If you are on a business trip in Washington DC, you probably don’t have much time to explore. You may have already seen the major monuments and a few Smithsonian museums and therefore think that you don’t need to go any deeper. That would be a mistake.
While the city is packed with American history and iconic memorials, the city has so much more to offer. You can quickly squeeze in some memorable experiences in between meetings. As the founder of the TripScout travel app, it’s my job to find to the best ways to experience a city – and as a DC-native, here are my recommendations for how to spend your limited free time.
Washington DC is about as international of a city as it gets. I’d fill a couple hours with drinks and apps by doing my own around the world crawl.
Head down to H Street and start at the German beer garden, Biergarten Haus. After a pretzel and your favorite Bavarian beer, make your way to H Street Country Club for a Mexican cocktail while playing one of their many indoor games.
Then make your way to Copycat Co. for some small Chinese bites and a craft cocktail. Depending on your mood, I’d recommend going two blocks north to one of my favorite neighborhood joints, Indigo, for delicious Indian food with an outdoor bar – or to Ethiopic, my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in the city.
My favorite exhibit in the city is the Newseum’s display of every Pulitzer Prize winning photo. They not only have each of the photos on display by year, but they also give you detailed background on dozens of photos.
After you are finished and before it is time for your next meeting, head up to the outdoor balcony on the top floor for some of the best views of Washington DC. This will give you some added perspective before going into your next set of meetings.
Union Market is one of my favorite local hangouts. Far outside the tourist path, this warehouse-style food hall is one of the best places in the city to sample a variety of great food, drink craft coffee or beer, hangout outside, and play corn hole.
The market is home to over 40 vendors and vendor offerings range from Korean barbeque, Mediterranean, specialty cheese and wine, charcuterie, empanadas, desserts, and much more. It is the perfect place to unwind from a day full of meetings.
One of my favorite things to do in Washington DC is to visit the monuments at night. Not only do you avoid the crowds of tourists, but seeing these massive marble monuments lit up at night without any people around is surreal no matter how many times you’ve seen them.
If you have a car, I recommend going to my favorite, the Jefferson Memorial. Otherwise, you can never go wrong with sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It’s the perfect way to pause and reflect on your business trip.
I’ve spent years exploring on and off the beaten path to curate the best the city has to offer. All my favorite sites, foods, neighborhoods, and local hangouts are pinned to this offline map with informative and entertaining audio guides to make sure you have the most memorable travel experience in my hometown. You can learn more on our website or download the app here.