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WASHINGTON, D.C.

The U.S. capital is a compact city on the

Potomac River, bordering the states of

Maryland and Virginia. It's defined by

imposing neoclassical monuments and

buildings - including the iconic ones

that house the federal government's

3 branches: the Capitol, White House

and Supreme Court - but also its

museums and performing-arts venues

such as the Kennedy Centre. It was

named after George Washington (who

picked the location), while the District of

Columbia was named after the explorer

Christopher Columbus.

WHERE TO STAY: One of the best

areas to stay is DuPont Circle as it is less

than a mile walk to the White House

which then leads you on the main sights

of the city. Bistros, bars and boutiques

line the streets that come together at

DuPont Circle, the meeting place of

this cosmopolitan neighbourhood. The

largest concentration of international

embassies sits just northwest of the

circle, giving an extra dash of global

flavour. Arts and entertainment collide

with restaurants, shops, hotels, quaint

B&Bs, galleries and museums (The

Phillips Collection, The Textile Museum,

Woodrow Wilson House and National

Geographic Society's Explorers Hall, to

name a few).

WHAT TO SEE: The walk between

Capitol Hill and the Lincoln Memorial is

probably the best sightseeing walk you

can do. At 2 miles long it takes you from

Capitol Hill along the National Mall,

past the Washington Monument, past

the reflecting pool and ends at the feet

of the Lincoln Memorial. Take a right

turn at the Washington Memorial and

you will be able to walk the 1.6 miles of

parks and gardens straight to the White

House.

THE WHITE HOUSE: George

Washington oversaw construction of

the White House, but never lived in

it. John and Abigail Adams became

the first occupants of the presidential

mansion on November 1, 1800. After

capturing the nation's capital during

the War of 1812, British troops set

fire to the White House, U.S. Capitol,

several federal buildings and private

residences on August 24, 1814. First

Lady Dolley Madison, who had refused

to leave the White House until only a

few hours before the British arrived,

secured the full length portrait of

George Washington and a copy of the

Declaration of independence on her

way out. Unfortunately it is not possible

to simply buy an entrance ticket to tour

the White House. It has to be arranged

in advance by special appointment

through the British Embassy in

Washington DC.

CAPITOL HILL: The United States

Capitol, often called Capitol Hill, is

the seat of the United States Congress

and the legislative branch of the U.S.

federal government. It sits atop Capitol

Hill, at the eastern end of the National

Mall in Washington, D.C. While still

under construction, the United States

Capitol held its first session of Congress

on November 17, 1800. Visitors are

welcome to enter the building through

the Capitol Visitor Centre, located

underground on the east side of the

Capitol. You can begin your Capitol

experience at the Visitor Centre by

visiting the Exhibition Hall, perusing gift

shops or dining in the restaurant.

THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL: In a city

of icons, the Lincoln Memorial is truly a

highlight. A visit here while gazing over

the 2,000ft (600m) Reflecting Pool is a

defining D.C. moment. It anchors the

west end of the National Mall, perfectly

balancing the long axis of the Mall,

its back fronting the Potomac River. A

visit here also serves as a respite from

visiting museums, while still retaining

the D.C. experience.

WASHINGTON MONUMENT:

Prominent 555-foot-high classical

obelisk where visitors are whisked by

elevator to an observation deck for

spectacular views of America's capital.

NATIONAL MALL: An open area

of gardens, fountains, trees and

monuments stretching nearly two miles

between the Capitol and the Lincoln

Memorial.

THE NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE

MUSEUM is one of the most popular

museums in the world, attracting, on

average, more than nine million visitors

each year.

The bright lights, sights and shopping

delights beckon to create the buzz that

is Manhattan - the memory of which

stays with you for a long time afterwards.

Think of Central Park, 5th Avenue, The

Empire State Building, Times Square,

the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Macy's,

Tiffany's, NYPD, Yellow Cabs, Broadway

and the Rockefeller Centre. These are

the ingredients which come together

in whirlwind of sights, sounds and

experiences. Christmas and New Year

are a magical time in New York with

the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller

Centre, ice skating in Central park and

magnificent shop displays on 5th Ave. On

New Year's Eve everyone gathers in Times

Square to count in the New Year in and

watch the silver ball drop.

The main tourist centre is situated in an

area called Midtown - immediately below

Central Park. It is laid out in a grid of

streets which run from west to east and

avenues which run from north to south.

The very southern tip of Manhattan is

known as Downtown where the layout

of streets become a bit more muddled

around Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge

and the Freedom Tower (Ground Zero).

Midtown is generally bordered by 59th

Street in the north running along the

southern edge Central Park and 34th

Street in the South. Times Square is in the

middle of it all where Broadway crosses

7th Avenue and 42nd Street.

GETTING AROUND- Because there is

so much to see and do in this area - the

best way to get around is on foot as one

thing leads onto another. Walking within

the Midtown area is achievable but can

be tiring if you are on the go all day. For

other sights and attractions outside of this

area then yellow cabs or the subway are

good ways to get around. Unfortunately

the subway routes are not as straight

forward as the streets. On any given

route there are a number of lettered

trains which stop at a different selection

of stations. Up trains run from South to

North while down trains run from North to

South, local trains stop at all stations while

express trains stop at a small selection of

main stations. Unlike London you pay the

same fare whether it is a one stop journey

or a ten stop journey.

SHOPPING & SIGHTSEEING:

We recommend combining both activities

at the same time in a sweep from North

to South starting in Central Park after

breakfast and before most shops open

at 10am. The following are 'Must Do':

Central Park including the Bethesda

Fountain & Strawberry Fields memorial.

Walk along 5th Avenue from Central Park

for a spot of top class shopping; check

out the Art Deco Rockefeller Centre

on 50th Street and pop in to view the

magnificent interior of Grand Central

Station on 42nd Street & Park Avenue.

Just a couple of blocks south at the

southern edge of the Midtown area on

34th Street you will find Macy's, Madison

Square Garden sports arena, the Empire

State Building and a great range of shops.

Hop on the subway down to 23rd Street

at Madison Square Park to visit the

Flatiron building then carry on down to

the Ground Zero site, the Freedom Tower

and Wall Street. Visit Battery Park at the

Southern tip of Manhattan and take

some photos of the Statue of Liberty. If

you have time - hop on a boat tour via

the Statue of Liberty to the museum on

Ellis Island. The Empire State Building at

sunset is perfect for magnificent views

across the city as the lights twinkle on.

Finally visit Times Square at night before

seeing a show on Broadway.

A New attraction is the Highline Park.

This is a public park built on a historic

freight rail line elevated above the streets

on Manhattan's West Side. It runs from

Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking

District (13th Street) to West 34th Street,

between 10th and 12th Avenues. This

offers a great opportunity to view the

lower west side with great views, water

features, flowers beds and lawns.

NEW YORK CITY

THE POLITICAL CENTRE THE FINANCIAL CENTRE

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