My Top Five Things to Do in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. is one of the most unique cities in the world and between nineteen to twenty million people from all over the globe head to the nation’s capital every year to check out the many famous sites. While there are literally thousands of things you could do within the Beltway, I’d like to highlight a few unique ones here that I enjoy. I lived in D.C. during my college years and I’ve been going back at least twice a year (often more) for the past decade. Here are some things I am particularly fond of in this great city.
1. See the monuments at night time.
Of course everyone knows that checking out the monuments is one of the first things you’re going to do when you arrive in D.C. However, many people might not think to check them out at night. They are awesome during the day, but they are even more captivating when lit against the D.C. backdrop. The Lincoln Memorial just looks so grand and my personal favorite is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. During the summer months, there’s nothing like a walk through the site to have a look at all the illuminated water fountains. It makes me think of D.C. as the cool dad of New York City’s Times Square. It’s awesome during the day, but comes alive once the sun sets and the lights take over.
2. Grab a drink at The W Hotel terrace right next to the White House.
This one is a bit of hidden gem. The W Hotel (although the exterior says Hotel Washington) is located right next to the White House and is the place to go. All you have to do is walk in the main entrance, head toward the elevator, and ride on up to the roof terrace. It’s not too expensive, and you can eat and drink at a table with a view that’s as good as it gets, directly overlooking the White House. The view of the rest of the city is also quite impressive, and visitors can see the Washington Monument, among others.
3. Take a stroll around Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Georgetown and Eastern Market.
Washington, D.C. is a wonderful city for walking. It’s a great pedestrian town with beautiful homes and stunning architecture. The areas listed above all have coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and cool shops to peruse. In Dupont Circle, there’s Embassy Row, where countries from all over the world are represented and the structures of these buildings are some of the most grand a visitor might ever see.
4. Eat at Rocklands Barbeque on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown.
My favorite barbecue joint in the world is Rocklands. Of course, anytime you say a place has great barbecue, people love to debate that they had better in North Carolina or talk about that time they went to Birmingham. I grew up in Georgia, so I like to think my opinion here matters — at least a little bit. Rocklands is my favorite of any place I’ve ever been, and I make a stop there every single time I visit D.C. I’m a huge fan of the pulled pork, collard greens and baked beans. They even have huge windows basically on the sidewalk where you can watch people passing by in Georgetown.
5. See a show at the DC Improv or Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse.
Some people might not know this, but Washington, D.C. has some of the best stand-up comedy of any city in America. It’s a brainy town with smart, informed people with some pretty strong opinions on things. This is also reflected in the comedians that have come out of D.C. Dave Chappelle and Wanda Sykes are just two of the many greats that have spent time there. My two favorite comedy spots are the DC Improv on Connecticut Avenue, located just blocks from the White House, and The Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse just across the river in Virginia.