Things to Do in Washington, D.C.

Dan Chung/Aurora

For more than 30 years, the 9:30 Club has been Washington, DC’s premiere concert venue, hosting some of the biggest names in alternative rock and... Read More

The bronze Spirit of Freedom statue and the Wall of Honor, which is etched with the names of 209,145 servicemen, commemorate the United States Colored... Read More

The American Institute of Architects bookstore mixes the academic with the whimsical. Tomes on famous architects and movements share shelf space with... Read More

Founded in 1821 as the First Unitarian Church of Washington, the institution has a long history of supporting our nation’s biggest social issues,... Read More

Commemorate your trip to the nation’s capital with gifts and gags ranging from the partisan to the patriotic: caps with logos from Air Force One... Read More

A member of the Smithsonian Institution, the Anacostia Community Museum aims to illuminate the urban experience, the shaping of communities, and the... Read More

The Tony award-winning Arena Stage has been presenting new and classic American plays for more than six decades. In 2010, it unveiled the Mead Center... Read More

The Arts Club, established in 1916, exhibits contemporary artworks in its headquarters, the former home of President James Monroe. The group also... Read More

Beyond the throwback façade and ticket window, visitors find a sophisticated lobby worthy of cocktail parties. The Atlas Theater was originally... Read More

Located in the U Street neighborhood, this mid-city restaurant and bar serving New American cuisine inspired by local farms and seasonal produce. The... Read More

Established in 1932, the two-acre park is named after French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, whose classical fountain (which predates his iconic... Read More

The Bi-Partisan Tour Company offers a unique, environmentally-friendly way to tour the nation’s capitol. Visitors to the area can take an... Read More

Beer is king at this upstairs-downstairs bar. The assortment of brews is epic, with more than 500 types of bottled beer from around the world and 50... Read More

A constellation of jazz legends–Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway, for example–have lit up this celebrated music venue, which opened in 1926.... Read More

Established in 1862, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), a block-shaped structure of steel made with fireproof concrete, limestone, and granite,... Read More

Now a historical site spanning 184.5 miles, the Chesapeake & Ohio canal was originally used to ferry goods like coal, lumber, and grain down the... Read More

Located on Connecticut Avenue in Woodley Park, Carbon is known for its selection of stylish, eco-friendly shoes, clothing, and accessories. The store,... Read More

Located in Georgetown, Carling Nichols is owned by three friends who share a passion for the Chinese aesthetic. The store sells carefully selected... Read More

Kick off your shoes, grab a cushion, and sample teas from around the world (Japan, China, South Africa, Taiwan, more). The trained staff delivers the... Read More

The snug shop sells artisanal confections from all over the map, including designer bonbons from Arlington, Virginia, and pure cocoa bars from... Read More

Sail into the rosy sunset aboard the 65-foot schooner, American Spirit, part of the National Maritime Heritage Foundation’s community sailing... Read More

Located in bustling, upscale Georgetown, Dean & Deluca specializes in fine foods and California wines along with kitchenware. The store occupies a... Read More

This chic outpost at the Ritz Carleton in Georgetown boasts an upper-crust clientele and a New York state of mind. Impeccably dressed patrons knock back... Read More

Three times a weekday, the U.S. State Department runs free tours of the tastefully decorated chambers used to welcome visiting foreign dignitaries. The... Read More

The department’s Indian Craft Shop has been representing Native American artists since 1938, showcasing an array of traditional works by 60 tribes... Read More

This gelateria produces small, handmade batches of gelato each morning inside its Georgetown shop. Committed to using the freshest ingredients, the... Read More

For the last 75 years, this historic Georgetown estate has been the site of a research library and museum celebrating the arts and humanities. Dumbarton... Read More

Established in 1997, the Dupont Circle Freshfarm Market is a year-round farmers' market welcoming producers from the Chesapeake Bay region. Located... Read More

The historic golf course, part of the National Park system, comprises three courses: red (nine holes), white (nine) and blue (18). Or play a round on... Read More

More than 160 embassies and diplomatic missions have homes in Washington, DC, many of them populating a strip of Massachusetts Avenue called Embassy Row... Read More

The ghost of Shakespeare rules this world-class house of research and learning, established in 1932. Sculptures of his iconic characters adorn the... Read More

Visitors to Ford’s Theatre immerse themselves in the life and death of Abraham Lincoln. Tours encompass the theatre, site of the assassination;... Read More

Cedar Hill, the graceful hilltop home where Douglass lived from 1877 until his death in 1895, provides an intimate look at the daily life of the great... Read More

Located on the National Mall and connected by an underground exhibit, the Freer and Sackler Galleries form the Smithsonian's museums of Asian art. The... Read More

The 36-year-old performing arts center embraces Latin American culture with bilingual programs held in the Tivoli Theater, an ornate movie palace built... Read More

A boisterous thirtysomething crowd fills both floors of this popular watering hole: the ground-floor bistro has seats for dinner or an alt-sceney drink,... Read More

The nation's oldest Catholic and Jesuit university was established in 1789 on a hill overlooking the Potomac and the village of Georgetown. The flagship... Read More

The boutique features a rotating cast of 12 designers (all local, minus the co-owner’s Wisconsin mother) who create clothes, accessories, and... Read More

This Dupont Circle shop is owned by Czech Republic natives and friends Daniela Cermanova and Michaela Schwartz. The shop carries men’s and women... Read More

The Harman Center for the Arts is the collective name for the Lansburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall, which serve as the home theaters for The... Read More

After a long day of plotting, scheming, and formulating policy, harried Hillies head to this 40-year-old traditional Irish pub to take the edge off.... Read More

Open since 1922, Heller’s tempts visitors with pastries, cakes and cookies that flashback to a more decadent age, one with more frosting, butter,... Read More

The Brewmaster’s Castle, open for guided tours, captures the elegance and opulence of the Gilded Age. However, the 31-room home of German brewer... Read More

The city’s coolest jazz plays day and night at this groovy, dim-lit classic. The name, Washington geek-speak for House Resolution 57, refers to... Read More

Urban grit melds with high art in this former auto repair shop turned gallery space. The 4,300-square-foot room has whitewashed walls to showcase... Read More

The International Spy Museum seeks to educate the public about the world of professional espionage, but it also emphasizes fun. Visitors adopt cover... Read More

Drinking isn’t the only sport at this vintage motorcycle-themed watering hole. The downstairs bar resembles a retro-rec room with shuffleboard... Read More

Irvine Contemporary, founded by Georgetown professor Dr. Martin Irvine, showcases works by emerging and mid-career artists. Past exhibits have included... Read More

The author of the Declaration of Independence is celebrated here with a gleaming Neoclassical temple inspired by the Roman Pantheon (one of Jefferson's... Read More

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is home to the Washington National Opera, National Symphony Orchestra, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet,... Read More

Washington’s most celebrated independent bookstore has been open for more than 30 years, and it’s still the best place in town for a good,... Read More

This trendy boutique, located in the U Street Corridor sells fashion-forward, offbeat apparel and accessories for women. The store has an inventory of... Read More

When Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps here in 1963 and said, "I have a dream," he spoke with Lincoln's antislavery legacy quite literally... Read More

The 12-acre urban park, part of the National Park Service family, exemplifies early 20th-century neoclassical design. Inspired by the formal gardens of... Read More

The cultural branch of the Mexican embassy shares its rich south-of-the-border traditions with a variety of public events, many of which are free. Check... Read More

Straight out of Hong Kong, this cosmopolitan Georgetown restaurant and bar serves "Silk Road-inspired" American cuisine and libations in one of the most... Read More

Opened in 1992, this northwest D.C. store has been selling unique, vintage, and mid-century modern home furnishings for more than a decade. The U Street... Read More

Within the bustle of busy Georgetown, there exists a quiet 27-acres of shade trees, walking paths, and tennis courts, a perfect spot for a relaxing... Read More

Founded by Christopher Reiter following a four-year stay in Asia, Muléh is a unique lifestyle store blending home furnishings and fashion. The... Read More

Opened in 2003, Nana is a locally minded women’s clothing boutique that showcases independent American designers, many of whom use sustainable,... Read More

Celebrate the history of flight at the National Air & Space Museum. The museum’s original location on the National Mall offers exhibits on the... Read More

Pieces of paper, no matter how famous, aren’t quite as fun to look at as other sights in the neighborhood. Still, seeing the original Declaration... Read More

Designated a national house of prayer by Congress, this neogothic Episcopal cathedral is the sixth largest church in the world. Construction began in... Read More

The two architecturally opposed buildings that make up this museum jointly contain one of the world’s most extraordinary art collections. The... Read More

Follow the ranger on a National Park tour that goes beyond the surface of the monuments and memorials. The free walking and biking excursions cover... Read More

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is dedicated to displaying, preserving, and educating the public about African art. Located in a... Read More

At this good vs. evil museum, the law usually wins, but the villains certainly put up a plucky fight. Co-founded by John Walsh of the TV show America... Read More

The National Museum of Natural History investigates the world and its creatures, examines ancient rituals, and explores the unfolding universe. Be sure... Read More

The National Museum of the American Indian explores the native cultures of the Western Hemisphere, from the Algonquians of the Chesapeake to the Incan... Read More

The Navy museum, one of only 14 in the country, focuses on the long and thrilling history of the military branch, covering major wars and model ships as... Read More

The National Museum of Women in the Arts honors female artists by both highlighting their creative works and presenting exhibitions about their... Read More

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery traces the history of America through visual and performing arts that pay tribute to great American... Read More

A 163-acre reserve carved out of Rock Creek Park, the Smithsonian's zoological arm is a long-standing family favorite, where creatures from aardvarks to... Read More

The ballpark for the Washington Nationals (the baseball team formerly known as the Montreal Expos) opened in the spring of 2008, and it’s the... Read More

The Newseum explores histories through the eyes of the news media, as well as celebrates and advocates for First Amendment freedoms of the press.... Read More

Nusta Spa is the first LEED-certified spa in the nation and boasts "green" interiors. Demonstrating its strong environmental commitment, the 5,000... Read More

Now renamed the Donald W. Reynolds Center, the Old Patent Office Building is the focal point of the Penn Quarter, covering an entire city block at... Read More

One of the trendiest spots in Franklin Square, the four-story Park at 14th was opened by D.C. nightlife masterminds Marc Barnes, Masoud Aboughaddareh,... Read More

The museum takes the art outside, creating a fanciful playground of oversize sculptures including an XXL spider by Louise Bourgeois and a cartoonishly... Read More

Strange Factor: Known for their keen sense of smell, dogs are the perfect companions to track down clues on this offbeat spy tour of our nation’s... Read More

This bi-level gallery is located at the intersection of 14th and U Streets in the U Street Corridor. The 1,000-square-foot Project 4 displays... Read More

Rock Creek Park is the oldest urban park in the National Park Service system; at more than 2,000 Northwest DC acres, it covers some serious... Read More

The Round Robin Bar, located inside Washington, D.C.’s Willard InterContinental Hotel, is steeped in history. Open since the 1800’s, the bar... Read More

The creation of two friends, Sarah Cannova and Sassy Jacobs, Sassanova opened in Georgetown in 2003. The store has become a go-to destination for... Read More

The fifth and final national headquarters of the National Woman’s Party traces the group’s fight for gender equality and the right to vote.... Read More

The boutique for men and women features a well-curated selection of styles appropriate for nearly every occasion: day job, garden party, weekend in the... Read More

Housed alongside the National Portrait Gallery in the Old Patent Office Building, an impressive Greek Revival structure built in 1868, the... Read More

The 19 museums of the Smithsonian Institution are some of the most visited attractions in the DC area. The museums are known for their collections of... Read More

The rustic-gourmet grocer specializes in edibles from Lancaster County produced by Pennsylvania Amish and Mennonite farmers. Pickings include flavored... Read More

The two-time winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars bakes vegan cupcakes so rich and tasty, they could dupe even the most diehard dairy- and egg... Read More

It’s exciting enough just to walk up these famous steps, upon which so many crucial, course-altering decisions have been announced. But the best part... Read More

Located in Dupont Circle, Tabletop is a housewares and lifestyle store. Founded by three friends and opened in 2003, the store carries a collection of... Read More

Located off the usual tourist track in the Kalorama neighborhood, this small museum is dedicated to fostering an appreciation for the artistic value of... Read More

The fun house of decor, open for more than 30 years, sells vintage pieces and architectural parts salvaged from residences, many in the District. The... Read More

Sure, the giant white dome of the Capitol is the symbol of representative democracy, but it also makes for a great (and free) tour. You'll learn the... Read More

Tucked in a graffiti-splashed space, the multi-disciple venue spotlights underground and experimental art, film and music. Shows like &ldquo... Read More

A free exhibition that’s unfairly overlooked is The Library of Congress. Created by an act of Congress in 1800, this often-overlooked Washington... Read More

The mansion, designed by U.S. Capitol architect Edward Clark, is a study in eclecticism and eccentricity. The museum collection can only be described as... Read More

One of the most popular museums in the Smithsonian collection, The National Museum of American History tells the story of America through its politics,... Read More

The nearly 100-year-old Phillips Collection showcases modern art and impressionist paintings. The permanent collection here includes Renoir’s famous... Read More

This mini rock club and bar once singularly known as The Red and The Black is now part of the unusual H Street mega-complex, the Red Palace. With a... Read More

The TV- and martini-free watering hole is heavy on the German brews and good intentions: 25 cents of each tab goes to charity. To date, the bar has... Read More

Open since the class of 1962, the closest bar to Georgetown University draws students on a study break, as well as alum wistful for the good ole days.... Read More

With its fresh, homemade ice creams and fat-free frozen yogurts, there is typically a line to enter the Georgetown branch of Thomas Sweet. The white... Read More

Paddle or sail the Potomac in a canoe, single or double kayak, rowing shell or Sunfish rented by the hour or the day. Go left and float by Watergate,... Read More

Owned by husband and wife Timothy and Mia Worrell, Timothy Paul opened in 2003 and sells carefully selected carpets and home décor items. The... Read More

Toro Mata specializes in Peruvian art and crafts, covering every available space with pottery, reverse-painted glass, figurines, paintings, textiles,... Read More

With its mismatched furniture and insomniac hours (open until 3 a.m. on weekends; reopens at 6:30 a.m.), Tryst is more than just an indie coffeehouse... Read More

Tudor Place, owned by Thomas Peter, son of Georgetown’s first mayor, and Martha Custis, granddaughter of Martha Washington, stayed in the family... Read More

With two outdoor gardens and an indoor conservatory, the United States Botanic Garden features plants from all over the world. Explore all types of... Read More

Take a break from the cityscape with a visit to the U.S. National Arboretum, where you can stroll through its azalea gardens, tour the National Bonsai... Read More

In a city known for grand edifices and soaring public spaces, Washington's Union Station holds its own. The terminal’s classical façade... Read More

A visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is at once heart-breaking and inspiring. The museum shares the narrative history of the Holocaust... Read More

This trendy women's boutique stands out like a peacock just north of Wisconsin Avenue's drab procession of chain stores. Hot handbags and offbeat... Read More

This Dupont Circle wine bar has a contemporary feel with red walls, sleek black furniture, and exposed brick. The neighborhood favorite is known for its... Read More

Located on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated to the American men... Read More

On this self-guided walking tour, piece together the neighborhood’s history by following the 17 informational signs sprinkled throughout the... Read More

Discover your dream house–or at least your fantasy bathroom and lighting fixtures–at this showcase and shopping center of high-end home d... Read More

Five hundred and fifty-five feet of monolithic tribute, the monument to our first president stands in the center of the Mall like a watchtower over the... Read More

When the field is quiet, the Washington Nationals baseball stadium unlocks its gates for a behind-the-scenes peek. Tour stops include the dugouts (home... Read More

The spiritual center describes itself as “not just a church,” an accurate characterization considering its extracurricular activities. Every... Read More

To take a guided tour of the most iconic political building in the Western world, you’ll need to make arrangements well in advance—by... Read More

Peek behind the doors of White House for an enticing glimpse at the executive lifestyle. Exhibits focus on the construction of the manse, including the... Read More

The corner hangout wears many hats: brunch spot, bar, music venue, d.j. danceteria. However, if you can only choose one, go for the beer garden, a... Read More

The World War II Memorial was dedicated on May 29, 2004 and commemorates the service and sacrifice of Americans in the war. The memorial sits on the... Read More

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