48 Hours in Washington, D.C.
Our Nation’s Capital offers something for everyone, from the world class Smithsonian Museum collection to the beloved Nationals home team.
Travelers who visit Washington, D.C. hit the highlights, but some of the nuances of this cultural capital make a few extra days worthwhile. While the National Monuments, Capitol Building, White House, and the numerous Smithsonian Museums will certainly fill a weekend (or more!), these days you’ll find a thriving community of art, music and theatre, craft breweries, and some of the most wonderful private art collections in the world.
With a cadence attuned to the seasons of politics, the city is regularly refreshed with new ideas, creative drive, and inspired optimism that changes with each new election.
When You Go
- Old Stone House - 3051 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
- Christ Child Opportunity Shop - 1427 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
- Fiola Mare - 3050 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007
- 18th Street Lounge - 1212 18 St NW, Washington, DC 20036
- Union Market - 1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden - Independence Ave SW & 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20560
- National Museum of African American History and Culture - 1400 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560
- Old Ebbitt Grill - 675 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
- White House - 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500
- Bombay Club - 815 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006
- Blue Duck Tavern - 1201 24th St NW, Washington, DC 20037
- The Phillips Collection - 1600 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20009
- President Lincoln's Cottage - 140 Rock Creek Church Rd NW, Washington, DC 20011
- minibar by Jose Andres - 855 E St NW, Washington, DC 20004
- Zaytinya - 701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Where to Stay
Canterbury Journeys is happy to offer complimentary amenities at our preferred hotels, below, and more. Amenities include upgrades on arrival, subject to availability; Breakfast daily for two; $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit; Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability.
Your Home Away from Home
Bring the Kids
Sense of History -- Stroll through the cobbled streets of Georgetown. Founded in 1751, the port of Georgetown predates the City of Washington by nearly 40 years. Wander the bustling M Street, now a hub of commercial activity, creative dining, and busy students down from the university at the end of the lane. Stop in the Old Stone House, built in 1765, it is the oldest unchanged building still standing in the District. Chat with National Park Rangers to learn about the local folklore preserved the building and has rendered it an icon in the neighborhood.
Hunt for Treasure -- Wind your way past cheery storefronts and landmark architecture. It’s easy to spot shiny medallions denoting historical significance, another reminder of the long history and tradition of the city. Step back in time with a visit to the Christ Child Opportunity Shop “Op Shop.” The shop is filled with consignment items and antiques, from miniature portraits and estate jewelry to coats and handbags. A neighborhood stalwart for over eighty years, the Op Shop a history lesson and treasure hunt all in one.
Waterfront Social -- Oysters are lapped up nightly in most places around D.C., but at the swanky waterfront bar and restaurant, Fiola Mare, you’ll experience something different. Café tables sit on the boardwalk beneath festive blue umbrellas. Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s award-winning menu blends traditional Italian flavors with French, Japanese, and American influences. The result is a sophisticated menu with exceptional ingredients, creativity, and nuance. Don’t miss the Frutti di Mare, Squid Ink Bucatini, or Organic Maratelli Risotto.
Witching Hour -- Trade the bustling waterfront for antique moldings and velvet couches at one of the District’s coolest clubs. Located in a strange location off Connecticut Avenue, Eighteenth Street Lounge opened in the mid-90s when rock-bottom rent enabled a group of DJ friends in their 20s to turn a mansion into a club. Twenty years later, the club’s still got it. Make your way up narrow stairs and you’ll feel like you’ve entered a house party hosted by hip friends. DJs spin an eclectic range of music you won’t hear anywhere else and on Tuesday you go to Tango.
Flavor of the District -- Washington has experienced an explosion of creativity and innovation, particularly in its dining. As the city grows to appreciate good food and quality ingredients, local makers have found new homes in unusual places. This morning, graze the food stalls at Union Market. Part shopping experience, part eating experience, the new market sits on the site of the original Union Terminal Market which opened in 1931. The new space is a hub for creative food and design. Be sure to sample unusual flavors at Righteous Cheese. Around the corner is Bidwell Restaurant, where guests grab seats in front of a pizza oven the churns out some of the tastiest charcoal-crust pies. Before you leave, don’t forget to browse D.C. staples Harvey’s Market and The District Fish Wife.
Wander the Mall -- With plans dating back as early at 1791, plans for the National Mall were first developed by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the visionary who designed the original plans for Washington, D.C. Although L’Enfant’s “Grand Avenue” was never constructed, miles of emerald green carpet the landscape from the United States Capitol to the Washington Monument and on to the Lincoln Memorial. Take your time exploring the Smithsonian Museums. Don’t miss the United States Botanic Garden or the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is not to be missed. Just be sure you plan ahead and purchase tickets online before your visit to D.C. Day-f passes are also available if you’re up early!
Imbibe in History -- In a city that is constantly changing, and a clientele from all over the world, Old Ebbitt Grill has withstood the test of time. Old Ebbitt’s is arguably the oldest bar in the city and has been the preferred watering hole of politicians, presidents, celebrities, activists, and everyone in between. The restaurant features four bars, one of which is decorated with original stuffed game rumored to be shot President Theodore Roosevelt himself.
Where it all Happens -- It’s not a visit to D.C. without a stop at the most famous residence. After a long day exploring the sights, take the short walk from Old Ebbitt Grill to the White House. Since 1800, the White House has served as the official residence of the President of the United States.
Supper Club -- Wind down with old-world vibes and white tablecloth dining at Bombay Club. No matter the political winds, Bombay Club’s genteel ambience, polished décor, and exceptional service create an experience that feels a little throwback. Guests dine to the sound of live piano music. The thali tastings are perfectly balanced and will leave you wishing you have more room to indulge! Don’t miss the kale chaat and thali tastings.
There Will Be Brunch -- You can smell plates piled high with warm, baked goods from outside the 25-foot entry doors to Blue Duck Tavern, a go-to West End neighborhood restaurant within the Park Hyatt Hotel. Floor to ceiling glass windows illuminate a gorgeous space decorated in true, contemporary Americana with warm walnut wood, blue burlap, and a massive open kitchen. The brunch offerings are seasonal and locally sourced, ensuring that guests experience a true sense of place and a hearty start to the day.
A Family Affair -- The Phillips Collection is America’s first museum of modern art and relates the continuing tradition of modernism and creativity in the founder’s elegantly restored Georgian Revival home in Dupont Circle. Throughout his life, art critic and collector Duncan Phillips explored the continuum of creativity and collected works by El Greco, Francisco Goya, Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keefe, and Mark Rothko. Explore the cozy rooms and galleries and discover the beautifully curated private collection boasting an assemblage of over 3,000 works by American and European impressionist and modernist artists. Afterwards, visit Tryst at the Phillips Café for light bites and a cappuccino.
The President’s Men -- Take a short drive to northwest D.C. to President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldier’s Home, perhaps the most peaceful landmark in the city. The narrow roads and pathways meander between the historic buildings where President Lincoln and his family spent summers during his presidency to escape the heat and pressure of downtown Washington. It was during one of these visits that Lincoln is said to have penned the Emancipation Proclamation. After exploring the grounds and museum on your own, join a tour to learn more about Lincoln’s ideas and place his experiences within the broader context of the Civil War.
The Last Supper -- Jose Andres trained under some of the world’s most celebrated chefs in Spain before becoming one of D.C.’s most celebrated residents and kicking the city’s dining offerings up a few notches. Andres is credited with bringing the concept of small plates, tapas-style dining to the U.S. Each of his restaurants is marked by playful design, airy spaces, and creative offerings—from his signature minibar by Jose Andres, a prix fixe, 25 course dining experience for six at a time, to Zaytinya, a Mediterranean food lover’s heaven serving up mouth-watering Greek, Turkish, and Lebanese dishes, Andres is a local hero not only for his flavors and personality, but his passion for philanthropy as the founder of World Central Kitchen, an organization that provides healthy food to those touched by disaster.
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