Washington Monument Tours – A Capital Excursion

It is every tourist’s desire to see the Washington Monument that soars high above the nation’s capital. For those interested, there are various ways to get a Washington monument ticket. The options include making reservations in advance, calling the Washington Monument toll free number to purchase your tickets, or getting tickets at the foot of the monument or getting the tickets at 15th Street Kiosk. The best way, however, is to book tickets online with a tour operator who undertakes Washington monument tours.

What Is So Special About The Washington Monument?

Like the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Parthenon, and the Taj Mahal, it truly commands universal recognition as a marvelous sightseeing memorial. Small wonder, this monument, a marvel of 19th century engineering, is never missed on Washington monument tours.

Here are some key facts and figures about the monument.

* The monument made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss is the world’s tallest obelisk standing 555 feet 5⅛ inches tall.

* The memorial was built by architect Robert Mills in the 1840s.

* It was officially opened for public on October 9, 1888.

Did you know that the Washington Monument Restoration work itself was a great tourist draw? In case this facet is not narrated to you by the tourist guides of Washington monument tours, here are two interesting pieces of information.

* The Washington Monument needed major restoration work to combat years of weathering and aging. To undertake this work during 1998-2000, architect Michael Graves was appointed to design the scaffolding and the interior observation and exhibit levels. As we all know, scaffolding during construction is a purely functional creation, mainly to transport workers and goods up and down safely. In all cases, scaffolding looks very mundane to draw any public attention. But the scaffolding of Washington Monument was radically different.

* A remarkable feature of the scaffolding was, it followed the profile of the monument and was adorned with a blue semitransparent architectural mesh fabric. The magnificence of the scaffolding itself told the story of restoration. At night, the insides of the scaffolding were lit by hundreds of lights, making it an awesome spectacle. This well-known obelisk’s scaffolding was first of its kind. The tourists to Washington DC during 1998 – 2000 were lucky to witness the great monument under glittering restoration work.

* During restoration work, a team of government scientists were using satellites to make a very accurate measurement of the monument’s height. They found that the memorial is actually taller by four-tenths of an inch than what was previously thought. In fact, it was the scaffolding that afforded scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration access to the top of the obelisk. An accurate measurement of height enabled engineers to monitor the monument’s stability with regard to shifting, settling, and movement of the structure.

They may be unsurprising visits to many Americans who are familiar with the image of the well-known obelisk shown every day on television. But certainly not to people who visit Washington DC from abroad. Even to the natives, they can include excursions to places, if perhaps less famous, yet interesting enough to make a worthwhile outing.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6180674

Reasons To Rent Apartments In Washington DC

People have all the right reasons to choose Washington DC apartments because not only is it the capital of US, but it is also an important financial and political hub. The city is densely populated, the metropolitan area of Washington has a population of around 5.4 million and it is considered as the eight largest in terms of metropolitan in the US. It also serves as the headquarters of some of the world’s biggest organizations and embassies, such as International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Pan American Health Organization, etc.

Here are some of the reasons why one should opt for this apartments:

- Washington DC became the capital of US in the year 1790 and it is today considered as a true melting pot because of the number of people pouring here from all parts of the world and around the country. The city this has a quaint small town charm because of low-lying Washington District of Columbia apartments and tree lined streets. It covers an area of around 61.40 square miles and it is now home to more than 500,000 people.

- Apartments for rent are extremely popular because of its magnificent neighborhood, which is full of historic buildings, national monuments and cultural experiences can be witnessed in every corner of the city. Northeast is the most popular part, which includes Brookland and Capitol Hill.

– The traffic conditions in Washington DC can get bad, but this does not take anything away from Washington DC apartments for rent because most of the apartments are located near one of the largest rail transit system that can serve a population of 3.5 million.

- Washington District of Columbia apartments are also popular because of the amount of jobs available in the city. The local industries here are comprised of hospitality, healthcare, construction, tourism, research, international business and technology. Some of the globally acclaimed fortune 500 companies have their offices here too.

- Apartments in Washington DC are popular also because of some of the popular educational institutes and universities such as The George Washington University.

– It is also very popular for its professional sporting teams that play in the NFL, WNBA, NBA, NHL, etc.

- It is also popular for the kind of malls, restaurants and entertainment it offers making it one of the ideal and popular destinations for tourists.

- Certain apartments also offer rentals to people with bad credit ratings.

– Washington DC apartments for rents offer all the latest amenities and rentals of these apartments can be anywhere around $1,605 to $4,285 depending on the number of rooms and locality.

Components of a Successful Student Trip to Washington DC From a Teacher’s Perspective

Over the past 25 years I have worked with many K-12 teachers to organize student trips to Washington D.C. This spring I received a thank you letter from Shawn Tierney, a teacher at Santa Rita High School in Tucson, Arizona, detailing specific aspects of a trip to Washington D.C. that made it a “resounding success.”

I was happy to receive this detailed letter from Mr. Tierney. Parts of his commentary are included in this article. Tierney reflects upon the important aspects of student travel that help teachers and student tour companies to create a safe, rewarding educational experience for all involved.

Travel can be an eye opening educational experience. For many student travelers, it may even be their first time on an airplane or visiting a large urban area. In this particular instance, a class traveled from Arizona to Washington D.C. – which is a significant distance. Some students may only make this trip once in a lifetime.

In order for a student trip to be a memorable and pleasurable learning experience, coordination among a variety of individuals is necessary. A qualified student travel company will hire the most capable professionals. Student trips are influenced by: tour escorts, bus drivers, restaurant owners and managers, hotel managers, security guards, administrators and docents at various destinations, and the educational travel company. Of course teachers, students and chaperons are key to an excellent trip as well. When everyone works together in a synchronized way the trip is bound to be successful.

Starting the Trip on the Right Foot: Ground Transportation to the Phoenix Airport
Trip planning is a key foundation for success. The less a teacher has to worry about the details, the more he or she can focus on the educational objectives of the trip. Shawn Tierney mentioned he was relieved his selected ground transportation company, Mountain View Tours, has “bus drivers that were accessible and ready when we needed ground transportation in Arizona. It was as comforting to see the white bus turning into the school parking lot early Saturday morning, as it was to receive a call from the bus driver in Phoenix who was ready to pick us up at the airline terminal upon our return.”

Tour guides & Teachers Can Make or Break a Student Trip
When a tour guide and a teacher work well together, a school trip is sure to go smoothly. Kelly Everett was the licensed Washington D.C. tour guide assigned to work with Santa Rita High School students and tour leaders. Tierney says, “She was informative, proactive, and flexible. She made suggestions due to weather and traffic so that students had a thorough visit to Washington D.C.” When visiting any destination, adaptability and problem solving can make all of the difference. Tierney commented that, “the high point of the trip was when we were able to meet with our Congressional District Representative on the steps of the Capitol within 24 hours of the Health Care Reform Bill being passed. This required an overhaul of the schedule, which Kelly handled with composure and enthusiasm.” The experience of actually seeing the Congressional District representative following the passing of this historical bill was certainly a rare and rewarding experience for the school group. Tierney recalled, “the looks on the faces of our graduating seniors who saw, many for the first time, the interior of the Capitol, made it all worthwhile.”

Experienced Bus Drivers in Washington D.C. Save Time by Averting Hassles and Hang-ups
Bus drivers with a thorough knowledge of the streets of Washington D.C. as well as appropriate places to load and unload large groups when entering museums, government buildings, and other destinations, can save time on student trips. Shawn Tierney is a Washington D.C. native, so he knows full well the pitfalls and delays that might await any large school group or individual when winding through the streets of the city. According to Tierney, the bus driver, Bob Pearl, had, “knowledge of the maze of streets in D.C. This was critical in making many of our scheduled appointments. He did an excellent job of managing the one way streets and constant construction and security restrictions.” The bus driver was also “always mindful for the safety of the students.” The fact that the bus driver and the tour guide worked well together created a smooth trip.

Santa Rita High School students went on a four day, three night trip to Washington D.C. that included: Arlington National Cemetery, Ford’s Theatre, Smithsonian American and Natural History Museum, a visit to the Supreme Court as well as the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Navy Memorial, Washington National Cathedral, the Holocaust Museum, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, and Mount Vernon.

Even though Santa Rita High School’s itinerary was full – there are even more worthwhile educational destinations to see in Washington D.C. For the March 2011 trip, Tierney plans to add another night so more destinations may be included. He also indicated he’d start planning in August 2010. Planning a student trip to Washington D.C. six months to one year in advance is always wise, especially if teachers want student groups to gain admission to the Capitol, White House, or Pentagon when visiting.

What Can The Washington, DC Schools Teach Us?

A mix of political power and extreme poverty, the Washington DC Public Schools face a struggle that epitomizes the state of education in this country. While the elite and affluent live in the best districts, or send their children to private schools, many students in the Washington, DC Schools function in poverty and need.

Why does this matter? The discrepancy between the haves and have-nots in the Washington, DC Schools mimics that which has led to the glaring racial achievement gap in the country. Recently, studies reporting on the gap percentages in all states have gotten a lot of attention. Also, reports on the correlation between income and achievement have received a lot of press. Although I don’t think any jaws are dropping; the question for Washington, DC schools isn’t if poverty leads to low achievement, it’s what to do about it.

Methods in the Washington, DC Schools

The initiatives that the Washington, DC Schools implement are an important barometer for the rest of the schools in the country. If efforts work, they will be duplicated. If they fail, it is a cause for concern, and considered a waste of money. Vouchers are one big issue. Due to declining enrollment in the Washington, DC public schools, and a desire to offer school choice to low-income students, a federal program offering $7,500 school vouchers was offered to needy students in the Washington, DC Schools.

Not everyone is fond of this method because they are afraid it will actually encourage more students to leave the Washington, DC Schools for charter or private schools. Many feel this could degrade the quality of the system. Ironically, this is the same concern when affluent and educated families leave the public school system. The Washington, DC Schools loose both per pupil funding and the most involved parents when this happens. Vouchers may exacerbate the situation.

However, this may be just the thing to motivate schools to improve. Just like in business, competition can be a good thing.

Needed Construction in Washington, DC Schools

Washington, DC Schools are also a mirror to the nation is in terms of adequate space and buildings. As old schools deteriorate, the district is challenged to renovate them. Recently, this became a focus of the district. 120 schools are either being renovated or built at this time. Part of the effort involves reconfiguring these Washington, DC Schools for better efficiency. For instance, feeder 6-8 middle schools are being put on campuses with the appropriate high school.

The location of administrative offices and special education facilities are being reconsidered to make better use of the space, and to better meet the children’s needs. Other districts around the country are following the results of these changes closely. The successes and failures of the Washington, DC Schools will have consequences felt by a lot of students in the nation.

Washington D.C. Schools Seek Spots For All

Washington D.C. Schools experienced an uneven distribution of student enrollment in 2006. Public school population declined in a rapid trend for the past ten years as they Washington D.C. Schools lost more students to the private schools and voucher programs. The vouchers allow participants to enroll in private schools and the funding pays for $7,500 worth of fees and tuition. The D.C. Public School District was alarmed and made efforts to corral their remaining students. Washington D.C. Schools’ officials received increased salaries, many of them making more than $150,000 dollars annually. These pay raises have been questioned by local publications. In response to the questions, the schools district’s media strategist claims that the raises were necessary to ensure the best leadership for Washington D.C. Schools.

Many Washington D.C. Schools’ parents wanted an extension of the voucher programs, due to their effectiveness and cost saving strategies. However, the consensus seems to be that vouchers would be more effective if they encompassed all of Washington D.C. Schools’ students. The solution seems to lie in the funding. As it stands currently, the vouchers are federally funded, saving the Washington D.C. Schools an incredible amount of money each year. If the vouchers become locally funded, the Washington D.C. Schools would save less money, but would increase school choices for students.

The troubled Washington D.C. Schools are going through other changes. Efforts have been made in the arena of educational overhaul. As recently as last year, the superintendent set a new list of standards for all grade levels to meet, referred to as the Master Education Plan. There was an emphasis placed on math time, reading time, and science time every day in the classrooms of Washington D.C. Schools. Additionally for high school students, community service and mathematical requirements were annexed to the curriculum. These new rigorous courses and high standards were enacted in an effort to maintain Washington D.C. public school enrollment. The Washington D.C Schools’ superintendent is competing against tantalizing vouchers. Because students decide to go private through vouchers in middle school, these grade levels face the most overhauls. The superintendent is attempting to unify all Washington D.C. middle schools. A reconfiguration of grades will affect the standard k-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade progression throughout all schools.

In addition to the improvement of existing Washington D.C. school curriculum, a new initiative called for the construction of 20 new schools and the updating of more than 100 school buildings currently in operation. This Master Facilities Plan and is coupled with the Master Education Plan. The Master Facilities Plan also organizes high schools on single campuses, moves system administrative offices to excess school buildings, joins feeder middles schools to high schools with similar academic emphases, and improves the special needs programs for students currently enrolled in nonpublic Washington D.C. Schools.

Local Delivery of Ultra Pure Water in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area – Purity and Customer Service

The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area is one of the fastest growing areas of the United States, Fueled by massive spending in the areas of Defense and Homeland Security, Washington D.C and parts of Northern Virginia and Maryland have seen a major influx in professional workers who fill high paying jobs in government agencies and contractors supporting the government.

Rapid Growth Spurs Construction

This migration has stimulated a housing boom in Northern Virginia and key counties in Maryland .As an example Loudoun County in Virginia is ranked as the fastest growing county in the country. New housing units are emerging at a rapid pace and the price range of new construction is increasing as well. This trend reflects the fact that younger, well paid individuals and families are demanding better quality housing to enhance their careers and lifestyle.

This new construction however has placed a heavy burden on the local infrastructure particularly the local water table. Local municipalities are under significant pressure to supply pure drinking water and the Metropolitan area has had trouble keeping pace with development. Tap water contains chlorine, fluoride and other elements that could impair a healthy lifestyle. Well water is subject to multiple sources of contamination.In order to obtain a reliable supply of pure drinking water, many homes and owners of small businesses have turned to local delivery of bottled water.

Health Orientation of a Growing Population

In addition to local concerns about the water table, many families and businesses are interested in raising the health level of their families and employees. With the advent of health oriented articles in the internet, a greater awareness of health in the media and business sponsored health fairs in the Metropolitan area, many see pure drinking water as a basic element of good health.

Pure Drinking Water as an Important Element of Health

The are many forms of drinking water from wells to bottled water including municipality treated drinking water but all but purified water contain minerals and particles that may prove damaging to the human body.

Purified water is defined by the Food and Drug Administration and refers to water that is treated through the process of distillation and filtration and ozonation. Distillation and filtration in combination removes 99.9% of all particles in water while ozonation kills any remaining bacteria and adds flavor to distilled water. The result is a light tasting crisp drink that is essential to good health without the use of potentially harmful chemicals.

Distilled ozonated drinking water is considered by many to be the best form of bottled drinking water.

Home/Office Delivery Adds Convenience and Saves Money

In addition to quality, convenience is important. Delivery to the home/office on a regular and predetermined schedule is critical to customer satisfaction. An important part of the delivery process is the pick up of empty bottles and the proper billing of accounts. If the schedule is not managed properly shortages or missed deliveries occur resulting is great customer dissatisfaction.

Errors in billing cause great customer dissatisfaction and impair the service commitment to the customer. Because of the large number of relatively small transactions, billing problems are likely to occur unless billing oversight is part of the customer service culture.

Home or office delivery of water in 5 gallon bottles is the most cost effective way of purchasing high quality drinking water due to more cost effective packaging and economies of scale. Since 5 gallon bottles are heavier the consumer should consider those suppliers with easy to use handles and no-spill caps,

Customer Satisfaction – The Key to a Successful Relationship

In the Bottled Water business, the relationship with the customer is a mandatory requirement for success. There are many elements to customer satisfaction including:

o A quality product offering

o Scheduled deliveries that are frequent and comply with the customer’s needs

o Delivery employees that are professional and responsive to customer needs

o Delivery vehicles that are new and well maintained

o Ability to exchange empty bottles on a consistent basis

o Proper billing of shipments and returns

o Proper communications in the event of problems – ability to speak with a human being

o A culture of serving the customer and prioritizing customer interests

Many companies talk about serving the customer but few fulfill that promise. Customer service is more than the intent to serve the customer’s need. What is required is investment in infrastructure and human resources required to identify customer needs, develop plans of action to solve problems and have the authority to correct customer service problems. A company that is not willing to invest resources in the customer service promise makes only an empty promise.

What to Look For In a Bottled Water Supplier

The choice of a bottled water supplier is critical to the health needs of a family or a business. Purity of product is paramount only to be equaled by outstanding customer service. A Bottled Water company makes a promise to provide quality and service to all its customers. Look for a company with a reputation for quality and a culture of performance..

Ten Tips to Avoid A Washington DUI Conviction

It is 9:00AM on a Sunday morning; you awake with a splitting headache (which was to be expected) and a DUI ticket (which was not). You try to think back on the previous night, but your mind keeps spiraling forward to all the horror stories you have heard regarding the expensive penalties and the stigma of DUI. Are you going to jail? How will you get to work? What the heck is an Arraignment? You fight the impulse to panic and resolve to do something productive. So, you go online and begin to research Washington DUI’s or DUI’s in Clark County or some combination of search terms which through the magic of the internet brought you to this article. As a practicing Washington DUI attorney and having represented over 500 clients charged with DUI over the last five years, there are some initial actions that fundamentally help in a DUI defense case. This article is meant to serve as an attorney’s “wish list” for the client’s actions following the incident and before our initial consultation. Take it as advice for the “morning after” and your first 10 steps in mounting a successful defense:

1.) Write yourself an e-mail which includes everything you can remember from your first drink until your release from custody. The e-mail portion is important as you will have a contemporaneous statement (with a date and time on it) which you and your attorney can refer back to over the days, weeks and months following the incident. The arresting officer has or will be preparing a police report which he or she can refer to over time. This report gains credibility due to the proximity of the narrative to the incident. Your e-mail will do the same thing. Include every detail which you believe would be relevant. Write the e-mail in chronological order and try to include as many details as possible. It is okay for you to not know specific terms in relation to the DUI. In fact, it actually adds to the credibility of the record if it does not appear you have done a ton of research prior to writing.

2.) Take pictures. Once you clear your head and retrieve your vehicle from impound it is important to take pictures of both the location you performed field sobriety tests and (potentially) the state of the roadway in the area you were stopped. Roadway shots are most important if the character of the roadway is changing (construction zone). If your camera has a date and time function which imprints both on the photograph itself please use this function for the documenting rationale listed above. Take more pictures than you think are necessary as your attorney will likely choose one or two which they believe best illustrates a potential defense (so give them a good variety of shots to choose from).

3.) If you had passengers in your vehicle or know the folks following your vehicle, ask them to send an e-mail (preferably as soon after the incident as possible) with their recollections and contact information regarding what they witnessed.

4.) If your driving was caused by a mechanical issue in your vehicle, take the vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible and secure a diagnosis of the issue. Have this diagnosis on the mechanic’s letterhead with the date of the assessment.

5.) If you were taking any prescription medication the day of the DUI arrest, photocopy the labels along with your recollection as to when the medication was taken, in what quantity it was taken, why it was taken, and for how long you have been taking the medication.

6.) Understand that there are two “fronts” to the DUI war. After staring at your Citation and breath test form for hours, lamenting every bad turn last night took, you will eventually notice that besides the expensive tow form, you additionally have paperwork from the Department of Licensing. Please note that the Hearing Request form needs to be mailed within 20 days of your incident date (not your Arraignment). Additionally, please note that the diamond-shaped hole in your license does not invalidate the license. It only signifies a pending administrative action.

7.) In nearly all circumstances you will be benefitted by having an attorney assist you through the DUI process. The attorney can range from a public defender to an attorney who only accepts DUI cases (in Washington an attorney cannot hold themselves out as an “expert” – though some may tell you they are). Choosing the right attorney for most people involves feedback of friends and family who have used or know of others who have benefited from the attorney’s services. Often a “gut feeling” can arise from the phone conversation with the attorney’s office and/or a sit-down consultation. I recommend that folks meet with at least two attorneys if not more to determine the right fit for them. Each attorney has a distinct style and approach to DUI cases. Most attorneys will happily answer questions regarding their experience with DUI cases (such as how often they defend DUI’s; their thoughts on your particular situation; and the potential steps you can take to benefit your case).

8.) If this is your second DUI arrest, it is important to determine exactly when your prior offense occurred. Washington calculates DUI “priors” for sentencing purposes as a previous DUI with an incident date within 7 years of your most recent incident. PLEASE NOTE: A DUI that has been amended to “Negligent Driving in the 1st Degree” or “Reckless Driving” does count as a “prior” offense for sentencing purposes on your new charge.

9.) If you had a previous attorney on your last DUI charge, contact your former attorney as soon as possible. This does not obligate you to re-hire your former attorney, however the attorney can serve as a valuable resource to the specific steps necessary to maintain a semblance of compliance with your previous case obligations.

10.) If you are on a Deferred Prosecution and you receive a new DUI, it important to refer to the terms of the Deferred Prosecution agreement you previously entered. Under the terms of most Deferred Prosecutions you are (1) required to provide a breath sample, (2) inform your probation officer, and (3) inform your treatment provider if a new offense occurs. While there are varying conditions dependent on the county your Deferred Prosecution was entered in, I have never seen a client not benefit by at least contacting their treatment provider and entering some type of relapse prevention prior to Arraignment.

Straw Bale Construction – What’s Old is New Again

The use of straw as a form of insulation has been around for centuries. But it is now coming back into vogue as a sustainable, green and reliable means of insulating homes and other buildings.

Straw bales are readily available and provide cost-effective building materials, especially in areas where grains are grown. While additional precautions are required to build a straw-insulated house in regions prone to rain or humidity, there are many benefits to this type of construction. With an average insulation factor of R-35 or higher, straw-bale homes are ideal for locations where the heating, or cooling, of the home is an important consideration for comfortable living. In fact, the thicker the straw bale, the higher the R-factor. This type of insulation could decrease heating costs in homes by up to 75 percent. The 18-inch thickness of bales also provides significant noise reduction.

Straw bales are relatively easy to work with. Basic saws and other hand tools can be used to cut and/or shape walls and window openings. These bales can be sculpted to provide unique shapes within the home, such as window seats, or coved ceilings.

Another benefit to using straw bales for construction is the fire-resistance factor. During the building process, the condensed bales are coated with plaster or other substrates on both sides of the wall. If ignition does occur, the bales would smolder rather than burst in to flames, allowing residents to get out of the house safely until help arrives.

Keeping the bales dry is critical in building a straw-based home. If the bales are exposed to moisture content above 20 percent, the danger of fungal growth will arise and start the decomposition of the straw. However, if the bales are perfectly dry when construction begins, and stay that way, the walls can stay intact for centuries.

Optimizing your straw-bale home’s insulation factor also includes the roof. Trusses must be placed close enough so the bales fit together tightly. Plastering – or otherwise coating – these roof bales is also important, not only for insulation but also for fire retardant measures.

One unique project in Washington State saw an organization provide funding for the construction of 11 straw-bale homes in an effort to offer housing for low- to middle-income residents. An additional benefit to the community occurred when a group of college students and young apprentices in the building trades were recruited to help the homeowners build their future homes.

A number of states have adopted straw-bale construction methods in their building codes. The government acceptance of this revised method of building has spurred some insurance companies and lenders to also give their stamp of approval, ultimately paving the way for more organizations to do the same.

Visit Washington DC On The Cheap!

Getting Around

SUBWAY: Washington’s subway system, popularly known as the Metro, is clean and easy to use. Fares vary depending on your travel time and distance. You can buy a one-day Metrorail pass for $6.50. If you’re staying for several days, consider purchasing a rechargeable SmarTrip card.

While Metro stations are equipped with escalators and elevators, it’s best to travel light. During peak travel times, Metro trains are extremely crowded. You may arrive at a station only to find both the elevator and escalator out of service.

BUS: Washington’s Metrobus system covers the entire city. Regular bus fare is $1.25 and express fare is $3.00. You must pay for your trip with exact change, a SmarTrip card or a bus pass. One day passes are $3.00 and are valid on all regular buses. You’ll pay a $1.75 surcharge if you take an express bus.

The DC Circulator bus will take you to many popular sights for just $1.00. One route circles the Mall, passing the Washington Monument and Smithsonian museums (weekends only). Another takes you from Union Station to the ever-trendy Georgetown area. The third navigates between the Convention Center and the Southwest Waterfront. You can pay for your trip aboard the Circulator bus (exact change only), get tickets at multi-space meters along the Circulator route or use a SmarTrip card. A one day pass is only $3.00.

Free Washington DC

The National Mall

Spend an afternoon wandering among the presidential and war memorials. Climb the Washington Monument (tickets are free, but there is a small charge to reserve tickets in advance) and look down on the Mall’s winding pathways, rippling flags and colorful flowers. Walk the length of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and see the loving tributes visitors have left at the Wall. (Metro stops: Capitol South, L’Enfant Plaza, Smithsonian, Foggy Bottom/GWU)

The Smithsonian Institution Museums

The Smithsonian’s sixteen museums showcase every aspect of American life from prehistory to the Space Age and they’re all free. The National Air and Space Museum contains the Wright Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis and many other famous airplanes and spacecraft. The National Museum of Natural History will delight lovers of dinosaurs, gemstones and animals. If you’re an art aficionado, check out the American Art Museum, the newly-renovated National Portrait Gallery or the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which features modern art. The National Museum of American History is closed until September 2008.(Metro: Smithsonian or L’Enfant Plaza)

The National Zoo

This famous zoo is best known for its giant pandas. The Zoo’s Asia Trail brings together seven Asian animal species in newly-constructed habitats. The giant pandas and their cub, Tai Shan, are the stars of the Trail. The Zoo is also a great picnic location. (Metro: Woodley Park-Zoo)

Washington Park Homes Are a Great Investment

You’ve heard it it many times before before: location, location, location. This couldn’t be more true. Sometimes a neighborhood’s name is everything in a home search, especially when it is desirable and historical. Every city has a few of these neighborhoods where its residents are proud to say they live there and their friends are envious of their neighborhood. Homebuyers are usually more than willing to pay a premium for a neighborhood with impressive name recognition, a solid history, unique homes, and desirable surroundings. In Denver, this neighborhood is Washington Park.

There is just something special about Washington Park homes. I was reminded of this last week as several stunning homes were featured at the West Washington Park Home Tour. With construction dates over 125 years, the tour represented the area’s history well. There were six homes featured at the event, including 627 S. Corona, which was constructed in 1873 for the park’s founder, J.W. Smith. Another home on the tour was 615 S. Pearl St., which was built in 1891 for the Pastor of the then Reformed Presbyterian Church that is still next door. There was also a newly constructed home at 629 S. Corona St., winner of the 2009 Denver Metro Builders C.A.R.E. Awards Infill Award. The property was just built last year.

The tour was a great sampling of the neighborhood’s properties – a little bit of old and a little bit of new, but all of them were beautiful. If you drive through the community, you will see the same thing. The homes come in a plethora of ages, sizes, and architectural styles.

Washington Park is very desirable to most Denver homebuyers. The community is situated just south of Downtown Denver, so its residents have a low-stress commute to its business and cultural centers. For recreational enthusiasts, the community surrounds the picturesque park of the same name that boasts a lake, a boathouse, and miles and miles of jogging trails.

Is there a downside to living in the community? Like in other prestigious neighborhoods, the homes are very pricey, compared to surrounding neighborhoods. You will pay a premium for living in a prestigious community with a solid history and a unique variety of homes. You must decide if the neighborhood is worth paying a premium for, or if you are happy with a larger house in another community

Washington Park’s beauty, charm, and history secures its spot as one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the Denver metro area. It is one of those neighborhoods that will always be desirable to homebuyers, meaning that home values in the neighborhood will always be fairly stable, even through future real estate downturns. Washington Park homes are a solid investment for the future, so don’t miss out on your opportunity to purchase one during a slower market with historically-low interest rates.