A couple of years ago we visited Washington, DC and shared our favorites, here, but a new trip brings on new finds so check them out below. A few days just isn’t enough for all that DC has to offer!
SEE + DO
National Building Museum, Fun House Exhibit
Fun House, designed by Snarkitecture, is the latest in the National Building Museum’s imaginative Summer Block Party series of temporary structures inside its historic Great Hall. Fun House is Snarkitecture’s first comprehensive museum exhibition, examining the prolific activities of the studio throughout the entirety of the Great Hall. Curated by Italy-based Maria Cristina Didero, the heart of the exhibition is presented within a Snarkitecture-designed house—a freestanding structure that recalls and re-imagines the idea of the traditional home. Fun House includes a sequence of interactive rooms featuring well-known Snarkitecture environments and objects, like Dig (2011) and Drift (2012), as well as new concepts developed for the Museum. My favorite part was the life-size pool full of plastic “bubbles”!
National Portrait Gallery
Experience portraiture beyond the frame. The National Portrait Gallery presents people of remarkable character and achievement. These Americans—artists, politicians, scientists, inventors, activists, and performers—form our national identity. They help us understand who we are and remind us of what we can aspire to be. As the nation’s only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House, the “America’s Presidents” exhibition lies at the heart of the Portrait Gallery’s mission to tell the country’s history through the individuals who have shaped it. To get a flavor of the variety, check out these images of tennis player, Chrissy Evert, and darling super-talent, LL Cool J.
National Museum of Women in the Arts
The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhibitions, programs, and online content, the museum seeks to inspire dynamic exchanges about art and ideas. NMWA advocates for better representation of women artists and serves as a vital center for thought leadership, community engagement, and social change. NMWA addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art by bringing to light important women artists of the past while promoting great women artists working today.
National Gallery of Art, East Building
This is my favorite part of the gallery—the modern side. Andrew Mellon had anticipated that the collections of the National Gallery of Art would grow beyond the capacity of its original building, and at his request, Congress had set aside an adjacent plot of land for future use when it first established the National Gallery. By the time of the museum’s 25th anniversary in 1966, with most of its original galleries filled, space was needed for expansion. Today, much of the structure’s elegance results from its extraordinary building materials, spare lines, and soaring forms.
The Wharf District is a two-billion-dollar, mile-long development along the Potomac River that includes dining, hotel, entertainment, residential, retail and office space. A neighborhood community, the Wharf features open public spaces, promenades, piers, docks, and activities such as ice skating in winter and farmers’ markets in summer. Water taxis connect the Wharf with Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria, and National Harbor.
EAT + PLAY
Located at the Wharf District, DC’s most exciting new destination is Fabio and Maria Trabocchi’s latest culinary vision. Del Mar is a celebration of Maria, her Spanish heritage, and the family’s traditions created and preserved at their home on the island of Mallorca. Featuring authentic seafood fare and flavors from the coasts of Spain, the robust menu includes tapas, raw bar, charcoal grilled fish, seafood stews, and a variety of rice dishes (yes, paella)!
The space, not to be outdone by the menu, is a feast for the eyes. A visit here will feel like a mini getaway with walls of windows to drink in the views, vibrant coastal hues, and layers of textures and patterns carefully selected to transport you.
Fig & Olive
A tradition for bubbles when we are in DC or NY, Fig & Olive extends an olive branch to our nation’s capital in CityCenterDC, Downtown’s luxury retail shopping destination. The 10,000 square foot dining destination features a variety of unique spaces that capture the essence of the French Riviera. With an expansive lounge, bar, and crostini station introducing you to the first floor—followed by an upper-level formal dining area, an intimate bar space, and a private dining room—this location is perfect for an informal or elegant gathering.
For a mid-afternoon espresso and sweet, Milk Bar is an award-winning bakery led by chef and owner Christina Tosi. The hot spot believes in a world of endless possibilities, creating playfully nostalgic desserts that celebrate innovation and quality. The posh, modern bakery offers irreverent takes on dessert, including cakes, cookies, and milkshakes. My favorite was the chocolate and chocolate covered pretzel baby quake!