New This Month

An Insider’s Travel Guide to Washington, D.C.

Now is an exciting time to visit the nation’s capital, here's why.

The Darcy hotel in D.C.
Photography by: Courtesy of The Darcy

Where to Stay

The Darcy

A former DoubleTree has been completely transformed into a super-stylish, 226-room hotel, part of Hilton’s Curio collection. Among the amenities: in-room cocktail carts (on request) stocked with local gin and spirits, a kids' program that includes on-loan themed backpacks filled with books and other goodies, and seafood restaurant Siren by RW (don’t miss the tuna sashimi with avocado mousse or the Chesapeake Bay crab cake). It’s an easy walk to Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, and all the shops and restaurants on nearby 14th Street. thedarcyhotel.com

 

Kimpton Mason & Rook

Check in to this year-old hotel (just down the street from The Darcy) for extra-spacious rooms and a rooftop lounge and pool -- and, at the on-site Radiator restaurant, grab a seat on the patio for chess, Jenga, and oversized Connect Four, which you can enjoy with a Dama de Rojo cocktail (pisco, Aperol, lime, strawberry, Thai chile, and mint) in hand. Like all Kimptons, it offers complimentary (and custom-made) bikes and wine hour from 5 to 6 p.m. masonandrookhotel.com

 

Line DC

Set to open in June, this 220-room hotel in Adams Morgan will have restaurants from top area chefs Spike Gjerde and Erik Bruner-Yang, live music every night, and a radio station broadcasting right from the lobby. linehotel.com/dc

National Museum of African American History & Culture
Photography by: Courtesy of National Museum of African American History & Culture

What to Do

National Museum of African American History & Culture

Last fall, the National Mall welcomed a new Smithsonian, 13 years in the making. Inside the building created by designer David Adjaye and architect Philip Freelon, you’ll find exhibits on the history of slavery and civil rights, art, and stories about the trailblazers and visionaries who have shaped our country. Same-day timed tickets are released at 6:30 a.m. EST; the next set of online reservations (for September) will be available June 7 at 9 a.m. EST -- both go fast. nmaahc.si.edu

 

National Arboretum

For a peaceful afternoon, take a stroll around the 446-acre arboretum. Its main purpose is conducting botanical research, but the public is welcome (for free!) to visit. The many gardens include Japanese woodlands, bonsai, historic roses, and single-genus areas blooming with everything from azaleas to daffodils. usna.usda.gov

 

Little Leaf

14th Street is chock-a-block with restaurants, bars, and shops -- including the new sister boutique to Union Market’s Salt & Sundry, where you can stock up on ceramics, succulents, and cards. littleleafshop.com

Dish at Filipino restaurant Bad Saint in D.C.
Photography by: Farrah Skeiky/Dim Sum Media
Bad Saint's riff on the traditional Filipino dish chicken adobo.

Where to Eat

Bad Saint

The long wait at this 24-seat restaurant across the street from the Verizon Center is worth it for a chance to feast on Filipino classics like sinigang (branzino, vegetable, and tamarind stew). Pro tip: do as many diners do and hire someone on TaskRabbit to get in line for you (at as early as 3:15 p.m.). badsaintdc.com

 

Centrolina

If it’s Italian you’re craving, don't miss this hot spot. 2017 James Beard Foundation Award nominated chef Amy Brandwein presides over an open kitchen, where she turns out daily handmade pastas and wood-fired meat and fish like whole roasted branzino. The restaurant is attached to a market selling all kinds of Italian goods and local produce. centrolinadc.com

 

Buttercream Bake Shop

S’mores whoopie pies, strawberry rhubarb crumb bars, coconut cream donuts (complete with a dusting of glitter) -- you’ll have a hard time picking just one at this bakery. In the small yet airy spot, owner Tiffany MacIsaac works her magic on all these treats and more; she’s also a go-to for whimsical special-occasion and wedding cakes. buttercreamdc.com

 

The Wharf

Come October 12, dining options will abound at the $2 billion, 24-acre riverfront development that’ll be home to 20 restaurants (as well as three hotels and two music venues). At the top of our list: Spanish seafood spot Del Mar, from Fabio and Maria Trabocchi of Fiola Mare fame, and a D.C. outpost of Virginia’s Requin, a joint effort between Jennifer Carroll and Mike Isabella known for its French Mediterranean menu. wharfdc.com