The Best and Most Rewarding Way to View the U.S. Capitol

capitol-building-address Looking West towards the Washington Monument.

One of the most obvious landmarks in our nation's capital is, well, The Capitol.  The dome crowns The Hill's marble sidewalks and lush gardens and towers over all of the other buildings in D.C.  In "Wisconsinite," it is the "Big Cheese."

This building is one of the quintessential places to visit in Washington, D.C., however, I think many of the tourists miss it at its most magical.  No, it's not the Capitol as a backdrop during the 4th of July, nor a silent guardian amongst untouched snow in Winter.  The Capitol truly shines on quiet, ordinary nights-- and I will tell you WHEN and HOW you should go see it.  This week's destination in D.C. is for the population that is exercise-inclined.  You'll see that this matters.

I'm a runner--but I'm very far from an expert.  I don't drink weird shakes in the morning or plan my life around running marathons.  I'm a "casual runner"...maybe 10-15 miles a week on a non-couch potato week.

When I first made the move from the suburbs of Alexandria, Virginia to downtown Washington, D.C., it was a bit of a shock.  Loud.  People.  Sirens.   Exploring a new running route when you're new to the city (especially D.C.) could spell bad news.  I had seen people get hit by cars on the streets and I wasn't quite sure where the safe areas were.    When I finally decided to renew my running habit, I found a great running destination in plain sight: The Capitol.

My first few runs were just through the neighborhood and around my work but one night I decided to venture out further--towards the Library of Congress, Hart Office Building, and near The Capitol grounds.

I'm not sure what made me run towards the Capitol the first time--I honestly had never been in it or very close to it. My weary legs and bright orange running shoes just carried me there.  It being D.C. (built on a lovely swamp) it was the typical 80,000 degrees Fahrenheit and I was sweating like a fluffy St. Bernard in Tuscon, Arizona.  I was miserable.  Every runner wants their run to be "AWESOME"--to break a milestone of some sort.  I was just trying to stay alive during mine.

photo I make lots of friends when I run in these.