When I started travel blogging, I had no idea about the community. It might seem like bloggers should be competitive or even ignore each other, but it’s actually the opposite. So when Nicki of Eat Live Travel Drink proposed a travel blogger meet up in Washington, DC I jumped at the chance.
Earlier this month, 12 travel bloggers met in person in Washington, DC for a fun filled #BloggersTakeTheCity weekend. The incredible Destination DC took us around and showed us what’s hot in DC right now. Check out my DC City Guide below!
Note: This is a sponsored but all opinions are my own.
Why visit DC?
I grew up outside of DC but it wasn’t until I stayed in DC for 2 weeks with the Newsies tour that I actually really spent time in the city. There’s so much to do, not to mention delicious food to eat. Plus, with all the free Smithsonian Museums, it can be really affordable.
Things to Do
This exhibit in running through February 11, 2018. It’s seriously insta-worthy, with gorgeous ceiling suspended installations. Make sure you watch the time lapse video showing the install of the exhibit. While you’re there, make sure you check out some of the other exhibits including a sculpture you won’t believe was recreated with a 3D printer.
Now through September 4th, this installation is seriously cool. Made out of cardboard tubes and using various sounds, this exhibit is perfect for kids and Instagrammers alike. I loved taking pictures inside the “hives”.
Unfortunately, this exhibit is only running through September 3rd so you’ve got to run. (It’s heading to Salem, MA next) We loved playing with these interactive video installations. Some used live video of participants, others used motion such as walking through or waving your arms.
Now through January 1st, Ai Wei Wei is currently on exhibit at the Hirshhorn. I’ve actually seen part of the exhibit at the Alcatraz. The exhibit is part Legos (yep) and wallpaper titled The Plain Version of the Animal That Looks Like a Llama but Is Really an Alpaca. You can see the wallpaper in black and white as well as gold. Check it out at a distance and then up close to see the political details.
Just outside the Hirshhorn is a Sculpture Garden with a wish tree now through Labor Day. Visitors can write their wish and hang it on the tree which will then go to Ono’s “Imagine Peace Tower” in Iceland. It’s fun to read other visitor’s wishes as well as add your own.
I’ve visited this Sculpture Garden a few times and it has two of my favorite sculptures. One is a gorgeous silver tree that shines bright in the sun. The other is a house by Roy Lichtenstein (my favorite artist) which is a serious optical illusion. Walk back and forth in front of the house and you’ll see why.
Located on the rooftop of the groovy Embassy Row Hotel, is a silent disco. You’ll get headphones which tune in to 3 competing DJs and it’s completely silent when you take off your headphones. It’s everything that I hate about clubs – you get the cool breeze, you can choose how loud you want the music and you pick the music. It’s fun people watching and switching between DJs keeps things fresh. On the night I was there, we even got into the Cha Cha Slide and Macarena.
Where to Eat in Washington, DC
BBQ is one of my favorite foods and this restaurant does it extremely well. Served cafeteria style, you’ve got a multitude of meat and side options. I went with the brisket and smoked turkey with corn pudding and coleslaw on the side. It was incredible. I definitely recommend the brisket, served either moist (i.e. fatty) or lean. Go for the moist.
My husband and I went rogue for a birthday dinner at Founding Farmers. It’s one of our favorites and there’s a reason for the crowds. It’s comfort food done well and the cocktails and house made sodas are just as good.
DC has a brand new food market in the revitalized NoMA neighborhood. There are restaurants as well as food stalls so it’ll surely satisfy any eater.
This burger restaurant has a great brunch with delicious Bloody Mary’s. They’ve got a pet friendly patio where Bruno was able to enjoy some water and tater tots. Bonus points for lots of gluten free options.
Where to Drink in Washington, DC
Located near Union Market, Cotton & Reed is both DC’s first rum distillery and a bar. If you’re interested in learning more, you can take a tour with a tasting of all three of their rums. We learned about the making of rum and then cooled off with a delicious pina colada. The bar has all rum cocktails and by day had an industrial meets beachy vibe (but that may be the pina colada, yum!)
I’m not usually one to recommend a hotel bar but I’ve stayed at this Fairmont twice and they’ve got delicious cocktails and an outdoor courtyard with fire pits. Get the Beetini made with honey from the hotel’s rooftop beehives.
Where to Stay in Washington, DC
I’ve stayed at this hotel twice now and it’s one of my favorites. It’s a true 5-star hotel and you feel the quality in the beds and shower, as well as little touches throughout the hotel. They’ve renovated the lobby since I last stayed here and it’s gorgeous.
The Fairmont treated us so well this time. They upgraded us to the Gold Level, a key card access level with a lounge featuring a full breakfast in the morning and snacks throughout the day. It was the perfect place for us bloggers to meet every morning and pick each others brains.
I’ve never stayed at this boutique hotel but this is where the silent disco was. The lobby is gorgeous with lots of cool details. Plus, the hotel is gay friendly.
The first night of #BloggersTakeTheCity, the Fairmont treated us to a little mixer in the lobby. They got us a caricature artist from Big Head Little Body as well as a lip reader. I was blown away with some of the observations made from just my lip prints. Both ladies are available for parties and are perfect for showers. FYI: lip readings aren’t just women, men can do them too!
If you’re interested in following the other bloggers on the trip, here’s where you can find them:
Nicki at Eat Live Travel Drink
Pam at Always 5 Star
Cathy & Frank at Roar Loud
Alyson at My Virtual Vacations
Sue & Diana at Food Travelist
Debbie at Traveling Well for Less
Briana at Casual Travelist
Suzanne at Phila Travel Girl