When most people see the letters DMV they think of the awful experiences of waiting in line for their usually embarrassing drivers license picture to be taken. However for the residents of DC, Maryland and Virginia "DMV" is synonymous to home.
While I do know a lot of people who can't wait to leave this area, going away to college in southwest Ohio has given me a deep appreciation for where I was born and raised.
In no particular order, here are my top 11 reasons why I love living in the DMV:
1. You are not far from Washington, D.C.
Our nation's capital, and one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Washington D.C. draws millions of tourists every year, but we have it in our backyard. This close proximity sometimes causes many of us to take it for granted, but some views of DC are absolutely breathtaking even for someone who has lived here their whole life.
2. Old Town Alexandria
This colonial gem located on the banks of the Potomac River is always bustling with tourists and locals alike. Amazon rated Old Town as the most romantic city in the country, and deservedly so. Whether you are just going for a walk down King Street, meeting friends at Mai Thai, or just sitting by the water, Old Town is like stepping back in time.
3. All of the music venues
One major plus of living in a major metropolitan area is that virtually every band or artist has at one point or another played in the DMV. From Drake selling out the Verizon Center, to Bruce Springsteen at Nats Park, to Luke Bryan at Jiffy Lube, or Twenty One Pilots at Merriweather, there are seemingly endless venues for any type of concert or festival you could ever want to go to.
4. The Food
I wouldn't be a proper DMV native if I left out Ben's Chili Bowl, the original Five Guys, or Landini Brother's. However, the deliciousness does not stop there. From the restaurants of Arlington to the crab shacks in Baltimore, and every eatery in between, this area has some of the best food you'll find anywhere.
5. The sports
As a die-hard DC sports fan, I know how tough it can be to support the teams in this area, but DC is a passionate fan base. The capital city is filled with some of the best players in their respective sports including, Alex Ovechkin, Bryce Harper,and John Wall. While it has been a rough few decades for DC's major sports teams, it looks as if they are on the come up.
6. Nationals Park
There is no better place to enjoy the aforementioned sports of DC, than catching a ballgame at Nationals Park. Opened in 2008, Nationals Park has taken a previously run down area of the city and turned it into a vibrant landscape for our nation's past-time. With views of the Capitol from the upper deck, a massive HD scoreboard, and a very talented team, Nationals Park has become a popular place for a night out with friends or even a fun date spot.
7. The History
This area has some of the deepest history in the entire country, dating back to the settlement of Jamestown in 1607. From colonial uprisings, to civil war battles, to Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech, the DMV has seen a little bit of everything. If you drive around the area you're very likely to find a battlefield location, or some place linked to George Washington's life. Virginia also leads the country in Presidents with eight having been born in the Commonwealth.
8. The Weather
Now I know this area does not have the best weather in the world, but what I do appreciate about the climate here is that we get all four seasons. There are very few other places where it can be in the single digits in February, rain for 17 days straight in May, reach 100 in July, and be beautiful in the fall.
9. The George Washington Parkway
One of the most scenic drives in Northern Virginia, the GW Parkway runs from Mount Vernon, into the heart of Old Town with beautiful views of the Potomac River and tall trees along both sides of the road. The lack of stop signs and lights makes it an easy drive, especially during a nice summer or fall afternoon.
10. The Monuments
The most popular tourist destinations are the monuments, and for good reason. The stunning scenery that can be found while looking out from the top of the Washington Monument, or while admiring the Lincoln or Jefferson memorials is something that makes DC very unique.
11. The Cherry Blossoms
One of the most popular tourist events of the year is the annual cherry blossom festival. With hundreds of pink trees lining the water, it makes for some fantastic photography opportunities.
While this list could go on and on, the DMV is a very special place that everyone should experience. Whether you were born and raised in the area, recently moved here or are just visiting there is something new for everyone.