35 Things To Do in Washington D.C.

By Janet Benoir – May 18, 2024

Washington, D.C. is more than just the center of American politics; it’s a lively city full of culture, art, and memorable activities. With its famous buildings, peaceful parks, and rich history, D.C. welcomes everyone to discover what makes it special. Here are 40 reasons why Washington, D.C. should be on your travel list.

National Mall

The National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a lush green space amidst the city’s hustle, telling the story of America. A walk from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol feels like a journey through history, with each monument and museum sharing stories of the nation’s highs and lows. It’s a unique place where history meets the present, surrounded by iconic statues and elm trees.

National Mall

Strolling through the Mall, take in the majestic surroundings that reflect the vision of a capital city embodying America’s democratic values. More than a collection of landmarks, the Mall is a shared space for protests, concerts, and celebrations, under a wide-open sky. It embodies the American spirit, inviting visitors to reflect, learn, and find inspiration.

Lincoln Memorial

As the sun sets on the Lincoln Memorial, its marble glows with a golden light, elevating the site to an almost otherworldly realm. This tribute to Abraham Lincoln stands as a serene guardian, instilling a sense of peace and deep respect. It feels as though Lincoln himself quietly oversees the nation, his seated figure watching over the reflecting pool with the dignity and gravity of his legacy.

Lincoln Memorial

When darkness falls, the memorial’s ambiance shifts; strategic lighting accentuates Lincoln’s contemplative face, while his immortal words resonate, reminding visitors of America’s core ideals of freedom and equality. More than just a monument, this place serves as a beacon for those drawn to the essence of the American spirit, symbolizing the enduring sacrifices for liberty.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Every spring, Washington D.C. blooms in shades of pink and white as cherry blossoms fill the Tidal Basin, creating a stunning scene that attracts people from all over the world. This Cherry Blossom Festival not only celebrates the beauty of spring but also honors the friendship between Japan and the United States, filling the city with a festive atmosphere and the sweet fragrance of blossoms.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Beyond its natural beauty, the festival is a dynamic cultural celebration featuring parades, street fairs, and lantern walks under the cherry trees. This period brings the city to life, offering visitors a unique experience of spring’s beauty and the joy it brings. It’s a testament to the fleeting beauty of nature and our universal admiration for it.

U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Capitol is more than just where laws are made; it’s a symbol of the American people and their government. Walking through its historic halls takes you on a trip through time, surrounded by the stories of past debates, laws, and decisions that have shaped America. From the grand Rotunda to the National Statuary Hall filled with statues of notable Americans, every part of the Capitol has its tale.

U.S. Capitol

Taking a guided tour of the Capitol lets you dive deep into how the American government works and admire the stunning architecture. Standing in the very place where history happens, you can feel the serious responsibility of the country’s lawmakers. Located at the heart of Washington D.C., the Capitol is a crucial stop for anyone wanting to truly understand American governance and history.

White House

The White House stands as a powerful symbol of the American presidency, drawing visitors with its elegant appearance and deep historical roots. Its exterior, recognized worldwide, stands for the strength and duties of America’s top office, embodying the nation’s leadership across calm and challenging times. Even from the outside, the sense of significant historical events that have unfolded inside is palpable, making it a must-see landmark.

White House

Viewing the White House from Pennsylvania Avenue offers a unique connection to America’s core values, even without stepping inside. This experience highlights the democratic principles that allow citizens to approach the leader’s residence, showcasing the country’s commitment to openness and transparency. The White House goes beyond being just a presidential home; it serves as a dynamic showcase of the nation’s political heritage and civic life.

Smithsonian Museums

Dive into the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. From ancient dinosaur bones at the Natural History Museum to spacecraft in the Air and Space Museum, each exhibit is designed to spark wonder and tell fascinating stories about our planet and beyond. It’s a place of endless discovery, where every item has a tale to tell about the boundless potential of our world.

Smithsonian Museums

What makes the Smithsonian truly special is its open doors to everyone, free of charge. Here, you can admire the dazzling Hope Diamond, delve into American history, or wander through the diverse ecosystems at the National Zoo. The Smithsonian encourages us to dream, think, and explore without limits, celebrating our collective quest for knowledge right in the nation’s capital.

National Archives

The National Archives holds the very heart of American democracy, displaying the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. These documents, created by the nation’s founders, symbolize the core values of freedom, equality, and people-powered governance. Walking through the Archives, visitors feel a deep connection to the country’s past, understanding the battles and victories that define the United States.

National Archives

But there’s more to the Archives than these famous papers. It’s a place rich with records, photos, and items that tell the broader story of America. From the Bill of Rights to personal letters from historical figures, the Archives invites exploration and contemplation. It brings history to life, showing how the principles of democracy shape the nation’s path.

U Street

U Street, once known as the center of African American culture in Washington, D.C., still thrives as a lively showcase of the community’s resilience and creativity. As you walk along “Black Broadway,” the sound of live jazz, the aroma of soul food, and the vibrant energy of a neighborhood rich in American history greet you. Each corner tells a story, with music that seems to flow endlessly.

U Street

Today, U Street blends its historical significance with modern vitality. With its trendy shops and dynamic nightlife, the area keeps its soulful essence alive. U Street offers a unique blend of culture, history, and community spirit, capturing the essence of Washington, D.C.’s heart and soul in every experience.

Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., stands as a profound reminder of a tragic time in history. It honors those affected by the Holocaust through educational exhibits that detail the rise of Nazism, the devastating losses, and the eventual liberation of the camps. This museum is a stark warning against the dangers of hatred and intolerance, encouraging visitors to remember and learn from the past.

Holocaust Memorial Museum

Inside, the museum not only pays tribute to the six million Jews who perished but also celebrates the resilience and bravery that resisted the darkness. By focusing on human rights and the power of individual actions to prevent such atrocities, the museum inspires hope. It serves as a reminder to strive for a world of peace and justice, underscoring the importance of remembering history to prevent future tragedies.

International Spy Museum

Step into the thrilling world of spies and secret missions at the International Spy Museum. Here, the secretive spy life jumps out of movies and novels into reality, showing you the incredible stories, gadgets, and strategies used by spies. This museum takes you on an exciting journey, letting you see the world from a spy’s perspective, complete with interactive challenges like surveillance and code-breaking.

International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum also makes you think deeply about espionage, its impact on history, and the moral questions it raises. You’ll explore the fine line between hero and villain through exhibits on real spy missions and artifacts from undercover operations. It’s more than just a learning experience; it’s an enthralling dive into a world that usually remains hidden, offering a mix of education and adventure.

Potomac River

Taking a cruise on the Potomac River offers a unique perspective on Washington, D.C., as if you’re witnessing the city’s essence from its core. Gliding over the water, you get to see the famous monuments and buildings from a different angle, connecting the dots of America’s past and its ongoing story. The sight of the capital stretching along the banks turns this ride into a memorable voyage through history.

Potomac River

The peaceful Potomac sets the stage for moments of reflection or celebration, with the changing seasons painting the city in different colors right before your eyes. From the cherry blossoms of spring to the golden leaves of fall, the river offers a picturesque view of D.C.’s landmarks. This makes passengers feel as though they are sailing through the country’s legacy of bravery and dreams.

John F. Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a hub of culture and art, located by the Potomac River. This venue hosts some of the best in music, dance, and theater from around the globe, making every show a unique addition to the world of arts. The center’s beautiful marble halls fill with the sound of applause, connecting the audience to a history of artistic success.

John F. Kennedy Center

At the Kennedy Center, audiences don’t just watch; they engage with performances that showcase the impact and beauty of the arts. From the uplifting melodies of orchestras to the expressive beauty of ballets, or the powerful words of plays, each event adds to the rich cultural fabric that shapes and enhances American life.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture offers a deep dive into the African American story. It’s more than just a museum; it’s a place where the tales of resilience, struggle, and victory come to life. From the painful history of slavery to the joyful sounds of jazz symbolizing freedom and creativity, the museum presents a powerful narrative of a community that has profoundly influenced the nation.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

It’s a place that encourages reflection on historical truths while fostering hope for the future. By showcasing both the hardships and achievements, as well as the significant cultural contributions of African Americans, the museum emphasizes that the American story is incomplete without acknowledging the vital role played by this community. It serves as a powerful reminder of the complex and rich tapestry that makes up America’s identity.

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument stands tall, offering a unique view over the capital. When you go up, you’ll see the whole city laid out before you, with its carefully designed streets and important landmarks. This view from above lets you see how the city’s design reflects the dreams and plans of those who built the nation.

Washington Monument

This monument symbolizes the hopes of the country reaching for the sky. Whether you’re gazing up from the ground or looking out from the top, you feel a deep connection to the stories and history that have happened here. The monument teaches us that looking at things from a higher perspective can give us a clearer insight into our past and the land we live on.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

At dawn or dusk, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a moving tribute to bravery and sacrifice. Walking beside its polished black granite, you see over 58,000 names, each telling a story of courage and loss. Touching the cool stone, you feel a personal connection to those who gave their lives. This place is a space for silent thanks and reflection on the true cost of service.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The memorial, with its simple yet profound design, cuts into the earth like the deep impact of war itself. It reminds us of the heavy price paid for freedom and prompts deep thought about the consequences of conflict. Walking through, visitors engage in a silent, respectful journey through our nation’s past struggles.

U.S. Botanic Garden

The U.S. Botanic Garden is a peaceful spot in Washington, D.C., where visitors can enjoy the beauty of plants from all over the world. It’s a perfect escape from the city’s noise, offering a chance to relax among a wide variety of plants. The garden shows how important and interesting plants are, with areas dedicated to different types of environments like deserts and rainforests.

U.S. Botanic Garden

From food and medicine to the air we breathe, plants play a vital role in our lives, and the Botanic Garden highlights this connection. By exploring the garden, visitors are reminded of how we need to take care of our environment. It’s a beautiful reminder of how nature supports us and why we should work to protect it.

National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art is a captivating space that brings history and emotion to life through art. It’s a place where you can see the genius of artists like da Vinci, Van Gogh, and Monet up close. Each artwork tells a story, letting us peek into different times and places. It’s where everyone can explore and be amazed by the beauty and depth of the artworks on display.

National Gallery of Art

Each room and piece offers a new perspective, connecting us with artists from the past. The gallery is a reminder of how art can speak to everyone, crossing boundaries and touching hearts. The gallery shows us how art is a universal language, capable of expressing the shared experiences that make us human.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., is a striking symbol of hope and the fight for civil rights. Situated by the Tidal Basin, it features a large statue of Dr. King, representing his quest for equality, justice, and freedom for everyone. This memorial doesn’t just remember Dr. King the person; it stands for what he stood for.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

People feel a sense of awe and are called to reflect on the progress made toward civil rights and the work that remains. Dr. King’s figure reminds us of the struggles overcome and the achievements made in pursuit of equality. It encourages us to continue working towards a world that lives up to the ideals Dr. King fought for, highlighting our shared responsibility to create a fair and just society.

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, offers a real look into the past, showing what life was like for America’s first president. Walking through Mount Vernon, visitors get a sense of the personal and public life of George Washington, seeing how he led his home and his country with care and innovation.

Mount Vernon

Visiting Mount Vernon is like stepping into the shoes of George Washington himself. The estate presents a full picture of Washington’s life, from his work as a farmer to his role in shaping the United States. It’s a place where history feels alive. Through exploring Mount Vernon, people come to appreciate the man behind the myth and the foundational ideals he set for the nation.

Georgetown

Walking through Georgetown feels like a step back in time, yet it’s alive with modern vibrancy. Its historic buildings house a mix of high-end shops, cozy coffee spots, and delicious restaurants. Near the Potomac River, you can enjoy peaceful views that make Georgetown a must-visit area in Washington D.C.

Georgetown

Georgetown’s true beauty comes from its lively atmosphere and picturesque scenery. The main street is full of shopping and dining options, while quieter areas like the C&O Canal offer a break from the city hustle. Whether you’re enjoying a quiet coffee, tasting local dishes, or strolling past historic homes, Georgetown offers a rich, engaging experience for everyone.

Capitol Hill Books

Capitol Hill Books in Washington D.C. offers an enchanting experience for anyone who loves books. Packed with books from the floor to the ceiling, it’s a place where both book lovers and those just passing by can find something special. The store’s friendly staff are always there to help you discover a new favorite book or a rare find hidden among the vast collection.

Capitol Hill Books

This bookstore is more than just a place to buy books; it’s a celebration of reading and literature. With rooms filled from top to bottom with an incredible variety of books, visitors can easily spend hours browsing. Whether you’re searching for a rare first edition or a well-loved classic, Capitol Hill Books is a must-visit spot in Washington D.C., perfect to immerse yourself in the world of books.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is a vast homage to both a significant president and the era he represents. It takes you through outdoor spaces dedicated to each of FDR’s four terms, immersing you in a time of great change. The design and sculptures, especially the famous one of FDR and his dog Fala, create a strong connection to his leadership and humanitarian efforts.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

This memorial is a place for reflection, nestled by the Tidal Basin’s cherry blossoms and calm waters. It encourages visitors to think about democracy, freedom, and human resilience. The flowing water in each section symbolizes time’s progression, making the FDR Memorial a symbol of hope and the impact of strong leadership during tough times.

Sculpture Garden

During the summer, the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art turns into a magical place where jazz music fills the air. The Jazz in the Garden event brings people together to enjoy music among beautiful sculptures and nature. As the sun sets, the garden becomes a relaxing spot for everyone to enjoy the evening, surrounded by art and the beauty of the garden.

Sculpture Garden

Jazz in the Garden is more than music; it’s a beloved summer tradition in Washington D.C. It’s a time when friends can gather on the lawn, enjoy picnics, and dance to the music. This event highlights the city’s lively culture, offering a peaceful break from busy life and a chance to experience art and music blending into memorable summer evenings.

Eastern Market

Eastern Market in Capitol Hill is more than a place to shop; it’s where the community comes together. Walking around, you’re greeted by the smells of fresh food like baked goods and seasonal produce, all showcasing local talent and hard work. It’s a spot where you can feel the dedication and love poured into each item, making shopping here an experience that connects you to the local culture and people.

Eastern Market

Apart from the delicious food, you’ll find beautiful handmade items and art at Eastern Market. Each stall is filled with unique creations, from jewelry to ceramics, showing off the area’s artistic spirit. The market is a lively place where vendors chat with shoppers, creating a friendly and welcoming environment. For many, visiting Eastern Market is a weekend tradition that brings them closer to the heart of Capitol Hill.

National Air and Space Museum

Visit the National Air and Space Museum to explore the incredible story of flight and space exploration. From the first airplane created by the Wright brothers to the giant rockets that have explored space, every piece in the museum tells a story of human ambition and our desire to explore beyond our limits. This place honors the people who dared to look up and dream of flying.

National Air and Space Museum

Walking through the museum, you’ll be amazed by the history and technology on display. It also offers interactive exhibits and simulators, letting you experience what it’s like to fly a plane or travel through space. The National Air and Space Museum is not just a place to see history; it’s where you can experience the adventure of flight and space exploration firsthand.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is a place of honor and remembrance for the people who served in the U.S. military. Walking among the white headstones, you feel a deep sense of respect for the sacrifices made by these individuals. The cemetery is a powerful spot for reflection on the price of freedom and the stories of courage and sacrifice.

Arlington National Cemetery

This ceremony is a tribute to soldiers whose names we may never know but whose acts of bravery are forever honored. The precision and solemnity of the guard change underscore the cemetery’s sacred role as a place to remember and celebrate the resilience and spirit of those who have served. Arlington represents a commitment to never forget the sacrifices made for the freedoms we cherish today.

Adams Morgan Night

As evening turns into night, Adams Morgan lights up with energy and excitement. This lively area becomes a hotspot for those looking to experience nightlife at its best. Whether you’re in the mood for delicious street food or fancy international dishes, you’ll find something to love. Adams Morgan invites everyone to explore its vast array of flavors and enjoy a night out filled with tasty adventures.

Adams Morgan Night

The neighborhood buzzes with music and dance, making it the perfect place for anyone looking to have a good time. You can find everything from live bands playing heartfelt tunes to DJs spinning tracks that get everyone dancing. The unique bars and lounges are great for sharing laughs and making memories. Spending a night in Adams Morgan means diving into a celebration of life and enjoying every moment until dawn.

The Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle is a special place that showcases modern art from the late 19th century onwards. It’s the first museum of its kind in America, offering an intimate look at the works of famous artists like Renoir and Rothko. More than just viewing art, visitors are drawn into a conversation with history and creativity, finding new emotions and insights with every piece.

The Phillips Collection

Through special exhibits and creative events, the museum keeps the experience fresh and engaging for all who visit. It’s a place where history meets the present, celebrating art’s power to touch hearts and open minds. Located in a bustling city area, it serves as a peaceful retreat into the world of art, honoring the legacy of its founder, Duncan Phillips.

Capital Crescent Trail

Ride your bike along the Capital Crescent Trail and find yourself surrounded by nature, right in the city’s heart. Starting in the historic Georgetown and winding up to Bethesda, this trail gives you a peaceful break from city life. It’s more than a simple bike path; it’s a green getaway that transforms your ride into a refreshing experience amidst trees and fresh air.

Capital Crescent Trail

This path, once used by trains, now serves as a smooth track for cyclists, runners, and anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors. Along the way, you’ll share the trail with others looking for their slice of calm in the city. The route surprises you with beautiful creek views, secret parks, and art that turns each ride into a discovery.

Nationals Game

At Nationals Park, you get to enjoy baseball with a backdrop of iconic D.C. landmarks like the Washington Monument and the Capitol. The excitement of the game, the energy of the fans, and the classic smell of ballpark food come together to make every game a uniquely American experience. Watching the Nationals play is an exhilarating experience that brings people together.

Nationals Game

The Nationals play their hearts out on the field, supported by the cheers of their fans, making every game memorable. During breaks, the stadium offers great food and comfortable amenities, making Nationals Park a top choice for fans. A game here isn’t just about baseball; it’s a celebration of community, city pride, and memorable experiences shared with friends and family.

Dupont Circle Farmers Market

The Dupont Circle Farmers Market in Washington, D.C., brings life and color to the weekend with its array of fresh, local produce and delicious artisan foods. This is more than just a market; it’s a weekly celebration of local farmers and their craft, drawing both residents and tourists to enjoy the best of what the area has to offer.

Dupont Circle Farmers Market

At this market, every stall tells a story. You might meet a farmer who’s eager to share knowledge about sustainable farming or a cheese maker who’s proud of their newest batch. Buying from them means you’re supporting local businesses and environmentally friendly farming. The Dupont Circle Farmers Market is a hub where the community’s love for good food and good company shines, showcasing the vibrant culture of D.C.

Ford’s Theatre

Ford’s Theatre is a significant site in American history, marking the spot where President Abraham Lincoln was tragically killed. Now beautifully restored, it’s a place that remembers Lincoln’s impact on the nation and the shocking event that altered its future. It is also an active venue where the story of Lincoln’s life, leadership, and the night he was assassinated are told through engaging displays and historical objects.

Ford’s Theatre

The museum within the theatre offers a deep dive into Lincoln’s time as president and the significance of his death through a collection of personal and historical items. Meanwhile, the theatre itself hosts plays and shows that reflect America’s rich tradition of storytelling, making Ford’s Theatre a place where history’s lessons are shared dynamically and artistically.

Old Post Office Pavilion Tower

The Old Post Office Pavilion Tower lifts you for an extraordinary view of Washington, D.C. The breathtaking scenes from this historic spot do more than show you the city from a high point—they draw you into a deep moment of awe at the beauty and complexity of the capital. This place offers a special way to see and understand the layers of stories that make up Washington, D.C.

Old Post Office Pavilion Tower

The panoramic view turns the city into a stunning masterpiece, highlighting the rich tapestry of America’s history. It’s more than just a viewing spot; it’s a reminder of what Washington, D.C., represents in the story of America. In the evening’s calm, with the city lights twinkling below, visitors have the chance to feel a connection to the nation’s ongoing story, experiencing a piece of living history.

Union Market

Union Market is the heart of Washington D.C.’s food scene, where local food lovers and chefs come together. It’s a place full of unique flavors, offering everything from specialty cheeses to homemade bread and creative street food. Every corner of Union Market invites you to try something new and experience the rich mix of tastes that define D.C.

Union Market

This market celebrates the art of food, highlighting the creativity and hard work behind every dish. It’s a place where food not only tastes good but also tells the story of D.C.’s community and culture. Union Market encourages everyone to explore and enjoy the variety of foods that bring the city’s culinary scene to life.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress stands as a beacon of knowledge, housing the world’s most extensive collection of books, photographs, and maps. It’s a place where history and curiosity converge, inviting anyone with a thirst for learning to explore the stories and innovations documented through time. The atmosphere is charged with the spirit of discovery, offering a unique window into human thought and cultural evolution.

Library of Congress

Architecturally stunning and rich in art, the Library signifies the vital role of knowledge in society. A visit here transcends mere academic interest; it becomes a profound journey through human achievement and creativity. This iconic institution not only celebrates the written word but also acts as a reminder of our shared heritage and the enduring power of learning to connect and inspire.

Washington, D.C. is a city rich with stories, history, and memorable experiences. Whether you’re interested in learning, exploring historical sites, or enjoying the beauty of cherry blossoms, D.C. has something for everyone. It invites you to be part of its ongoing American story.


The 10 Best Restaurants in Washington D.C.

Washington DC isn’t just about history and politics; it’s also a food lover’s paradise with a wide range of cuisines that reflect the city’s diverse culture. From secret spots hidden in alleys to luxurious restaurants where every meal has a story, here are 10 must-visit restaurants for an unforgettable food journey in Washington.

Fiola

Located in the lively Penn Quarter, Fiola is a gem of Italian elegance, offering a dining experience where food and romance blend seamlessly. The restaurant’s sophisticated atmosphere sets the stage for a meal that combines classic Italian dishes with innovative touches. Every plate, carefully prepared, is an invitation to explore the depths of Italy’s rich culinary heritage, with a modern twist.

Enjoying a meal at Fiola feels like taking a trip straight to the heart of Italy, thanks to its beautifully presented dishes full of vibrant flavors. Seafood and freshly made pasta are the stars here, highlighting the chef’s commitment to using only the best ingredients. The meal ends on a high note with a selection of desserts that perfectly concludes your dining adventure with a sweet and harmonious finale.

Filomena Ristorante

Step into Filomena Ristorante and be swept away to a world where Italian cuisine reigns supreme, a place where generous portions and heartwarming dishes create a feast for the senses. This Georgetown gem captivates with its unique ambiance, filled with the warmth of Italian hospitality and the charm of a family gathering. The menu offers a variety of dishes prepared with love and the freshest ingredients.

Filomena’s allure isn’t just in its food but also in its atmosphere, where every corner tells a story of tradition and passion. Dining here feels like being part of an Italian family celebration, where each dish is served with pride and each bite connects you deeper to the essence of Italian dining. It’s a place where memories are made, and the joy of sharing a meal shines brightest.

The Dabney

Nestled in Blagden Alley, The Dabney offers a hidden oasis where the local treasures of the Mid-Atlantic region come to life in beautifully simple and flavorful dishes. Awarded a Michelin star, this restaurant celebrates the local area’s farming legacy by sourcing ingredients directly from the surrounding lands. The ever-evolving menu takes guests on a culinary journey through the seasons, highlighting the distinct tastes of the region.

The cozy atmosphere of The Dabney, with its rustic elegance, sets the stage for a unique dining experience that feels both luxurious and inviting. Here, the focus on sustainable, wood-fired cooking and carefully crafted dishes showcases the restaurant’s dedication to excellence. A visit to The Dabney goes beyond just eating—it’s an immersive adventure into the essence of Mid-Atlantic cooking.

Pitmasters Back Alley BBQ

Nestled in the quiet Spring Valley neighborhood, Pitmasters Back Alley BBQ is a hidden treasure for barbecue lovers. It offers a delicious selection of smoked meats, including Carolina-style pulled pork and Austin-style brisket, all packed with flavor. Alongside classic sides like mac and cheese and apple slaw, it’s the perfect spot for a filling, comforting meal.

Stumbling upon Pitmasters Back Alley BBQ feels like joining an exclusive club where barbecue excellence is the norm. Its modest exterior hides the rich, smoky delights waiting inside. Here, enjoying top-notch barbecue is a simple yet profound experience, with every bite reflecting a deep respect for barbecue traditions and craftsmanship.

Sushi Ogawa

Located in Kalorama, Sushi Ogawa is a peaceful retreat focused on the craft of sushi, where Chef Minoru Ogawa brings years of sushi expertise to the table. Offering a unique omakase experience, the restaurant serves up dishes that are a feast for both the eyes and the palate. The calm and elegantly simple interior is the perfect backdrop for a deep dive into the art of sushi.

At Sushi Ogawa, each piece of sushi is a showcase of the chef’s commitment to excellence. The careful choice of seafood, precise preparation, and blend of flavors come together in a way that delights and surprises. It offers diners in Washington DC a chance to enjoy sushi at its most authentic and refined, making every visit a memorable journey into the essence of Japanese cuisine.

Panda Gourmet

Hidden inside Days Inn Gateway, Panda Gourmet is a surprise find for lovers of Sichuan cuisine. This spot brings the bold flavors of China’s Sichuan province to Washington DC, serving dishes rich in taste and tradition. Each meal here showcases the skill and authenticity of its chefs, making it a perfect spot for foodies looking for an authentic taste adventure.

At Panda Gourmet, the menu is a celebration of Sichuan’s signature spicy and numbing flavors, from hot chili peppers to distinctive Sichuan peppercorns. This place is a reminder that some of the best dining experiences are found off the beaten path, offering a culinary journey that’s both exciting and unexpected. It’s a must-visit for anyone eager to explore the depths of Chinese cuisine in an unlikely setting.

Appioo African Bar & Grill

Located in Shaw, Appioo African Bar & Grill is a cozy basement spot where Ghanaian cuisine takes center stage. This place mixes traditional flavors with a modern twist, making each meal an exciting journey. The colorful and flavorful dishes, from spicy stews to perfectly seasoned jollof rice, showcase Ghana’s culinary heritage in every bite.

Eating at Appioo is like joining a lively celebration that honors West African culture through food. The menu offers a variety of dishes that are both comforting and inspiring, making every visit memorable. It’s not just about eating; it’s about experiencing the warmth and richness of Ghanaian traditions with all your senses.

Big Bear Cafe

Nestled in the city’s heart, Big Bear Cafe offers a quiet escape with its green courtyard and vine-covered walls. It’s the perfect spot for enjoying a peaceful morning, starting with a delicious egg sandwich and a cup of artisan coffee. The cafe’s warm and welcoming vibe makes it more than just a place to eat; it’s where each meal is a carefully crafted experience.

In the evening, it turns into a friendly space where people come together over tasty burgers and conversations, all under the soft lights. This seamless mix of great food and a friendly atmosphere makes Big Bear Cafe a must-visit spot in the city, where every visit feels like a chance to unwind and enjoy the moment.

Pluma by Bluebird Bakery

This quaint café and bakery may be small in stature, but it stands tall with its unmatched dedication to artisanal excellence. Here, every loaf of bread, slice of pizza, and pastry isn’t just made; it’s meticulously crafted with passion and precision, making each bite a celebration of culinary artistry.

As you step into Pluma, you’re greeted by the comforting aroma of freshly baked goods, inviting you into a warm embrace that only a true artisanal bakery can offer. For anyone looking to escape the bustle of city life and find solace in the joy of handcrafted food, Pluma by Bluebird Bakery is an essential destination on your Washington journey.

Reverie

Just a short walk from the lively Georgetown waterfront, Reverie offers a peaceful retreat that feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Hidden from most people’s view, it’s a place where the chef’s high-level skills transform modern American food into something truly special, blending well-known cooking methods with fresh ideas for a dining experience that’s both comforting and exciting.

Stepping into Reverie, you’re welcomed into a space that’s both elegant and relaxed, where soft lighting and tasteful design set the scene for an unforgettable meal. Every dish, carefully made and beautifully arranged, showcases the chef’s dedication to excellence. Eating at Reverie is a memorable experience that stays with you, making it a must-visit spot for those looking to discover one of the city’s hidden culinary treasures.

Washington DC’s food scene is a vibrant mix of tastes, tales, and moments, with each restaurant adding something special. These 10 must-visit places are just a glimpse into the city’s rich culinary offerings. They invite travelers to start a flavorful adventure that delights the senses and feeds the spirit. So, bring your hunger and curiosity, and explore the rich variety of foods in Washington DC.


The 10 Best Tours in Washington D.C

Washington, D.C. is more than the nation’s capital—it’s a rich blend of history, culture, and beauty ready for exploration. No matter if you love history, enjoy trying new foods, or want to see the city’s famous monuments at sunset, D.C. offers something unique for everyone. Join us as we explore the top 10 tours in Washington for a memorable adventure.

D.C. By Foot – National Mall Tour

Join the National Mall walking tour by D.C. By Foot for a unique exploration of America’s history. This tour takes you on a memorable journey past significant landmarks like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Washington Monument. Your knowledgeable guides will share fascinating stories behind each monument, making history come alive before your eyes.

D.C. By Foot – National Mall Tour

This isn’t just a walk; it’s a journey through the heart of America’s past, where each monument tells a story of heroism, struggle, and unity. From the inspiring Lincoln Memorial to the reflective waters of the Tidal Basin, you’ll experience the true spirit of the nation. Discover the rich tapestry of American history in an engaging and personal way, making your visit to the nation’s capital truly unforgettable.

  • Tour Fee: Tips are encouraged with a $3 reservation fee
  • Schedule: Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 2 p.m.
  • Inclusions: Expert guided walk, captivating stories

Old Town Trolley Tours of Washington D.C.

Hop on the Old Town Trolley for an engaging tour across Washington D.C.’s iconic sites. This ride offers you the unique opportunity to explore at your own pace, visiting everything from the grand Lincoln Memorial to the intriguing International Spy Museum. The tour’s hop-on, hop-off feature means you have the freedom to explore places that intrigue you the most with the help of your friendly guide.

Old Town Trolley Tours of Washington D.C.

As you travel through the capital’s historic streets, the lively commentary from your guide brings the city’s rich history to life, making each monument and museum feel like a chapter in a living history book. This trolley tour not only showcases the architectural and cultural treasures of D.C. but also invites you to become a part of its ongoing story.

  • Tour Fee: Adults from $49.95, Kids from $33
  • Schedule: Hourly, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays through Mondays
  • Inclusions: Hop-on hop-off access, engaging commentary

Unlimited Biking DC – Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

Join Unlimited Biking’s Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour for a unique way to see Washington D.C. Ride alongside the Potomac River, cruise through the National Mall, and stop to enjoy the beautiful memorials illuminated by the sunset. This bike tour combines a fun workout with an educational experience, making it perfect for both families and those seeking adventure.

Unlimited Biking DC – Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

As you pedal through the heart of the nation’s history, you’ll learn about the monuments that symbolize American resilience and freedom. The tour’s relaxed pace ensures it’s accessible to participants of all ages and fitness levels, offering a memorable and active way to explore D.C.’s iconic landmarks.

  • Tour Fee: Adults from $54, Kids from $49
  • Schedule: 10 a.m. daily, additional 2:30 p.m. tours in peak seasons
  • Inclusions: Guided bike tour, bike rental, helmet

Mangia DC Food Tours – Georgetown Foodie Tour

Join Mangia DC’s Georgetown Foodie Tour for a delicious exploration of one of Washington’s most upscale neighborhoods. This tour offers a variety of flavors, from local specialties to international cuisine, all while walking through the historic and picturesque streets of Georgetown. It’s a perfect blend of tasty food and fascinating stories, making every bite a discovery of the area’s rich culture and history.

Mangia DC Food Tours – Georgetown Foodie Tour

As you wander through Georgetown, you’ll not only enjoy the food but also learn about the neighborhood’s past, from its origins to its current status as a lively cultural center. This tour is more than just eating; it’s an immersive experience that connects you to the essence of Georgetown through its food and stories, making every moment memorable.

  • Tour Fee: Adults from $79, Kids from $69
  • Schedule: Friday to Sunday at 1 p.m.
  • Inclusions: Food samples at up to five restaurants, wine or spritz pairing

Capital Segway Tours

Join Capital Segway Tours for an exciting ride through Washington, D.C.’s most famous sights. Glide smoothly on a Segway from the bustling areas surrounding the White House to the peaceful stretches of the National Mall. It’s a unique and thrilling way to see the city, guided by experts who make sure you’re safe and share fascinating stories about each landmark.

Capital Segway Tours

With experienced guides leading the way, you’ll enjoy a seamless and informative journey. They’ll keep you safe on your Segway while offering insights into the history and significance of the city’s monuments. Picture moving past the towering Washington Monument, learning about the capital’s rich past as you go. Capital Segway Tours turns a simple outing into an adventure through America’s historical heart.

  • Tour Fee: From $70
  • Schedule: Multiple daily tours, year-round
  • Inclusions: Segway rental, helmet, radio headset

Blue Fern Travel – U Street Food Tour

Discover the essence of U Street with Blue Fern Travel’s Food Tour, where every dish brings a piece of the neighborhood’s jazz-filled past and vibrant present to your plate. This historic area delights with a fusion of flavors reflecting its rich heritage and modern transformation. As you stroll past iconic theaters and colorful murals, local eateries serve up not just food, but stories of U Street’s evolution.

Blue Fern Travel – U Street Food Tour

With each stop, uncover the layers of history and culture that define this unique district, guided by experts who share insights into its architectural landmarks and ongoing renaissance. This tour offers more than a meal; it’s an experience that feeds both body and spirit, leaving you with a lasting impression of U Street’s legacy.

  • Tour Fee: From $105
  • Schedule: Thursday to Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
  • Inclusions: Generous food samples, guided walk

USA Guided Tours – African American History and Culture Tour

Embark on a captivating tour with USA Guided Tours that take you through the pivotal chapters of African American history in Washington, D.C. From landmarks honoring heroes to memorials that recount their bravery and contributions, this tour deepens your appreciation for the significant role African Americans have played in shaping the nation.

USA Guided Tours – African American History and Culture Tour

The highlight of the tour is an exclusive visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. From the sorrows of slavery to the triumphs of the civil rights movement and beyond, the museum offers an immersive experience into the heart and soul of African American history. This tour is more than just sightseeing; it’s an inspiring homage to a community’s enduring legacy.

  • Tour Fee: Adults from $89, Kids from $79
  • Schedule: Daily at 10 a.m.
  • Inclusions: Guided bus tour, museum entry

D.C. Design Tours – Dupont Circle & Embassy Row Tour

Explore the fascinating world of Dupont Circle and Embassy Row with D.C. Design Tours. Wander through these historic neighborhoods and discover the beautiful architecture and captivating stories of D.C.’s most distinguished homes and embassies. Your guide will share tales of the past, unveiling the secrets behind the stunning facades and the influential figures who have shaped the area’s legacy.

D.C. Design Tours – Dupont Circle & Embassy Row Tour

This tour is not just a walk; it’s a journey into the heart of Washington’s history and diplomacy. You’ll get to know the architects who crafted these visual masterpieces and the personalities who have left their mark on these streets. From tales of extravagant social affairs to crucial diplomatic deals, Dupont Circle and Embassy Row come alive, offering a deeper appreciation for the city’s architectural beauty and historical depth.

  • Tour Fee: Adults from $35, Kids from $20
  • Schedule: Saturdays
  • Inclusions: Architectural and historical insights

D.C. Metro Food Tours – Georgetown Food Tour

Join the Georgetown Food Tour for a journey that combines delicious food with a dash of history. Led by D.C. Metro Food Tours, you’ll explore the charming streets of Georgetown, sampling the finest dishes the area has to offer. This tour is more than just a meal; it’s a chance to learn about the neighborhood’s past, all while enjoying some gourmet treats.

D.C. Metro Food Tours – Georgetown Food Tour

As you move from one renowned restaurant to the next, you’ll get a taste of both the traditional and the contemporary, each dish telling a story of Georgetown’s rich culture. This isn’t just dining; it’s an immersive experience that connects you to the heart of Georgetown through every bite. You’re not just eating; you’re becoming a part of the story that makes this neighborhood so special.

  • Tour Fee: From $74
  • Schedule: Thursday to Sunday at 3 p.m.
  • Inclusions: Sit-down tastings at multiple restaurants

City Cruises – Monuments and Sightseeing Tour

Embark on a peaceful journey along the Potomac River with City Cruises and see Washington, D.C.’s famous landmarks from a fresh perspective. As you float by, the iconic Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial come into view, offering a quiet moment to take in the historical significance and architectural grandeur of these symbols of American heritage.

City Cruises – Monuments and Sightseeing Tour

This cruise not only delights the eyes with stunning views but also enriches the mind with insightful commentary, linking past to present. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the nation’s history while experiencing the beauty and calm of the river, creating a deep and memorable connection to the capital’s most celebrated sights.

  • Tour Fee: Adults from $33, Kids from $23
  • Schedule: Friday to Sunday
  • Inclusions: Boat tour, prerecorded commentary

Washington, D.C. has a wide range of tours for everyone, covering history, architecture, food, and biking. Each tour opens up the city’s rich past and vibrant culture, offering unforgettable experiences. Whether it’s your first visit or you’re coming back, these tours provide a deep dive into what makes Washington, D.C. special.