Luxury hotels in Washington, the White House, Capitol Hill and the National Mall are all great things to see and experience when traveling here, but let’s face it – the best things to see, do and experience in Washington D.C. are not always in the guidebooks tourists so eagerly clamor to find. True, Washington D.C. doesn’t’ exactly have a shortage of sights to see and things to do, but hidden gems and local favorites are what most often make for a first class vacation.
Indulge your inner royalty with afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City or choose to dine in one of the fine Dupont Circle hotels. Every weekend, the Fyve Restaurant at the Ritz offers afternoon tea complete with scones, pastries and even champagne in a plush, luxurious setting that will leave you feeling like the Queen.
Delight your inner aphrodisiac the third weekend of October at the annual St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival. The motto of the festival is “Any Way You Like Em” which is not a phrase that was given freely to the festival. Fried, raw, grilled, stewed and on the half shell you will find oysters that will have your sighing with happiness.
Even when you know exactly where you are going it is easy to get lost, which is exactly what makes Marrakesh the best dinner experience in the city. Located near the Convention Center, the restaurant has no sign, so you need to know exactly where you’re going or you will miss out on dinner where you relax on silk pillows while watching the belly dancers move and groove throughout the room while you wine and dine. You might even find yourself being pulled up to show off your belly dancing moves.
Unwind with a cocktail at the Off the Record bar at the Hay-Adams Hotel. This local favorite is a hotspot for Washington’s most powerful. The longtime bartender is rumored to make the best classic beverages in the city. The locals call his Manhattan better than the city itself. Order your favorite cocktail and indulge yourself with a little people watching and a good time at Off the Record.
Of course you want to see the sights and take in the history that Washington D.C. has to offer while you’re in town, but once the sights are seen and you’ve become a self-made history buff it is time to fold up your tourist map and start living the life of a true Washingtonian.