Washington, District of Columbia, the capital of the United States. The city and the federal district occupy the same area. They are situated on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia, near Chesapeake Bay. Washington has an area of 68 square miles (177 km2).
Washington was planned from its very beginning as a national capital—one of the few cities in the world of which this is true. With its impressive buildings and monuments, wide boulevards, and fine parks, it ranks among the world's most stately and beautiful cities.