Where to Eat & What to See in D.C.

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My first time to Washington, D.C., left me eager to come back for more! After 48 hours in the city, I’ve put together a quick guide for where to eat and what to see in D.C.

Neither my friend nor I had been before, but we knew we wanted to hit all the big sites during our short time there. I’d debated whether I wanted to go during the spring or the fall and I know the spring must be BEAUTIFUL with the cherry blossoms, but since there isn’t much of a fall in Texas, I was so happy to see all the fall colors on the trees!

Before I launch into where to eat and what to see, here are a few quick observations:

  • Everyone wears workout clothes. Like everyone. I brought comfortable walking shoes (big mistake if you don’t), but you would absolutely fit in if you bring leggings and workout tops. Everywhere we went, there were joggers and workout classes happening! I loved how active the city is.
  • On that note, it’s a very walk-able city, especially over where all the museums are. We walked as much as we could (around ten miles give or take each day), took the metro twice and then took Uber all the other times we needed to get somewhere.
  • Pick a few absolute MUSTS and don’t stress trying to see everything because that isn’t possible. Rather than rushing through everything, take your time at what you consider to be most important and really enjoy them!

Washington DC guide | what to do in DC | where to eat in DC | 48 hours in DC | what to see in DC

I seriously loved D.C.! I always wonder what it must be like to live in a city with so many tourists, but there was great energy and I love how many young people are there. We went to a lot of museums while there, but I am only going to include my very favorites that I think are worth your time.

WHERE TO EAT

Ted’s Bulletin

OMG. This place was #1 on my list and it didn’t disappoint. Our friend who lives in D.C. said it’s one of the few places that is reasonably priced and casual – double win! It’s a cute diner atmosphere with a black & white screen playing old TV shows. The best part, though? The homemade pop tarts. We tried the strawberry and blueberry and both were so amazing! I got the pancakes and they came with a side of hash browns and scrambled eggs; I would order it all again in a heartbeat and I know I am coming back here once I return to D.C.

Bantam King

We tried to go to another ramen place, but since it was crowded, we ended up here and I am so happy we did! The inside is very colorful and polka-dotted. I’ve only eaten ramen a few times in Dallas before, so I don’t have much to compare it to, but this place was AMAZING. They only had chicken options, so if you’re a pork in your ramen kinda person, this is not the place for you. Otherwise, I’d say be adventurous and give this place a go because we loved it!

Baked & Wired

We loved Baked & Wired so much we came here twice! We stopped by for a quick breakfast on Saturday morning and ate the spinach goat cheese biscuit and the cinnamon roll. Get both because I can’t make a decision between the two, so you shouldn’t have to either. We then went back for cupcakes on Sunday and waited in a 10-minute long line, which we now understand because they’re SO GOOD! They have a ton of sweets to choose from, so make everyone get something different – that way you can try everything.

Union Market

Union Market is a giant food hall with a plethora of food options. We were starving by the time we got there, so it became a bit overwhelming to pick one, but successfully landed on an amazing Indian place. I hardly ever eat Indian food, but always love it whenever I do. The weather was beautiful, so we found a spot outside and people watched. We even saw two adorable pugs taking their Christmas card picture! The cute heart wall is right around the corner from this area, as well.

WHAT TO DO

Newseum

Ok I am obsessed. I think this is such a brilliant idea for a museum – it’s very interactive and promotes the First Amendment. My favorite part was the Pulitzer Prize exhibit. It’s pretty intense as a lot of the winners shown are from the breaking news category, but hearing the backstory behind a lot of the photos is incredible. Outside of the Newseum, front pages from newspapers all across the U.S. and the world are on display, too, so if you don’t prioritize this museum (which you should!), at least walk by and see these.

Washington Monument

You obviously can’t come to Washington D.C. and not see the Washington Monument, but I loved it so much I wanted to be sure to include it here. It commemorates George Washington and stands extremely tall, over 550 feet!

The White House

Naturally, there were quite a few protestors outside of the White House, but it was still really neat to go by and see it in person. You can’t get too close to it because of all the gates and security, but it’s beautiful! You can request a public tour via one’s Member of Congress though, if you are interested.

The U.S. Capitol

Another hot spot that we only saw the outside of, but they have plenty of activities and exhibits inside if you visit their website.

Georgetown

We spent Saturday morning walking around Georgetown and I could’ve spent so much longer doing this. It is the cutest neighborhood! They have a ton of restaurants and shops, but I loved seeing the residential area. We popped into Tudor Place to see the gardens, but I would suggest spending your time wandering because it is more fun that way.

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

This was our last stop on Sunday and it was SO cool! There were more exhibits than only the paintings of all the presidents, but that was where our interests lay. The paintings of all the presidents were unbelievable. Not to mention, there are so many presidents I always seem to forget about.

If you’re headed to D.C. soon, I hope you share all your fun discoveries and places you go on instagram with #markedonthemove because I want to see! Have you been to D.C. before?

5 comments
  • Amélie

    I love this post, Molly! I went to DC 5 years ago, and everything was under construction and there was security all over the place because I went right after the Boston Marathon bombing happened. :/ However, I was still able to see the White House, the Capitol and the Washington Monument! I didn’t visit anything on your list aside from the ones I just listed. I guess I’m going to have to go back! 😉 I really want to see the Smithsonian too – I’ve only seen the National Air and Space Museum, which was super cool!

  • Sophie

    I went to D.C. a few years ago. My favorite part was definitely the Newseum. The whole museum was put together beautifully. I loved how interactive it was. Plus, the rooftop had a gorgeous view of the city. It’s truly incredible how walkable the city is. We walked everywhere with the exception of two Uber rides. I’d love to go back to explore more.

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