DC like a local
Collected by Christina Saull, AFAR Ambassador
I've lived in DC for nine years and cringe when people come visit and never make it past the monuments and memorials on the National Mall. DC is truly a city of neighborhoods! Break out of your comfort zone on your next visit.
1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
The Tabard Inn is delightfully historic and creaky, with corridors and staircases that make the place seem endless. (The inn opened its doors to guests in 1922.) You can dine in the cosy basement restaurant or out on the courtyard patio. It's a...
1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA
Union Market is the perfect D.C. destination if you're searching for a weekend brunch spot, craving a snack on your way to visit the Capitol, or, you know, hungry. Oyster bar, bakery, taqueria, soda shop, sandwich shop, Korean taco grill—all...
1320 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA
I’ve had a life long love affair with pork so when a friend suggested that we go for dinner at a place called The Pig, how could I say no? The Pig serves up its dishes as small plates, so it’s the perfect place to go with a group of people and...
1661 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
Like many people these days, I need a cup of caffeine to get me going in the morning. Most mornings I’m a tea person, but every once in a while, I need a cup of coffee. Luckily for me, M.E. Swing is just a short two blocks away from my office....
8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
An undulating steel and glass canopy wows visitors who enter the Kogod Courtyard. Inside you'll find diners from the museum's café, tourists soaking their weary feet in the shallow fountain running across the space, and students taking advantage...
701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
In the heart of D.C.'s Penn Quarter, Zaytinya serves up a variety of tapas inspired by traditional dishes from Greece, Lebanon, and Turkey. It also has a selection of wines from such Eastern Mediterranean countries and seasonally serves a hot tea...
16th St NW & W Street NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Once an encampment for Union troops during the Civil War, 12-acre Meridian Hill Park is now a central gathering space for friends and fitness enthusiasts. Running groups, yoga classes, and personal training sessions all meet at this urban hilltop...
1811 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Sunday brunch at Perry’s is not your usual run-of-the-mill affair. Yes, there is an all-you-can-eat buffet bar filled with typical brunch fare. Yes, there are the usual boozy drinks to go with your brunch meal. Yes, there is music piped over...
225 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA
The Eastern Market, now a National Historic Landmark, opened in 1873 to serve the Capitol Hill neighborhood (an 1805 version, located down by the Navy Yard, was a casualty of the War of 1812). The brick market hall, packed with butchers, bakers,...
3500 Water St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Key Bridge Boathouse is the go-to launching point for paddlers of all skill levels. Whether you're in a kayak or a canoe or on a stand-up paddleboard, time on the water is transformative. Its classes, tours, and rentals offer a unique perspective...
2003 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301, USA
Although chocolate is the specialty at Artfully Chocolate in Alexandria, my favorite treats are the light and delicious macarons supplied by local baker, Michel Patisserie. Michel refined his skills working at the famous patisserie, Ladurée, in ...
1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Located along the historic Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O Canal), this laid-back neighborhood bakery and coffeehouse is one of my favorite hangouts in D.C. Baked and Wired serves delicious food and drinks in a cozy atmosphere. The space is adorned with...
1539 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
It doesn't look like much. Walking in you notice its scuffed wood floors, beat up benches and poor climate control. But don't let the ambience fool you. The Passenger is a must for anyone who likes to drink—and anyone who likes to soak up their...
657 C St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA
Capitol Hill Books looks more like a hoarder's basement than a bookstore. It's not the best place to pick up the latest bestseller, but it is exceptional for its collection of rare books, as well as its snarky, not-so-subtle opinions about various...
800 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
Teaism is a collection of D.C. restaurants that serves a variety of high-quality teas and tasty fare with an Asian twist. The menu offers dishes that cater to all types of diets: omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. The newest and largest...
429 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
It's best to follow these lunches on wheels on Twitter, but usually you'll find them lined up near the L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station in southwest D.C., McPherson Square, Franklin Park, and Farragut Square all in northwest D.C. Popular ones include...
2 E Walnut St, Alexandria, VA 22301, USA
As the name implies, Grape + Bean is a local favorite for those looking to purchase quality wine and coffee. Both its Alexandria locations also sell a premium selection of beers, teas, specialty beverages, and gourmet snacks. The stores have an...
1600 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
Lorien Hotel & Spa is a Kimpton hotel nestled in historic Old Town, Alexandria — a short metro ride away from DC. The eco-friendly hotel is known for its outstanding service and attention to details like complimentary French press coffee,...
9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102, USA
Just a few short miles off of the Capital Beltway, nestled along a winding wooded road, Great Falls National Park is a nearby haven for nature-seeking Washingtonians. Here, the Potomac River floods into the Mather Gorge, creating breathtaking...
4056 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206, USA
A replica of its Del Ray neighborhood store, Cheesetique in Arlington has been so successful that another location opened in Shirlington. Enthusiasts of divine milk curds will find a large selection of gourmet, handcrafted cheeses from around the...
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