I’m back with another post, and this one talks all about my recent galavanting. Labor day weekend saw us head south to Washington, DC in attempt to tick off another one from the bucket list and it’s safe to say it did not disappoint. New York empties every weekend throughout the summer and Labor day weekend is definitely no different. With summer coming to an end, it’s the perfect opportunity (read: excuse) to head off and escape the city one last weekend before the schools reopen and we head in to autumn yet again. The slower pace and super chilled vibe was such a nice change, away from the hustle and bustle of New York. However, there was no escaping that sweltering summer sun we’re all too familiar with in NYC. Temperatures were 34+ for much of the weekend, so bear that in mind and be sure to pack that SPF if you’re planning a visit over the summer (they say you learn from your mistakes.. I’m not so sure!).
Getting There & Getting Around
DC is just under 4 hours from New York so we decided to bus it, opting for the Greyhound bus from Port Authority. Fares vary but you can expect to pay anywhere between $50-$80 round trip. The Amtrak train is another option, which we also priced but found pretty steep with return tickets starting at $180.
Once we arrived we used both Uber and the Hop on, Hop off Bus as it seemed the most convenient, considering we were going to spend much of our time making our way around them same sights anyway. We just went for the classic 1 day ticket at $49. This offered us a 1 day guided tour, with the option to hop on and off as we liked, as well as free admission to Madame Tussauds. Renting city bikes was also an option for a very reasonable $8 for a 24hour day pass, and also super accessible with depots scattered throughout the city. You can visit Bikeshare 24hr Day Pass here for more information if it’s something you might be interested in. The Segway City Tours also seemed a popular mode of transport as we spotted them along the many landmarks. It’s similar to the bus tour in that it guides you around the city talking you through the history behind each landmark, but the Segway aspect adds that bit of adventure to your day, and of course saves your little legs!
Other than that we walked, walked and walked some more!
Where We Stayed
The Fairfax, Embassy Row – Dupont Circle
This hotel is so ideal for anyone in town for a quick few days. Its perfect, central location made it super convenient to walk to majority of the places we wanted to visit. It’s close to everything. Adams Morgan, Georgetown (younger, livelier areas of the city), The White House, Lincoln Memorial, Washington National Monument and majority of the sights and scenes. We did happen to hit it lucky with this one, grabbing a really good deal on the HotelTonight app, so be sure to check on there nearer the time for some good rates! Booking.com and Airbnb are also definitely worth keeping your eye on as rates are always up and down depending on time of year and whether or not there are any events being held around the city.
The Must See Sights
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC – arguably the world’s most famous house and the first stop on our agenda. But it doesn’t end there. There are SO many other landmarks, monuments and famous murals that I wasn’t so familiar with until we started to make our way around and I started recognizing them from “d’movies”! We didn’t manage them all in our short 2.5 days, but I’ve included some must see sights you should try visit .
Where To Enjoy A Drink (or three!)
We were lucky enough to get some great recommendations prior to the trip, which really helped us make the most of what little time we had. Adams Morgan and Georgetown are two musts if your planning a visit. They give you a real feel to life in DC, away from the reserved, presidential feel you sometimes get around parts of the city. Georgetown is one of the most charming little neighborhoods I’ve visited in a long time. Idyllic and quaint by day, with it’s cobblestone streets and federal-style architecture, and fun and spontaneous by night as the lively college bars and intimate live lounges start to fill up. Adams Morgan was equally as fun, a more hipster, artsy feel to it and with a hoping nightlife it’s no wonder it’s so popular amongst the college goers.
Perry’s Rooftop Bar – Adams Morgan
We spotted this cute rooftop from below while on the hunt for some pre-dinner drinks. It’s fair to say we were pleasantly surprised when we did get up there and better yet, hello happy hour! The clientele seemed to be a mixture of young professionals, date-nighters and maybe a handful of tourists. We opted to sit on the high stools near the bar as we were just having drinks, but could’ve definitely been tempted for some dinner too. The food looked really good with most of the tables full right before we left, so that’s a good sign! Another bar in Adams Morgan probably worth a visit is Madams Organ. This place was hoping and we were nearly tempted to join, but with hanger symptoms starting to surface we decided to carry on for foooood.
RíRa Irish Pub – Georgetown
Well as the saying goes, “you can take the girls out of Ireland….”. So yes, we did find ourselves in RíRa Irish bar on Sunday night and although we entered lifeless and in need of a nap after dinner, we weren’t long perking up in here! The music was 90’s pop and we felt right at home. I will say it wasn’t super busy if you’re looking for something super lively, but it was ideal for a quick few drinks to beat the food coma after dinner.
The W Hotel Rooftop Bar – Downtown
Before I start, apologies to The W for my very sad photography skills (working on it!). Doing it no justice here whatsoever, but I promise the rooftop of The W really does have some great views. The White House, National Monument and Lincoln Memorial are all in birds eye view. Ideal spot for pre-dinner drinks or an afternoon sip, although we actually only lasted one drink up here because we were literally melting away (and it’s a tad pricey too!).
Washington Harbour – Georgetown
Washington Harbour in Georgetown has lots of different bars and restaurants scattered along the waterfront. It makes for a perfect summer evening spot, with lot’s of holiday-goer and yachts pulling up along the promenade. From mid-November through March, Washington Harbour’s dancing fountain actually turns into an ice skating rink too which sounds just a nice!
…and to fill the bellies!
Farmers Fishers Bakers – Washington Harbour, Georgetown
Organic, farm to table produce from exactly that, local farmers, fishers and bakers! It’s set on the waterfront beside the dancing fountains, and with the option to sit outside it’s perfect for people watching in the sun, or a laugh at some poor ice-skating in the winter! We opted for dinner here and enjoyed some really good pizza and even better wine! I would definitely consider booking beforehand if it’s something you’re interested in. We had initially tried for a table here the first day, but decided against it after hearing of the 1.5 hour wait. Be sure to check out there instagram here for some serious brunch envy too, looks amazeballs!
Teddy & The Bully Bar – Dupont Circle
This place we actually didn’t find until the day we were leaving, which was a bit of a bummer, considering they do an amazing bottomless brunch! The restaurant itself seems new, with a modern bar and fun pancake station. Bottomless mimosas I’m all too familiar with, but unlimited food too for $45, yes please! The brunch menu was that of a typical millennial brunch menu, avocado toast, pancakes, and Benedict’s galore!
Mezè – Adams Morgan
‘Mezè’, are small tapas-like dishes created to compliment your wine, generally from Greece, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey, and that’s exactly what you can find here. What started as a bit of a disaster here, thankfully turned in to a really nice meal. We had decided to sit outside and had just got our starters when the heavens opened and it started LASHING down! Like that really, really wet rain! Thankfully they were able to move us inside pretty quickly where we dried off and enjoyed the rest of our meal. Not the most amazing meal I’ve ever had but we definitely enjoyed the whole experience, torrential rain and all!
And there you have it! Hope this post is of some help to anyone planning a visit to DC in the future, and don’t be shy to shoot me a message if you’ve any questions! 🙂