Wether you are or not interested in politics, D.C. is a city that offers charms to everybody. From beautiful parks and wide avenues to quirky bookshops and blues, this city can be a perfect weekend escape. If you don’t know where to begin, here’s a one-day itinerary for a short visit to the political capital of the world.
Running or biking along the National Mall and the Reflecting Pool
Morning or night are the best times to take this long walk from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, passing the Washington Monument (the big obelisk) because it is not yet too hot. The National Mall is a huge park that borders on many of the Smithsonian museums and you’ll get to see some of the most famous landmarks of the city while they’re not yet too crowded and you’ll get a good workout done. The National Mall ends where the obelisk starts, and then you can keep going straight along the Reflecting Pool towards Lincoln Memorial. D.C. has those bikes you can pick up and drop at several points in the city, they’re comfortable and really useful (for only $8 the day) so you could bike instead of running.
Breakfast at Fruitive!
This is a very nice place that offers organic, plant-based food. Of all the places in which I had breakfast this was my favourite because of their WAFFLES. I love waffles and almond butter, and their ABC waffles were all that. They also offer very good juices, oatmeal and other healthy, high energy meals that will set you up for the rest of the day. They have many locations, but I recommend the one on Palmer Street, so you can take a look at this beautifully decorated, high fashion street in the centre of DC.
The Smithsonian Institute has 18 museums in DC. Eighteen! Among the most popular there are the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of Natural History. I recommend the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in which you can find many interesting and contemporary pieces as well as more traditional art. There are also the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which you could take a look at too, your pick!
A quick bite at Protein Bar & Kitchen
This place is another one of my findings (I wanted to eat as healthy as possible). It is located also in the city centre, a 20 minute walk away from Georgetown, a very nice and old neighbourhood in D.C.
A walk along the Potomac River to Georgetown, shopping and coffee
After picking up a juice, shake or a wrap, you can start walking East towards the Potomac River, where you’ll find many water related activities going on. Following the river will get you to the Georgetown Waterfront Park and many coffee places like Baked & Wired and Sprinkles Cupcakes, or the amazing Chinese tea house Ching Ching Cha.
Blues (and cocktails) in Georgetown
When you’re done wandering around Georgetown’s colourful streets, you can head to Blues Alley Club, which is next to Ching Ching Cha. It’s a really cool, cozy place for live jazz music and drinks.
Late dinner at The Hamilton
This is my only non-healthy recommendation, but is definitely worth it. Both the burgers and the fried chicken are really good (and those sweet potato fries). They also have a very wide selection of wine and beer, and very friendly and approachable staff to recommend you something if, like me, you’re indecisive. The Hamilton is back at the city centre of D.C., so afterwards you can easily go anywhere.
The Lincoln Memorial by night
If you’re still up for it after dinner, I highly recommend you take a walk alongside the Reflecting Pool at night. The monument’s illumination is gorgeous against a pitch dark background.
Going from the WWII Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial will surely be a good experience, since there are many people about, walking or sitting around chatting. It’s a perfect goodbye to the city and a perfect meet-up point if you’re clubbing.