21 Things Washington DC Is Known And Famous For

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As the United States capital, Washington DC is known for many things. It has a boundless collection of cultural heritage, famous and historic places, as well as attractions that make it stand out. However, there is more to the surface than we typically see of this metropolitan city.

What Is Washington DC Known For?

Washington DC is famous for important national landmarks, meaningful memorials, and insightful museums. From the political symbol of the White House to the seating statue of Abraham Lincoln, there are so many things to explore. Washington DC is also known for its food culture that makes the taste buds jiggle with excitement.

The expansive neighborhoods are home to some of the best attractions and architecture that will make you fall deeper in love with the city. And, oh, Washington also surprises us as the home city of some of the most famous people and organizations in the U.S.

History, Culture, And Traditions

Captivating Nightlife

One of the most exciting activities Washington DC is famous for is the incredible nightlife. And we are not just talking about pubs and clubs. The city comes alive at night as tourists explore famous attractions and landmarks in the light of night.

You can stop by to shop in the National Mall, catch an early evening tour of the National Portrait Gallery, or take a stroll past the beautifully lit Lincoln Memorial, there are so much exciting nightly activities to enjoy and forever remember.

>Check Washington DC Monuments Night Tour


Marine Corps Marathon

This event brings together a huge number of Washingtonians, alongside runners from all 50 states and more than 50 countries, making it one of the biggest events Washington DC is known for.

The marathon is organized by the US Marine Corps and holds every final Sunday in October. The racing weekend is rounded off with an evening of great music, cheering, and prize giveaways to every marathoner.

One thing you should look forward to as a first-time runner is the coveted MCM First-Timer pin. The patriotic events and vibes you feel in the capital city is one of the unique facts about Washington DC.

Meridian Hill Drum Circle

Another fun experience Washington DC is known for giving visitors is the Meridian drum circle that happens in Meridian Hill Park.

Drums, songs, dances, and lighthearted conversations make up this traditional Sunday event in Meridian Hill Park. The tradition started over 45 years ago and remains a perfect outdoor opportunity for friends and families alike to unwind and catch up with one another.


White House Easter Egg Roll

Every Easter Monday is a fun opportunity for all Washingtonians, both children and adults, to gather on the South Lawn of the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll.

This is one of the oldest traditions in the District of Columbia and one that Washington DC is famous for. The event was first held on the capitol grounds of the White House before it was moved to the South Lawn of the area.

Over the years, the event has grown bigger and even more interesting, as participants get to enjoy a live musical performance by the United States Marine Band and also engage in various games.


4th of July Celebration

Washington DC is the perfect place you would want to celebrate every Independence Day. This is after all the hub of governance.

The district’s status as the capital of the United States gives it an elaborate edge in commemorating this significant day in the history of the country. This makes the 4th of July celebration one of the best events Washington DC is known for.

The event gets hot right from the early hours, beginning with a parade on the street, musical performances, and fascinating displays along the streets. Don’t miss the magical fireworks show that draws the curtain at night.

Strong Art Culture

Washington DC is known for its rich artistic heritage that is proudly illustrated in almost every corner of the district.

There are multiple art museums and galleries that display a wide array of artwork collections, including natural and historic symbols in the District of Columbia and the United States.


Cherry Blossom Festival

The spring season ushers in thousands of tourists who are eager to take part in the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

This long-held traditional event is held to commemorate the gift of Japanese trees received on March 27, 1912. Since the trees sprang up on the Tidal Basin, visitors throng the scenic site to immerse themselves in its warmth and beauty.

The annual festival spans almost one month, allowing visitors the satisfaction of witnessing the blooming of the trees.

Districts And Areas

Adams Morgan

One of the most notable neighborhoods in Washington DC is Adams Morgan, home to prominent residential and official buildings.

Adams Morgan boasts incredible nightlife and activities that pull thousands of visitors into the neighborhood.  Little wonder it is referred to as D.C.’S last funky neighborhood.

Apart from the nightlife and live music, Adams Morgan is home to some artwork Washington DC is famous for, including The Servant Christ and Carry The Rainbow on Your Shoulders.



Another neighborhood Washington DC is famous for is Anacostia. Located at the intersection of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Avenue, Anacostia is named after the Anacostia River.

The neighborhood is home to various attractions that make for an interesting experience. You can tour the art center, wander the Anacostia Community Museum, or catch vibrant performances at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.


Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods and the largest historic neighborhood in Washington DC.

The neighborhood is packed with activities and destinations that interest thousands of tourists, making it one of the most famous places in Washington DC.

Capitol Hill is also home to some of Washington DC’s best restaurants where you are treated to exotic Southern cooking; the Eastern Market opens up during the weekend to display local crafts for residents and tourists.

After an energetic day, you can escape into the colorful summerhouse on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

Architecture And Landmarks


White House

The White House is the most prominent landmark Washinton DC is famous for. Constructed in 1800, the neoclassical building is one of the oldest historic buildings in the US and has served as the residence of every U.S. president ever since.

The White House wears a stunning white façade which is modeled after traditional English county houses. Its choice of color makes the building even more iconic and in sync with its name.

The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW and is open to tours and visitors. It’s definitely one of the interesting things to do when visiting Washington DC.


Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is undoubtedly one of the famous landmarks in the United States. It bears features that symbolize aspects of U.S. history.

A major feature in the memorial is one of the most respected monuments in the U.S., a marble statue of the 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln seated in a massive building.

36 Doric columns wedge the roof of the building, all of which represented the 36 states in the Union – at the time when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated – holding up the nation. There are other monuments, murals, and sculptures inside the building.


Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Washington is famous for having impressive museums. The Smithsonian National Museum is the most prominent among them.

Located at 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, this museum was opened in 1964 when it began as the museum of History and Technology.

The museum features displays, artifacts, and artwork linked to the cultural, political, social, and scientific histories of the United States. The building has outdoor sculptures, archives, and a visitor center.

Sports In Washington DC

Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards are a basketball team that competes in the National Basketball Association(NBA).

The Wizards are one of the top sports teams Washington DC is known for grooming. The team began playing as the Chicago Packers in 1961 and has switched to five different names since then, including the present Washington Wizards.

The franchise boasts one NBA championship, four conference titles, and eight division titles.

Washington Nationals

The baseball team, the Washington Nationals compete in Major League Baseball. The team was established in 1969, bearing the nickname ”Nats”.

The Nats haul includes a World Series title, one National League pennant, one Wild Card Berth, and five East Division titles.

Washington Commanders

The Washington Commanders are a football team that competes in the National Football League(NFL). The Commanders are based in the Washington Metropolitan area.

Established on July 9, 1932, the team is one of the oldest active sports franchises in Washington and one of the biggest exports Washington DC is known for.

The Commanders boast five league championships, three Super Bowl championships, five Conference championships, and fifteen division championships(NFL East and NFL Eastern).

Only six other NFL teams have won more Super Bowl championships than the Commanders. This feat puts them on the list of the most successful teams in the NFL.

Famous Food In Washington DC



Half-Smokes is widely considered the signature dish of Washington DC. It is a popular dish in the city, and residents and restaurants do not hesitate to serve a plating to visitors and tourists.

Half-Smokes comprise ground pork, beef, and spices. It is usually served in restaurants and bars scattered around the city. Make sure to have a taste of this dish; it is one of the delicacies Washington DC is known for.

Mumbo Sauce

Mumbo sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce popular in Washington DC. It is often used as a dipping sauce for fried foods such as chicken wings and french fries.

The sauce is made from a combination of ketchup, sweetened condensed milk, and spices. Some variations may also include soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.

The origin of mumbo sauce is debated, but it is thought to have been created in the African American community in DC. in the mid-20th century. Today, it can be found in many restaurants and carry-out establishments in the city. Mumbo sauce is a unique and beloved part of Washington DC.’s food culture.



Pupusas are a traditional dish from El Salvador that has become popular in Washington DC. They are made from a thick corn tortilla filled with a variety of fillings such as cheese, pork, and beans.

Pupusas are often served with spicy salsa and curtido, a pickled cabbage relish. They can be found at many Salvadoran restaurants in the city, as well as at street vendors and food trucks.

Many locals love them for their savory and comforting taste, and they are a must-try for any food lover visiting Washington DC.

Famous People From Washington DC

Dave Chappelle

One of the most famous people Washington DC is known for is Dave Chappelle.

David Khari Webber Chappelle is a stand-up comedian and actor, who has gained global acclaim for his comic shows and performances. He is best known for The Chappelle Show, a satirical show in which he starred for two seasons.

Dave was born in Washington DC and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. He attended Eastern High School in D.C. for a short period before transferring to Duke Ellington School of the Arts, from where he graduated.

Taraji P. Henson

Famous actress Taraji Penda Henson is another native that Washington DC is known for. The multiple award-winning thespian is best known for her role as ”Cookie Lyon” in the Fox drama series Empire.

Henson was born and raised in Washington DC. She attended a cultural and technical university before transferring to Howard University, Washington DC, to study drama.

Henson’s stellar role in Empire earned her a Global Globe award and Cities’ Choice Television award for Best Actress in a Drama Series. She is, without a doubt, one of the most famous people from Washington DC.

Discovering More Things Washington DC Is Known For

These are just some of the things and places that Washington DC is famous for. The United Washington DC offers a wholesome experience that forms a lasting memory for visitors and tourists alike. There are lively neighborhoods, music, food, and diverse cultures waiting for you to explore.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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