TRAVEL || NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES > Capital Region
Washington DC (the US capital) is surrounded by four states: Virginia (1st permanent settlement), West Virginia (separation from Virginia during Civil War), and Maryland (one of 13 original colonies).
Washington DC (District of Columbia), home to the United States federal government, was founded in 1790 while George Washington was president. To maintain neutrality, the nation’s capital city is a separate district not designated to any of the 50 states. Unfortunately, though Washington residents are US citizens, they don’t currently have presidential voting rights due to the use of the electoral college (a body of electors deemed outdated, per many) only allocated to the states.
The electoral college was created by the Founding Fathers as a tool to elect a president—a compromise reached in an effort to balance fears of governmental corruption and a lack of public knowledge (perhaps still relevant). Today’s information technology could make this tool obsolete if only the public could depend on technology to provide only factual information to help everyone make informed decisions.
Many argue that US politics has become a circus—a bipartisan power struggle—where capitalism has taken over democracy, and big money and special interests dictate policy and control. Others insist that every vote matters and believe that liberty prevails.
True freedom is only achieved within orderly societies, where each of us views ourselves as part of a greater whole, and when everyone has the ability to share ideas, achieve hopes and dreams, and live without fear or desperation but rather with a sense of our unique purpose.
South of DC, between the Chesapeake Bay to the East and the Appalachian Blue Ridge Mountains to the West, is Virginia, a state brimming with historical landmarks and idyllic historic towns.
Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement of the Americas in 1607, was the original 17th-century colonial capital of Virginia (which moved to Williamsburg in 1799). Eight U.S. Presidents were born in Virginia, including Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the 3rd US President.
In Charlottesville, Jefferson built his iconic home, the Monticello, where he wrote the Declaration of Independence, and established the University of Virginia’s Academical Village. Together, these National Historic Landmarks have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites for their historic significance.
Step back in time just beyond the bustle of Washington DC to Alexandria, Virginia. This southern city is infused with well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture and small-town charm. Independent restaurants and boutiques line historic streets leading to a picturesque waterfront.
See the official Virginia Tourism pages.
West Virginia became the 35th state when it separated from Virginia during the Civil War. A photographer’s paradise set entirely in the Appalachian Mountains, wilderness enthusiasts can discover outdoor adventures, mountain resorts, and farm-to-fork dining.
See the official West Virginia Tourism pages.
Baltimore Inner Harbor
Defined by its waterways of the Chesapeake Bay north of DC, Maryland was colonized by England in the 17th century as one of the original 13 colonies to become states. Inner Harbor of Baltimore, the largest city in Maryland, was established in 1729 as a port city and serves as a vibrant, historical hub.
See the official Maryland Tourism pages.
All About the Capital Region
National Mall — “America’s Front Yard” — is the heart and soul of Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia), the capital of the United States of America; a city separate from, while still connected to, every state in the union. As this country continues to forge a path forward, it is important to honor and uphold the…
Inspired by the classics, Thomas Jefferson’s iconic home in Charlottesville, Virginia–whose name Monticello means “little mount” in Italian–has become an American icon. In 1987, 200 years after it was built, Jefferson’s Monticello was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with the University of Virginia’s Academical Village that he also designed). This beautifully maintained example of Neoclassical architecture was…
…established through the timeless principles of liberty and order…
Presidential Inauguration — January 2009 I had the incredible privilege of traveling for the 1st time to Washington DC for this year’s historic inaugural events. This was a trip of a lifetime. I knew that it would be an experience that I could take with me for the rest of my life. But I had…