A Travel Lover's Guide to the Nation's Capital

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Curated By

Fora

  • Washington DC

  • Active Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • History

  • Architecture

  • Sightseeing

  • Foodie

the mall in USA's capitol
Fora’s Take

A lot of Americans have only experienced DC on a junior high or high school trip. But it's a great city for a weekend or weeklong trip for anyone that loves food, history, museums, walking and more! Don't count it out for couples trip, friend trip, girls' trip, family trip and/or solo trip!

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Where to stay in Washington DC

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Things to do in Washington DC

USA capitol building

National Mall

You could spend days at the National Mall (across my lifetime, I hope to!). And on a trip to DC, it's a must! Of course, there are dozens of memorials and monuments! They are all worth visiting, from the famous and oft-photographed:

To the less visited but surprising stunners that we visit over and over:

Then there are museums, most of which are exceptional (and many of which are free):

Off the Mall

There's also a lot to do off the mall! Arlington National Cemetery is almost a required, but some of my other favorites are:

Day trips

Alexandria VA

George Washington's Mount Vernon, a beautiful 18-mile trail along the Potomac River (Mount Vernon Trail), Waterfront Park in Old Town and Frank Lloyd Wright house open for tours (Pope-Leighey House), worth a visit and only 20 minutes from DC (and accessible by Metro, too!)

Great Falls Park (MD and VA)

A park that spans both sides of the Potomac (in both Maryland and Virginia) has some gorgeous... you I guessed it...falls! With great views and hikes, it is well worth a visit if you're looking for something outdoorsy or nature-filled after a few days in DC! It's only a half or so (depending on where you are in DC and whether you're going to VA or MD; it is possible to do both).

Stone Tower Winery is a great vineyard in Leesburg, Virginia, and it's less than an hour away.

Places to eat & drink in Washington DC

Supra is a restaurant serving Georgian khachapuri breads, garlicky chicken, wines & cocktails in a folk art-filled, rustic-mod hub.

DC might be a sleeper foodie city - there are more great restaurants than you'll have meals at on your trip!

These are my absolute favorites:

  • Supra (Georgian restaurant great for brunch or lunch; don't miss their Khachapuri Adjaruli and Georgian wines)

  • Lutece (French restaurant in Georgetown that is perfect for brunch)

  • Sura (serving delicious food inspired by Yawoarat - Bangkok's Chinatown - and Japanese izakayas)

  • Mari Vanna (a Russian restaurant with great food, infused vodkas, and vibes)

  • Fiola Mare (a fancy and gorgeous waterfront restaurant in Georgetown with a great brunch and wonderful views and people watching)

  • Compass Rose (a delicious restaurant with an international menu)

  • Sushi Nakazawa (a great option for an omakase dinner)

  • Destino (delicious Mexican near Union Market)

  • Tatte Bakery & Cafe (a great bakery/cafe for breakfast or bunch, with multiple locations)

  • Hiraya (serving a Filipino tasting menu)

  • Queen's English (a delicious and gorgeous restaurant with a focus on Hong Kong cuisine)

  • Cranes Spanish Kaiseki (a Spanish-Japanese fusion option for omakase or a la carte)

  • Anju (a great Korean option for brunch or dinner)

  • Yellow the Café (a great Middle Eastern bakery for breakfast/brunch on the go or to enjoy inside)

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Looking for more travel inspo? Check out my guide, Long Weekend in the Twin Cities.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Washington DC.