Paris vs. Washington, DC

by Karen Briscoe
July 11, 2011

Recently my husband and I returned from a trip to Paris, France.  Paris is the most visited city in the world according to Wikipedia – which doesn’t surprise me as it is a beautiful city.  Washington, DC as well is a beautiful city, having been designed by a Frenchman:  Pierre L’Enfant in 1791.  Paris has the Seine River running through it.  The Potomac River banks the western border of Washington, DC (this occurred in 1846 when the portion that was previously deeded to be part of the District of Columbia on the west side of the Potomac River was retroceded to Virginia).  One of the key features of a beautiful city is its parks and gardens.

Paris has the Luxembourg Gardens which is the location of the French Senate.  Children can rent miniature wooden sailboats and use a push stick to move them around in a fountain and purchase crepes from kiosks.  Washington, DC has the National Mall which has the U.S. Capitol banking the northern end, the Washington Monument banking the southern and various Smithsonian Museums flanking both sides.  Children can enjoy the carousel and the Reflecting Pool – though I’ve never observed anyone push miniature sailboats around in Washington DC.

Paris too has museums with gardens.  The Tuileries Gardens is the location of the  Louvre Museum.  The Rue de Rivoli side of the park houses a carnival with Ferris wheel and other games and rides.  Adjacent is the Musee de l’Orangerie in the Champs-Elysees Gardens that progress towards the Arc de Triomphe.  Washington, DC has the green space between the Washington Monument and the White House, known as the Ellipse.  The Ellipse is home to the National Christmas Tree and corresponding holiday celebrations every year.  On the other side of the White House is Lafayette Park, named in honor of Marquis de Lafayette, the Frenchman who fought in the American Revolutionary War.

The most recognized monument in Paris is the Eiffel Tower, located on the banks of the Seine River.  It too has a park:  Parc du Champs de Mars.  There are numerous well-visited monuments and memorials along the Potomac River in DC:  Jefferson, Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean, World War II, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  The Tidal Basin is gorgeous in the springtime when the famous Japanese cherry trees are in bloom.  One can rent paddle boats for a water view.

Both cities offer boat rides along their respective rivers; the Seine in Paris and the Potomac in Washington, DC.   While I was in Paris my husband and I enjoyed one of the dinner cruises, journeying on the Seine from the base of the Eiffel Tower around the Ile St. Louis for a fabulous sunset view of Notre Dame Cathedral.  In Washington, DC there are boats that depart from Georgetown Waterfront Park with views of the National Cathedral high up on the hill and travels down to Old Town Alexandria in Virginia and back.

One source for information about a city is an experienced and knowledgeable Realtor®.  Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy with the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Realty Group would be delighted to be of assistance.  Please contact via the means most convenient for you:, 703-734-0192,

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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