A Travel Lover's Guide to the Nation's Capital
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
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!
The Fora Difference
Book with Alexis to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.
Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you
Customized travel planning for your style
Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there
Where to stay in Washington DC
Lyle Washington DC
Lyle Washington DC is a stylish boutique hotel located in the heart of Washington D.C., featuring chic design, contemporary accommodations, and a vibrant atmosphere that reflects the city's unique blend of history and modernity.
Riggs Washington DC
A hotspot bar and colorful, creative interiors attract a cool crowd to this Penn Quarter addition.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
The LINE DC
DC residence-style accommodation designed to conjure the comforts of home, with wood floors, micro libraries and original art from local female artists.
Unlock perks by contacting Alexis to book your trip.
Things to do in Washington DC
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 I 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:
Mansion on O Street (the Secret Door Experience is a fun activity to do between some of the heavier museums and activities in DC!).
And take in a show at the Kennedy Center if you can (opera, theater, ballet, musicals and comedy in a gorgeous setting).
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
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)
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspo? Check out my guide, Long Weekend in the Twin Cities.
Get in touch with Alexis
Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.
You can normally expect a response from Alexis within a business day or so. You'll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).
This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Washington DC.