Your Capital is . . .

. . . the seat of the federal government

. . . home for 500,000 DC residents and 5 million in the metro area

. . . a place to work

. . . a destination for 20 million visitors annually

. . . the symbolic heart of the nation

Shaping America's Capital

Nestled between Maryland and Virginia and shouldered by two rivers, America’s capital is the seat of federal government and a living city to more than five hundred thousand residents. More than five million people reside in the National Capital Region, which draws 20 million visitors a year.

The District of Columbia was selected as the capital of the free world by virtue of a compromise struck between Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton—two of whom went on to serve as president of the United States.

During the course of history, the city, which was designed by a Frenchman, survived an attack by the British, an attempted overthrow by the Confederate army, and the riots of the 1960s when entire neighborhoods were set aflame. Through both peaceful civic gatherings and forceful protests, Washington, DC has stood as a unique testament to the power of ideas and the people’s willingness to support a democratic process where all have a voice.

From commemoration to innovation, from Georgetown to Anacostia, from the National Mall to Rock Creek Park, come and experience Washington, DC. Ride the Metro, explore the city, visit the museums, and be emotionally moved by the memorials.

The National Capital Planning Commission takes great pride in its role as the planning agency for the federal government. We protect the capital's historical, cultural, and environmental resources, ensuring that they will be here for future generations. We encourage you to learn about the capital city’s rich history and to experience its culture.

Planning Your Trip

There’s plenty to see and do once you arrive in Washington, DC. For example, did you know that the Smithsonian Institution offers free admission to 19 museums and the National Zoo? Or perhaps you’d like to visit some of the iconic memorials maintained by the National Park Service on the National Mall and elsewhere in the city. You can ride the Circulator, walk, or take Metro to your destination. To help you get started, below are links to helpful sites to get you on your way.

Visitor Services

National Park Service:
National Zoo:
Smithsonian Institution:
Capital Region USA:
Cultural Tourism DC:
Destination DC:
The District:

Transit Alternatives

MARC Train:
Virginia Rail Express (VRE):

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National Capital Planning Commission, 401 9th Street, NW, Washington DC 20004
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