Martin’s All-American Road Trip; Stop #2 – Washington, DC
Leaving our first U.S. capital (Philly) and heading toward our current, we’re continuing with the American history lesson this week by traveling to Washington, DC! The city was founded on July 16, 1790 for the purpose of serving as the Nation’s official capital.
President George Washington, who the city is named for, chose the location as a new home for the federal government. The location was based on a compromise between Alexander Hamilton of the northern states and Thomas Jefferson of the southern states.
Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division
Did you know?
Washington, DC was originally designed as a diamond shape before the area of Alexandria was returned to Virginia in 1846.
Washington, D.C. has grown and changed over time as a result of wars and national events, but it is very rich in its history. The city is home to the U.S. Capitol Building, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, National Mall, and the White House.
While You Are Here
On your visit, you can plan a tour of all of the historical sites listed above (and many more) for a fun history lesson. You can also check out one of the many museums, like the National Museum of American History, National Air and Space Museum, or the Smithsonian museums.
The two-mile walk down the National Mall, which is flanked on both ends by the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building, is surrounded by famous monuments, memorials, buildings and museums. You’ll see monuments dedicated to famous American figures, such as Lincoln, FDR, Jefferson, and Martin Luther King Jr. (who delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech right on the Mall.)
As Memorial Day approaches in just two weeks, the Mall would be a well worth a visit. You can stop by memorials such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the National World War II Memorial, or the Korean War Veterans Memorial to pay your respects to soldiers who have passed.
Being at such a unique location and of such importance, D.C. has a very diverse cultural identity that comes from a variety of different ethnic groups. There are large populations of Latinos, from Central and South America, as well as Ethiopians. Unsurprisingly, D.C.’s food culture mimics its ethnic diversity. There is no single category of flavor that summarizes the city as a whole.
While you’re here, make sure to take advantage of the diverse dining options, from Peruvian, to Vietnamese, to Ethopian, to Thai. You could also stop by Good Stuff Eatery on Pennsylvania Ave. for some yummy burgers on Martin’s Potato Rolls!
One food item that seems to be iconic to D.C. is the “chili half smoke”, like the ones found at Ben’s Chili Bowl. Try your own version on a Martin’s Long Potato Roll!
We can’t travel from Philly to D.C. without addressing another major city that’s on the way – Baltimore! With its close vicinity to the Patapsco River, off of the Chesapeake Bay, this area is prime location for many fun activities. You can also take a walk among the Inner Harbor and visit the Maryland Science Center, National Aquarium, or various museums. Just be sure to try some steamed crabs or crab cakes with Old Bay seasoning (which originated in Baltimore) while you’re here!
Try this recipe for an Old Bay Burger!
Next week, we’re headed further south to Southeastern Virginia, but thought we’d mentioned another stop that’s on the way, about an hour outside D.C., Fredericksburg, VA. Fredericksburg is another very historical area, having been both a major colonial site and also host to many battles during the Civil War. It’s worthy of a quick stop on our road trip to explore the area and remember the history associated with it. Plus, coming up next week on Sunday, May 17th in Fredericksburg is the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon! After visiting some famous sites, stop by the event and watch participants #RunWithTheMarines!
Don’t forget to stop by our “All-American Road Trip” page and use the map to let us know where you’ve visited this summer!
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