Travel beyond the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Many cities in the United States have slowed or ceased developing altogether, but Washington, D.C., is renovating and re-energizing its neighborhoods with all sorts of new developments. Here are a few to consider if you're traveling to the area.

Go beyond the National Mall
There are always exciting developments on the National Mall, but the District is so much more than the monuments. It is a collection of vibrant and lively neighborhoods—rich in culture and extensive in influence.

“D.C. is in the midst of a major revitalization of all its neighborhoods,” said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC. “All over the city, new hotels, restaurants and large-scale developments are popping up. These developments are enhancing D.C.’s reputation beyond politics and business and bringing a fresh sense to the city.”

Economic investment
According to the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership, $8.1 billion in major construction and infrastructure projects are underway in the District, as evidenced by the number of cranes throughout the D.C. skyline. For example, the DC Streetcar network is currently under construction. Streetcars disappeared from the streets of D.C. over 50 years ago. With trolley lines starting to open in 2012, the transportation network will make traveling easier for D.C. residents, including trolley lines in Anacostia, H Street and Benning Road. Additional segments are being planned.

New restaurants
The District is home to 43 new destination restaurants in downtown alone, including The Hamilton and Meatballs, according to Ferguson. The Hamilton’s website says the restaurant has been designed to capture D.C.’s creative renaissance and a food-savvy audience that draws influence from every corner of the planet. Likewise, celebrity chef Michael Richard’s new meatball-themed restaurant in the Penn Quarter, appropriately named Meatballs, has tapped into this energy as well.

Capitol Riverfront
The Capitol Riverfront is a 500-acre area that will unveil a new entertainment district this year. Five million square feet of the Capital Riverfront near Yards Park will be renovated into condos, offices, shops and a brewery. This will breathe new life and energy along the Anacostia River.

The first phase of CityCenterDC will open in 2013. Ten acres of the former Washington Convention Center’s location will be transformed into pedestrian-friendly space. This project seeks to restructure the District, drawing the heart of the city from the Mall to downtown. With a slew of new restaurants, condominiums, a public park and a luxury hotel, it will certainly make a massive impact on D.C. life.