowers in eight garden rooms under glass, totaling 28,944 square feet of growing space. Take a self-guided tour through the gardens or a guided or cell phone tour.

Tidal Basin

After visiting the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall, take a trip down the Tidal Basin in a paddleboat built for two, and catch a close-up view of the Jefferson Memorial.  If you’re here in March, it’s the best way to view the cherry blossoms that line the Tidal Basin, the city’s most popular tourist attraction in the spring.lotus-1867676_1920

Eastern Market

If you’re in town on a Saturday or Sunday, wind through Eastern Market. It’s DC’s oldest open market selling fresh fruits and veggies as well as crafts made by local artists.

Meridian Hill Park

Meridian Hill Park, also known as Malcolm X Park, hosts a popular Drum Circle every Sunday where you can take part in playing drums along with the performers or just sit back and enjoy the beats along with the locals.


Busboys and Poets

Savor sweet French toast or opt for a veggie omelet at Busboys and Poets, which has a menu full of veggie and vegan options. The eclectic restaurant/bar/bookstore and entertainment venue offers a tasty brunch and people watching at its historic 14th street location.

Founding Farmers Restaurant

Located just three blocks from the White House, this restaurant offers local and organic dishes and vegan options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The pasta and bread are made from scratch.

For more ideas, check out and plan your next trip to D.C. For more tips on what to do in DC, follow me @niatravelwriter