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G9 Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Washington, DC

April 20, 2012

The DC subway stations look like futuristic space portals.

Plotted on a 100-square-mile diamond in the middle of a water-rich locale lies Washington, DC (contrary to popular myth, the site wasn’t formerly a swamp).  The United States capital is home to numerous historical monuments that harken back to an idealistic era of America, instilling a sense of national pride in even the most jaded Williamsburg hipster.  In addition to the inspiring landmarks and world-class museums, DC also features a wide array of fantastic dining options.  Stay tuned for our next post, when we profile the beer-gasmic dining experience at Birch and Barley.

While there are many easy ways to navigate the city (Metro, bus, taxi, Segway tour), walking is the best option.  Ambling along the spacious streets and ample walking paths at a leisurely pace affords tourists the opportunity to appreciate the countless examples of fine architecture and scenic vistas Washington offers. If you’d prefer to let someone else design your itinerary, this free, tip-based tour company comes highly recommended.

In springtime, cherry and magnolia blossoms accentuate the DC landscape in soft hues of pink and white, luring photographers from around the globe to soak in the juxtaposition of man-made and natural beauty.  This year, the three thousand Yoshino cherry trees that line the Tidal Basin are commemorating their centennial.  They were presented to Washington by the mayor of Tokyo in 1912 as a celebration of friendship between the United States and Japan.

Cherry Blossoms in early spring.

Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Magnolias in early blossom.

Of course, all this walking makes for some hungry adventurers.  In his visit to Washington for No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain lunches at the Maine Avenue Fish Market.  We endorse his recommendation: take a short jaunt off the beaten path and snack on any number of Chesapeake Bay specialties, including steamed blue crabs, spicy prawns and plump raw oysters.  Be sure to bring along the wet-naps, as it makes for some messy eating.

Maryland Blue Crab

Anthony Bourdain, eat your heart out.

For all its historicity and America, F-Yeah, DC also contributes valuable commentary on global events.  A visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum is a powerful experience no one should forego.  Besides reflection on the atrocities committed against Jews and psychology behind Nazism’s propaganda machine, it also offers exhibits on current events like the genocides in Sudan, Rwanda, Bosnia and other areas.

Peaceful Protestor

A long day of sightseeing can wear on the mind and body.  What better way to close the daylight hours than with a finely crafted seasonal cocktail from the P.O.V. Roof Terrace at the W Hotel.  Happy hour revelers are treated to low-slung comfortable seating and panoramic 180-degree views of the Washington skyline.  Be sure to hang around for sunset, when the muted white and gray marble buildings provide a stark foreground to the vibrant pink and orange clouds above.

Blood Orange Old Fashioned

Sunset over the White House from the W Hotel.

After a nice cocktail at the POV Roof  Terrace stroll down 14th St. to some amazing restaurants.

Jesus hanging out with a Dalmatian.

Check back with us tomorrow for an in-depth look at Birch and Barley.

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