Explore Washington-Historic Monuments-Arts

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Washington DC

Washington, DC is a tale of two cities. One part political swagger, one part cultural epicenter, the list of things to do spans longer than a filibuster. But between the best restaurants and museums, where does one hit first? When it comes to discovering things to do in Washington DC, surprises lurk beyond the sprawling Smithsonian and beloved DC Zoo. From restaurants and walking tours to attractions galore, Hyatt reveals the best sights peaking beyond the National Mall. Our entertainment picks are sure to please every party, regardless of your alliances.

The Smithsonian-Arts & Culture-Washington DC
ARTS/CULTURE
Carter Barron Amphitheatre, Rock Creek Park

4850 Colorado Avenue, NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 426 0486

DC romance seekers are jazzed at the prospects of an outdoor concert series that delivers both music and Shakespeare plays-depending on the evening.

Corcoran Gallery of Art

500 17th Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 639 1700

Student works are the stand-outs at DC's oldest art museum. Tour on Thursdays, when the live music and artists keep the café open until 8 p.m.

National Museum of American History

1400 Constitution Avenue

Washington, DC

+1 202 357 1300

Newly renovated, there's no excuse to pass up amazing exhibits like First Lady dresses, the Star Spangled Banner flag, and even Dorothy's slippers from The Wizard of Oz.

International Spy Museum

800 F. Street, NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 654 0977

Entertaining an afternoon in espionage may require the use of a lipstick pistol as you cruise DC's most covert cultural op. 

National Air and Space Museum (Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center)

14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway

Chantilly, VA

+1 202 633 1000

Space travel has come a long way since the Spirit of St. Louis took flight. NASA and freeze-dried ice cream help all three converge at this museum of aerial excellence.

National Geographic Museum

1145 17th Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 857 7588

Exchanging awkward glances with stuffed reptiles and mummies are just a few ways to pass the time in DC’s wildlife wonder zone.  

Newseum

555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC

+1 888 639 7386

An exercise in journalistic self-indulgence, Newseum is an interactive museum for current events junkies and newshounds alike.

Kennedy Center

2700 F Street

Washington, DC

+1 202 467 4600

Sitting on the Potomac River, this gallant performing arts center pays tribute to JFK by hosting everything from The National Orchestra to Legally Blonde the Musical. 

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 633 1000

It's natural to browse in wonderment at the 126 million specimens in Smithsonian's treasure trove of history-just make sure you allow yourself a full day to explore.

Blues Alley Jazz Club

1073 Wisconsin Avenue

Washington, DC

+1 202 337 4141

With musicians booked 360 nights a year, this intimate venue tucked into a cobblestone alley is the country's oldest jazz supper club.

Studio Theatre

1333 P Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 232 7267

For contemporary DC theatre featuring provocative, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights, Studio is your space.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

641 D Street, NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 393 3939

Razor-sharp playwrights spar on risky dramatics at this socially exploratory studio. It's controversial, edgy and fashionably fascinating.

Neighborhoods-Places to Visit-Washington DC
PLACES
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

400 Michigan Avenue NE

Washington, DC

+1 202 526 8400

Mosaics and a gold-spun altar make one of North America's largest Catholic cathedrals more Byzantine than Vatican. Prayer beads and flash bulbs abound on your holy tour.

Bike the Sites

1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, The Old Post Office Pavilio

Washington, DC

+1 202 842 2453

Do a little sightseeing in Washington DC while the wind whips through your hair. When scoping DC attractions, we suggest the "@Nite Bike Tours" for a historic, nocturnal schooling. 

DC Ducks

50 Massachusetts Avenue NE

Washington, DC

Obscure trivia and zany jokes are all part of the newest way to tour DC. Your amphibious journey starts in Union Station with a smart-alec captain who doesn't mind if you retort. 

Eastern Market

7th Street and North Carolina Avenue SE

Washington, DC

+1 202 546 2698

Beads, jeans, pots, masks, instruments, candied yams: Take time exploring on Sunday afternoons at this Washington DC to-do. The market runs weekly from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Embassy Row

1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington, DC

The stately mansions along Embassy Row represent some 50 countries. Visit each one and take a world tour-without ever leaving U.S. soil.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Ohio Drive SW

Washington, DC

When it comes to DC monuments, Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln are a must-but FDR's tribute piece is the most innovative. Walk interconnected paths and spy surrealist images.

Georgetown Waterfront Park

2100 C Street NW

Washington, DC

Academia's natural aphrodisiac: Hit the Georgetown University campus grounds for some intellectual stimuli before strolling through this natural DC attraction.

Great Falls National Park

9200 Old Dominion Drive

McLean, VA

We're gushing about what may be the perfect marriage between nature and history. See the Potomac River's beautiful stumble 15 miles outside of DC .

Hirshhorn Museum

Independence Avenue at Seventh Street,

Washington, DC

+1 202 633 2796

Its Sculpture Garden is a romantic interlude in art and ambiance. Check out "Hirshhorn After Hours" for a nighttime museum dance party that is the hottest attraction in town.

Malcolm X Park (Meridian Hill Park)

16th Street NW and Euclid Street NW

Washington, DC

Tuscany meets the tragically hip, who convene amid DC's hanging gardens and flowing waterfalls.  Sunday drum circles are a must see.

United States Botanic Gardens

245 1st Street SW

Washington, DC

+1 202 225 8333

Brrrrr! Those DC winter nights may pack a chill, but the steamy interior of the country’s oldest botanic bastion is all you and its 26,000 plant species need to thaw the freeze.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

900 Ohio Drive Southwest

Washington, DC

The angular, black architecture is as haunting as the 58,000 names etched in its stone. The National Mall's venerable war memorial says it all in silent words.

Scallops-Eat-Drink-Play in Washington DC
EAT/DRINK/PLAY
Bar Pilar

1833 14th Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 265 1751

One of the best restaurants in DC, Bar Pilar offers a changing tapas menu that sometimes features  tongue, squid or shoulders; sometimes it's comfort food like hot dogs or mac n' cheese. Chicken liver pate delights those who dare.

Birch and Barley

1337 14th Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 567 2576

The elegant-yet-woodsy interior of this top DC restaurant showcases 555 artisanal beers alongside skate, duck confit and succulent lamb shanks.

Black Cat

1811 14th Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 667 7960

Slick indie acts, funk n' soul and even big band brass grace this stage. Some DC live music venues are older but few are more eclectic and fun.

Dan's Café

2315 18th Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 265 9241

An old tavern liquor license allows patrons to pour their own drinks at this Adams Morgan dive. Ten-dollars gets you bottomless cheap booze, a chaser and a bucket of ice.

Founding Farmers

1924 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 822 8783

Bacon wrapped dates and plank-grilled salmon are just a few seasonal dishes to sample in the dining room of this glass-paneled farmhouse.

Granville Moore's

1238 H Street SE

Washington, DC

+1 202 399 2546

While lounging in this charmed gastropub, sip Belgian beer and eat the best steamed mussels DC has to offer.

Prime Rib

2020 K Street

Washington, DC

+1 202 466 8811

Get pampered in this black and gold adorned DC power spot where the steaks come tender aged and the cocktails come with a splash of nostalgia.

Mitsitam Café

4th Street and Independence Avenue SW

Washington, DC

+1 202 633 1000

One of the best restaurant experiences on the National Mall is an authentic foray into Native American cuisine. Try buffalo burgers and slow-smoked 'que.

Ben's Chili Bowl

1213 U Street,

Washington, DC

+1 202 667 0909

Frequent guests include Chris Tucker, Bill Cosby, and even our newest President; Ben's is a humble landmark that is among the greatest chili joints in the country, hands down.

Science Club

1136 19th Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 775 0747

Rumors of a life-changing veggie burger swirl around Science Club's mystique. Stay for after dinner dancing, and a staff that probably smiles more than you do (but not in an annoying way).

Ray's Hell Burger

1725 Wilson Boulevard

Arlington, VA

+1 703 841 0001

Mouth-watering  meat patties and onion rings as large as a human head-it's certainly "burger time" at this top DC-area restaurant. Don't miss the sweet potato fries either. 

Vegas Lounge

1415 P Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 483 3971

A live house band croons Smokey Robinson-soul while crowds of 20 and 30-somethings banter over the narrow bar. Welcome to Vegas, baby.

Vinoteca

1940 11th Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 332 9463

Endless lists of hard-to-find wines tantalize the palate at one of the most romantic restaurants in DC. Sunday night flamenco performances are as vibrant as the fruit in your glass. 

Wonderland Ballroom

1101 Kenyon Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 232 5263

Hipster chic meets neighborhood comfort at this bi-level, Columbia Heights hangout. As far as DC goes, its beer garden is one of the best. 

Great Shopping in Washington DC
SHOPPING
Crooked Beat Records

2116 18th Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 483 2328

Adams Morgan beat shop rotates on obscure major label releases and independent music finds. The best part: no music snobs.   

Georgetown Shopping District

Wisconsin Avenue and Reservoir Road

Washington, DC

From comic book shops to chic designer looks, this vast shopping district has something for bookworms and fashionistas alike.

Hunted House

1830 14 Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 549 7493

Art Deco and Mid-Century furniture collide on a unique vintage menu. The store itself is laid out like an apartment-complete with '50s retro televisions.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café

1738 Connecticut Avenue NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 387 1462

An iconic place for bookworms and brunch enthusiasts, Kramerbooks could write a novel on how to balance its title offerings with some of the best food in Dupont Circle. 

Proper Topper

1350 Connecticut Avenue NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 842 3055

While this shop carries plenty of cool hats, this Dupont Circle style-star has so much more: clothes, sparkly accessories and picture frames made to properly top your dresser.

Rue 14

1803A 14th Street NW

Washington, DC

+1 202 462 6200

This decidedly SoHo shopping experience offers diverse and next-to-know labels without the designer price tags. Fierce, friendly and fashion forward.

Reston Town Center

11900 Market Street

Reston, VA

+1 703 709 9131

Wind your way through dozens of independent and national shops via open-aired walkways and charming architecture. The ice skating rink and movie theatre provide even more daytime diversions.

U Street Flea Market

9th Street NW and U Street NW

Washington, DC

Early bird shoppers hit the market starting at 6 a.m. Make it a to-do on Saturdays and Sundays-and see more cassette tapes and random appliances than you have ever seen before. 

Urban Chic

1626 Wisconsin Avenue

Washington, DC

+1 202 338 5398

Color block dresses and professional-turned-party wear smartly line the racks of this DC style star. Find Diane von Furstenberg, Max & Cleo, Theory and more.

Woven History

311-315 7th Street SE

Washington, DC

+1 202 543 1705

Eastern heritages ignite on the best textiles in DC. It's a carpet store-version of a great bookshop, featuring Bosnia, Armenia, Nepal and more.

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