Make the Most of Your Stay
Washington DC has so much to see, do, and explore; you are going to need some help. Beyond the abundance of museums, monuments, and memorials, there are dozens of theater and music venues, 1000’s of shops and galleries, and over 10,000 places to eat.
This publisher’s first bit of advice: even if you are visiting for a month or two, there is no way to see and do everything DC has to offer. I am a native Washingtonian and I’m always adding to my want-to-get-to list. Plus, new exhibits, new shows, new stores and restaurants are opening all the time. But, don’t stress about what you may not get to – instead, here are some tips to help you enjoy what you can fit into your stay.
Think of DC like a wheel, with the National Mall and Downtown DC at the hub. The spokes of the wheel are the varied neighborhoods that radiate from the center, each with a special personality. The outside of the wheel is the Capital Beltway connecting the DC suburbs which are filled with even more dining, shopping, and attractions. As if that isn’t enough, to the north and west are the green rolling hills of the Piedmont, the foothills of the Appalachians. South and east is the Coastal Plain where, in less than an hour’s drive, you’ll find The Chesapeake Bay. Across the Bay is the DelMarVa Peninsula where you will find some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere.
Here’s a suggestion: pick different neighborhoods for different dining and shopping experiences. If you are concentrating on the Mall and downtown to see the sights, a short hop on the Metro will take you to great stops for lunch, shopping, or dinner. Today, take the Blue or Yellow Lines to U Street, Arlington, or Alexandria. Tomorrow, take the Red Line to Friendship Heights and Bethesda. Or, get off the Red Line at Dupont Circle and ride the “DC Circulator” to Georgetown. You will find a unique flavor in each of DC’s separate enclaves. There are over a dozen.
If you have a car, it’s well worth part or all of a day to head to Loudoun County in Virginia. This is DC’s Wine Country - 40 vineyards, rich history, casual and fine dining, and each town is a shopper’s paradise. If you love seafood, head to Annapolis or Solomons Maryland for fresh crab and local craft beer while you gaze at hundreds of boats on the open water.
From the mountains to the beaches, or even if you never leave downtown, no other travel destination combines history, culture, national treasure, natural beauty, dining, shopping, and fun like the DC Metro area.
There is so much to see, do and explore your decision will be what to see, do and explore while you are here. For the best places to EAT, SHOP and PLAY in Washington DC click here.