Washington, D.C. Beyond the Monuments: A Travelogue

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

A common phrase often associated with the nation’s capital is “Beyond the Beltway,” a reference to the world outside Interstate 495, the limited access highway surrounding greater Washington, D.C.

And, many know that “Beyond the Beltway” also is the name of a syndicated radio program that originates here in Chicago.

This somewhat subtle reference to the vast part of America outside the seat of power provided inspiration for this post, one of the always popular (at least for me to produce) PRDude travelogue reports.

Last week, Susan and I visited Washington in order to enjoy the District at our own pace as visitors rather than while on business.  From our hotel in the way cool DuPont Circle neighborhood, we visited some of the grand places that make most must-visit lists. But we also were intrigued by places not cited frequently by those who contribute to Trip Advisor.

From the images to follow, here’s my perspective on places we found fascinating in some less-known corners of Washington:

DC one

The National Portrait Gallery has a regular exhibit of official paintings of our Presidents. Here’s me with Theodore Roosevelt, referred to in a documentary as “an American Lion.” I’d love to have shared a beer with TR.


DC eight

At the World War II memorial on the National Mall, I paused for a while by the pillar for Illinois. The small wreath was posted by students from Boone High School.


DC eleven

A figure of a solider at the Korean War Memorial was particularly intriguing to me. This guy was responsible for communications.


DC fifteen

Located outside an embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, I was captivated by this figure. I know what you’re thinking: What’s on his mind?


DC five

In this digital world, you never know when you need an eraser. Susan posed with this over sized version at the Sculpture Garden near the National Archives.


DC fourteen

Looks historic, right? On the plaza at Georgetown University. Founded in 1789, it’s the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. And the adjacent neighborhood of the same name is frozen in time.


DC seven

On the National Mall near the Washington Monument, I spent time listening to these young people performing Christian music in a temporary venue called David’s Tent. For what they lacked in musical skill, they made up with passion and honesty.


DC six

Okay. I had to include a glamour shot of the Washington Monument. Up close, it’s a lot bigger than you’d imagine.


DC ten

One of my favorite images: Catching a real moment between visitors at the Lincoln Memorial. It’s a solemn place, but full of life when I visited.


DC thirteen

A street in DuPont Circle. I could live here. It’s civilized and refined without being ostentatious. Plus there’s great bars, restaurants and a Metro station.

One image not included in this post was of the famous cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin. The peak colors were just starting when we departed late last week.

A reason to return and look beyond the monuments for what makes this city great. Now if only Congress could get on track and start governing.

But that topic is for another time.