A Guide to Washington, DC


DC is an amazing city that I was lucky enough to call home for three years. Yes, it’s the nation’s capital, it’s where the president lives, it’s historic and politically charged, but it’s so much more than that. While still overflowing with old school charm, the city is youthful and vibrant (what’s up median age of 34). Whether it’s art, food, nature, or culture, DC’s doing it and doing it well.

Before you go: 

  • You won't need to rent a car DC is one of the most walk-able cities in the US. It's on the smaller side, and very condensed.

  • Washington? That’s a state in the PNW. Locals generally stick to calling it DC or The District. While we’re at it, the DMV has nothing to do with motor vehicles - it stands for DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

  • The monuments are open 24 hours a day IMO, by far the best times to see the monuments is early morning, or at night. It's a whole different (read: better) experience seeing these places sans daylight (read: swarming with tourists)

  • All Smithsonian museums are free And there are so many of them. From the Natural History Museum to the Portrait Gallery, there’s something for everyone.

  • DC is organized in a grid pattern I mean, I still manage to get lost, but chances are you have a better sense of direction than me. The streets running North and South are numbered, and the East-West streets are lettered beginning at the Capitol and extending in both directions.

Where to Eat (and drink) in DC:

  • Le Diplomate I literally feel like I've opened the door to France every time I come here. It's so beautiful and the food is impeccable. Hot tip: Don't sleep on the escargot.

  • Barmini Jose Andre’s dreamy (DREAMY) cocktail lab.

  • Iron Gate DC’s oldest restaurant. Perfect for date night, this place is all kinds of intimate. It features my dream wine list, and an absolutely beautiful wisteria patio.

  • 2 Amys PSA: Skip the jumbo slice and come here instead. Life is too short for bad pizza. Eat good pizza - specifically, 2 Amy’s napolitean style pizza out on their charming little patio.

  • Cotton & Reed Stop by this rum distillery/very aesthetically pleasing bar for a drink after a visit to Union Market. Their cocktails are so good that I'm actually tricked into thinking I like rum.

  • Bantam King Ramen Empire, Daikaya’s younger sibling. Just as delicious, but a more casual vibe with a focus on chicken ramen (and fried chicken) Order the spicy miso ramen. You can thank me later.

What to Do in DC:

  • Eastern Market Built in 1873, and serving today as one of DC's last public markets, Eastern Market features fresh produce, flowers, delicatessen, baked goods, meat, fish, poultry, cheese and dairy products. On the weekends it doubles in size and transforms into an open air food and flea market (though you can still find the aforementioned products inside) It stretches down 7th St. which is lined with restaurants and stores including the not-to-be-missed Capitol Hill Books.

  • The 9:30 Club Historic, locally loved, and previously named the #1 nightclub by Rolling Stone, Billboard and Pollstar, the 9:30 club checks all the boxes (think: large yet intimate event space, quality food and craft beer, and some of the biggest names in indie/rock music).

  • The Botanical Garden My plant loving millennial self has been to plenty of botanical gardens, but this one is my all time favorite. Dreamy and peaceful, it's the perfect way to break during a full day of sight seating. It features various plant groups such as the tropical, orchid, medicinal, and children's gardens.

  • The Kennedy Center An architectural stunner of a preforming arts building located just over the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. Not only is it home to the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera, it also hosts artists from across the preforming arts genre (think: Broadway plays, internationally-acclaimed artists, opera or ballet). Hot tip: Make your way up to the terrace for a meal (and some gorgeous skyline views).

  • Rock Creek Park A beautiful national park located in the midst of the city. It’s the perfect oasis - great for hiking and biking and forgetting that you’re in the middle of a concrete jungle.

  • Sculpture Garden Winter or summer, it's worth a visit. Every Friday during the summer, crowds will gather, sangria will be poured, and picnic blankets laid for Jazz in the Garden. From Mid-November to Mid March, the space is transformed into an ice rink.

Where to stay in DC

The Line DC Having opened its doors less than a year ago, The Line has quickly become the city’s coolest hotel. Housed in what was once a historic church in Adam’s Morgan, the hotel maintains 222 guest rooms - each one thoughtfully curated. It boasts an award winning chef, 2 bars, a coffee shop and three restaurants serving hyperlocal products.
The Fairfax at Embassy Row A beautiful 4 star hotel conveniently located close to the Dupont Metro Station and a quick walk to the embassies (especially convenient if you visit during Passport DC!)
Kimpton Hotel Donovan A sleek and centrally located boutique hotel. Its rooftop terrace (there’s a pool!) is not to be missed.