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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

TRAVEL SPECIAL ... Doing DC differently

TRAVEL .. Doing DC differently

Go beyond-the-norm and go around the US capital just like a local

Lincoln Memorial? Check. Smithsonian troves? Done. National Zoo? Clicked a selfie with pandas. But there is a lot more to do in Washington DC beyond visiting its astonishing museums and historical sites. Here are a few unusual things to do when in the compact, walkable city. Also, you will avoid the queues that are par for course at popular sites.

Washington's wealthiest neighbourhood, Georgetown, can be divided into four sections ­ the marketplace along M Street, the university, the historic residential neighbourhood, and the waterfront. Stroll or bike along the tree-lined paths, indulge in some serious designer retail therapy, step into the town's past with a visit to Tudor Place, or spend an evening enjoying sunset drinks aboard a cruise. You won't regret a visit to Dumbarton Oaks.TIP: Georgetown is almost always crowded at night. It's wise to take a bus or taxi.

The Newseum, set in a dramatic glass-and-silver structure on Pennsylvania Avenue, chronicles the rise of multimedia; and how radio, TV, and the internet transformed worldwide news dissemina tion. It houses 15 state-of-the art theatres ­ including an eye-popping “4-D“ theatre. The must-see exhibits are Pulitzer Prize winning photos, the largest piece of the Berlin wall outside Germany, Reporting Vietnam and 911 gallery. Tip: The top-floor terrace offers one of the best views of the Capitol.

The largest cavern in Eastern America, Luray Caverns is located just 90 minutes southwest of Washington DC. Discover cathedral-sized chambers with towering stone formations. It also features the world's only “stalacpipe organ“, made of calcite formations hanging from the ceilings. The organ is played electronically for every tour and manually on special occasions. Beyond the organ, Luray Caverns holds plenty of natural beauty, like the Dream Lake, Titania's Veil and the Double Column.

If you want to get out of the city and closer to nature without travelling for hours, Great Falls Park, Virginia, is only 25 km outside of Washington DC. Located along the Potomac river, the 800-acre park is a spectacular landmark. Hike along dramatic clifftops, bicycle on one of its scenic trails or go for adrenaline pumping activities like rafting, rock climbing, horseback riding and kayaking. The park is also an excellent location for birding and fishing. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to wear sturdy shoes and carry enough drinking water.
Shikha Shah

TL 16JAN17 

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