Washington D.C. City Guide
Everything you’ve heard about WASHINGTON, DC is true–it’s the most powerful city in the world, every street corner has a story, and most of the sights, sounds and cultural experiences are free for U.S. citizens. WASHINGTON is an inspiring city where walking is preferred and patience is a virtue. Every citizen’s history can be traced back to these hallowed streets and there’s something for every interest, young and old alike. I’m asked all the time to share what I love about my hometown, so here goes…
MUSEUMS + MONUMENTS
Visiting DC for the first time you’ll want to visit as many Smithsonian Museums as you can squeeze in, my favorites are American History, Natural History, Holocaust, and National Archives.
National Portrait Gallery
Portraits of great Americans from Elvis to Eisenhower.
U.S. Botanic Gardens
This is one of my favorite places in D.C. Eight garden rooms totaling 30,000 sq ft of calm when you need some peace and quiet.
A museum small enough not to be as intimidating as the other museums and a great place to spend a rainy afternoon.
The first time I was in this theater for a performance, it creeped me out a bit because this is where President Lincoln was shot, but the exhibit should not be missed.
International Spy Museum
If you love James Bond and other spy movies, like I do, you’ll love this museum.
C & O Towpath
The canal is 184 miles of scenic running from DC to Maryland.
A favorite of design enthusiasts, this museum teaches the history of textile arts through rotating exhibitions from oriental carpets to silks and wools.
Ben’s Chili Bowl
A Washington landmark. If you love chili half-smokes this is a definite can’t miss D.C. experience.
Near the White House, try the grilled stuffed chicken and fennel flatbread or Cuban sandwich. On Fridays, its all about the fish sandwich.
Where to eat in Georgetown. Modern French bistro.
Daniel Boulud’s hotspot for sausages, burgers and DB classics.
Fabio Trabocchi’s fine Italian seafood restaurant mandatory for special occasions.
Good Stuff Eatery
Spike Mendelsohn didn’t win Top Chef, but he definitely won the hearts of Washingtonians with this burger joint and its 5-napkin burger and the milkshakes are so good they should be illegal.
Kaz Sushi Bistro
Popular Japanese for classic-creative dishes.
There’s always buzz about this Mediterranean restaurant in Dupont Circle.
THE see and be seen spot for French classics.
Michel Richard Central
American-French comfort food. Try the Kit Kat bar for dessert!
minibar by José Andrés
I’m not a fan of molecular gastronomy, but I can’t deny the brilliance of José Andrés. He truly is a mad food scientist and creates some really inventive dishes.
One of the first 100% organic restaurants, everything is topnotch and beautifully presented.
Hip Japanese hotspot with inventive cocktails and funky sushi rolls.
Creative mix of American classics and international favorites near Capitol Hill.
Wolfgang Puck’s modern Asian in Penn Quarter.
This historic landmark is one of D.C.’s best boutique properties.
An easy walk from the Capitol and Union Station, one of the hippest places to be seen in Washington.
I don’t love the location, but with great views of the Tidal Basin, topnotch service, a wonderful spa and City Zen, its one of D.C.’s best.
Ritz Carlton Washington, DC
In D.C.’s West End close to Georgetown with luxury amenities and Sports Club/LA.
Of all the grande dame hotels, this is a favorite for service and exclusivity.
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