Benefits of Living in the Nation's Capital
Washington D.C. is the beating heart of the United States—the pulse of which gives life to a dynamic city full of the kind of opportunity and ingenuity that defines this country. Washingtonians work hard, but they do this knowing that the access to world-class museums, performing arts spaces, and a high-stakes political arena make living in Washington DC a unique experience worth the hustle. Here are just a few of the benefits awaiting folks that decide to call Washington DC home.
Art, theatre, music, history, aeronautics, whatever your passion may be, DC has a home for it. Artists from all over the world flock to the John F. Kennedy Center, a state-of-the-art performance space where you can hear the National Symphony Orchestra, see a production put on by the Washington National Opera, or attend the annual Kennedy Center Honours where the nation’s greatest talents are acknowledged for their contributions to American culture. If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, you can pop into one of the city’s numerous smaller venues, such as Union Stage, the Black Cat (part-owned by DC legend Dave Grohl), or the Hamilton Live to experience some home-grown DC talent on the rise.
Living in Washington, DC also gives you the opportunity to indulge your inner historian as you explore the seemingly endless array of museums that dot the city. The iconic Smithsonian Institution comprises 20 museums (including the National Zoo), 11 of which are centrally located along the National Mall. Between the National Museum of Natural History, International Spy Museum, National Museum of American History, Newseum, and National Geographic Museum, you're sure to find an installation that scratches your history itch. It makes sense that a town where history is made every day is also a town that does so much to honor the past.
Washington DC was founded and built with accessibility in mind. When President George Washington was tasked with choosing the location of the new capital, he settled on a plot of land along the coast between the Anacostia and Potomac rivers. His idea was that the central location would reflect the spirit of compromise and cooperation he and the other Founding Fathers hoped would characterize their new government.
The modern DC metro area spans the states of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. Baltimore, MD and DC feed into each other, forming the 6th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Living in Washington DC gives easy access to all of the attractions that both cities have to offer, as well as a thriving and diverse job market. The Washington DC cost of living can be quite high, but the area is one of the most highly educated in the country, with opportunities in government, non-profits, biotech and cyber-security.
Just south of DC you’ll find Alexandria, VA, a quaint riverfront town with a rich colonial history. One of Conde Nast's Top 5 Small Cities—Alexandria is home to Mt. Vernon, George Washington’s historic estate, from which 20 miles of scenic bike trails run along the Potomac. And Alexandria’s Old Town district is lined with restaurants, more than 100 independently owned boutiques, and stunning examples of colonial architecture.
When you're looking to stretch out a bit further for a weekend escape, New York City, Philadelphia and Atlantic City, to name a few, are easily accessible by train, with plenty of sights to see along the way. Just as Washington intended.
The Washington DC cost living can seem high, especially for homeowners. For that reason, there are a number of programs available to help families make the move—especially if you’re a first-time buyer. But the good news is that, even if you don’t live in Washington DC proper, you still have plenty of new homes in the DC metro area that provide you convenient access into DC, Northern Virginia and beyond.
While the idea of Washington DC home ownership in the suburbs doesn’t appeal to everyone, living in the surrounding area of Washington DC is hardly living in suburbia. Baltimore, for example, is a city of its own with plenty of rich communities to enjoy. And due to a lack of available housing options in DC proper—home builders through the region have been focusing on building new communities throughout the area in established cities like Alexandria and National Harbor, as well as growing cities like Rockville, MD. That’s a trend that isn’t likely to stop anytime soon because everything that makes the area great to live in, continues to be great.
Things like government jobs, which are on the record for being some of the most stable jobs ever. And of course, the federal government isn’t packing its bags anytime soon. That said, there are also major universities in the area that draw large amounts of young people who are vying for exactly those types of jobs. Luckily, all of that means the opportunity to live in an area that’s always growing—so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever get bored.
If you slept through history class, living in Washington DC could be a great way to catch up on all of those old figures you sort of forgot. But on a more serious note, the surrounding Washington DC area could be a great place to find a job, grow your family, and start the next step in your future.
Contributed to Your Home blog
Looking for more tips, ideas or inspiration? Return Home here.