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11 Things to See & Do in Mount Vernon Square
This hip and historic Washington, DC neighborhood offers plenty of dining, entertainment and recreation options.
Mount Vernon Square lies at the heart of DC, connected to Downtown, Shaw and Penn Quarter/Chinatown, placing it at the center of the one of the most highly trafficked areas in the city. Its centerpiece, Carnegie Library, is being transformed into a flagship Apple Store AND a museum for DC history, a perfect combination that reflects the neighborhood’s past and extremely vibrant present. We’ve laid out plenty of ways to enjoy Mount Vernon Square below.
RPM Italian is owned by celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic and has also hosted stars of stage and screen, including Drake and Khloe Kardashian. The eatery is great for a date night, with Italian classics dotting the menu crafted by acclaimed chef Doug Psaltis. During the warmer seasons, you can take advantage of its outdoor patio, and we highly recommend adding a glass of wine from RPM’s extensive list.
The renovated Carnegie Library, a centerpiece of Mount Vernon Square, offers visitors two distinct experiences. Downstairs, a new flagship store from Apple features the latest in high-tech wizardry from the renowned company. On the second floor, the Historical Society of Washington D.C. has opened the DC History Center, including a library with 4,000 rare maps, prints, photos and paintings of DC, three exhibit spaces and a brand-new gift shop.
The former first lady has been spotted at two Mount Vernon Square spots that provide a nice one-two punch. Whether you're in town on vacation or a local, you can get your weekly workout in with an indoor cycling class at SoulCycle, Michelle’s favorite spot for fitness. Then, dine like a celeb at Ottoman Taverna, where the Obama matriarch once enjoyed a dynamite Turkish meal.
Found inside the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel, miXX Lounge is an ideal spot for mingling before or after a night on the town. Cocktails, Belgian beers and a diverse wine list featuring more than 30 selections are available to you as you relax at the lounge’s lustrous bar. Flavor-filled small plates are an ideal complement.
Busboys and Poets has seven locations in the DC area, including one at 450 K Street NW in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood. The restaurant doubles as a gathering place for local creatives, often featuring book and poetry readings, in-depth discussions, open mic nights and much more. Grab a bite and take in a cultural moment at what is becoming a DC institution.
This new addition to the Mount Vernon Square restaurant lineup offers modern American fare – think: delicious steelhead salmon, pork ribs, and mussel toast – in a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing setting. All three meals are available at Prather’s, and you can also savor a lengthy cocktail list. Its outdoor patio also makes for a great open dining experience on a spring or summer day.
Located inside the Conrad Washington DC, Estuary is the creation of renowned chefs Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. Using ingredients sourced from the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the brothers have crafted breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus that overflow with flavor. Seafood mixes with American classics for a unique dining experience that can only come from the Voltaggios. Try their spin on the Maryland crab roll or savor a delicious serving of aged beef rib eye.
If you’re in need of a fitness fix, check out Bhakti Yoga DC, one of the city’s most popular yoga studios. Their detailed schedule and expansive offerings make finding a class and level that works for you extremely easy. Private sessions are also available, if you’re looking to give yourself an extra treat during your DC stay.
The historic Sixth & I Synagogue is a community space for concerts, talks, comedy shows, live podcasts and pop-ups. While the landmark venue offers Jewish programming, its events are open to the public. Check out the full calendar at this multi-denominational facility that only looks to inspire and enlighten DC, residents and visitors alike.
Fuel up for the day or take a break from exploring DC at this traditional French bakery and pastry shop. Stop in for a hot cup of coffee or tea and indulge in a range of artisan products, including breads, sandwiches, soups, salads and pastries. All breads are baked on-site. There’s also a sit-down cafe where you can enjoy Maison Kayser’s seasonal menu and take in the Parisian atmosphere.
Making Mount Vernon Square your home base during a visit to DC will be both convenient and comfortable. The neighborhood provides easy access to some of the city’s most outstanding attractions. Book a room at Homewood Suites Washington DC Convention Center, Hampton Inn DC Convention Center or the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC.