You could do an old-school walking tour of D.C. or you could do what the locals do. (Photo: Good Vibration Images/ Stocksy)
Monuments, museums, old-school marble halls of government — there’s so much more to see in ever-morphing Washington, D.C., thanks to an influx of postgrads and the cool bars and eateries that continue to pop up to serve them. Here’s a plan if you’re aiming for detours off the tourist track.
Stroll U and 14th Streets
Evolving neighborhoods like H Street Corridor and Columbia Heights are worth hanging in, but for sheer volume of walkable diversions, head to the U Street Corridor. Sip craft cocktails, speakeasy-style, at The Gibson; fork up fried chicken and waffles at Marvin, named for onetime D.C. resident Marvin Gaye, or survey the scene from its rooftop beer garden. Or just check out 14th Street and choose from some of the best bars and restaurants in D.C. — maybe Barcelona (tapas), Pearl Dive Oyster Palace(cornmeal-crusted bivalves), Bar Pilar (a hipster hotspot), ChurchKey (brews, brews, brews) or Le Diplomate (bistro with a glam crowd).
Check Out Georgetown
Yes, G-town teems with tourists. But join savvy residents to get your morning buzz on with an awesome latte at Baked & Wired; pair it with a Chocolate Cupcake of Doom. Then scope out upscale preppy goods at the new Tuckernuck boutique. Dine harbor-side on seafood at pricey Fiola Mare alongside VIPs in Prada and Armani — guests might even include POTUS and Michelle. (Save some bucks with the fixed-price pasta-and-wine lunch.) Later, snuggle listening to oldies at tiny Vinyl Lounge. You can BYOV — bring your own vinyl — to spin.
Feed Your Fitbit
Rent a kayak or bike at Thompson Boat Center in Georgetown. Paddle the Potomac or ride side by side on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath out to Maryland. Up for some serious cardio? Hike the rocky Billy Goat Trail A in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. For a less strenuous option, try the American Scandal walking tour from DC Walkabout, with sites of politicians’ screw-ups. If you’re up for something seriously touristy but fun, watch the antics of playful giant panda cub Bei Bei at the National Zoo. #adorable
Go to the Center of Things
The new CityCenterDC‘s hot. Shop Kate Spade, Hugo Boss and other chic brands. Gear up for decadent nibbling at Milk Bar — try the cookie-crusted, buttery Crack Pie. If you’ve got the coin, a bone-in prime ribeye and Margatini cocktail on the patio of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House make for an evening to remember. For a nightcap, chill on a banquette while sampling one of over three dozen regional bourbons in The Dignitary lounge at the nearby über-modern Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.