Girlfriends will feel the power of America’s history radiating from DC’s many monuments and memorials. After visiting well-known memorials like the Lincoln and Jefferson, stop by those that honor women – like the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, a statue which depicts three uniformed nurses with a wounded soldier. And don’t forget about The Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. It’s the only major national memorial honoring women who have served in our nation's defense during all eras and in all services. Ladies should also consider the Women’s Titanic Memorial, dedicated to the men who gave up their lives on the ship for women and children.
And for those girlfriends who’ve come to Washington in part to honor their fallen fathers, brothers, husbands or sons, visits to the Korean War Veterans, WWII and Vietnam Veterans National Memorials are a powerful way to pay homage.
For a fill of visual arts, check out the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only museum dedicated exclusively to women artists. Look for major exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the National Gallery of Art and the museums that comprise the Smithsonian – they are fabulously fun, interesting and free.
For ladies looking to shop until they drop, The Collection at Chevy Chase (dubbed the East Coast version of Rodeo Drive) features 112,000 square feet of high-end boutiques on Wisconsin Avenue, just outside DC in Chevy Chase, Md. Retailers include Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Jimmy Choo and a multi-level Ralph Lauren store modeled after the interior of a luxurious mansion.
Many consider Georgetown to be DC’s hub for the fashion-forward set. New boutiques featuring threads by designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Chloe, Narciso Rodriguez and Nanette Lepore are popping up all over the neighborhood. These shops include Urban Chic (1626 Wisconsin Ave. NW), Relish (3312 Cady’s Alley NW) and Intermix (3222 M St. NW).
Girlfriends can bathe their senses in the Spa at Mandarin Oriental’s Amethyst Steam Room or relax with the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown’s Prada Experience, which features signature skin treatments. The Prada products used (made from the purest, most powerful ingredients available), combined with "high-touch" professional spa techniques, provide immediate and long-lasting benefits to the skin.
Women are making a huge impression on DC’s dining scene. Girlfriends can taste the achievements of women chefs at restaurants like Nora Pouillon’s Restaurant Nora, the country’s first certified all-organic restaurant, or Jamie Leeds’ Hank’s Oyster Bar, a popular Dupont Circle gathering spot.
For a more low-key evening, visit the Georgetown Waterfront. Tony & Joe's, Sequoia and Nick’s Riverside Grille each offer outdoor bars where you can have a drink while feeling the breeze from the Potomac River and catching a view of the Kennedy Center and the Washington Monument.
DC is a performing arts mecca, offering girlfriends several options to choose from when planning a night out. Consider taking in a performance at Arena Stage, a theater that plays host to many American plays and has a woman playing the lead creative role. Molly Smith, once named one of Washington’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine, is now in her ninth season as Arena’s artistic director.
No girlfriend getaway is complete without a night out on the town. For a high-energy night of cocktails or dancing, try downtown hotspot The Park at 14th or LOVE Nightclub in Northeast DC. Dupont Circle’s Marrakesh Palace restaurant transforms into Pasha Lounge by night to offer a club experience with an artistic twist: The venue is adorned with the work of rotating contemporary artists.