Having the honor of being named the capital of the United States, Washington DC also has the distinction of being the largest concentration of power in the U.S., if not the world! But grandeur and awesomeness aside, DC locals and visitors alike know the city as a hotspot for entertainment, restaurants, architecture, taverns, green spaces, and an amazing art scene. It’s home to world-renowned museums of art, science and culture – and most of them are free of charge! Walk downtown where the architecture of the grand federal buildings ranges from baroque to classical, to modern. Stroll quaint neighborhoods of colonial row houses lined with trees or tour the mansions from the 1800s that are now embassies for countries around the globe. Visiting in late March? Check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival along the shores of the Tidal Basin. For those who prefer sports to botany, DC is Home to the world champions Nats, the Capitals and the Huskies. And before leaving, spend an evening entranced at the renowned Kennedy Center.
Cannabis in the country’s capital is… complicated. In 2015, Initiative 71 (or the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act) went into effect, legalizing medical and recreational weed possession in DC. Although there are a small handful of medical marijuana dispensaries that service over 6,000 patients in the area, I71 never included provisions for recreational dispensaries to open. While people over the age of 21 may have up to 2 ounces of marijuana, it is still illegal to sell marijuana recreationally. For recreational consumers, this makes it complicated to even obtain bud and leaves a very grey area for other businesses to operate. Specifically speaking, many DC delivery businesses exist who utilize the legal act of "gifting" cannabis to get the product to the people. Consumers will often have to buy a t-shirt, sticker or snack food for a high price to receive an amount of weed as a “gift” alongside the original purchase. As regulation of these delivery operations is very difficult, we highly recommend researching the companies you plan to purchase from and beware of fraudulent businesses offering fake products.
For out-of-state visitors with a valid MMJ card in their home-state, there’s good news! DC offers reciprocity for you to be able to use your card and still purchase bud.
One of the District’s most impressive DC landmarks is the charming, historical district of Georgetown. Here, you’ll find streets lined with cobblestones, historic homes from the late 1700’s, and gorgeous Romanesque architecture. Because it’s home to Georgetown University, this area is alive with the energy of its students. You’ll feel the vibe as you kayak down the Potomac or enjoy a run at along its waterfront park. Shopping is a great form of exercise, and Georgetown is a shopping mecca. You’ll easily get your daily 10,000 steps in one trip! When you need a break, enjoy a drink at one of the many historic pubs. With over 100 restaurants, you’re sure to find the perfect lunch on a quaint outdoor patio, or a gourmet dinner at a Michelin-rated restaurant. With so many things to do, Georgetown is a perfect day trip!
Who can think of Washington DC without the National Mall coming to mind! This long grassy area is anchored at the eastern end by the U.S. Capitol Building and the western end by the elegant Lincoln Memorial. The Washington Monument is majestically placed in the middle. The National Mall is America’s most-visited national park where you’ll find locals and visitors meandering past our nation’s most iconic memorials, which honor American heroes whose lives were sacrificed in the name of freedom. The Mall is flanked by Smithsonian museums, while the White House is just to the north, and the United States Supreme Court is to the East. When visiting the National Mall, be sure to bring your walking shoes to fully enjoy the many jogging paths, picnic areas, food trucks, ice cream stands and even a carousel.
Just a few miles outside of Washington DC, Old Town Alexandria, Virginia is like stepping back in time. Alexandria is known as George Washington’s hometown, while Mt. Vernon, his family’s estate, is also well worth a visit! Before the Civil War, Alexandria was one of the largest slave-trading ports. Today, it is a charming town with lots of historic sites. Many of the picturesque colonial row houses still have front-door lights fueled with gas and the sidewalks are made exclusively with red brick. Alexandria has a wonderful waterfront on the Potomac to explore, where you’ll find King Street, the city’s main street, filled with independent stores, speakeasies, bars and a vibrant dining scene. Have fun on a river cruise or touring historic Gadsby’s Tavern, where George Washington held his inaugural ball. Just leave time to see America’s skinniest historic house (seven feet wide!), experience the oldest farmer’s market in America and spend the evening on an ever-popular ghost tour!
Need some downtime, but don’t want the same old, same old? Why not stop at a local favorite, the Truxton Inn? This dimly-lit quirky cocktail lounge is reminiscent of an intriguing speakeasy. Stained glass windows, oriental rugs and vintage memorabilia combine easily with the old school bar and comfy leather chairs. Classic cocktails (think Frank Sinatra-esque) and modern libations pair well with an array of savory treats from the menu – we love the popular cheese boards, olive tapenade and the flavored popcorn! This watering hole is a fabulous find, and worth the trip.
Need a fun place to take the family? Just ten minutes from Washington DC (on the Maryland side of the Potomac River) is the National Harbor – an all-in-one family destination offering lots of fun things to do. The small sandy beach includes a gigantic famous sculpture, “The Awakening” that stretches the entire length of the beach. For sunset, take a ride on the Capital Wheel, an observation/ferris wheel that will sweep you up 180 feet for unparalleled views of Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC! The Harbor also has dining boat cruises and tours, kayak and paddle boat rentals. The vibrant Waterfront District offers more than 75 boutique shops and a wide selection of restaurants. We recommend Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, an authentic taste of the South in chilled-out surroundings.
Attention adults! You may want to spend the night in the area because the MGM National Harbor is a luxury casino resort with high-end retail, renowned chef-driven restaurants, a 3,000-seat theater and the largest gaming floor outside of Las Vegas is located just minutes away. Have Grandma take the rug rats, while you have a blast!
Less of a tourist destination and more of a local hangout spot, we absolutely love the District Wharf. Here you’ll find some amazing fresh seafood from the fish market, great live music at The Anthem, and plenty of other restaurants to explore. It’s easy to spend a full afternoon at the Wharf with activities for the kids, shopping, and many events throughout the year. In the wintertime, they even have an ice-skating rink for all ages to enjoy!
Located in central DC in Dupont Circle near the metro, the National Holistic Healing Center is a great place to stock up for MMJ patients. The center carries over 100 products and has wonderful staff on hand to provide you with all of the information you need on purchasing cannabis products. The shop is comfortable and professional, and you’ll be sure to leave satisfied.
This beautiful dispensary is located less than a block away from the U St Metro stop and is in the heart of the city. Capital City Care is known for its contemporary but comfortable interior (think Apple Store vibes). The dispensary also has very helpful staff who are approachable and knowledgeable. The product is absolutely top-quality and they have a bit of everything for everyone.
This centrally located dispensary has everything you need for your medical marijuana needs. Herbal Alternatives is a quaint store with a great selection of bud and even a range of glassware for purchase. The kind staff will help answer any questions you may have, and you’ll walk out feeling like family.
In the heart of historic Capitol Hill, you’ll find the historic Eastern Market, a local favorite since 1873. On weekdays, the market consists of a huge indoor market and food hall, complete with free sensory overload! The hall is jammed-packed with merchants selling meats, poultry, seafood, baked goods, flowers and cheeses, as well as shoppers who vie for position to sample and purchase items from this smorgasbord of heavenly treats. But the most fun is had on the weekends when the market extends its venue to the outdoors surrounding the food hall in a massive conglomerate of tents. Not for the weak of heart, the number of enthusiastic shoppers at the market grows exponentially. Weekends also bring artists, including painters, sculptors and craft designers displaying handmade treasures, while live bands provide a festive atmosphere. Looking for a fun day? Come on down to the Eastern Market!
U Street is one of our absolute favorite areas in DC. Head down U Street or 14th Street and you’ll find plenty of eclectic shops, restaurants, and places to poke your head into and explore. We love Salt & Sundry for their mix of gifts and home goods, and you can’t go wrong shopping at Shinola for a new watch or leather goods. Be sure to stop by Ice Cream Jubilee to treat yourself after a long day of shopping. There’s also a great nightlife on U Street, and it’s historically known as the birthplace of the famous jazz musician, Duke Ellington.
We’re all about shopping local, and Shop Made in DC is the epitome of that. With 4 locations spread across the city, these shops have everything you need from local artisans. Whether it’s a classy souvenir or homemade hand sanitizer, they simply have it all. The shops feature products from over 200 local makers and they stock a range of over 5000 items. While you’re at the Dupont Circle location, be sure to take advantage of the neighborhood and all it has to offer - there’s plenty of other unique local stores to see!
We love Hank’s for their cheap happy hour and amazing oysters! This lively local chain has 3 locations across DC, but our favorite is at the District Wharf. You can find us spending our after-work hours at the bar with a big plate of seafood and delicious local beer in front of us. Be sure to try their lobster deviled eggs and crab cakes to start, and you can’t go wrong with their seared scallops for your main.
The Dabney is a must-visit when staying in DC. This beautiful restaurant set in an old row house is located near Logan Circle and has something for everyone with a rotating menu. We recommend The Dabney for a couple’s night out or a celebration, as the ambiance is great and the service is excellent.
With a mix of cultures throughout DC, we love the foodie scene here. One prime example is Zaytinya, a delicious upscale Mediterranean tapas restaurant. To start of your meal, be sure to try the Baba Ghannouge and falafel, and then move on to some more small plates of fattoush and kebab, followed by a dessert of Greek cheesecake. You won’t be disappointed with a stop here.