Get to Know DC
Here for the conference? Don’t miss the chance to explore the nation’s capital during your visit!
Ways to See DC
–Old Town Trolley
A fun alternative to a bus tour, the hop-on-hop-off trolleys visit 21 stops at major sights in DC.
With a bike rack right by campus and the option for day and 3-day memberships, Capital Bikeshare is a great way to get around DC.
People may laugh, but a Segway is an increasingly popular way to take in the many different sights that DC has to offer.
Neighborhoods to Explore
The Georgetown neighborhood has many things to offer, including shopping and highlife along M street, the university, the historic residential neighborhoods, and the waterfront.
Revitalization has brought trendy boutiques and hip eateries to the area around 14th street and U St., a hotbed of African-American Culture in the early 20th century and which continues to be a DC cultural center today.
This hub of fashionable restaurants and shops is also home to the most visible gay community in the District. The Kalorama neighborhood is an enclave of embassies, luxurious homes, and small museums.
One of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods, AdMo has offbeat restaurants, shops and a happening nightlife. The area also features great 19th century apartment buildings and row houses.
–The National Mall
Home of most of DC’s monuments and memorials. See the Washington Monument (unfortunately closed for repairs at the moment) and the Lincoln, Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials. The lit-up monuments are beautiful to view at night – perfect for a post-conference walk! Just be aware that the entire Mall is about 2 miles long. The National Mall is also home to the Smithsonian Institutions’ numerous museums and art galleries.
The best-known address in the United States may be 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Every President but George Washington has lived here.
–Library of Congress
Contemplate George Washington’s drafts of the US Constitution and other historic documents, a the lavishly sculpted Great Hall, and the splendor of the gilded Main Reading room. (free)
In the 1980s, while the west towers were under construction, Washington National Cathedral held a decorative sculpture competition for children. A Darth Vader gargoyle was sculpted and placed high upon the northwest tower of the Cathedral. (free tours on Sundays)
See parts of the Berlin Wall, and play the role of a journalist. Most Sunday mornings you can observe a live taping of ABC’s “This Week,” and the roof deck offers a great view of Pennsylvania Ave. in good weather. The Newseum also features a food court with a menu designed by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, or if you’re feeling a bit fancier, step next door to his restaurant, The Source.
An extension of the Smithsonian American Art museum located almost next door to the White House, the Renwick Gallery exhibits American crafts and decorative arts and modern art. The Gallery re-opened after an extensive renovation. (free)
–National Air and Space Museum
The county’s second most-visited museum (after the National Museum of Natural History), the Air and Space Museum attracts millions of people annually to its vast and diverse collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft. (free)
–National Geographic Museum
An interactive museum with collections of cultural, historical, and scientific elements—as well as traveling exhibitions.
–National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)
Located in the same building, together they have something for everyone, from presidential portraits to art made with aluminum foil, bottle caps and even television sets. (free)
–National Gallery of Art
The Gallery’s collection spans the history of art from medieval times to the present, including the only major Leonardo da Vinci work on display in the Americas. Current special exhibitions include “Photography Reinvented” and “Stuart Davis: In Full Swing” if you’re looking for something more contemporary. (free)
Admire masterpieces such as Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party” and Degas’ “Dancers at Barre” in the country’s first museum of modern art.
–International Spy Museum
Indulge your inner James Bond with a look at Aston Martin from “Goldfinger” along with more serious toys used by the CIA, FBI, and KGB.
Other Things to Do
–Ice Skating at the Sculpture Garden
Ice skate and drink hot chocolate in the middle of the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden, right across the street from the National Archives.
–Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center
Nightly, free performances at 6 p.m that are open to the public at the Kennedy Center; the shows can range from dance to opera and classical music to comedy. (free)
One of DC’s most beloved weekend destinations, Eastern Market is the place to pick up fresh fish produce, baked goods, and locally made crafts.
Pandas may be the zoo’s most famous attractions, but they are not the only exotic residents of this popular site for a walk. (free)
If you enjoy formal gardens, visit the 10-acre grounds of Dumbarton Oaks, one of the loveliest sports for a stroll.
–Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian serves creative dishes inspired by native cultures – putting an interesting twist in the standard museum cafeteria fare.
Casual Restaurants around Georgetown
–Booeymonger’s – An old school fast-casual sandwich shop in Georgetown. $
–Wisemiller’s Deli – Known as “Wisey’s” by Georgetown students, this popular take-out sandwich shop is the ultimate college convenience store – the Chicken Madness sandwich garners quite a few votes for student body president every year. $
–Good Stuff Eatery – A typical burger, fries and shake restaurant with a laid back feel. $
–The Tombs – A more casual eatery located under 1789 restaurant, The Tombs is a Georgetown University institution – students come for the burgers and the pitchers of Coors Light on weekend nights. $$
–Curry and Pie – Right on the corner of 34th and M, Curry and Pie is a fun Indian restaurant-meets-pizza-joint crossover. Try the chicken tikka pizza! $$
–Baked and Wired – While Georgetown Cupcake has the TV show, many Georgetown residents consider Baked and Wired to be the best cupcakes in DC. $
–Georgetown Cupcakes – Made famous by the TLC reality show, you’ll have to go early to avoid the line at this famous bakery on M St. $
–Leopold’s Kafe & Konditorei – Located in Cady’s Alley, this modern Austrian restaurant has an especially delicious selection of pastries. $$
–Farmers Fishers Bakers – The sister restaurant to the very popular Founding Farmers, this farm-to-table restaurant offers a great Sunday brunch and a superb location on the waterfront. $$
–Bistro Français – A French bistro on M St. offering late night dining on Friday and Saturday. $$
–Café Milano – This upscale Italian restaurant off Wisconsin Ave. is popular with diplomats. $$$
–1789 Restaurant – An upscale restaurant right by campus that sources its ingredients locally, this is considered one of the nicest restaurants in Washington, DC. $$$
–Sequoia at the Georgetown Waterfront – An upscale restaurant with a terrace that opens up into the Georgetown Waterfront, this is another popular brunch spot. $$$