How to Spend the Perfect Weekend in D.C.

Besides hitting the historical monuments that are synonymous with D.C., we’ve picked out a few other hidden gems for you to explore to complete your perfect weekend in the capital.

Where to Eat

D.C.’s dining scene is one of the best in the country. From Cambodian-influenced cuisine to world-famous chili, these are the must-visit spots to check off your list.

Ben's Chili Bowl

A staple in the community, Ben’s Chili Bowl has been loved by locals since it first opened in 1958. This popular spot is serving up classic hot dogs, smokes, burgers, and chili. Don’t miss their legendary original chili half-smoke complete with a warm steamed bun with mustard, onions, and Ben’s spicy homemade chili sauce.

Red Hen

This authentic Italian-American restaurant is located in the heart of the Bloomingdale neighborhood in D.C. Longtime friends Michael Friedman and Michael O’Malley have introduced a youthful sophistication to the city’s rapidly evolving dining scene. Top dishes to look out for on the menu are Arancini ‘Cacio e Pepe’ (Fried Risotto, Pecorino, Black Pepper, Herb Aioli, Calabrian Chili Honey), Gnocchi Sardi (Spicy Lamb Sausage, Broccoli Rabe ‘Marinato,’ Braised Chickpeas), Caramelized Scallops (Spring Pea ‘Cremosa,’ Bacon, Sugar Snaps, Frisee, Mustard Vinaigrette).

Maketto

This 60-seat restaurant resides within a communal marketplace that offers a variety of shopping options, restaurants, and bars. With an interpretation of Cambodian and Taiwanese cooking, Maketto strives to create a space where everyone feels at home and where they can try something new. Legendary dishes include Cambodian-style pho, crystal shrimp dumplings, and braised pork steamed bao.

Where to Stay

D.C.’s dining scene is one of the best in the country. From Cambodian-influenced cuisine to world-famous chili, these are the must-visit spots to check off your list.

Capitol Hill Hotel

Conveniently located near Capitol Hill, the Capitol Hill Hotel is a great option for when you’d like to check out a few historic monuments without having to travel too far. Nearby landmarks include the National Mall, Union Station, the Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress. Offering some of the largest guest suites in D.C., each room features a kitchen with top-of-the line amenities, as well as on-site laundry services. This hotel is a few minutes away from Union Metro Station by cab and offers private valet parking on site.

W Hotel

The closest hotel to the White House, the W Hotel recently completed a full rooftop renovation with spectacular views. This $50 million project incorporates bold cutting edge design into the historic Beaux Arts building that’s been a historic spot since 1917. All of the suites are designed for every type of guest lifestyle, whether it’s a low-key night or getting ready to go out. Suite includes a private bedroom and open dining room stocked with a full bar.

Where to Play

Shaw Brewpub & Kitchen

With two locations, this brewery is a go-to for soulful beers in a cozy setting. Shaw Brewpub & Kitchen is a smaller brewhouse with adjacent barrel room with beer menu that’s frequently changing. Options include Corn Rigs and Barley Rigs (Dry-hopped Berliner Weisse), Bringing in the Sheaves (Hoppy farmhouse), and Raised by Wolves (Dry hopped pale ale). The other location at Brookland Production House where you can lounge in the tasting room while taking a peek at the brewery while sampling some of their tasty beer. Tours of the brewery are also offered on the weekend!

Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens

Take a stroll through Hillwood’s spectacular gardens. Thirteen acres of formal gardens extend from the house’s terraces and porches as outdoor rooms. The path flows from the French parterre to the rose garden and then the Friendship Walk. When guests enter the museum, they’ll be able to see the strong influence of eighteenth-century decorating style that inspired Marjorie Post. This Georgian mansion will immediately transport you to a different time in history.

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

For a taste of D.C. arts and culture, head over to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Authorized and founded by Congress in 1962, the mission is to acquire and display portraits of “men and women who have made significant contributions to the history, development and culture of the people of the United States.” The collections which were initially solely paintings, prints, drawings, and engravings, have grown to over 23,000 in various forms of media.

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