Entertainment: Some advantages to taking up residence in Washington DC are having lots of free things to do (Smithsonian museums, concerts at the Kennedy Center, art exhibits, free admission to the National Zoo, live jazz at the American Art Museum, etc.). The city offers plenty of entertainment, shopping, outdoor festivals, and excellent restaurants, bars and lounges.
Weather: In a milder climate, you get the benefits of season change. You get to enjoy the new growth of trees in the spring to the beautiful color changing season of the fall. With so many parks around the city, DC residents donít have to travel far to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage. However, the weather tends to be very cold in winter, and hot and humid during the summer.
Transportation: Washington DC has access to three major airports in Virginia, Maryland, and DC. There are also Amtrak and MARC rail stations which connect Washington DC to popular destinations such as NYC City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. The subway system (better known as Metro) connects downtown DC to the suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. However, the metro system does not operate 24 hours, and does not provide service to all areas of the city. For example, Georgetown does not have a metro station. The neighborhod is only serviced by Metrobus and DC Circulator which connect Georgetown to downtown Washington DC.
Traffic: A disadvantage to living in Washington DC is the horrific traffic and lack of street parking, particularly near the public attractions around the national mall. Traffic is so congested during rush hour that you may not get home for a while. For this reason, many Washingtonians prefer taking the metro rather than driving. If you want to keep your car and avoid the long commute, then the only option is living to close to work.
Real State: Housing cost is one of the highest in the nation. The further you live from downtown Washington DC, the cheaper the housing market is. Most young professionals prefer renting apartments (or rooms) in the Northwest neighborhoods of DC. Rent is expensive, but the cost of living isn't too bad if you have a good job.
Families: Living in DC is very expensive. For this reason, many families move to the suburbs of Northern Virginia and Maryland to afford a single family home. Another problem is the public school system in the district. If you donít want to pay private school tuition to give your kids a good education, then moving to the suburbs may be a better choice.
People: Although DC residents tend to be friendlier than New Yorkers, they are considered unfriendly by outsiders because they avoid eye contact, rarely smile at strangers, and donít say hello when walking on an empty sidewalk. Also, many people tend to be politically correct and conservative. Young professionals are constantly moving in and out of the city. Like many other places, Washington DC can be alienating. However, if you have a good network of people (i.e., coworkers), you will have a good chance of starting a good life.
Living in Washington DC also gives you the opportunity to live near people with different ethnic backgrounds, different religions, and economic levels. Like any other big city, there is gang activity. The higher crime rate is usually found in the Southeast quadrant of Washington DC.
Jobs: Although working in Washington DC means earning a higher salary, it also involves working longer hours to succeed professionally. Many families tend to sacrifice family time to achieve their ultimate goal professionally. With the amount of time that people work, their social life also tends to be absent. However, you won't find a lot of career opportunities in other parts of the country that you would find in DC.
On a better note, Washington DC is where the government resides. With the government, there is more potential for jobs in the market with government contracts. This also offers a good opportunity to be involved in politics if that interests you. The government is always changing keeping Washington DC on the map for years to come. Also this is a place where employment will never die.