Photo courtesy National Park Service
The National Mall
Where can you tour the home and offices of the U.S. President, choose from more than 40 museums to visit, and each spring enjoy the sweet smells and sights of cherry blossoms? Washington, D.C., of course!

The capital of the United States -- commonly referred to as D.C. -- was established as a federal territory in 1790. It has served as the seat of our nation's federal government since 1800, when Congress first met there. To this day, the area remains a bustling political, economic, and cultural center. It is also a major tourist attraction.

In this article, we will delve into the basics of what any visitor to D.C. should know. You will learn about our capital's history, its operation of government, what the District is like today, how to get to and around the city and what to see and do once you're there.