As a West Coast turned southern girl, when I think of Washington DC, the first things that come to mind are snowstorms, The White House, politics, and of course, the T.V. show Scandal! I never once imagined that my nation’s capital boasts such a matchless culture, making it way more than just a hub for politics.

According to some travel guides, DC is consistently ranked as one of the most international, educated, and cultured cities in the United States. I’ve made a few trips to DC, and I must say that I agree with the consensus. Even as a tiny metropolitan city, it’s got great charm; more than enough to win over this southerner’s heart.

Where to Snack

  • TaKorean – I mentioned DC is an international hub, so this Korean-inspired taco place definitely tops my list! Visit during happy hour when craft beer prices drop and you can get taco specials. Tip: The Union Market happy hour starts earlier and lasts longer. Talk about happy hours.
  • Rappahannock Oyster Co. – Go for the seafood. Stay for the Tom Collins oyster shooter. With a large variety of northeast oysters, this restaurant has just the ambiance you could expect from an oyster bar in D.C.
  • Brasserie Beck – Nestled in McPherson Square, this restaurant makes for a great dining experience. I suggest getting several small plates and one or two mussels platters. Their scallops are melt-in-your-mouth good and they give perfect portion sizes. Consider sharing a dessert because you just might be full from the meal!

What to See

  • Monument Tour – If you have limited time in the city, consider Groupon to take advantage of tour discounts. These double-decker buses give “insta-worthy” views of the monuments. You can also hop on and off at your favorite spots to allow for extra pictures.
  • Lincoln MemorialThis is my main recommendation if you can only make one stop. The Lincoln Memorial is breathtaking. The monument’s size is astonishing and there are several other areas within the memorial area (i.e. on your way to the restrooms).
  • The White House – This is a given, right? Go at night or during the day. It’s just as majestic at either time. Tip: If you eat dinner at Brasserie Beck, you can take a nice walk to The White House to work off that meal!
  • Smithsonian Museums – The Smithsonian Museums have garnered international attention and deserve every compliment. These museums require more time and attention. I highly recommend at least 2-3 hours per museum to even scratch the surface.
  • Honorable mentions: Union Market and DC Center City

Where to Stay

  • Capital Hilton – Built in 1943, the Capital Hilton mirrors the charm of this historical city. It’s just two blocks away from The White House and easily walk-able due to its central DC location.

To access more information about local restaurants, unique attractions, and special offers in Washington DC, visit our Destination Guide.

This article was originally published by Hilton Suggests.

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