Welcome to the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, a progressive metropolis that serves as the American seat of government and carries the power, prestige and influence of one of the most important regions in the world. With an unparalleled quality of life — both personal and organizational — the metropolis provides a unique blend of business, government, international commerce, education and culture that have attracted the best and the brightest.

The District of Columbia, together with suburban Maryland and northern Virginia, make up the national capital region. As you will discover, this cosmopolitan and sophisticated region is considered by many to offer the ideal living and working environment. The vibrant international community, fast paced and fast growing, is complemented by gracious hospitality and colonial charm.

The metropolitan Washington, D.C., region draws together 16 counties and a number of leading cities to create a colorful tapestry of distinct communities. Each city, town, village, and unincorporated community claims a distinctive historic legacy, cultural attractions, recreational opportunities, and educational achievements.

Along the Eastern Shore, peaceful rural towns border the state of Delaware, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Chesapeake Bay. In the western portion of the region are settlements where original German, Scotch, and Irish settlers were attracted to forested mountain ranges. Today, this beautiful area retains a heritage that owes its richness to these immigrant settlers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Tobacco was the prized colonial crop in the southern section, where vast fields of this golden leaf still attract buyers and onlookers to the auction barns every spring. Nearby, waterside towns offer quiet Chesapeake ambience with excellent fishing and boating opportunities.

The central region includes some of the most progressive cities in the nation as well as some of the most historic. From the delightfully rural to the undeniably urban, this is a region marked by diversity. The Greater Washington area includes the nation’s most important centers of research, government, art and education. Covering nearly 7,000 square miles, the Metropolitan Washington region extends from the Chesapeake Bay on the east to the Appalachian Mountains on the west, from the Maryland/Pennsylvania border on the north, to Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties in Virginia.

Anchored by the nation’s Capital and the port city of Baltimore, this economically fertile section of the Mid-Atlantic seaboard has emerged as one of the largest and most lucrative markets in the world. The quality of the labor market reflects this prowess, and the area claims the best-educated and most highly skilled labor force in the nation. High technology and research are growing sectors in a region that excels in the number of scientists and engineers as a percentage of the total population. Here you’ll find the country’s leading consulting and accounting firms, prestigious financial institutions, engineering and construction companies, high technology research and development industries, prominent law firms, major advertising agencies and public relations organizations.

Each day hundreds of direct flights arrive and depart from three international airports. Few areas in the world offer such extensive service or allow travelers such flexibility in scheduling flights. On the ground, a progressive infrastructure of highways, bridges and a highly effective public transportation system offers convenient service throughout the region. At the forefront of medical technology, the national capital region’s healthcare system is characterized by quality treatment, cost effectiveness and easy access to a wide variety of premier facilities.

Metropolitan Washington takes great pride in public and private schools that rank among the top in the nation in SAT scores and in current expenditures per pupil. Computer literacy is taught in the public schools as early as the first grade, with high school students creating computer programs for the younger children. Gifted and talented or honors programs are available to exceptional students. Handicapped children can choose from many schools with facilities that meet their special needs. Continuing education programs are equally outstanding with more than 75 colleges and universities.

The cultural and recreational opportunities offered in Metropolitan Washington are abundant, diverse, and ranked among the world’s finest. Newcomers will find something for every budget and taste — from free concerts by the National Symphony Orchestra during the summer and parades down Constitution Avenue to dinosaur’s fossils and the Hope Diamond at just one of the Smithsonian Museums. Modern art at the Cocoran Gallery, the Chinese New Year celebration — the list of venues, celebrations, and activities is virtually endless.

Widely diverse recreational activities and spectator sports add to the quality of life. In addition to the many health and tennis clubs are a variety of facilities for swimming, boating, hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, camping and bicycling. Spectator sports include thoroughbred racing at Pimlico and Laurel Race Courses, harness racing at Rosecroft and Delmarva Downs Raceways, and yacht racing in Annapolis. The area also hosts professional golf and tennis tournaments and popular collegiate sports.

Hundreds of miles of shoreline, scenic lakes, rivers and the Atlantic Ocean beckon boaters, anglers, windsurfers and swimmers. The Chesapeake Bay shoreline provides exciting and challenging boating for all levels of expertise. Protected creeks and coves are delightful for cruising, while public and private boat launching facilities are available throughout the state. Freshwater fishing opportunities abound, and fishing lakes or reservoirs are located in nearly every county of the region. Nature lovers can choose from a variety of camping and hiking experiences year-round, from state parks with modern facilities, to more rustic areas offering an undisturbed setting. A wide variety of sports and recreational activities for children are offered in county recreational facilities, and through neighborhood community recreation councils.

Shoppers will delight in the variety and abundance of upscale boutiques and prestigious department stores. Many shopping malls serve as amusement and entertainment centers as well. The quaint shops and cafes tucked away in historic neighborhood shopping districts provide a more relaxed, intimate shopping experience. Throughout the region’s cities and towns, welcoming neighborhoods nestled into gently rolling hills or along tree-lined city streets offer home choices from well-appointed subdivisions to luxury highrises and modern condominiums. The result is an atmosphere of gracious living and unparalleled urban amenities that make the Washington, D.C. area the ideal place to call home.

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