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7 Ways to Experience the Obamas’ Washington, DC
Over the past eight years, the former POTUS and FLOTUS have been spotted at these restaurants and attractions throughout DC.
In addition to being the former First Family of the United States, the Obamas are also big fans (not to mention current residents) of Washington, DC, regularly getting out into the neighborhoods and on the National Mall. Local blogs and newspapers often report on unexpected date nights at a hot restaurant, a surprise visit to a boutique workout or a sighting at a sporting event. We’ve gathered up some of the highlights over the years so you can make like the Obamas in the District.
The Obamas called the White House home from the beginning of 2009 until January 2017. Request a tour of the presidential estate from your member of Congress at least 21 days in advance of your visit (no tours on Sundays and Mondays).
If you want to do like Barack Obama, book a room at The Hay-Adams, a luxury hotel where he stayed the day before being inaugurated as the 44th U.S. President.
The high-energy spin class, SoulCycle, has taken the city by storm and has become a fast favorite of the uber-healthy Michelle Obama. You, too, can ride while rocking out to high-energy tunes at any of its four DC locations. If you want to take your bike out on the town, take a tour with Bike and Roll (which also offers extended rentals). Not much of a biker? Nothing beats an early morning run on the National Mall. Check out more ways to work out in Washington, DC.
As president-elect, Barack Obama ordered the famed chili-smothered half-smoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street. It’s a must-eat for any newcomer to DC. You should also bring your appetite to Art & Soul for Southern-style fare – of which Michelle is a big fan. Explore the wonderful world of cuisine through celeb chef José Andrés’ eyes with a date at Oyamel, a shareable small plates restaurant where the Obamas once dined together.
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama rang in the opening of the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture when it officially opened its doors on Sept. 24, 2016. Inside the free-to-enter museum, you’ll find 400,000 square feet of space dedicated to the history and achievements of African Americans. The entire African American experience has been chronicled through artifacts and exhibits that cover slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, sports, music, entertainment and politics.
White House staffers and other power players may call it a day at any number of bars and restaurants near the White House. Off the Record, in the lower level of The Hay-Adams, is a popular spot among politicos, as is Old Ebbitt Grill, DC’s oldest bar (which also offers two oyster happy hours daily). You can also sip craft beer and dine on select seafood at the bar of Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab, where President Obama has dined in the past.
President Obama dedicated the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in 2011. It remains one of the most impressive landmarks on the National Mall. Plan your visit to see the memorial and take a free park ranger-led tour around the memorial and National Mall. You may also want to see where Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The Obamas may no longer live in the White House, but that doesn’t mean President Obama and his family are leaving Washington, DC. The Obamas are the first first family since President Woodrow Wilson to stick around the nation's capital. Like Wilson, they’re moving to the Kalorama neighborhood, which you can explore just north of Dupont Circle. And for more first family vibes, check out these presidential dining experiences in Washington, DC.