The best part of visiting a new city is getting to know its unique culture and style. Sometimes, it’s hard to immediately discern and other times a city’s personality is as obvious as its name.

Either way, getting to know a city’s regional monuments is crucial to making the most of a visit there. We compiled some of the must-see landmarks in some of PC Housing’s top corporate housing cities, so you’ll be able to enjoy your stay and get a true taste of these different cultures! We’ve included a few major landmarks from each city – the ones you can’t leave without paying a visit – and then one that is a bit different, but allows the area’s true colors to really shine.

In Part 1 of this two part series, we explore monuments and landmarks on the East Coast in our nation’s capitol and in the middle in one of the biggest states in the country. (Stay tuned for the West Coast later!)

Washington DC: Stand At The Intersection of History and Progress

Washington DC

Photo by Jeff Kubina

The Nation’s Capitol has so much to offer we’re not sure where to start! Government buildings can be found on most blocks, and many are housed in stunning marble architecture. In addition, the monuments are an excellent place to run, stroll or even enjoy a picnic when the weather is nice. Explore Washington D.C.’s various neighborhoods – from Georgetown to Brookland to Eastern Market – and get a taste of the diversity in this home for politics and policy.

No trip to D.C. can be complete – it’s hardly begun – without a visit to the National Mall. The National Mall is the home of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, World War II Memorial and a huge range of smaller memorials and tributes. Start at the Lincoln Memorial and walk toward the Capitol, you’ll be amazed by the history recognized along Constitution Avenue. In addition, the Smithsonian Museums located on the Mall have free entry! End your walk at the Capitol Building, where you can take a tour of the building where our laws are made and learn a bit more about the democratic process.

Enjoy even more history just across the Potomac River at the Arlington National Cemetery. The Cemetery is a place where you can explore the country’s military history, see the tombstones of United States soldiers and even witness the Changing of the Guard, an elaborate hourly ritual that honors fallen soldiers in a moving ceremony. In addition, Arlington National Cemetery is a good place for a walk, and you can visit the Robert E. Lee House and John F. Kennedy’s grave.

Looking for a bit of art and culture in addition to your historic tour? Don’t miss a visit to U Street in D.C.’s Northwest region! The birthplace of Duke Ellington, U Street was an original hub of jazz music, and Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong frequented the neighborhood. Today, the dining and nightlife on U Street are major draws, and don’t miss a trip to Ben’s Chili Bowl, a favorite of Barack Obama, Bill Cosby and tourists alike.

Austin: The Capital of Texas, Live Music and Weird

Austin TX capitol

Photo by Stuart Seeger

Austin, Texas is known as the live music capitol of the world. And when virtually every bar and restaurant you enter is hosting a different live musician, there’s no surprise why. But the city has so much to offer in addition; from stunning outdoor attractions to excellent nightlife to incredible dining. Austin artfully blends acting as a tribute to the Lone Star State’s storied history and a vibrant, youthful city.

If you want to experience Texas’s history, there are a range of tours (many self-guided!) that you can take, but make your first stop the Texas State Capitol Building. Located in downtown Austin, the building is an ornate and stately architectural marvel, and it stands even taller than the Capitol Building in Washington, DC! Guide yourself around the Capitol Building and get to know more about Texas’s history.

As for where all of that live music happens? Look no further than Austin’s Sixth Street. While you might just find live music even in Austin’s grocery stores and city council, Sixth Street is a great place to grab dinner or drinks and explore all that the music scene has to offer. And with more than 250 live music venues, you’ll never run out of bands to hear or places to visit!

If you want to see one example of what makes Austin weird then you must visit the Cathedral of Junk. The “Cathedral” is a vaulted building, a creation in “yardist” Vince Hanneman’s backyard. Hanneman has been building the Cathedral of Junk since 1988 and it now holds 60 tons of others’ castaways, from clocks to bicycle parts to circuit boards. Explore the stairways and tunnels in this backyard masterpiece and see why it’s the farthest thing from one man’s trash.

There are tons more regional monuments and landmarks worth mentioning, but that is too much for this little post. Check back in a week for Part 2, the West Coast, to explore other regional monuments totally worth a visit on your next travel adventure.