D.C. is easily my favorite city in the US. My sister lives here, so I tend to visit often, but I love that I discover new things each time I visit. This city has so much to offer: from monuments and speakeasies, to the canals of Georgetown. A weekend in the nation’s capital is well worth your time.
The Basics of D.C.
About D.C.: This city is shaped into a wonky rectangular shape, bordered by Maryland on all sides, except where the city meets the Potomac River, with Virginia on the other side. It’s, of course, home to our President, and includes the White House, Capitol Building, and tons of monuments, museums, etc. This place is covered in history. What I think is cool about the city? No building can be taller than the Capitol Building, so it kind of has a European vibe.
When should I go? With its temperate climate, you could visit D.C. any time of year. The less crowded months are between March-May and September-November. However, the most crowded times are around July 4th and the Cherry Blossom Festival between the end of March to early April. The hottest month is July with an average high of 88°F (31°C) and average low of 71°F (22°C). The coldest month is January with an average high of 42°F (5°C) and a low of 26°F (-3°C).
What am I paying with? The US Dollar, about $1=£0.80 GPB
What are they speaking? English is the predominant language.
Where should I stay?
- I typically stay with my sister since she lives there, but a good hostel to stay at would be: Highroad Hostel with a 9.6 rating on Hostelworld and about $45 a night, or Duo Housing D.C., with an 8.7 rating on Hostelworld and about $35 a night. D.C. is an expensive city, so hostels typically aren’t as cheap as some European cities.
- For moderately priced hotels, I recommend Hilton Arlington. It’s not in the District itself, but it’s just across the Potomac River in Arlington, VA, with a metro stop close by. It’s about $111 a night.
- This is also a good city to look into Airbnb since that is probably cheaper than most hotels.
So the most important item: Food! What am I going to eat?
Ohhhh baby, D.C. has an amazing food scene! D.C. is such a diverse city, so the world is your oyster when it comes to food. My favorites? Let me tell you:
- Daikaya (Ramen)- I know ramen is huge right now, and everyone is eating it, but this place is the best. I’ve had ramen in so many places (it may be my favorite thing right now too), but nothing compares to this. The broth, the noodles, the pot-stickers, and even the Japanese beer put Daikaya at the top of my list when it comes to dining in D.C. It’s not far from all the museums and White House, so I typically walk, or take a short metro ride here. It’s more of a lunch spot, and it opens at 11. My advice: Go as soon as it opens! This place is popular for a reason, but it’s a small place and there will be lines. If you go when it opens, you likely won’t be stuck waiting. Seriously, this place is amazing. I go every time I’m in town and take my friends, boyfriend, and anyone else here.
- Sakuramen Ramen Bar (Ramen)- Speaking of ramen, another great place to grab a bowl of this delicious stuff is Sakuramen. This place is also pretty small, so be sure to come early enough to grab a seat. It’s in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, so if you’re not near the National Mall area, this is another great place to go for ramen.
- Cava Mezze (Greek Tapas Style)- Another amazing place. My sister took me here and told me all about the cheese on fire (also known as saganaki)! Seriously, they fry up some cheese, put brandy on it, and light it on fire. It’s delicious. They also have a selection of dips like hummus and tzatziki, and various other delicious small plates of meats and veggies.
The broth, the noodles, the pot-stickers, and even the Japanese beer put Daikaya at the top of my list when it comes to dining in D.C.
- Hen Quarter (Fried Chicken/Southern)- If you love fried chicken, this is an amazing spot. It’s in Old Town Alexandria. I got the chicken and waffles (their specialty), and it was amazing. The waffle was perfect; the chicken was everything you’d want in fried chicken and more! Also, the customer service is amazing. We had to wait a little bit for our food, and the manager came over and said dessert was free. This is a place you may want to consider grabbing dessert: their pecan pie is delectable!
- One word: BRUNCH! Go for bottomless mimosas anywhere, and you’ll be sure to have a good time. I love Agora, a Turkish restaurant that serves bottomless brunch (not just mimosas) for $35. So tasty! You have to try the feta and htipiti. Another great spot? Dirty Martini, it has an all you can eat brunch and drag show. It is an incredibly entertaining way to spend your brunch plans. Book early, as this books up fast!
- You can get fresh crab and crab cakes anywhere. D.C. is right next to Maryland, which means, tons of delicious crabs! Head to Neopols Savory Smokery for some inexpensive seafood.
- And for dessert: cupcakes! The famous Georgetown Cupcakes is located in D.C., and while super crowded, it’s amazing! I got the earl grey tea cupcake and loved every bite! Right now, they’re also serving up unicorn cupcakes, which are also amazing.