TravelFrom One Capital to Another: Washington DC

From One Capital to Another: Washington DC

From One Capital to Another: Washington DC

Photo by Ariane Paquet-Labelle 

If you’ve lived in Ottawa for a while then you may think you know what a Capital city is like. Our Parliament and our city sit on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory; while many celebrations have taken place on the Hill, it has also been a platform for protests, as was the case during Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations last year. Likewise, Washington D.C. has seen marches for Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, peace overseas, and more. Taking a trip south to the Capital city of our neighbours can be like going through the looking glass: familiar but foreign. Ottawa Life Magazine has the scoop on what to expect if you’re politically minded and planning a trip to Washington DC!  

One of the many great ways to enjoy Washington D.C. is simply by walking around the city. Depending on where you are, walking can make you feel connected to so much history. How many people have marched, passing by the Reflecting Pool to make their way to the Capitol? Take the time to visit the Capitol and (if you haven’t already) learn about American politics and the US electoral system. Washington D.C. brings together people from all over America because of its political significance. Though it depends on the length of your stay, we recommend you immerse yourself in the political ambiance by going for drinks during happy hour or participating in forums and panel discussions.

Tourist Tips

For drinks and a view, swing by POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace at the W Hotel! You can admire DC’s monuments while enjoying one of their great drinks.

The White House Garden Tour is offered twice a year over weekends in the Spring and Fall. The tour lets you walk around the White House grounds with some one-of-a-kind photo opportunities!

If you’re looking for a change of scene, you should also check out Georgetown! The area is adjacent to D.C. on the city’s West side, and is filled with cobblestone streets, fashion shops, and upscale restaurants. It’s also known for being an artsy area where you can get tasty cupcakes!


Stroll down the National Mall to find almost all the wonderful museums in Washington D.C.! Admission is free for all Smithsonian museums, as well as for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. We’d highly recommend a visit to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture (Be sure to get a Timed Entry Pass which is necessary to enter the museum!). It’s also definitely worth seeing the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is both moving and educational in equal measure. And, if you want some quiet time, take the afternoon to admire the various collections at the National Gallery of Art.

The Newseum has interactive exhibits on news-related topics such as media coverage of certain events, the pictures of the year, and the historical importance of a free press. It is located on Pennsylvania avenue, right beside the Canadian Embassy, and is definitely worth paying the entrance fee!

We hope these tips have given you the travel bug -- we’ve certainly got it. With so much history, and such a rich political scene, Washington D.C. will never be boring. Start planning your trip now and immerse yourself in a cultural that’s close (but not quite) to home.

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