While checking out President Obama’s digs is certainly crucial, there is so much to see and do in D.C. and here’s a handy guide for what to see and do if you are only there for a day.
The best way to start would be a quick tour. Recommendations include D.C. By Foot, a company that offers free walking tours that range from long strolls along the National Mall to four-hour “All-in-One” marathons that incorporate views of the Arlington Cemetary, the White House and the Pentagon. If you’re like me and walking isn’t really your thing, Old Town Trolley Tours is also a suggested option. Its “Monuments by Moonlight” rides depart from Union Station at 7:30 p.m. and take in many of the must-see sights as well. To hop on board, it’s $35.10 for adults and $26.10 for kids from age 4-12.
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If you visit Dupont Circle on the first Friday of every month, you will find that all of the neighborhood’s art galleries open up their doors for free and also provide live music and free wine. Things kick off at the nonprofit Hillyer Art Space
Crab cakes are a staple dining delicacy for many DC residents and there are plenty of options should you decide to make them your dinner destination. The old Ebbitt Grill boasts some of the best anywhere and according to locales, it was frequented by Presidents Grant and Roosevelt. The crab cakes will run you about $20 but they’re worth it and the experience is priceless. You can sit in velvet boots and enjoy the lighting of antique chandeliers. If you’re looking for a less-formal option, might I suggest the Art Carlson sandwich at C.F. Folks Restaurant.
No dinner reso? No problem. Washington’s Barracks Row features many different types of cuisine from Indian, to Asian, to Greek. To get a table, just head to Pennsylvania Avenue and M Street.
The National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden hosts free jazz festivals every Friday from May to September. Just get there early to lay claim to a coveted spot of grass on the six-acre lawn. You can pack a picnic or buy dinner from any of the food trucks near by.
On weekends, Meridian Hill Park is the place to be. Join fellow tourists and residents alike to catch a glimpse of its featured waterfall staircase. The formal grounds of the park are modeled after the gardens in Italy and it’s the perfect place to take a scenic walk.
If you’re hankering for some after-hours fun, DC has an unparalleled nightlife scene. The Atlas District is a three-block strip near Capitol Hill filled with many bars, but don’t be fooled. These aren’t just watering holes. At the H Street Country Club, you can play mini-golf while you drink. The Bavarian Biergarten has many different German brews. If you’re not in the mood to drink, surely you’re in the mood for a pie from Dangerously Delicious Pies?
Wanna see some shows at half-price? Ticketplace is run by the nonprofit Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington and sells half-price tickets to concerts, plays, and operas throughout the year. Check ‘em out.
Want a great view of the city before you leave? The Pilgrim Observation Gallery at the National Cathedral is spectacular. It features unobstructed views of the Washington skyline and is the perfect way to end a Weekendtrip there.
If you’d like a look that not many people get, you can go behind the usually-closed doors of one of Washington’s more than 175 international embassies. Every May, the doors are opened to the public for one day as part of Passport D.C.’s outreach program. This year’s fee event is scheduled for May 11. The Australian, Saudi Arabian and Korean embassies are particularly known for their fashion shows on the day. Guess diplomats have the life huh?