Passport to D.C.

It isn’t all politics as usual. The U.S. capital city is actually bursting with cultural experiences and history.

With a large African American community (making up 50 percent of the population), D.C. is a grand showcase of our diaspora, multicultural history and more.

As the perennial family reunion and school field trip mecca, there’s no better place that documents the nation’s history and generations of its citizens any better than the District. You’ll find everything from military monuments to museums dedicated to science and space. But of all the attractions, black history is particularly robust in the region. The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is a captivating multimedia showcase of black American history. A must-visit for D.C. tourists, so plan to reserve your tickets in advance.

Black history unfolds in other unexpected attractions, such as Ben's Chili Bowl, Howard University and the Lincoln Theatre, which hosted greats such Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. And with a thriving community of black leaders, black-owned businesses, a top HBCU and the highest average household income for African Americans in the country, black excellence reigns supreme in the Chocolate City.

Closest HBCU

Howard University

Regional Food Favorites

Blue crabs
Ben's Chili Bowl
Mambo Sauce

Known For

Politics and Government
Go-Go Music
Cherry Blossoms

Famous Landmark(s)

US Captiol Building
National Mall
National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History

Opened in 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is still billed as the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history and culture. It also recently unveiled its highly anticipated Oprah Winfrey exhibit, which includes photos, videos and other artifacts on display until June 2019 (

MLK Memorial

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, along the National Mall, is an easy stroll from the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Ben’s Chili Bowl

Ben’s Chili Bowl celebrates its 60th anniversary year in business. As an immigrant from San Juan, Trinidad and Howard University alum, patriarch Ben Ali started the famous chili dog diner in 1958, which became a DC landmark and black community staple. The Ali family still owns and operates the growing business, which has expanded to four locations, including the Regan National airport, and has products for sale online and at area Costco stores (

The Newseum

The Newseum, another must-visit attraction, is currently displaying the exhibit “1968: Civil Rights at 50” (on display until Jan. 2019, so get there fast). Using news clippings and other items, the multimedia gallery documents 50 years of events since Martin Luther King’s 1968 assassination (

National Portrait Gallery

Obama where art thou, Obama? If you find yourself missing #44, pop into the National Portrait Gallery to see official portraits of former President Barack and former FLOTUS Michelle Obama. Unveiled February 2018, the portraits created by famous artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald are credited for drawing record attendance to the gallery (

Kith and Kin

Kith and Kin, the newest hot spot in the city, is helmed by former Top Chef contestant Kwame Onwuachi. Turning to his Nigerian, Jamaican and Trinidadian heritage, the Brooklyn-born Onwuachi brings exciting, upscale Afro-Caribbean fare to the historic DC Wharf (which recently underwent a massive $2.5 billion renovation). As the house restaurant of the newly opened InterContinental Wharf, Kith and Kin serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with signature items like his fried whole fish, beef patties and red stew fufu (