From historic monuments to genteel Georgetown and the city’s culinary scene, Washington, D.C., doesn’t disappoint. Add in must-make stops like the National Zoo, the high culture of the Kennedy Center, the buzz-worthy Shaw neighborhood and more for a perfect first trip—these are all among the essential things to do in and around Washington, D.C.

Photo credits: Courtesy Washington.org; Sam Kittner (Georgetown Business Improvement District); Dibrova/Shutterstock; Angel N/Flickr; Glyn Lowe/Flickr; Smithsonian’s National Zoo; Nathan Borror/Flickr; Rob Snell/Flickr; Rob Young/Flickr; Andrew Cebulka; White House Historical Association.

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