People dancing with drummers
The other side of Washington, DC you need to know about
Known for being the capital of the states and a cultural centre; there are few cities in the States where history, diverse cultures and eclectic neighbourhoods intersect the way they do here. Forget politics – here’s the real buzz you need to know about in Washington, DC. Neighbourhoods: the lay of the land There are a couple of dozen neighbourhoods patchworking together the map of DC, each with a very distinct feel. Once you’ve walked the chic streets of Downtown, get your shop on in the endless boutiques of cobblestoned Georgetown, spurred on by its exquisite landscape of historic houses, fine art galleries and waterfront. [caption id="attachment_46572" align="alignnone" width="600"] Relax with a sunset kayak on the lake.[/caption] Get funky (and foodie) in left-of-centre Shaw, stay up late on U Street, and of course, get your walking shoes to tour infamous massive monuments, such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol, on the National Mall. And don’t miss nightly free shows at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, set amongst the green space of university area Foggy Bottom. People & culture: get immersed Washington, DC’s mere 700,000-odd residents enjoy neighbourhood after neighbourhood of cosmopolitan facilities and a depth of culture born of thriving artistic communities and multicultural traditions. One must-see, in the eclectic, once-industrial NoMa district, is the mid-century food hall-turned-hip centre Union Market; stroll amongst the street art, craft distilleries and vintage clothing stalls and fall in love. [caption id="attachment_46570" align="alignnone" width="600"] Wander through the markets and discover local artists.[/caption] Then head over the Penn Quarter and Chinatown and catch a basketball game – the Washington Wizards and Mystics teams both call Capital One Arena home, with the surrounding streets filled with sophisticated eats and a neverending neighbourhood buzz. Insider’s secret Scope out historical and mural-lined Blagden alley for bars and restaurants beloved of locals. Culinary experiences: the must-eat list Things can get a bit spicy in a town like DC, sure, and that includes the food. Run, don’t walk, to Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, take a leaf from the book of Barack Obama himself and order a half-smoke; it’s DC’s signature sausage, smoked then grilled, and served up hot-dog style with onions, cheese and chili sauce. [caption id="attachment_46574" align="alignnone" width="600"] Don't miss the trendy Maydan eatery and bar.[/caption] At the more rarefied end of the scale, there are no less than 16 DC eateries sporting Michelin stars; for the full three-star experience, hand over your wallet and your heart at the impeccable The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia.   To experience your own Washington, DC, call Qantas Holidays on 1300 443 485 or visit qantasholidays.com.au/destination-dc
Downtown USA Washington cultural
A cultural guide to Washington DC
Looking to get your dose of culture? Don't discount Washington DC... Beneath the surface, Washington, DC is a city thriving with a unique history and culture, diverse food scene and some of the most beautiful architecture in the USA.  DC-native Shayla Martin goes beyond politics to share the best of her home town.   When I was growing up, a lot of people didn’t set foot in Washington, DC after dark. The city saw most of its inhabitants during the hours of seven in the morning and six in the evening. By 1980, the city’s population had dwindled, with most wealthy residents opting to move out to the cookie-cutter suburbs of Virginia and Maryland in search of what they couldn’t find in the city: lawns, good schools and safety. Despite being the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the nationwide crack epidemic of the 1980s and ’90s took a strong hold in Washington, increasing violent crime and earning the city the moniker ‘murder capital’ of the United States. By 1995, much in part to the federal government’s renewed interest in its city, DC recorded less than 400 homicides for the first time in years and the decrease in violence has, for the most part, continued. As with most major cities that were touched by the war on drugs, when the drugs left, in came gentrification. Housing projects were replaced by mixed-income developments, with a smattering of sparkling new condos to lure in the young, six-figure-making population of the mid-2000s. It’s been said that ‘if you build it, they will come,’ and DC has been building and on the rise ever since, its dark glamour depicted by Hollywood producers in TV shows like Scandal and House of Cards. But there’s something these shows don’t get quite right. Sure, DC can be the playground for dirty politics, but Hollywood has completely missed the distinct and vibrant feel that DC has cultivated over the last 15 years. Travellers still hoping to check out the US capital, but who may have been put off by the antics and policies of its newly elected reality TV show star-turned president, can be thankful that DC is so much more than politics. Walkable neighbourhoods, a buzzing creative scene, some of the best restaurants in the world, one of the ‘52 Places to Go in 2016’ according to The New York Times. This is not the DC I grew up with, but I think I like it. While getting into all the nooks and crannies of DC during a holiday would be impossible, you can dive beneath the surface if you hit certain neighbourhoods. Perhaps the best way would be to divide the city between old and new: the tried and true places that have been doing it right for decades, and the new wave of DC-based designers, restaurateurs and culture-pushers.   Don't miss out on visiting these Washington neighbourhoods: - Georgetown - Downtown/Shaw - Logan Circle/U-Street   Getting There Qantas and Virgin Australia flies to Washington, DC via Dallas and LA respectively from Sydney; and via LA from Melbourne.   Staying There The Hay-Adams: An elegant hotel on Lafayette Square that sports the tagline ‘where nothing is overlooked but the White House’. Enjoy incredible city views, plush linens and make sure to tuck into a corner booth at the subterranean bar, Off the Record. Four Seasons Washington, DC: A chic and stylish property located within walking distance to all of the major attractions in Georgetown. Better yet, if you can’t bear to leave the room, unwind in the deep soaking tub. Four Seasons Washington, DC: Feel like a true local in this boutique hotel from the Kimpton Brand on a tree-lined street in the heart of Logan Circle. Styled more like a swanky apartment complex than a hotel, enjoy spacious suites, a rooftop pool and an innovative cocktail bar. Four Seasons Washington, DC: Steps from the Capitol, this contemporary building blends seamlessly with the charming brick rowhouses and historic structures on Capitol Hill. It’s a great value option with breakfast included.   Travelling to Washington DC? Here are our 8 Things you have to do in Washington DC.    
Washington USA monument history travel
Eight things you have to do in Washington DC
So much more than just the White House... While you’re in town for the best in food/design/shopping, try not to forget that Washington, DC is one of the most powerful and historic cities in the USA. Don’t miss out on these favourites in and around DC.   1. Washington Monument It’s worth the wait in line for an elevator ride to the top of the monument. 2. Lincoln Memorial Try to spot the engraving on the ground that depicts where Martin Luther King Jr. stood during his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. 3. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial  Go at night when the stark white statue stands out against the inky night sky. 4. The White House Tours of the White House are not currently being facilitated for foreign nationals, but make sure to check in with the Australian embassy in Washington for any updates before your trip. 5. Union Market 40 creative food vendors come together under one roof in the NoMa neighbourhood. 6. H Street corridor An energetic corridor filled with hip bars, live music venues and restaurants. Maketto, a menswear shop-meets-Asian restaurant, is a standout. 7. Suburbs Arlington National Cemetery and Old Town Alexandria are must-see stops just outside of Washington. 8. Nationals Stadium If you visit during April and November, try to catch a Nationals baseball game     Discover some of the most wonderful suburbs in the USA. Check out these Washington DC gems: - Downtown/Shaw - Logan Circle/U Street - Georgetown  
Washington DC Georgetown USA
A guide to Washington DC. Neighbourhoods – Georgetown
Inside Georgetown, the Washington DC neighbourhood that may not yet be on your travel itinerary...   The affluent neighbourhood of Georgetown seems to have stood the test of time, maybe due to the fact that it’s completely inaccessible by DC Metro. Hop in an Uber and ask to be dropped off at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (or C+O Canal to locals) for a serene stroll down by the Potomac River. Afterwards, head over to historic Clyde’s of Georgetown on M Street for brunch and a Bloody Mary. Post-brunch, pop into Martin’s Tavern on Wisconsin Avenue, to see the booth where then-senator John F. Kennedy popped the question to Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. The couple lived in Georgetown during the years before JFK became president. Georgetown is also one of DC’s best neighbourhoods for shopping, sporting boutiques that would impress even the most discerning fashionista. Hit up AllSaints for butter-soft leather jackets, Billy Reid for styles from the deep-south and if you can’t commit, visit one of the few brick-and-mortar locations of web-based Rent the Runway. Later, spend the twilight hours strolling the picturesque grounds of Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States.     Don't miss these other suburbia delights: - Downtown/Shaw - Logan Circle/U Street    
food usa the dabney kitchen
A guide to Washington DC. Neighbourhoods – Downtown/Shaw
Get your planning pen ready...   In the late 1990s, Downtown DC, bordering the National Mall, was a mass of office buildings and parking lots. Head there now and there’s a healthy mix of new and old to discover. History buffs can check out the restored Ford’s Theatre, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, or wander the famed and free Smithsonian Institute’s collection of museums. In September 2016, the highly anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture opened to much pomp and circumstance, including a ribbon cutting from President Barack Obama. Charting the role of the African American population in American history, exhibits cover the slavery years, the Civil Rights Movement and Obama’s historic election. Break for lunch at DC’s answer to Rodeo Drive, CityCenterDC. The retail and residential complex is home to the highest-end retailers like Hermès, Jo Malone and Salvatore Ferragamo, plus cult-favourite restaurants like Momofuku CCDC. Slide up to a communal table for a plate of juicy pork buns. After spending the afternoon shopping, head north to the edge of the Shaw neighbourhood to find blink-and-you’d-miss it Blagden Alley, where the favourite restaurants of in-the-know locals reside. Start with drinks in the cosy Momofuku CCDC, a lounge with expertly crafted cocktails. Head downstairs for dinner at The Dabney, where ingredients are sourced from farmers and purveyors of the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, prepared over a wood-burning flame. The menu is tweaked daily, but expect highly seasonal dishes made with fresh root vegetables, hearty soups and the finest meats. Round out the night at the legendary 9:30 Club with an intimate performance from today’s top alternative, pop and hip-hop artists.     Don't miss these other suburbia delights: - Georgetown - Logan Circle/U-Street
Celebs food Ben's chili bowl Washington
A guide to Washington DC. Neighbourhoods – Logan Circle/U Street
The places you never knew you had to visit...   West of Shaw is the Logan Circle neighbourhood, where the main drag of 14th street is lined with DC’s hottest eateries and home décor stores. If it’s the weekend, start the day like a local with brunch at Le Diplomate. The French brasserie gives major Paris vibes with subway-tiled dining rooms, gorgeous crown moulding and arguably the best steak tartare this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Walk off brunch with a stroll up 14th street, stopping to admire the quirky vintage home furnishings at Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot and the futuristic-looking light fixtures at Urban Essentials. [caption id="attachment_32398" align="alignnone" width="584"] Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin, Washington DC, USA.[/caption] Continue north en route to the U Street Corridor, pausing to reflect at the African American Civil War Memorial honouring the free, and in some cases still enslaved, African American men who fought during the American Civil War. If time allows, stop into the nearby African American Civil War Museum to see historic documents, photographs and exhibits dedicated to the names on the monument. Once you hit U Street, welcome to ‘Black Broadway’. [caption id="attachment_32396" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Le Diplomate restaurant gives major Paris vibes with subway-tiled dining rooms, and arguably the best steak tartare this side of the Atlantic Ocean.[/caption] The neighbourhood earned the nickname much in part to its native son, jazz legend Duke Ellington, and a host of famous African American artists including Cab Calloway and Pearl Bailey who performed in the area’s theatres in the early 20th century. However, since the 19th century, U Street has been the site of African American owned businesses, rowhouses and restaurants and is home to Howard University, a historically black university. Stop by long-standing local restaurant (and one of Obama’s favourites) Ben’s Chili Bowl for a signature half smoke sausage, before checking out the line-up at the recently refurbished Howard Theatre, where a large sculpture of Ellington in front of an abstracted piano is erected in his honour.     Don't miss these other suburbia delights: - Georgetown - Downtown/Shaw  
Washington DC, USA
A city guide to Washington DC
Discover why Washington DC in the USA ranked #99 in our countdown of '100 Most Incredible Cities in the World'.   Population: 658,893 Best known for: Being ground zero of world politics Did you know? You can actually tour the White House; foreign visitors need to contact their embassy in Washington DC, which will assist with a written request.   << Previous | Next >> Return to the 100 Most Incredible Cities countdown   Find unique places to stay in Washington at airbnb.com/100

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