DC City Guide: What You Have to Do Right Now

Things to do in Washington, DC including restaurants, hotels and art. Tips for travel to D.C. so you have the best trip.

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?

White House and Washington Monument in Washington, 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

Parallax Gap at Renwick Gallery in Washington DC

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.

Parallax Gap at Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC

 

Hive Installation at National Building Museum Hive Installation at National Building Museum

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”.

Hive Installation at National Building Museum Hive Installation at National Building Museum

 

XYZT at Artechouse

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.

XYTZ at Artechouse
Lightbox which moves with your hands

XYZT at Artechouse

 

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.

 

Wish Tree by Yoko Ono outside the Hirshhorn in Washington, DC

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.

House by Roy Lichtenstein

 

Headphones at Silent Disco

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

Food at Hill Country BBQ

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!)

Pina Colada at Cotton & Reed

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.

Beetini at the Fairmont
Beetini at the Fairmont

 

Where to Stay in Washington, DC

Bed at the Fairmont
The beds were soooo comfortable

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.

Lobby of the Fairmont
Renovated Lobby

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.

Breakfast in the Fairmont Gold Lounge
Part of the breakfast spread in the Fairmont Gold Lounge

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.

 

Honorable Mentions

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 

Twitter

Instagram

 

Pam at Always 5 Star

Twitter

Instagram

 

Cathy & Frank at Roar Loud

Twitter

Instagram

 

Alyson at My Virtual Vacations

Twitter

Instagram

 

Sue & Diana at Food Travelist

Twitter

Instagram

 

Debbie at Traveling Well for Less

Twitter

 

Briana at Casual Travelist

Twitter

Instagram

 

Suzanne at Phila Travel Girl

Twitter

Instagram

Things to do in Washington, DC including restaurants, hotels and art. Tips for travel to D.C. so you have the best trip. Things to do in Washington, DC including restaurants, hotels and art. Tips for travel to D.C. so you have the best trip.

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