21 Things to do in Washington DC
If you love Art, History and Food
Monuments and Memorials
Washington DC is a city of monuments and memorials. Poets, politicians and statesmen who helped shape the nation are honoured. The most famous monuments and memorials are in the National Mall but statues and plaques may be found on many street corners around the city. Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, National World War II Memorial, Washington Memorial and Lincoln Memorial are a must watch. Most of the Memorials are spread out across the city so it is difficult to visit them all on foot. So, plan in advance which monument to visit and reserve your tickets in advance to avoid standing in queues.
Smithsonian National Zoo
Timings: Grounds: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last admittance 6 p.m.) | 5 p.m. closing in winter
Exhibit Buildings: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. | 4 p.m.
closing in winter
Dining & Shopping: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | 4 p.m. closing in winter Visitor
Center: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. | 4 p.m. closing in winter
Smithsonian National Zoo is the home of 1800 animals representing 300 species. Scientists study and breed animals of more than 20 species including some which were once extinct. It is not one of the greatest and the grandest zoo unlike the ones in Atlanta or San Diego but it is the zoo that doesnât charge for a visit. There are only four zoos in the United States that showcase Giant Pandas and only the Smithsonian National Zoo showcases it for free. The timings differ for different things, so plan your visit before coming here.
U Street was once truly the heart of black culture in America, attracting locals and visitors for an unparalleled music and nightlife scene. Perhaps not coincidentally, itâs also the birthplace of celebrated DC hero, jazz musician Duke Ellington. Today, this section of the city is as vibrant as ever, anchored by the lively 14th Street corridor to the west and the refurbished Howard Theatre bordering the Shaw neighbourhood to the east, where a towering sculpture in reverence to Ellington stands. In fact, thereâs no better place for the music- lovers than this area. Youâll find jazz clubs, nationally and internationally acclaimed bands and DJs playing aboveground and underground and all sorts of options for affordable tunes. ereâs also a Saturday farmersâ market at U and 14th streets.
Library Of Congress
Library of Congress is the largest library in the world with over millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in itâs collections. The library is the house of U.S Copyright office and preserves and provides an access to a rich, diverse and enduring source of knowledge to inform, inspire and engage you in your intellectual and creative endeavours. The Jefferson Building is considered as one of the most beautiful building in the entire city. There are also free guided tours available which helps to learn about the art and architecture. Manage your time in advance to experience the rotating exhibits.
Ben's Chilli Bowl
1213 U street, Next to Lincoln Theatre
Paris has croissants, Baltimore has crab cakes, and Washington, DC has something called a half-smoke. The townâs signature dish is a sausage, generally smoked before itâs grilled. Theyâre often a bit spicier and made of meat thatâs more coarsely ground than a hot dog and the best place to try this is Ben's Chilli Bowl! Founded in 1958, it stands as a prestigious landmark restaurant at 1213 U street, Washington DC for the past 58 years. Regularly visited by celebrities like the Rush Hour star boy Chris Tucker and Stand-up comedian Bill Cosby. Not just this, you would be surprised to know that in January 2009, Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty took then President-elect Barack Obama to eat at Ben's as a welcome to the city. e restaurant is family owned and operated.
Visiting the U.S. Capital
The U.S. capital is a beautiful building at the East end of the National Mall the place where legislative branch of government meets and is one of the most iconic building in the city and also in the country. While visiting D.C. the inside of the capital can be toured. It takes only a couple of minutes to make a reservation for the tour on their visitors website. Congressional tours are led by one of their interns. Just being there inside the dome and seeing the other valuable stuff is the experience one looks for.
United States Botanical Garden
200 years ago, vision of George Washington saw a botanical garden setup in the capital city of United States promoting the importance of plants in the young nation. Established in 1820 by the US Congress, it is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the United States. The garden is recognised as a museum. It is dedicated to present cultural, economical and ecological importance of plants in the ecosystem. Here, one can find some of the species of plants that can't be found anywhere in the states. It is open for public throughout the year from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and admission is completely free. Photography is allowed forpersonal use only.
National archive also known as Archives is the original headquarter of
National Archives and Record Administration. Located north of the National Mall
at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C. National archives is
home of many known and lesser known documents of the United States including
the Declaration Of Independence. The National Archive is open throughout the
year except thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Reservations are not required for
individuals or groups wishing to enter the National Archives Museum through the
General Public Entrance, but reservations are strongly suggested between March
and Labor Day to avoid potentially long lines outside.
Free Guided Tours are also offered at 9:45 A.M. e archives are the keyhole to United States history, art and culture.
The NationalMuseum Of Art
When the National Gallery of Art opened to the public, the nucleus of its world-class collection consisted of 126 paintings and 26 sculptures. It strictly focuses on art and is one of the best institution of itâs kind in the country. Although for a world traveller itâs debatable because of the great European Art but consisting one of the largest collection of artwork and history this is a one stop for art appreciation and entertainment. The top pick here would be Leonardo Da Vinciâs Ginevra de' Benci.
1725 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
These steps are named with reference to the Spanish steps in Rome, designed by local architect George Oakley Totten Jr. The steps are pretty well hidden from the north, but imposing and impressive when entering from the south. After decaying for a few decades, they were restored in 1999. The stairs are surrounded by flowering trees, inhabited by squirrels and birds and other urban critters. At the top of the stairs, there is also a small fountain. Their secluded location and cloak of lush greenery give the steps an intimate, almost secret feeling, making it seem as though you have discovered a hidden treasure in the middle of the city.
Nat Geo Museum
1145 17th St NW
Price: Adults- INR 1030 (approx), Senior citizens- INR 830 (approx), Children-INR 690 (approx)
Timings: 10am - 6pm
This is an experience that will familiarise you to the bold personalities from the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling, and education. Travel back in time with the current ongoing exhibition, Queens of Egypt which will enlighten you about the hidden role of women in all aspects of Egyptian society. Meet seven Egyptian queens whose impact helped shape both the ancient and modern worlds. On till 15th September 2019. Your general admission ticket to the museum allows access to all exhibitions currently on view. Live event tickets do not include entry to the museum unless stated.
98 District Squares SW
Craving some authentic Mexican grub? Head to Mi Vida, in DCâs newest Mexican Restaurant by KNEAD Hospitality + Design and Chef Roberto Santibanez. The culinary director of Mi Vida Roberto Santibanez provides the best of Mexican food at his ritzy restaurant in the Wharf Complex. The elegance is multiplied with its Southwest Waterfront patio seating with an overwhelming view. It also offers private dining rooms for a Mexican style date that might get you lucky!
418 7TH Street NW
Jose Andres and his team brings Peruâs dynamic cuisine and itâs sensational culinary experience to the United States with China Chilcano. The Restaurant is a blend of deeply rooted and diverse heritage. The menu includes dishes like Native Criollo, Chinese Chifa and Japanese Nikkei cuisines. Even itâs name is an homage to Peruâs famous fish stew and itâs national drink, the Chilcano. China Chilcano offers space for parties and events and creates absolutely unforgettable experience for the guests.
With facilities like Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Chef 's Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair access, China Chilcano is a one stop for a blend of elegance and culture. Visit with your loved ones for a casually delightful experience and donât forget to try dishes like California Causagiri, Tam Tam, Ensalada de Quinu, Suspiro LimeĂ±a, Dorado and Concha siu mai.
1503 17th street NW
This One Michelin Japanese restaurant is truly a gem on the 17th Street in DC. It opens it's doors at 5:30.pm everyday and people line up outside at least half an hour in advance to be able to get a place at the bar which seats only 11 and offers a happy hour rate of at fifty percent off! No reservations. On the menu are authentic Japanese dishes along with superb selection of Sake and Sho-Chu.
The Hamilton Live
600 14th Street NW
This venue, which sits below the hustle and bustle of the restaurant that shares its name, is known for hosting a wide range of artists, from funk to country and everything in between. Each June during the DC Jazz Festival, youâll find that the Hamilton Live transforms into a jazz mecca. The smooth sounds of Grammy winners, big brass bands and genre trendsetters all come together for an experience you wonât soon forget.
Twins Jazz Club
1344 U street NW
Travel around the world without leaving U Street at Twins Jazz Club, which combines traditional jazz with an international menu featuring Caribbean and Ethiopian fare. Youâll want to bring someone to cozy up with at this acclaimed venue â its dining room typically seats 65 music lovers.
Stretching from Union Station to the south and Q and R streets NE to the north, this rapidly developing area takes its name from its location north of Massachusetts Avenue NE. It is best known as a transportation hub and the home of Union Market, a restored grocery and specialty food hall thatâs at the epicenter of DCâs gourmet scene. Itâs also home to Gallaudet University, the nationâs rst college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and National Public Radio.
The Next Whiskey Bar
2650 Virginia Av
Cuddle up to a nice âKentucky hugâ amidst the glow of whiskey bottle-lined walls and garnet- hued chairs at the Next Whisky Bar inside the historic and luxurious Watergate Hotel. If it feels like you've been transported to a bygone era, that's because the costume designer for the hit television show Mad Men designed the staff uniforms. The bar specialises in high-end Scotch.
Little Miss Whiskeyâs Golden Dollar
1104 H St., NE
Behind the unmarked door of this two-story bar, the eclectic decor includes walls covered in fleurs-de-lis and lion crests. Upstairs, bar hoppers can get close in the comfortable lounge or let their hair down on the adjacent dance floor, where itâs not unusual to see a deejay bust a move with the fun-loving crowd. Wednesday nights alternate between costumed karaoke and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, an â80s dance party. Cash only.
NE, a dynamic one-and-a-half mile stretch in Northeast DC, is known for its nightlife, restaurants, pop-ups, festivals and communal atmosphere. Locals love Copycat Co., a dumpling shop and cocktail bar that stays open until 2 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Visit Washington.org for more
Old Post Office Tower
Old Post Office Tower is the one stop location for beautiful views. The Washington Monument gets all the attention when it comes to views but the Old Post Office Tower is considered as superior view. Itâs less crowded, easy to access and visitors get mind boggling views down Pennsylvania Avenue and of the Washington Monument itself.