New to the District? This fast-paced, diverse town located in the shadow of the White House is far more than politics. Between meetings and mergers, take a moment to explore all that the city has to offer. Let us be your compass, with our guide to being on business in Washington DC.
Where to stay: Check out the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown for a sophisticated retreat. Located on a quaint block, the impeccably decorated hotel is staffed with the finest in hospitality, and has a brunch worth writing home about.
Situated downtown, the newly-constructed Marriott Marquis features 1,175 rooms and 49 suites, and is minutes from the Mall, metro and museums. Grab a cocktail at the hotel bar –The Dignitary – before heading out for dinner.
The Hay-Adams is a DC landmark with a reputation for excellence and a rich historical heritage. The boutique hotel has 145 rooms, and offers views of the White House, Lafayette Park, and St. John’s Church, which has been dubbed the Church of Presidents.
Where to eat: For an above-par brunch, book a table at Mintwood Place. The charming space and French-influenced menu keep patrons of all ages satisfied. At Le Diplomate you will want to lick the plate clean. The 14th street café is bustling from brunch until dinner.
For a power lunch, amble over to Georgia Brown’s. The upmarket, down-home cooking is legitimately finger-lickin’ good. Another option is Old Ebbit Grill, a city institution featuring American fare, a renowned oyster bar””and sightings of journalists and politicians.
Consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in the city, Rasika is almost unmatched when it comes to flavour, quality and service. Multiple visits from the First Lady also don’t hurt. Head here for dinner when on business in Washington DC.
Where to go for evening cocktails: Tucked away underground, 2 Birds 1 Stone supplies patrons with exquisitely crafted cocktails from an ever-evolving menu. Sample drink: the December Yacht Club, made with house-spiced rum, quince-honey syrup, lemon and scotch whisky.
With arguably the best views of the city from its rooftop terrace, POV has a chic look and seasonal cocktails that keep it popular among DC’s movers and shakers. The trendy bar is the place to be seen, so dress to impress.
Barmini by Jose Andres is a cocktail lab designed to inspire, excite and stimulate the senses through thoughtful, provocative creations. Make a reservation and prepare to ingest innovation.
For those who favour ales, ChurchKey marks the spot – the beloved establishment has more than 500 beers to choose from. The knowledgeable staff and tasty pairings make this watering hole a guaranteed win post-presentation.
Top sights: Stroll by the White House on the way to the National Mall. The iconic residence is especially impressive late at night or in the early morning with a sunrise backdrop.
Flanked on one side by the Lincoln Memorial – a grand sculpture of the 16th president – and the Washington Monument on the other, the National Mall is a majestic landscape that must be experienced in person. Located nearby, the Tidal Basin – abloom with cherry blossoms in spring – is a photographer’s playground.
Great gifts: Eastern Market is a haven for those looking to shop local. Spend the afternoon perusing the handmade soaps, one-of-a-kind jewellery and vintage wares. An excellent place to find a singular souvenir for your partner, kids or co-workers while on business in Washington DC, the popular destination is easily accessible by metro.
Aprs Peau has stylish gifts that will stand out. From inauguration memorabilia to authentic trolley token cufflinks, the shop will fill your basket without emptying your wallet.
Pop into Full of Beans for whimsical, durable clothes, books and toys that will delight your children. The items in the store are a bit pricey, but worth the cost.
Going local: Ben’s Chili Bowl has been frequented by locals for generations, and is a favourite haunt of the District’s decision-makers. Order the half-smokes and take in the vibrant atmosphere.
Showcasing an impressive selection of the region’s best food, Union Market is a sleek warehouse ideal for the discerning gourmand. Visit the Rappahannock Oyster Bar for fresh seafood, Takorean for inventive, Korean-style tacos and Co Co. Sala for gourmet chocolates.
Craving sweets? Make a pit stop at the flagship home of Georgetown Cupcakes. The delicious treats are insanely popular, as evidenced by the constant line around the block. If pie is more your speed, make a visit to Pie Sisters, also in Georgetown. The friendly shop offers a variety of mini pies. Try the Jumble Berry.
Martin’s Tavern, which has served every president from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush, is a history fanatic’s dream. Fun fact: John F. Kennedy proposed to Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in Booth 3 in 1953. Go for the history, stay for the brunch – served until 4pm daily.
Where to break curfew: Get lost in the music at the 9:30 Club, home to concerts from celebrated local and international artists. Always a good time, 9:30 is exactly where you need to be to get into the right kind of trouble.
DC IMPROV is guaranteed to tickle your funny bone. The club features both local talent and national headliners. Ellen DeGeneres, Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld and others have amused audiences here over several decades.
Want to listen to envelope-pushing music while noshing on quality sushi? The Hamilton has your back. Food, drinks and music meet here to keep guests enthralled and bellies full – perfect for the foodie with a passion for music.
For an evening of enchantment, cab it to the Kennedy Center. The stunning, marble building is home to world-class performances – from classical music to dance to theatre.
Virgin Atlantic operates direct flights to Washington DC from London Heathrow, making your business trip even easier. Book a flight today, and experience all the District has to offer.
Have you been on business in Washington DC? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Nina Fomufod