Things to Do

Washington DC Shopping Guide

From upscale fashion boutiques to indie storefronts, Washington, D.C.’s neighborhoods are filled to the brim with endless shopping opportunities. Here’s your definitive guide to the capital’s best shopping districts.

Georgetown
DC ShoppingOne place where you can find just about anything is Georgetown. Long established as a shopping hub, you can find trendy brands like Tory Burch and rag & bone in the area.

Consignment stores, like Ella Rue and Second Time Around, are also prevalent in Georgetown is you prefer casual shopping. National retailers, of course, can’t be absent in the district’s shopping scene.

Last but not the least, Georgetown has its fair collection of eccentric boutiques where you can check out (and purchase) antiques and other specialty finds. Most of these establishments are found in Book Hill, just along Wisconsin Avenue.

Downtown DC
Tourists and locals flock to Downtown for a bevy of shopping options. The latest among these is CityCenterDC, a sprawling 10-acre shopping center complete with restaurants and cafes. High-end retailers like Hermes, Dior, Kate Space, Burberry, and Paul Stuart have set up shop, making it a destination for fashionistas.

Chinatown is also a great place to score unique finds. This historic neighborhood has welcomed waves of development recently, and new, trendy stores like Loft and Urban Outfitters have popped up.

Meanwhile, F Street is home to national retailers like Banana Republic, Anne Taylor, H&M, Zara, J.Crew, and Anthropologie. F Street is also where you can find Macy’s, one of the largest department store chains in the country.

U Street/14th Street
For antique houseware, modern home décor, edgy clothing, and even some alcohol, head to U Street. Some say this is where the hipsters go, but we just think it’s a very cool place to be.

Furniture stores like GoodWood, Rom & Board, Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot may be where you’ll find your holy grails of home décor. Shops like Junction and Lettie Good offer trendy clothing. For a fine bottle of wine, Cork & Fork is the place to be. Meanwhile, Batch 13 is where you will get some of the best American whiskey in the capital.

Check our blog once in a while for the latest in shopping in Washington, D.C.

7 Best Bars in DC

Best BarsWashington D.C. has places where you can shop, be entertained, and eat to your heart’s content. For this version of “The Bests,” we bring you to the capital’s drinking joints. From old school watering holes to stylish cocktail lounges, we bring you the 7 best bars in D.C.

A&D
1314 9th St NW

Hailed as one of the best neighborhood bars in D.C., A&D offers a variety of well-crafted cocktails and elevated pub grub – all of which you can enjoy thanks to the bar’s friendly staff and the laidback atmosphere. One of the best things about A&D, however, is that most of their cocktails are crafted using the best local spirits available, such as Catoctin Creek rye and Green Hat Gin.

Brookland’s Finest Bar and Kitchen
3126 12th St NE

Most bars aren’t considered family-friendly, but Brookland’s Finest is an exception. Serving classic American comfort food and stiff cocktails, this bar and kitchen in the Northeast part of the capital hits all the right spots, regardless of your age group. Think of it this way – you can get hammered heer, and get food after to beat the hangover. Convenient!

All Souls Bar
725 T St NW

Located in Shaw, All Souls Bar is the watering hole you need to visit if you’re after a no-nonsense style of drinking. The place is moderately decorated, the cocktail prices low, and the Negroni the best in the city. It’s unapologetically straightforward, without gimmicks, just great drinks. No wonder this place is frequently packed.

Brixton
901 U St NW

Reminiscent of a British restaurant and pub, Brixton serves delicious menu offerings that transcend continental divides and different cultures. Come up the second floor and be transported into a very British-style bar, complete with dark wood paneling and leather stools. Aside from the atmosphere, college kids love its draft beer.

The Argonaut
1433 H St NE

Aside from its name, The Argonaut is easily remembered thanks to its New American coastal dishes and ship-inspired décor. People flock to the bar for its themed nights and its selection of 12 draft beers ready on tap. Its location is rather unfriendly if you regularly take the Metro, but it’s also one of the reasons why it’s less packed than other bars in the area.

Boundary Stone
116 Rhode Island Ave NW

Hidden in Shaw, this Irish-style neighborhood pub comes complete with vintage furnishings and satisfying late-night bar grub. The real star, however, is Boundary Stone’s impressive whiskey selection. Because of this, the bar has amassed a loyal fan base. For this, we can ensure its continued existence despite the number of bars that have popped up along the strip. Nothing beats a classic.

Bluejacket
300 Tingey St SE

We’ve saved the best for last. The home of some of the best craft beer in the city, Bluejacket is housed in an old factory. Take your pick among its selection of drafts and cask ales. Partner it with something from Bluejacket’s upscale comfort food. The stainless steel, the rustic warm wood, and the brewery equipment present throughout the establishment elevates the Bluejacket experience to another level.

For the best new food in the metro area, check out this link.

Spotlight on DC’s historic parks: Potomac Park, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Rock Creek Park

Washington, D.C. is blessed with beautiful public spaces. Today, take a walk and explore three of the best parks in the capital.

Potomac Parks

Divided by the iconic Potomac River, the Potomac Parks are divided into two parts: East and West. Together, the parks encompass approximately 395 acres.

East Potomac Park
Located southwest of the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Channel, East Potomac Park is frequented by a bevy of locals. East Potomac Park’s well-maintained paths are a favorite among cyclists, runners, and inline skaters.

East Potomac Park is home to a number of popular D.C. attractions. Within the expansive park, you’ll find the following:

  • East Potomac Park Golf Course
  • East Potomac Pool
  • Athletic fields and sports courts (for American football, baseball, softball, rugby, and soccer).

West Potomac Park
West Potomac Park is a designated national park located near the Washington Monument and the National Mall. The park, which encompasses approximately 395 acres, is the site of many national memorials and recreation fields.

Here are some of the key sites you’ll find within the West Potomac Park:

  • Vietnam War Veterans Memorial
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Jefferson Memorial
  • World War II Memorial
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
  • FDR Memorial
  • Constitution Gardens
  • The Tidal Basin

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Also known as the C&O Canal or the Grand Old Ditch, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is a national park that starts at Georgetown and ends in Cumberland, Maryland.

The C&O Canal is a popular spot for outdoor recreation and history. Seasonal public boat rides are offered to take visitors down the canal, which once transported coal from the Allegheny Mountains downstream. Other activities at C&O Canal include hiking, biking, and camping. For more information, click here.

Rock Creek Park

Encompassing over 2000 acres, Rock Creek Park is a protected landscape/seascape and a registered historic district. Aside from flourishing nature, you will find a well-preserved collection of buildings — perfect examples of NPS Rustic, Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Revival, and Early Republic architecture.

Aside from outdoor recreation and history, visitors flock to Rock Creek Park to observe and learn more about the night sky. You can find the high-tech Rock Creek Park Planetarium within the grounds.

Spotlight on the Union Market Historic District

Nowadays, the Union Market Historic District is known throughout the D.C. area as an up-and-coming neighborhood where you can find a collection of mixed residential and retail spaces. In the months to come, more development projects will flow into the neighborhood, making Union Market’s gentrification process complete.

Let’s travel back in time and unravel the origins of the Union Market Historic District, and what makes it truly one of the D.C. area’s local gems.

It all started approximately 145 years ago

Before the Union Market Historic District, there was Centre Market, known as the largest market in Washington D.C. Opened to the public in 1871, Centre Market served as a crossroads due to its location — right between the Capitol Building and the White House, just a stone’s throw away from a railroad station and several streetcar lines. By the turn of the century, Centre Market was the commercial heart of Washington D.C.

Centre Market was torn down in 1931 to give way for the National Archives, but its memory lived on. Many of the businesses once part of the market set up shop in another venue they named Union Terminal Market.

It was the best place to buy meat, fish, dairy, and produce back then. A policy banning the outdoor sale of meats and eggs, however, turned the market upside down. In its place, a new indoor market was built, the building we now know today as the Union Market.

From the 80s up to the present, Union Market has continued to flourish. According to developer EDENS, it’s a place where local businesses thrive, a melting pot full of character and opportunities. Its history, culture, and relevance to Washington D.C.’s history makes it a district to watch out for.

What you can find in Union Market Historic District

  • The market itself, open Tuesdays to Sundays.
  • No Kings Collective + Lab 1270 – A commune for artists; regularly hosts flash art exhibitions and the like to provide an artistic space for local artists and city organizations.
  • Restaurants like Dolcezza, Cotton & Reed, Masseria, and Tap + Garden.
  • Maurice Electrical Work Space – Planned for both residential, retail, and office uses.
  • Angelika Pop-Up – A multi-screen cinema where you can enjoy specialty film programming and events.
  • Dock 5 – A warehouse with over 12,000 square feet of event space located right above Union Market.

For more details about Union Market Historic District, check out its official website: http://unionmarketdc.com.

Top 10 Free Things to Do in D.C.

From tours and music festivals to cherry blossoms and monuments, D.C. has an array of captivating sights and sounds for anyone who steps foot in the nation’s capital.

  1. Visit the National Zoo
    3001 Connecticut Ave NW
    The zoo’s most popular residents include the giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang, along with their cubs Bao Bao and Bei Bei.
  2. Take the DC by Foot tour
    1740 18th St Northwest #304
    DC by Foot has no upfront costs. Their signature tour is the National Mall Tour, which covers most of the major monuments and memorials in D.C.
  3. Go to Luce Unplugged
    8th and F St NW
    Hosted by the Luce Foundation Center for American Art, Luce Unplugged is a monthly concert series that features local talent.
  4. Drop by the National Building Museum
    401 F St NW
    Come to the National Building Museum to admire and explore its architectural design. Tours of the Great Hall and the building are free.
  5. Visit the Renwick Gallery
    Pennsylvania Ave at 17th St NW
    Get your fill of art and culture by visiting the newly renovated Renwick Gallery. Housed in a historic building, it features decorative arts and crafts from the 19th century onwards.
  6. Go for a walk at the Tidal Basin
    1501 Maine Ave SW
    This artificial inlet is lined with cherry blossom trees that the mayor of Tokyo gifted to D.C. in 1912. The trees bloom in March and April, making the Tidal Basin a sight to behold. There are also three memorials to see in the area.
  7. Visit the Washington Monument
    2 15th St NW
    Built in honor of George Washington, the monument can either be admired from the ground or from the observation deck, which is 500 feet up via an elevator.
  8. Take a tour of the White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Take a tour of the public rooms of the White House or come to the Visitor Center for interactive exhibits and a 14-minute film. A gift shop sells souvenirs, book, and other trinkets.
  9. Watch a performance at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage
    2700 F St NW
    Live performances that range from opera, children’s choirs, poetry readings, and classical quartets to comedy shows are staged on a daily basis. No reservations required.
  10. Browse through some books at Politics & Prose
    1025 5th St NW
    Attend an author’s reading and book signing in this venue, where locals and writers congregate. Enjoy discussions on politics, literature, and everything else in between.

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