On Johnny’s most recent trip to visit me, we decided to spend a weekend in Washington, D.C. I needed to work on most weekends while he was here, but luckily the only one I wasn’t working on turned out to be the Fourth of July weekend. At first, all we could think of was how many tourists would be there during America’s birthday. However, both being the children of immigrants, we couldn’t think of a better time or place to go. Here are our favorites and highlights of our trip.
Where to Stay
We stayed at The Embassy Row Hotel, which is located in hip Dupont Circle. A lot of great spots are within walking distance, making this perfect for our weekend in Washington, D.C. When possible, Johnny and I prefer staying at boutique hotels because of the experience they offer. Our 7th-floor room comes with a beautiful view of the Indonesian and Portuguese embassies. The space is newly redesigned and I love the urban lifestyle feel. The rich blues and studs really draw me into the room, while also making it cozy. There’s a chef’s pantry on the first floor where you can grab coffee and pastries in the morning or pick up items you need before heading out, including water and snacks.
The design of the room feels modern, yet reminds you you’re in the Nation’s Capitol with little details. Our room was spacious with a proper desk to work on and plenty of plugs. The pillows have the Capitol and Washington Monument in print, which I think is so cute. A tip for those who are staying for a few days is to nix housekeeping for a $5 credit toward the Chef’s Pantry. We used it to grab breakfast parfaits before going Monument hunting!
The rooftop is quite impressive with a pool, daybeds, shaded lounge, grill, bar and it’s all with sweeping panoramic views of D.C. It’s named “One of the best Rooftop Pools in America” by USA Today, too. On the weekends, there are parties with DJs and guests get complimentary access. There are also fun fitness classes in the pool – aerobics in the water anyone?! We spent some time on the rooftop Saturday afternoon and one of our favorite aspects is electrical outlets so you can charge your phones while you relax. Also, there’s a bartender who can make you refreshing cocktails or grab a juicy burger.
Of course, the most Instagram-friendly part of the hotel is the Angel wings art located outside near the valet. If you peruse the #EmbassyRowLove hashtags, you’ll see plenty of angels! I’m not tall enough for the wings to fit. However, Johnny is the perfect height!
Where to Eat
CITY TAP HOUSE – PENN QUARTER
After Monument hunting in the morning and only having parfaits, Johnny and I were famished by the time we arrived at City Tap House in Penn Quarter. An elevated gastropub, City Tap House has comfy booths and furnished with reclaimed barnwood and repurposed steel. Definitely a lively bar atmosphere, but isn’t too loud or overwhelming. Plus, the food is scrumptious and our waitress was just darling and very attentive.
WHAT TO ORDER: Ten spice wings, corn & crab hushpuppies, steak & eggs
(L) Steak & eggs – grilled steak, caramelized onions, breakfast potatoes, smoked paprika hollandaise and two eggs the way you like them!
(R) Margherita pizza – tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, basil and the crust was just riiiiiiight.
Corn & crab hushpuppies – citrus remoulade, honey-thyme butter and the perfect mix of crisp on the outside, while being soft on the inside. P.S. the butter is divine.
Ten Spice Wings – Reviews rave about these wings and rightly so. Absolutely finger-licking delicious! The spices are perfect. Don’t let the color fool you when they arrive at your table. They are not burnt. Of course, Johnny and I fought over the last one.
Stunning and exquisite are adjectives not doing Tredici Enoteca justice. This is a must visit for me if you’re spending a weekend in Washington, D.C. Not only is the restaurant itself, which housed in the newly renovated St. Gregory Hotel, jaw-droppingly beautiful, but so is the plating of the food. Walking distance from our hotel, Tredici Enoteca was where we dined for dinner. Trust me, the food is just as good as it looks. There is an open and airy bar located on the other side of the hotel lobby. The collection of wine and beer is impressive, to say the least. Of course, the service was impeccable.
WHAT TO ORDER: Tuna crudo, roasted beet salad, Mediterranean tasting board, spinach gnocchi, New York strip steak, chocolate mousse
Tuna credo – sweet soy, avocado and black sesame seeds on tuna has never tasted so good. This is one of my favorite things I have ever eaten, too. Plus, it’s fresh, light yet so full of flavor.
Roasted Beet salad – Kale, goat cheese (on the side), candied pecan, port reduction make this a stunning salad visually as well as taste wise.
Spinach gnocchi – I absolutely love gnocchi, but the original sauce had vodka in it. Michael, our waiter told the chef and he made a beautiful sauce without alcohol. This is truly a pasta dish you can’t miss.
New York strip steak – roasted fingerling potato and salsa verde accompany the beautifully cooked medium rare steak. The steak was beautifully prepared, but the potatoes won me over.
A quick walk from our hotel, Emissary hit the spot for smooth coffee and quick eats. This might have been the best avocado toast I have ever had. I got a cappuccino and Johnny got a cold brew. The coffee was standard. However, the avocado toast was definitely the star.
What to Do
This being our fourth trip to Washington, D.C., getting to see more Monuments was at the top of our list. I highly recommend waking up extra early and arriving at your first Monument before 8:30. This is the best way to avoid crowds and get scenic photos. Plus, if you’re visiting during summer, you’ll avoid the heat! The Jefferson Memorial is so much bigger in person and is truly grand. Other notable visits from this trip include the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
If you are traveling solo or with a friend and want photos together, Johnny and I have a couple of tips! We usually like to people watch for a few minutes and seek out certain folks. Millennials who look like they “do it for the gram” are good candidates and can take great photos. Also, folks who also own a DSLR, but look like they actually know how to use it are great! That’s actually who snapped this great photo of me and Johnny overlooking the Washington Monument.
Full outfit post on this Americana look
I hope this travel guide for a weekend in Washington, D.C. is helpful for y’all! There is still plenty to explore, but these are some of our favorites. Safe travels!