Washington, D.C.’s museums are on par with those in New York City. But you knew that. What you may not be aware of is that our nation’s capital also has a restaurant and bar scene that rivals the Big Apple’s, too. Follow this itinerary to properly sample a little of it all.
If this is your first trip to D.C. or if you have been to the area in a while, you’ll likely spend some time at the National Mall, the national park that serves as the home to a slew of museums, monuments and memorials. Beyond the usual circuit along the garden-lined stretch, we’ve highlighted below three unique exhibitions worth visiting.
The lovely Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has two exciting showings: Robert Irwin’s “All The Rules Will Change” showcases the “light and space movement” artist’s work from 1958 to 1970 and a large-scale immersive installation specifically for the Hirshhorn; D.C. native Linn Meyers’ “Our View From Here” (opening May 12) is a site-specific wall drawing that runs the entire circumference of the inner-circle galleries, covering 400 feet.
In the run up to the U.S.’s 2016 presidential election, the Newseum is looking at how digital and social media affect campaigning. “Like, Share, Elect,” in partnership with CNN, offers a fun, interactive way to get swept up in voting season.
Filipino restaurant Bad Saint is tiny, trendy and takes no reservations, but the long queue is a testament to how good the food is. The Columbia Heights eatery has just 24 seats, roughly the number of people who will be waiting outside the restaurant when it opens at 5:30 p.m.
The menu is short and dishes, which fly out of the open kitchen, are served family-style, the better to let you taste everything on offer. Favorites include the ginisang ampalaya (bitter melon, fermented black beans and scrambled egg), the ginisang tulya (Chinese sausage, Sichuan chilies and littleneck clams) and the ukoy (shrimp and sweet potato fritters).
The Rye Bar, inside the 49-room Rosewood Washington, D.C. (formerly Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown), is that rare hotel lounge that’s even more popular with locals than it is with hotel guests. Though certainly posh, The Rye Bar is pleasantly low key, ideal for catching up over a good cocktail or two. Rosewood overlooks the C&O Canal, so grab one of the coveted terrace tables to check things out properly.
The interior has the ambience of a gentlemen’s club, with leather chesterfield chairs surrounding marble tables, but the flowers, succulents and colorful libations keep things from skewing too masculine.
The bar barrel-ages its own Manhattan in the hotel’s basement and serves whiskeys and ryes from American producers such as Abraham Bowman and Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve. The cocktail menu here changes seasonally, but standards include the Old(er) Fashioned, in which aged sherry is substituted for sugar.
Belgian and Belgian-style craft beer is served at The Sovereign, a new Georgetown bar with 50 beers on tap and more than 350 by the bottle. If you like notes of floral and spice, try Hof Ten Dormaal’s Blond farmhouse ale (aka saison). For something hoppy, go for Prairie Standard, which is super dry, earthy and with lemon-lime accents. This farmhouse ale hails from Oklahoma.
The food menu is inclusive enough for even the wine-and-salad set, but we suggest going for the classic moules frites with mussels from Bar Harbor, Maine.
Just two blocks from the Foggy Bottom-GWU metro station and a 10-minute walk from Dupont Circle station, Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. is well positioned for getting around. Walk less than a mile to the White House or hop on the metro and be at the Smithsonian in 20 minutes.
After a day of sightseeing, you’ll be in heaven soaking in the deep tub and stretching out on the feather-topped beds made up with crisp Frette sheets. This 300-room Ritz-Carlton, though popular with business travelers, also caters to families with its Ritz Kids program. The fun starts at check-in, when children can choose a toy from a red wagon, and continues with a hotel-wide scavenger hunt and a special surprise at turndown.