When you think of Washington DC, the first thing that pops into your mind is most likely the White House or all the politicians that fill it. Yet, if your thinking of moving to our nation’s capital, then you’re going to want to know much more about this vibrant city filled with culture.
Many tourists flock the streets of Washington DC to see all the history and culture that fill the town. You will also find many residents who live here, so don’t be discouraged about moving to Washington DC.
Keep reading for our guide on eight things you need to know before moving to Washington DC.
1. Traffic Gets Bad
If there is one thing that you need to know when living in Washinton DC, it is that traffic can get bad. Owning a car in Washington DC means that you could be facing brutal traffic throughout your day.
You might find affordable living in Washinton DC’s suburbs but if it means having to make your commute by car, then you’re going to be spending lots of extra time driving. You also might find yourself frustrated and stressed due to the DC traffic.
Instead of a car, many Washington DC residents opt to take the Metro, bus, streetcar, Uber, or a taxi. You can even find more success walking or biking to your destination than trying to drive there.
2. More Than the Government
When living in DC, you might think that everything revolves around the government job-wise. While they do account for one out of every ten jobs for residents in DC, you will find that there is much more to choose from.
You’ll see that Washington DC is attracting many educated workers from all over. Washington DC is still a huge city with tons of bustling job opportunities.
Don’t fret if you don’t want to work for the government, but still want to move to Washington DC. There is still an opportunity out there for you!
3. Winters Are Cold
If you’re not originally from a place that experiences all four seasons to their extreme, then you might not be prepared for winter in Washington DC. As soon as the snow starts falling during your first winter in DC, you will find that winter can be brutal.
Be sure to bring your coat, hat, gloves, boots, and any other accessories to keep you warm because you will be needing them.
You might also find that Washington DC isn’t the best at removing snow. If you’re a big walker, then you’ll be trudging through a lot of snow to get from place to place in the winter.
4. Taxes Are Unique
One thing that you will find interesting living in Washington DC is the taxes that you have to pay. The standard sales tax on items is 5.75%. Yet, if you’re buying alcohol, then you’re going to be paying 10% in sales tax.
Now if you need to pay for parking, then your tax is going to be 19%. While staying at a hotel you’ll be paying 14.8% in lodging tax.
You should also know that groceries, medicines, and utilities don’t need any taxes at all. The tax system is a bit different in DC, but you will have it down pat in no time.
5. Plenty of Weekend Getaway Opportunities
Even though living in DC has many fantastic things to do, you will also find that you’re in a prime spot to take fun weekend trips. If you like road trips, then you’re going to love hopping in the car and seeing where the road takes you!
Especially if you need a break from the big city life, then some of the best places to go are Richmond, Annapolis, or Baltimore.
You can check out all the benefits of living so close to Northern Virginia. These include many wineries, popular hiking trails, and so much more.
6. Get Your Exercise In
One of the first things you might notice when you move to DC is there is always someone out and about doing physical activity. Whether it is biking, hiking, running, walking, or rowing you will see it all.
Don’t worry about jumping right in with everyone else!
You’ll find there is plenty of amazing trails to hike such as Black Hill, Great Falls, or Sugarloaf Mountain. You’ll also find lots of people out rowing as soon as the weather gets nice.
7. You’ll Be Dealing With Tourists
Washinton DC is going to have a lot of tourists filling the streets which you already know if you’re planning to move there. If you’re not ready to deal with packs of them moving in slow motion, then this might not be the place for you.
Patience is key when dealing with a group of tourists. They’re excited about being in a city that is filled with history and culture. Something that you now see every day is brand new to them.
One thing that you should remember is to be kind to everyone you meet. Giving your new home a reputation of rudeness isn’t going to pay off for anyone.
8. Watch Out for Cherry Blossom Season
Cherry blossom season is something that you’re going to be hearing about from everyone when living in Washinton DC. If you want to be ahead of the trend, then be sure to check the news to see when the blossoms will be at their peak.
The cherry blossoms bloom on the Tidal Basin right around the Washington Monument. It is a beautiful sight that you cannot miss especially if you’re living in Washington DC. Be sure to grab a hot cup of coffee or tea and start walking to take in the magnificent view.
What to Know Before Moving to Washington DC
Moving to Washington DC can be a huge change for some people especially if you’re not coming from another huge city. Learning the ins and outs of this city can be a bit difficult for newcomers, but you’ll find that you can get the hang of it in no time!
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