By Tommy Zimmer

According to Trulia, over the past year, median home sales in Washington, DC increased by eleven percent or $62,250. Per square foot, the price rose to $534, up from $521. The key thing to understand is just how expensive it is to live in Washington, DC. You may be someone who lives in another state and is shocked by the mere expense of potentially living in the nation’s capital. For yourself, it could be better just to travel there with the family. For that, it may be a tad more inexpensive for you to do that.

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In different parts of the District, you can find hotels anywhere from somewhere in the $90s up to $130 dollars. If you are staying in the Virginian suburbs, you can find a hotel in a place like Arlington, Virginia for as low as $79. Things might be even cheaper if you choose the Maryland suburbs. In Silver Spring, Maryland, you could save yourself a lot of money by spending as low as $71 and taking the Washington, DC metro into the District.

Depending on where you choose to book your hotel and begin your Washington, DC adventure, it may determine the first place you go to check out in the District and its surrounding areas. There are many obvious places to check out such as The White House and The US Capitol building. However, DC offers so much more than you could begin to imagine. Knowing some of the hidden gems of the District and its suburbs could make your short or long term stay all the more worth it. Take a chance to peruse the different options available to you:

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1.) Union Station. There are many Union Stations throughout the United States in different major cities but there is something special about the one in Washington, D.C. What makes this one unique is the fact there is quite a bit more there than most train stations. Not only do you have restaurants and shops like other Union Stations but you’ll find a great assortment of bar selections. You can find anyone from the local Washingtonians to others from the east coast using the train for business reasons. With a great assortment of different people and many different conversations possible, such an experience may enlighten you to the fast paced culture of the east coast.

2.) The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Constantly said to be one of the reasons for getting us out of The Great Depression and another for why we succeeded in World War II, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is an important figure in American history. He widely thought to be one of the greatest US presidents that ever lived. Taking a chance to honor him and visit his outdoor memorial in its beautiful design, which includes sculptures and waterfalls, will remind one of the legend of the man himself. You will find others going there to check out who the man once was and what his legacy has been since then.

3.) Connecticut Avenue in DuPont Circle. For the younger crowd, you may want to check out all of the bars available to you on Connecticut Avenue in DuPont Circle. There’s no downside to going out on the weekend to any of the many selections available. Many young people who work in Washington, DC live in that part of the capital and it could be a great chance for you to interact with others your own age. You may find people from other parts of the east coast too, including nearby Baltimore. Yet, you may wish to watch out for marijuana. Since it’s been legalized, you may be put into a situation where you have to learn how to recover from marijuana addiction. As long as you keep that in mind, watch how much you drink, and stay away from illegal substances, you will have a fun time.

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030926-F-2828D-307
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2003) — Aerial view of the Washington Monument with the Capitol in the background. DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway. (RELEASED)

4.) Ford’s Theatre. It’s a sad mainstay of what once was. On Friday, April 14, 1865, 16th US President Abraham Lincoln was killed by John Wilkes Booth, an assassin, while in attendance for a performance of the play, Our American Cousin, there. The location has taken on a new importance in the lives of the many Americans who love Abraham Lincoln. He was arguably considered one of the greatest presidents for his leadership throughout The Civil War. When you take a trip there, you will be surrounded by the very place Lincoln lost his life to Booth. Such a sad locale in Washington, DC attracts many of those who loved Lincoln and his work to keep a nation feuding against one another together.

5.) The International Spy Museum. This is one of the latest mainstays that has become a very popular attraction for not only fans of spying and espionage but of the overall intelligence apparatus in the US and across the world. The Board of Directors and Advisory Council include many practitioners and experts within the Intelligence Community itself including Former Central Intelligence Agency Chief of Disguise Jonna Hiestand Mendez and Former KGB Foreign Counterintelligence Chief Major General Oleg Kalugin. You will find everything from different educational programs and initiatives to some events that will even attract filmgoers such as the current Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains. If you enjoy the work of spies around the world and in film as well are fascinated by their work and world, you may find no other place that can provide you such a thrilling experience as this.

6.) The National Cherry Blossom Festival. It started as a mere gift of 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, DC from Tokyo, Japan Mayor Yukio Ozaki. Today, it is a huge event all Washingtonians go to as well as many people from across the country. It is representative of the important relationship between both The United States and Japan. Today, the festival occurs over the course of four weekends and over 1.5 million people come to the event. The event marks the beginning of spring in the US capital and it continues to be. Over the years, both Former First Ladies Michelle Obama and Laura Bush have each chaired the events as well. At The Festival, you will not only see many different people but you may catch a glimpse of some important political figures too.

Washington, DC is a place that attracts people from all over. Some choose to live in the pricey capital while others only wish to visit it. Based on real estate prices and how much it costs to visit there, you might find it better to just visit. Yet, the experience of living in Washington, DC is a unique one so far as you do not need to discover how to recover from marijuana addiction. There are many temptations in any major metropolitan area, and with marijuana now legalized, DC is no exception. While in Washington, DC, whether you are visiting or live there, keep mindful of the many dangerous substances around you. So long as you refuse them and focus on the amazing things such as The National Cherry Blossom Festival or The International Spy Museum, you will not have any problem discovering what makes Washington, DC so unique but also historically engaging and thrilling.

Image Credit: Flickr, Wikipedia

About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.