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DC Itinerary: 3 Days in Summer

HIGHLIGHTS

  • See Honest Abe's top hat and the Greensboro lunch counter at the National Museum of American History
  • Take part in a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol Building
  • Dine in the trendy up-and-coming Atlas District, then take in a theater performance

Day 1

Morning

Start your day with breakfast at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. completed his "I Have a Dream" speech. It’s a short walk from the Willard to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the newest landmark on the National Mall.

Afternoon

Head to the National Museum of American History, which features Honest Abe’s top hat and the landmark Woolworth’s lunch counter from Greensboro—where African-American students held a sit-in after being told they wouldn’t be served. Metro to Ben’s Chili Bowl in the U Street Corridor. This longtime DC staple has served everyone from Bill Cosby to President Barack Obama to Bono.

Evening

For an evening out, catch live jazz at Twins Jazz Lounge or take in a concert at the restored Howard Theatre on U Street.

Day 2

Morning

See what DC’s Capitol Hill denizens do in their off hours with a trip to Eastern Market. The Capitol Hill farmer’s market offers farm-fresh produce and all kinds of "cakes," from fresh blueberry buckwheat pancakes and local crab cakes to homemade cupcakes.

Continue your tour of the Capitol Hill neighborhood with a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol Building and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Nearby, explore the Library of Congress and U.S. Supreme Court.

Afternoon

Metro to Downtown/ Penn Quarter/Chinatown, where you can have a leisurely lunch in the outdoor courtyard at Poste or try Chinese small plates at the popular Ping Pong Dim Sum.
While in this neighborhood, discover a wealth of museums, from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, home to the country’s official presidential portraits, to the International Spy Museum, an interactive affair that traces the history of espionage.

Evening

Enjoy drinks and dinner at P.O.V. Rooftop Lounge and Terrace at the W Hotel. The swanky bar boasts one of the best White House views in the city.

Day 3

Morning

Enjoy a power breakfast at Seasons Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown. Then, spend your morning perusing the paintings at The Phillips Collection. America’s first museum of modern art, Phillips features works from Renoir and Rothko, Bonnard and O'Keeffe, van Gogh and Diebenkorn.

Afternoon

Head over to the National Gallery of Art for Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929: When Art Danced with Music, an exhibit that displays original costumes, set designs, paintings and more from the most innovative dance company of the 20th century. Grab lunch at the Gallery's Pavillion Café, which offers panoramic views of the Sculpture Garden.
Next visit the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the only museum in the world specifically dedicated to displaying women’s artistic contributions.

Evening

End your evening with dinner at one of the trendy restaurants in the Atlas District along H Street NE, and then pick from a number of theater performances throughout the city. Find a complete listing at theatrewashington.org.