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Washington, D.C. is a captivating blend of political power, momentous history, and cultural vibrancy. Its combination of charming neighborhoods and urban bustle are home to a thriving art scene (including world-class museums that you can see for free), iconic landmarks and memorials, and an abundance of top-notch restaurants. Head to Capitol Hill or the White House for a tour through present-day government or reflect upon the past by exploring the National Mall, with its many museums and monuments. Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, or political aficionado, the treasures of the nation’s capital await.

Where to Stay in Washington, D.C.

At the heart of the pulsing capital, downtown is the perfect location and is in close proximity to all the top attractions including the iconic monuments and memorable museums.

Located just two blocks from the White House, Club Quarters Hotel, White House is the perfect launch pad for business and leisure travelers alike. Nearby some of the most recognizable monuments and memorable museums in town, the hotel has everything you need for a great stay.

Washington, D.C. Dining

Bresca

1906 14th Street NW

This Parisian-style bistro puts a contemporary spin on traditional French cuisine with dishes such as duck with endive and citrus.

Founding Fathers

1924 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Just blocks away from the White House, the original Founding Fathers D.C. dishes out comfort-food favorites made from scratch. The restaurant is often touted as one of the best brunch spots in D.C.

Iron Gate

1734 N Street NW

This Dupont Circle institution serves Mediterranean fare in a wisteria-covered courtyard, elegant dining room, and an enclosed carriageway.  

Zaytinya by José Andrés 

480 7th Street NW

Order a tasting menu or create your own Mezze platter—from cumin-spiced meatballs to flatbreads—at this José Andrés establishment.

Washington, D.C. Attractions

Arlington National Cemetery

1 Memorial Avenue, Arlington, VA

This is the final resting place of more than 400,000 people who served the nation. Don’t miss the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, paying tribute to the unknown soldiers who fought in World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam and the gravesite of President John F. Kennedy.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

6th Street and Independence Avenue SW

Touted as one of the city’s best museums, this collection of air and space artifacts include the Wright Brothers’ flyer, the Apollo 11 command module, and Neil Armstrong’s pressurized space suit.

International Spy Museum

700 L’Enfant Plaza SW

Delve into the underground world of espionage and intelligence at this interactive museum dedicated to the trade of spies. Roam around the five floors to discover spy gadgets, learn about the tactics behind covert missions, and even test out your own spy skills by cracking codes and picking out your own cover identity.  

National Gallery of Art 

6th and Constitution Avenue NW

You could easily spend an entire day exploring the National Gallery’s massive collection of  paintings, sculpture, prints, and drawings—housed in three buildings—spanning the entire history of Western art.

National Mall 

Between Constitution and Independence Avenue

This sprawling grassy lawn is home to some of the city’s most iconic memorials, including the Washington Monument, a 555-foot marble obelisk; the circular colonnaded Thomas Jefferson Memorial, commemorating the founding father; Maya Lin’s reflective Vietnam Veterans Memorial; and the Lincoln Memorial, with the colossal statue of the 16th American president. 

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW

It’s hard not to be amazed by the wondrous world of nature at this museum where you can marvel at Egyptian mummies (and learn about ancient death rituals), be dazzled by the 46-karat Hope Diamond, and ponder biodiversity at a live coral reef tank.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW

This living museum commemorates the Holocaust through personal stories, videos, historical artifacts, and special, themed exhibitions.

Washington, D.C. Shopping

CityCenter D.C.

10th and H Street NW

Sprawling over several blocks, these stylish shops feature high-end fashion brands, posh eateries, and art installations.

Cady’s Alley

3300 M Street, Georgetown

It feels like Old Europe when strolling down this cobblestone walkway, a haven of design boutiques, clothing stores, and home furnishing showrooms.

Proper Topper

1350 Connecticut Avenue NW

Browse through fedoras, fascinators, caps, lampshade and cloche hats at this boutique, which also has an assortment of curated gift boxes, coffee table books, and bath accessories.   

Labyrinth Games & Puzzles

645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE

Leave it to an enterprising mom to find a solution that’s become a D.C. success story. Labyrinth Games & Puzzles, which is a women-owned business, is dedicated to bypassing screen time in favor of specialty games, puzzles and other hands-on activities.

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Getting There

Getting Here

Washington, D.C. is served by three airports: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Virginia, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) in Maryland. Amtrak trains also run from Union Station.

Getting Around

The most efficient way to get around the capital city is the Metrorail, the D.C. metro area’s subway system. With a 600-station Capital Bikeshare program and more than 140 miles of bike lanes and paths, D.C. is also a very bike-friendly city. The D.C. Circulator services popular routes with drop-off points at some of the city’s most popular attractions. Taxis and ride shares options are also available.

Local Intel

Know the Lingo

DMV: The District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia area. The District: Washington, D.C. The Hill: Capitol Hill. The Mall: The National Mall. Half Smoke: A half pork, half beef hot dog that is smoked and served with herbs, onions, and chili sauce.

Insider Tips

Embassies are usually closed to the general public, but each May, you can get an exclusive glimpse. The District’s Smithsonian Institution, which includes some of the best museums in the world, offers free entry.

 

 

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