American Homestay Network – Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia
The history of Washington, D.C. is tied to its role as the capital of the United States. President George Washington selected the location of the District of Columbia. Washington, D.C. is located between Virginia and Maryland on the north bank of the Potomac River. It is the home of all three branches of the federal government, as well as the White House, the Supreme Court, and the Capitol Building. More than 500,000 people reside in the city.
The Commonwealth of Virginia, known as the southeastern U.S. state, stretches from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, with a long Atlantic coastline. It is one of the 13 original colonies, with historic landmarks including Monticello, founding father Thomas Jefferson’s iconic Charlottesville plantation, and George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon by the Potomac River. The Jamestown Settlement and Colonial Williamsburg are living-history museums reenacting Colonial and Revolutionary-era life.
Fun Facts About Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia
- DC residents drink more wine per capita than residents of any of the 50 states.
- Three alligators have lived in the White House.
- Washington, D.C. was actually built on a mosquito-infested swamp.
- The seventh inning stretch in baseball originated in Washington, D.C.
- The Library of Congress is the biggest library of the world.
- Virginia was named for England’s “Virgin Queen,” Elizabeth I.
- The first peanuts grown in the United States were grown in Virginia.
- The states of Kentucky and West Virginia were formed from sections of the state of Virginia.
- About ½ of all people in the United States live within a 500-mile radius of the Capital of Virginia.
- The world’s only oyster museum is on Chincoteague Island.
- The first Thanksgiving in North America was held in Virginia in 1619.
- The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg is the second oldest in the United States, it was founded in 1693.
Schools in and around Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia
- Georgetown University
- George Washington University
- American University
- Catholic University of America
- George Mason University
- University of Virginia
- College of William and Mary
- University of Mary Washington
- Virginia Tech
Explore The City
Meetup.com is a collection of groups that put on events called meetups. You can join groups based on your interests. It is a great way to meet new people in Boston. Here are few groups to start out with:
Explore all of the National Mall and Smithsonian Museums for free!
Visit Old Town Alexandria during anytime of the week. There is so much history in this city. Located by the Potomac River, you can take a water taxi to the National Harbor across the river. Check out some of the tours that are offered in the city. Some of the most popular tours are the ghost tours, and boat tours.
The Shenandoah Valley is a must see especially during the spring and fall when visiting Virginia. It’s just an hour drive outside of Washington, DC. There are many hiking trails that are connected to the Appalachian Trail.
You wouldn’t think that Virginia has wine but we do! There are many beautiful small wineries across Northern Virginia. Take advantage of some of the wine tours, concerts, and festivities with friends.
Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. have all four distinct seasons. There are many festivities during the spring and autumn seasons. Virginia has many wineries and farms that are worth visiting and exploring. Shenandoah Valley offers beautiful scenic views of the leaves changing color during autumn. The summers can get pretty hot and humid but there are many great water parks, campsites, rivers, and creeks within just a few hours drive. During the winter it can get pretty cold and there may be a few snowstorms that hits the region.
Washington, D.C. was founded on July 16th, 1790. It is unique among many cities because it was established by the Constitution of the United States to serve as the capital. President George Washington selected the location of the city. During the War of 1812, the city was nearly destroyed. The McMillan plan was proposed in 1901 to reconstruct the public buildings. The National Mall was established and many of the monuments and museums were built here.
American history is very closely tied to the state of Virginia. Many Native American tribes such as the Cherokee, Chickahominy, and many more lived in Virginia lands during the time of the English colonization. At the end of the 16th century, when England began to colonize North America, Queen Elizabeth I of England gave the name “Virginia” to the whole area explored by the 1584 expedition of Sir Walter Raleigh along the coast of North America. The name eventually applied to the whole coast from South Carolina to Maine.
The state is called the “Mother of Presidents” because eight chief executives of the United States were born there. Virginia sent delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, beginning in 1774. On June 12, 1776, the Virginia Convention adopted the Virginia Declaration of Rights written by George Mason, a document that influenced the Bill of Rights added later to the United States Constitution. Then on June 29, 1776, the convention adopted a constitution that established Virginia as a commonwealth independent of the British Empire.