Although D.C. gets all the recognition for its place in the nation's history, visitors to the region might be surprised by the richness of Northern Virginia. This border region—which originally contributed some of the land to create D.C.—is chockablock with historical references and diverse cultural experiences. Some of the greatest presidents used D.C.'s southern neighbor for their own plantation homes. (George Washington’s grand home Mount Vernon is a star attraction.) An influx of immigration has also brought an exciting variety of cuisines and a growing population of young professionals has housing complexes and food and drink options on the rise.
Traffic between the District and Northern Virginia goes both ways (each way slowly). Nearby areas have grown significantly in the recent past and have modern housing, government, and office buildings. Expansion west toward Dulles International Airport has been particularly massive, especially along the toll road to the airport and the in-progress Silver Line of the Metro. Because of their proximity to D.C., many residents consider themselves Washingtonians, though some Washingtonians think otherwise.