Although Washington DC is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States, many international visitors underrate the city, not knowing everything it offers. Not only is the District home to the three branches of the United States Federal Government (President, Congress and Supreme Court) it also houses some of the most impressive historical monuments and diverse museums in the country. Let’s not forget the city has teams for all four major professional men’s sports including the Washington Redskins and the Washington Nationals and has one of the most diverse foodie scene’s in the US.
Below you will find a unique travel guide designed by local travel blogger Wild Terrains. For those of you visiting Washington DC soon, start making restaurant reservations. For those who don’t have plans yet, remember DC is easily accessible via air or train. If you have an upcoming trip to NYC, you can take a few days off and head to Washington, get the Amtrak a three hour comfortable train ride from Manhattan’s midtown to DC downtown and enjoy some days at the District !
Kimpton Hotel Palomar
Washington DC hotels can be really expensive if you don’t know where to look, but The Kimpton Hotel Palomar is one of the best options that’s reasonably priced and still stylish. The hotel is centrally located in Dupont Circle, walking distance away from the many tourist attractions in the city including Georgetown, the popular shopping district and the National Mall park where the Washington and Lincoln monuments are located. Rooms start at $179/night.
2121 P St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Dinner at Kinship
One our favorite restaurants in the District is Kinship. They serve innovative American cuisine in a modern setting set in a historic building that dates back to 1907. Get here early and have a drink at their super sleek bar. Once you’re seated in the restaurant, order everything to share so you can sample as many dishes as possible. Some of the dishes you must try are the soft-shell crab, the crispy duck breast and the roast chicken. Finish the meal with chocolate chip cookie dough souffle which is outstanding. Make sure you have a reservation – tables can book up weeks in advance.
1015 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
After dinner drinks at The Dabney
A great spot for drinks and snacks (if you still feel hungry), The Dabney sources its food from the Mid Atlantic’s finest farms while guests can enjoy a refined, yet relaxed experience with bare tables and exposed historic brick walls. The popular bar area is a fun place to sip on cocktails with a younger crowd of mid 20s to 30’s. Try some of their signature drinks made with fresh herbs and local ingredients, my favorites were the Rooftop Swizzle with chocchi di torino, summer herbs from the garden, the Dabney lemonade or the Nearer the Sun, with green hat summer gin, wildflower tea, lemon and clover honey. If you have enough space try the smoked catfish dip which is to die for! Book a table in advance to secure a spot in this popular neighborhood restaurant.
122 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001
Coffee at Maketto
Start your morning with some artisanal in-house roasted coffee and an almond croissant at Maketto – a community favorite that combines a restaurant, cafe, and shop all under one roof. The communal marketplace design of the concept shop, restaurant and cafe, are reason enough to visit – you’ll have plenty of Instagram worthy moments.
#WildTerrains tip: You’ll want to take an Uber to get here from your hotel since the neighborhood is still a bit up-and-coming.
1351 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Explore the Newseum
While almost all the museums in DC are free to the public, the Newseum is one of the only museums that charge an entrance fee – that said, we think it’s well worth it. The Newseum is an interactive museum focused on telling the history of journalism and news in the US. Some exhibits can be a bit cheesy or childish, but the majority of them are super interesting – from documenting the controversial reporting that occurred during the Vietnam War, a shocking world press freedom map to a gallery that features the largest collection of Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, its well worth it! You’ll need a few hours here so you can calmly see the exhibitions.
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
Lunch at Union Market
Union Market is an industrial warehouse food market filled with incubators, test kitchens, restaurants and shops. It’s a great option for big groups especially because everyone can wander around and get whatever they wish to eat. This is one of the best places to get a feel for the local DC food scene. Two of my favorite vendors are, Rappahannock Oyster Bar, that serves some of the most delicious oysters (they grow their oysters in a way that’s actually restorative to the environment) and Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., who offer biscuit egg sandwiches and different flavors spread.
1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Walk along the National Mall
If the weather is nice, one of the best parts of DC is being able to walk along the National Mall and see all the historic buildings and monuments. You can decide the order in which to see them, but the sites you cannot miss are the Supreme Court, the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Memorial the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. While visiting the Lincoln Memorial, make sure you take some selfies overseeing the reflecting pool; one of the most picture-perfect spots in the city.
Dinner at Mintwood Place
Mintwood Place is one of our favorite spots for a casual dinner in DC. The restaurant has a French-influenced American menu with creative dishes and unique flavor combinations. Among the stellar dishes you will find the escargot hush puppies, the bacon & onion flammekeuche (tarte flambée) or the veal schnitzel. You simply cannot leave without tasting the baked Alaska or the Key lime pie making it a great goodbye dinner at the District.
Breakfast at Buttercream Bakeshop
Before heading to the airport or train station, stop by the hottest new bakery in the district – Buttercream Bakeshop. This cozy spot is ideal to get coffee and tasty pastries. Get the CinnaScone a rolled scone dough filled and glazed like a cinnamon bun or the Buttercream Breakfast Bomb an egg and cheddar breakfast sandwich. Order a coffee and a Buttercream Breakfast Bomb or a CinnaScone.
Washington DC has it all, from a cosmopolitan atmosphere, amazing parks and world-renowned museums it is a bucket-list city you should visit soon!
Cover Image Courtesy of washington.org