Washington, DC is in the midst of a modern-day renaissance.
As international and American investment creates more game-changing developments, and as neighborhoods sprout new restaurants and attractions, DC is becoming even more exciting and event-worthy.
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NEW URBAN HUBS
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - The REACH Expansion
The Kennedy Center’s $175 million expansion project, the REACH, opened to the public on September 7, 2019. New offerings include 72,000 square feet of performance and events space, 130,000 square feet of landscaping and gardens, terrace seating for up to 1,600 people and a scenic walkway leading to nearby monuments and memorials. Check out our guide to the Kennedy Center for more.
A $250 million development two blocks from Audi Field between Capitol Riverfront and The Wharf with new restaurants including a veggie friendly eatery by James Beard Winning Chef, Spike Gjerde, piers and waterfront activity.
Located in Capitol Hill, the 12,500-square-foot community-based food hall will feature a full-service restaurant (Caruso’s Grocery), a craft beer hall & garden (Shelter), a cocktail and wine bar (Show of Hands) and a sushi counter (Ako by Kenaki). The concept was developed by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group.
The mixed-use development near Yards Park features views of Nationals Park and include an Atlas Brew Works, Compass Coffee as well as Union Kitchen, a local product grocery store.
Market 7 at Benning Market
Opening 2021 (Tentative)
A community marketplace and food hall is coming to Ward 7 two blocks away from the Minnesota Ave. metro station. The mixed-use building’s ground floor (7,000 square feet) will be home to Market 7 and feature a variety of black-owned businesses including a grocer and retail installations by local makers. Market 7’s mission is to revitalize and restore the economic stability, holistic health and social needs of the residents in Ward 7 while also attracting visitors.
The National Park Service, along with the District of Columbia and the DowntownDC Business Improvement District, has completed an extensive renovation of the 4.8-acre park that includes a new café, children’s garden, lighting and trees, along with improvements to the landscaping, central plaza and fountain.
Recreation Pier at The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront - Dining, Shopping and Entertainment Destination in Washington, DC
Phase II opening 2022
Phase I of this $2.5 billion mixed-use development opened in October 2017. Phase II broke ground in early 2019 with an estimated delivery of 2022. It will feature an additional 1.15 million square feet of mixed-use development, including office, residential, marina, and retail space, as well as parks and public spaces, across an approximate half mile of the waterfront. Visitors can still enjoy The Anthem, a 150,000-square-foot music venue that also serves as a convention facility, with flexible capacity up to 6,000. The Wharf currently offers 3.2 million square feet of hotel and retail space, rentable waterfront piers and a water taxi service to and from Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. Restaurants currently total over 20, including offerings from Fabio Trabocchi, Mike Isabella and Nicholas Stefanelli.
Phase I opened 2018; scheduled completion in 2022
The 2.2 million-square-foot LEED sustainable development will create three new city blocks between Union Station and Capital One Arena. The mixed-use $1.3 billion development will open in phases, with its first delivery in 2018 and schedule completion in 2022. Capital Crossing will feature five mixed-use buildings on a seven-acre site, totaling 2.2 million square feet and 70,000 square feet of retail space.
11th Street Bridge Park
Washington, DC’s first elevated public park will be built on the piers of the old 11th Street Bridge spanning the Anacostia River. Visitors and locals will enjoy an amphitheater, picnic gardens, interactive art and waterfalls among many other attractions and events that help create a public gathering space. Construction is expected to start in 2021 with the park opening in 2023.
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HOTELS - RECENTLY OPENED
Riggs Washington DC
Riggs Washington DC sits in the former home of Washington D.C.’s Riggs National Bank. Its launch marked the first U.S. hotel by the Lore Group. Located in Penn Quarter, the 121,000 square foot property features 181 residential guest rooms and suites, an expansive restaurant, Café Riggs and rooftop event space. The cocktail bar on the lower level, Silver Lyan, is from world acclaimed mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana. Silver Lyan contains a secret room in the building’s original bank vault that functions as a private event space for a small group of six.
Thompson Washington DC
Thompson Hotels, a luxury lifestyle flag, opened 225-room hotel with a fitness center, over 7,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, a street-level restaurant and rooftop bar near Yards Park and Bluejacket Brewery in the heart of Capitol Riverfront in January 2020. This is the first full-service property for the neighborhood in SE DC. Restaurateur Danny Meyer opened a seafood restaurant called Maialino Mare and Anchovy Social is the hotels’ go-to rooftop bar for year-round waterfront views.
Generator Washington DC
Europe’s hip hotel-and-hostel Generator transformed the 148-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel north of Dupont Circle in Jan. 2020. The property offers an outdoor pool on the second floor, an amenity unique to Generator's U.S. properties, as well as a fitness center, a first for the brand.
AC Hotel Washington DC Downtown
The 219-room AC Hotel Washington DC Downtown opened on 19th Street NW in Golden Triangle bringing European influence to the heart of DC. The property boasts 2,238 square feet of meeting space, including an outdoor rooftop terrace, along with the AC Kitchen and AC Lounge, serving European-influenced food and cocktails.
AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Downtown
A new build, the 190-room AC Hotel Washington DC NW, has been proposed for the corner of 6th and K streets NW near Mount Vernon Triangle and is expected in early 2021. The property mines inspiration in its design and service from Europe. North American room service, for example, has been swapped for tapas-style small plates.
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HOTELS - THAT OPENED IN 2020
A Dutch hospitality brand billing itself as "affordable luxury," opened at 5th and E streets SW with 252-rooms near The Wharf. The property features include an open workspace with iMacs, a fitness and yoga studio and a rooftop lounge.
Yours Truly DC
The Wink Hotel converted to its new name, Yours Truly DC, and unveiled an extensive renovation, which includes a new restaurant and bar, modern design components, expanded meeting space and educational programming.
Located in Thomas Circle at the base of 14th Street, Hotel Zena is a new cultural hub celebrating female empowerment through provocative art, design and educational programming this spring. Following a $25 million renovation of the former Kimpton Donovan Hotel, the 191-room property will be an ode to feminine strength, celebrated by all genders, races and sexualities.
Viceroy Washington DC
The Viceroy Washington, DC opened in Logan Circle. The property is an $8 million renovation of the Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel and boasts 178 rooms, a glass-enclosed outdoor patio restaurant and bar, an indoor-outdoor coffee bar concept, a seasonal rooftop bar and more than 5,000 square feet of meeting space.
Cambria Hotel Washington, DC Capitol Riverfront
Choice Hotels built this 154-room Cambria Hotel Washington, DC Capitol Riverfront at Buzzard Point. Nearby, the 20,000-seat Audi Field, which opened in July 2018 is home to MLS’s D.C. United.
In development near the buzzing NoMa market is the Mob Hotel, a stylish Paris-based chain anchored by design team lead Philippe Starck. The property is expected to open its first of five planned North American hotels in DC in 2022. The brand embraces neighborhood culture and programs art talks and regular concerts in its lobbies. The hotel will feature 144 rooms and promises rooftop views of the U.S. Capitol along with live music, a restaurant, bar and cinema.
Pendry Hotel, a luxury brand known for Montage hotels, is expected to open in the second phase of The Wharf development in 2022. The new upscale hotel chain is known locally for Baltimore’s luxe Sagamore Pendry hotel, owned in part by Under Armour founder Kevin Plank.
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International Spy Museum
Opened May 2019
One of the city’s most popular museums moved from Penn Quarter to L’Enfant Plaza and features 140,000 square feet, more than double the space of the original building and new interactive exhibits. A phased opening began with new indoor/outdoor event space with sweeping city views that opened in September 2018 and the full museum was revealed in May 2019.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Opening fall 2020
DC’s central library is undergoing a major $211 million modernization. Expected to open in fall 2020, the new library will include rooftop event space, a large auditorium and conference center and a ground level café with a patio.
National Air & Space Museum
Re-opening in phases 2022-2025
The National Air and Space Museum began its major renovation of the building on the National Mall in December 2018. The revitalization of the building’s exterior and infrastructure, and the transformation of all 23 exhibitions and presentation spaces, will take approximately seven years and is anticipated to be completed in 2025. Phased gallery closures began December 2018 with some reopening in 2022, including Destination Moon, a redesigned exhibition of the popular Apollo missions.The museum expects most of the eastern galleries will remain open until 2022, when the first refurbished exhibits come on view.
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All you need to know to ride Washington, DC’s Metrorail system - DC Metro map, hours and more
Dulles Metrorail Project – Silver Line
The 23-mile Silver Line Metrorail extension is the largest expansion of the area’s Metrorail system in over 20 years. Phase 1, completed in 2014, included new stations in McLean, Tysons Corner and Reston. Phase 2, expected to be finished by 2021, will connect DC to Dulles International Airport.
Reagan National Airport’s Project Journey
Construction of two new security checkpoints with 28 additional screening lanes and a new 14-gate concourse is in full swing at Reagan National Airport. The $1 billion investment will help with passenger safety, security and efficiency. The checkpoints and concourse with jet bridges and concessions are scheduled to open in 2021.