Maybe you did DC back in the day as a kid - you know, that one trip where you walked more than ever in your life and saw a whole lot of monuments. And maybe it’s also time to update some of those vintage pics of you almost cropped-out at the Lincoln Memorial and that slightly inappropriate shot at the Washington Monument.
These days there’s a lot more to DC than you might remember; it has a thriving local arts scene, major foodie finds - not to mention diverse, walkable neighborhoods with little gems around every corner.
Next time you stay with us in our Logan Circle, Penn Quarter, Foggy Bottom, or Navy Yard Stay Alfreds, explore new neighborhoods with some of the best Instagram-worthy spots around the city - we’re listing out our favorite off-the-beaten-path places to get those trip pics that just won’t quit:
Ben’s Chili Bowl - I know what you’re thinking. Chili? Really? Really. Not only is this place an institution in DC (it’s been around since 1958), but it’s also home to quite the epic mural wall for your Instagram pleasure. After enjoying a little chili on a chilly day, head down the alley and you’ll see a few familiar faces like the-late-and-great Prince, the Obamas, Muhammad Ali and more. (Plus, this place is apparently Dave Chappelle-approved!)
Barbie Pond on Avenue Q - Get ready for something straight out of John Waters movie - part yard decor, part art installation of Barbies (and Kens) never misses a holiday, and you never know just what these partying plastic people will get up to. Fair warning that this location is actually a private residence so please visit with respect.
The Blind Whino - If checking out a past Baptist Church turned psychedelic arts collective is your thing, make your way to the ultra-vibrant Blind Whino building. Despite its modern vibe, the structure is one of the oldest buildings in the south at a whopping 130-years old.
The National Arboretum - No matter what season you’re visiting DC, make time to stroll through the National Arboretum. The lush 446 acres feels like you’re a world away from a bustling city, with gardens, wild forests, winding roadways - plus the famous Capitol Columns.
The National Gallery of Art - Fancy a photo with a larger-than-life electric blue rooster? Of course you do! After soaking in the culture at the National Gallery, make your way to the Sculpture Garden, it won’t be hard to spot the Hahn/Cock Rooster by artist Katharina Fritsch.
Union Market - Carve out an afternoon for Union Market; with 40+ local food vendors you can eat your way through the day - and check the calendar for fitness classes and game nights. But in addition to foodie pics from DC’s best pop-ups and restaurant incubators, take a walk outside the market for a few famous murals like the “Follow Your Heart” mural by Mr. Brainwash and “Relax. Your Heart is Stronger Than What You Think.” by Yoko Ono.
Watermelon House - This residence offers a bright pop of summer all year long with a wall o’ watermelon. Located in Logan Circle, the neighborhood is also home to some of the best up-and-coming boutiques and restaurants in town.
Blagden Alley - Much of Blagden Alley doubles as an open-air street art gallery. Steeped in history, the area is now home to not-yet-trending restaurants and new art installations around every corner.
CityCenterDC - There’s always a ton happening in and around the CityCenterDC neighborhood. Plus, if you’re looking for an area that gets decked out for the holidays, take a walk down Palmer Alley to check out the impressive seasonal displays. Also, tie in dinner at Momofuku or something sweet at Milk Bar for a perfect way to end the day.