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The Lincoln Memorial is such an iconic place—not only because of the memorial to Lincoln but also because of all the memorial has meant throughout U.S. history. It was the site of the Martin Luther King Jr. 'I Have a Dream Speech,' and has been the backdrop to countless other political demonstrations through the years. (It was also featured prominently in one of my favorite movies: Forrest Gump!)—Debbie K. Hardin  
Credit: Debbie K. Hardin 
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Ben's Chili Bowl is perhaps my favorite non-tourist attraction in DC. This dining institution on U Street, NW, has been around for decades, and is an indulgent Mecca for the urban diner (and several out-of-town celebs). Go for the half-smoke and the chili-cheese fries.—Nathan Borchelt  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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I love Hillwood Japanese Gardens, a little museum in a residential neighborhood near Rock Creek Park. It's never crowded, the grounds are spectacular (especially the waterfalls of the Japanese Gardens, pictured here), and the collection of Russian imperial art is impressive. This is off the beaten path, and thus a real insider's find.—Debbie K. Hardin  
Credit: Debbie K. Hardin 
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I'm not sure when this Marylyn mural was painted, but she looks down on the city from the perfect vantage point—just west of the Duke Ellington Bridge that leads into the eclectic 'hood of Adams Morgan, and overlooking one of the main entry points into Rock Creek National Park.—Nathan Borchelt  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Cherry blossoms are quintessentially DC, and viewing these from the Tidal Basin (where this photo was taken) is one of my favorite things to do in spring.—Debbie K. Hardin  
Credit: Debbie K. Hardin 
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Another great warm-weather event? The outdoor crayfish and shrimp bake at Acadiana, an acclaimed New Orleans-style restaurant near the new Convention Center. Beer served in ice-filled buckets; shell fish accompanied by butter, corn, and a baked potato, the DC sun before it becomes utterly unrelenting? Perfection.—Nathan Borchelt  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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Known as the City of Trees, DC is infinitely more green than you'd anticipate for an urban center. And 1,745-acre Rock Creek National Park is arguably its crown jewel, more than twice the size of Central Park. Hiking through old-growth forests, cycling along its titular creek, BBQ sites—it's all there, and readily accessible from most parts of Northwest.—Nathan Borchelt  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
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The storybook architecture on the National Mall and the lovely gardens scattered throughout are often a pleasant surprise to first-time visitors, who sometimes mistakenly expect the nation's capital to be cold and imposing. And the rose garden in front of Arts and Industries Building is likely the first place they have this revelation.—Debbie K. Hardin  
Credit: Debbie K. Hardin 
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One of my favorite spots actually lies outside of DC. The Billy Goat Trail on the Maryland side of Great Falls National Park, carves along the rocks that line the Potomac River—it's one of the more technical routes in the park, and the trail head is less than 45 minutes from my front door.—Nathan Borchelt  
Credit: Nathan Borchelt 
 
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