It may feel like a never-ending deep freeze between the political parties in Congress, but rest assured that spring in Washington, D.C., is just around the corner. Whether you’re headed downtown to see the cherry blossoms, planning to hit up the Nationals’ opening day or just visiting for the weekend, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the nation’s capital as the weather warms.
D.C.’s Food-Focused Hotel
The team that brought you Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The NoMad Hotel in NYC and the Saguaro in Palm Springs did it again with the opening of The Line Hotel in December 2017. Located in a former church in the vibrant Adams Morgan neighborhood, The Line is a not just a place to lay your head, but also a hot spot for locals seeking top-notch epicurean experiences.
James Beard Award-winning chef Spike Gjerde (of Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen) focuses in on Mid-Atlantic farms and the Chesapeake Bay at A Rake’s Progress, while trendsetter Erik Bruner-Yang does everything from breakfast to an octopus hot dog to caviar service at Brothers and Sisters.
The hotel is saying hello to cherry blossom season through a vibrant video collage from artist Robin Bell and a spring-scented overnight package that includes a cherry blossom cake from James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef Pichet Ong and two seasonal cocktails at Brothers and Sisters.
Obama’s Presidential Portrait
All too often, first-time visitors to D.C. assume that the best way to explore the Smithsonian collection is to visit the National Mall. Certainly, there are a number of impressive museums here — the new(ish) National Museum of African American History and Culture is one of our favorites — but it’s important to know that there are other Smithsonian finds throughout the city as well.
The National Portrait Gallery, in the downtown neighborhood of Penn Quarter, is home to the acclaimed new portraits of former President and first lady Obama. Pop in to see the works firsthand, painted by Yale-trained Kehinde Wiley and Baltimore-based Amy Sherald, respectively.
D.C.’s Newest Five-Star Stay
It’s not every day that the capital gets a new high-end hotel. Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., located in a building that once housed the city’s central post office, is now downtown’s first Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property. To celebrate the accomplishment, the hotel is offering 50 percent off the third night for guests who book a two-night stay between now and March 31.
Rare Whiskey at Bourbon Steak DC
This Forbes Travel Guide Recommended restaurant, in the Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C. in Georgetown, has long been one of our favorites for fine dining and the see-and-be-seen scene. But now, it’s one of our top picks for high-end quaffing as well.
The steakhouse just snagged an extremely rare Yamazaki 18-year Mizunara whisky, a specialty first edition and one of just 5,000 bottles worldwide. Try a two-ounce pour for a cool $402, which pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s signature A5 Miyazaki Japanese Waygu steaks.
Celebrate the Year of the Dog with your pets
The Chinese New Year festivities may have passed, but Four-Star Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. offers ways for you to celebrate all year long. Bring your four-legged companion along for a luxe stay with the “Year of the Dog” Pets X MO package. You and your animal will enjoy overnight accommodations, valet parking and special pet amenities, including a plush bed, an exclusive bandana and a collapsible water bowl.
For every Pets x MO package sold, the hotel will donate $10 (as well as 10 percent of all pet fees collected in 2018) to Paws of Southwest, a local nonprofit that supports homeless pooches and dog parks in the area.
Rock the Waterfront
The Wharf is undoubtedly D.C.’s buzziest neighborhood, with new shops, restaurants and attractions opening nearly every week. It’s a great destination for catching a meal before a Nationals game, serving as a pit stop before getting on the water taxi to Old Town Alexandria or just frolicking the night away.
The Anthem, the city’s newest live music and entertainment venue, has an irresistible spring lineup, featuring everyone from Lorde (April 8) and The Decemberists (April 21) to Blossom Bash with Third Eye Blind, Bush and Lovely the Band (all on April 6).