As the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. is a unique retirement destination. This historic area offers plenty of attractions including national monuments, museums, entertainment venues, and political buildings. Yet the region is also home to many other social and recreational activities including diverse shopping centers, fabulous restaurants, and challenging golf courses.
The District of Columbia is situated between the states of Virginia and Maryland, along the shores of the Potomac River. The city is approximately one hour south of Baltimore, Maryland, and two hours north of Richmond, Virginia. Though there are many residential neighborhoods in the District, many people who work or retire in the area choose to live in the surrounding suburbs in either Virginia or Maryland.
Although Washington lies south of the Mason-Dixon line, the city experiences all four seasons, complete with colorful fall foliage and springs filled with cherry blossoms. Summers in Washington are hot and humid, with daytime temperatures frequently climbing to the mid-90s. Winters are cold and generally mild, but often punctuated with short-lived snowstorms.
Historical and Political Attractions
Living near Washington makes it easy to bring history alive through a variety of museums and famous sites. Those with a political bent can easily get involved in various rallies, walks, and protests. They can visit the U.S. Capitol and arrange a tour of the White House.
The National Mall is the first stop for visitors or newly relocated retirees. This well-known strip stretches from the U.S. Capitol building to the Lincoln Monument, with the Washington Monument and World War II Memorial in between. Either side of the Mall is lined with popular museums, including the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian Institution “Castle” Building.
Beyond the National Mall, visitors can find many more museums and attractions throughout Washington. A few to visit include the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Chinatown, the National Zoo in Woodley Park, the International Spy Museum in Penn Quarter, and the Washington National Cathedral in Northwest Washington. Neighborhoods throughout the District are also home to their own distinctive restaurants and shopping districts.
While Washington’s historical and political attractions get most of the tourist attention, local residents enjoy many other recreations as well. Those who are interested in the performing arts will love taking in a show at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Theatre, or the Warner Theatre. Sports lovers can root for local teams like the Washington Redskins (NFL), the Washington Wizards (NBA), the Washington Capitals (NHL), and the Washington Mystics (WNBA).
Active adults who choose to relocate in the Washington area often settle in the Maryland or Virginia suburbs. Northern Virginia in particular features several popular active adult communities. West of the city, retirees will find lovely communities like Potomac Green. To the south lies the popular Four Seasons at Historic Virginia, while fabulous communities southwest of the city include Heritage Hunt and Regency at Dominion Valley.
When it comes to choosing a retirement destination with museums, historical sites, and cultural attractions, it’s hard to find a location with more to offer than Washington, DC.