Washington, D.C. Journals

Insight from a 4-Year Visitor to Washington, D.C.

Best of IgoUgo

A February 2009 trip to Washington, D.C. by Lannb26

Theodore Roosevelt Island Photo, Washington, D.C., United States More Photos
Quote: I am not a DC resident, but nor am I a typical tourist. I am a student closing in on my four years of "visiting" DC while at the George Washington University. In this journal, I offer my accumulated knowledge about the city to benefit other visitors.

Schtuff to Do

Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Old Rag - Phenomenal Hike near DC "

Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive Photo, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Quote:
Hiking Old Rag is a day trip out of DC. This is really more for DC residents or the frequent/jaded DC traveler with a whole day (and a car) to spend as you please. If you enjoy hiking though, I CANNOT recommend this day-trip enough. The primary hike that most people do on Old Rag is a circuit of about 8 miles. I'd say 65% of the hike is a standard switchback trail, but the other 35% around the rocky summit are scrambles. Scrambling is just what it sounds like - scrambling over rocks. It's not really rock climbing, but more often than not you will be using all four limbs to scuttle between tight spaces, pull yourself up onto a boulder, etc. Given the scrambling, you should be fit and...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 15, 2009

Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive
3655 Us Highway 211 East
Shenandoah N.P., Virginia 22835
(540) 999-3500

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Attraction | "A Low Key Outdoor Excursion Right in the City"

Theodore Roosevelt Island Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
If you are only in DC for a brief trip - say a long weekend - I wouldn't opt for TR Island over some other activities like the Smithsonian or monument walks. However, if you are in DC for a while or if you are a frequent business visitor and want to get away from buildings for an afternoon, drive/bike/or walk to TR Island for some serenity and a look at a monument of Teddy. When I visited it was a cool 65 degrees in February and all sorts of families with children and pets were flocking to the island to hike around on the paths or have a picnic around the monument in the center of the island.Worth seeing if you have the time. Although if you plan on walking from somewhere do...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 10, 2009

Theodore Roosevelt Island
Potomac River
Washington, DC

U.S. Supreme Court

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Attraction | "Visiting the Supreme Court - Only for the Dedicated"

Quote:
As a soon-to-be law student, it was absolutely necessary that I see oral arguments at the Supreme Court before I leave DC after graduation. For me, the second try (and thankfully not the third) was the charm. Successfully getting into watch oral argument at the Court is somewhat shrouded in mystery as they don't give a very clear explanation on their website. The site says that general admission opens to the court around 9:30 before the session begins at 10. Ha! Even on a day with a no-big-deal case, if you get there at nine you will have wasted a walk and a metro trip to Capital South (although, maybe not - just walk next door and see the Library of Congress- lots of exhibits there)....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court
1 First Street NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20543
(202) 479-3000

National Portrait Gallery

Attraction | "Must-See for an Art/Historian Lover in DC"

Quote:
The National Portrait Gallery is one of my most favorite museums in DC. On the main floor, I love going through portraits of individuals from early American history (John Randolph, Daniel Webster, etc) - putting faces to names from history books. There's also a rotating section of non-portrait paintings by American artists on the ground. On an upper level, there is - of course - the section containing presidential portraits. Very cool. Every president is featured in this section and the more quirky/relaxed styles of the portraits of newer presidents is interesting (oh, and check out the juxtaposition of Bush Senior and Junior - one standing, suit clad, serious and the other sitting, g...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 2, 2009

National Portrait Gallery
Smithsonian Institution - Victor Building–Suite 4100
Washington, D.C.
(202) 663-8300

U.S. Navy Memorial

Attraction

U.S. Navy Memorial Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
I have a soft spot for the Navy Memorial because I can go to one of the National Registry computers in the Heritage Center (behind the memorial) and look up both of my grandfathers who served during WWII. If you have a family member in the service, I don't think their picture and supplementary statistics will automatically show up in the registry. However, it's a pretty easy dose of paperwork to have someone added in and it's free - makes for a creative gift.The Memorial is off Pennsylvania Ave. and the outdoor portion consists of a fountain, various nautical flourishes, a huge map of the world, and the Lone Sailor Statue (which my mom has made me pose next to for pictures on several vis...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 8, 2009

U.S. Navy Memorial
701 Pennsylvania Ave Northwest
Washington, DC 20004
+1 202 737 2300

Places Stay (i.e. places my parents have stayed)

State Plaza Hotel

Hotel | "Great Reasonably Priced Hotel Right in Foggy Bottom"

Quote:
I had walked by this hotel a hundred times during my time as a student at GW (since its right on the fringe of the campus in Foggy Bottom) and I had never given it much thought. However, this past February, when my mom wanted to visit me solo, I thought I might as well suggest this hotel since it was less than a block away from my apartment - meaning I would have minimal walking distance to get to her during her stay. It could not have turned out better.Although the building is essentially renovated large efficiencies (her room had a pretty large kitchen), everything was spotlessly clean, there was a make-up dressing room in between the bathroom and the bedroom (which my mom loved), the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2009

State Plaza Hotel
2117 E Street NW
Washington D.C. 20037
(202) 861-8200

Favorite Places to Eat/Drink

Georgia Brown's

Restaurant | "Favorite DC Restaurant, Hands Down"

Quote:
Given DC geographical location, there's an abundance of restaurants that specialize in southern or "low-country" cuisine. Vidalia, Acadiana, Art & Soul - you can take your pick and they all serve solid cuisine. However, everything from its monster sized Sunday brunch (with a buffet table + an extra entree), to its gumbo, to its corn bread with honey butter is excellent. GB's is probably the most unpretentious of its kind (meaning low-country cuisine in a fine dining setting) and it is not horribly expensive. Must have the appetizer sample platter of fried green tomatoes, bacon wrapped/blue cheese stuffed dates, catfish fingers, and fried chicken livers. Centrally located right off of the McPh...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 10, 2009

Georgia Brown's
950 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 393-4499

Lauriol Plaza

Restaurant | "Solid Mexican Food in the District"

Lauriol Plaza Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
During my four years in college in DC, every February when my birthday rolled around, I would go with a troupe of my friends to Lauriol Plaza for an evening of Margaritas and Mexican food. Therefore, I have a soft place in my heart for Lauriol. It is though, an excellent Mexican restaurant in DC. Purists may say it's not real Mexican food, but it's certainly not Tex-Mex overly cheesy schlock. During the day, for lunch, Lauriol has an easy-going atmosphere and it's fairly easy to get a table since there are three levels to the place. In the evening, on the weekends, it has a definite "going-out" air. Low lighting, two hour wait times for table, and lots of young people. Point being, i...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 2, 2009

Lauriol Plaza
1835 18th St Northwest
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387-0035

The Brickskeller

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Where to Go for Beer.. Lots and Lots of Beer"

The Brickskeller Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
I first visited Brickskeller the spring after my semester abroad in London. With a multi-page beer list of hundreds upon hundreds of beer varieties (http://www.lovethebeer.com/beer-list.html), they have all the tasty foreign brews I had become addicted to - go Schnieder-Weiss. Plus, most of the seating is in a dark homey cellar, which - much like a favorite London spot Cheshire Cheese - speaks directly to my love of cozy nooks. If I had my druthers, every night I've been dragged into the foul stench of Lucky Bar would have been spent at Brickskeller You can spend a lot during an evening at Brickskeller or a moderate amount. Just depends on whether you are pounding reserve Belgian lamb...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2009

The Brickskeller
1523 22nd St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 293-1885