Last Friday I took my first vacation day since starting my new job and boarded an Amtrak train to Washington D.C. to meet my parents and sister. Each year my mom and sister go to the Psychotherapy Networkers Conference in D.C. and this year my dad and I decided to join. I've always loved this special city, but it's quickly becoming one of my favorites. There's so much to see in between all the neighborhoods, shopping, and food, not to mention the countless (mostly free) museums and monuments. Since I was a history major in college, going to D.C. always gives me a chance to nerd out at all the sights. Also the food and drink scene seems to be really up and coming, which makes it an exciting city to explore. Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to go to the #1 restaurant on my list (Rose's Luxury - the line is crazy!!) but am hoping to on my next trip. Nevertheless, here are some of my recommendations for this fun city - and don't forget to go in the Spring when the cherry blossoms are out.
Neighborhoods Worth Exploring
Georgetown - my all time favorite area of D.C. The houses here are beautiful. They're multi-colored brick, ivy-covered, cobblestone - you name it. I've spent hours just wandering the streets and imagining myself living in one of the houses. M Street, the main drag is full of your usual shopping, but the side streets are where the best discoveries lie.
Capitol Hill Historic District - this is another pretty neighborhood interspersed with little boutiques, bookstores and coffee shops. It's walking distance to some of the major sights and my dad and I spent a lovely morning wandering around here on Friday.
Adams Morgan & Dupont Circle - both of these neighborhoods are young, vibrant and colorful. There are endless options for food, drinks and a fun night out. I went to a great lunch spot in Dupont Circle last year - Duke's Grocery.
Museums & Other Sights
Luckily most of the museums in D.C. (particularly those that are part of the Smithsonian) are free. My favorite thing about this is that you can visit as many museums as you want, and also don't feel pressured to spend 4 hours wandering around because you just spent $30 on a ticket. These are my favorites.
National Portrait Gallery
National Gallery of Art
United States Botanic Gardens
The Library of Congress
The Lincoln Memorial
The Supreme Court
Places to Eat
This is probably the most important section of this guide since it's common knowledge that sightseeing makes one very hungry. Here are the best places I've tried (so far) and what to get.
Cruffin at Bayou Bakery (Capitol Hill neighborhood)
Doughnuts at Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (Downtown)
Pop Tarts at Ted's Bulletin (Capitol Hill neighborhood)
Cupcakes at Baked & Wired (Georgetown)
Fresh fruit and veggies at Eastern Market (Capitol Hill neighborhood)
Korean Tacos (and anything else) at Union Market (NoMa)