I honestly never knew what Washington D.C. had to offer. I just assumed there were a lot of monuments, and things I’m just not interested in. At least that’s all I saw whenever I came across a photo or blog post. So why would I go? Until I saw Second City Mom’s Instagram stories during one of her D.C. trips. She was showing off the neighborhoods (they looked amazing), and I was quickly convinced that I needed to explore them myself. I reserved a rental car, and Jorge and I drove the 10 hours from Chicago for the long 4th of July weekend.
There were several people, blogs, etc. who said that seeing the monuments is a “must”, but I think the only “must” on YOUR trip is to do what you really love. You paid to make this happen — do what you want. So, I spent the weekend eating my way through D.C. and chasing all the beautiful facades and doors it has to offer! Hopefully, this post can show you a different side of the city you may not have seen.
I think historical Georgetown is a favorite for many, and it’s easy to see why. A lot of the architecture in the D.C. neighborhoods actually reminded me of a combination of Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina — both cities I love. You’ll find a lot of great restaurants in Georgetown, and every single retail store you can think of. But can you guess what drew me to this part of town? I’m pretty sure my photos give me away…
These are the famous stairs from the Exorcist movie! We accidentally ran into them when we passed up our exit. You can find them at 3600 Prospect St NW, right next to a gas station. *Side note* I have no idea who that guy at the top is. Do you guys see him too?
Exploring U Street Corridor
This is another great area for colorful adventures, food, and shopping. I took a ton of photos just on this one street below (first photo). You can find that block on 12th PL NW, but there are plenty more if you wander around the area.
Eating here and there
Baked & Wired– The carrot cake cupcakes are DELICIOUS here!! They’re big and really filling though, so you might be sugared out by the end.
Olivia Macarons– I mainly went here for their fruity pebbles macaron, and the flavor was spot on!
A Baked Joint– Get a Biscuit Sammie, so good! This place is the sister store to Baked & Wired.
Federalist Pig– I do recommend the BBQ here! Even the brisket was good, and that’s a lot coming from us.
&pizza– We visited the one inside Hotel Hive, but they have several locations. The pizza was fresh, and you can get traditional toppings or create your own!
&bar– Favorites were: Rum Punch and Vodka Lemonade (it’s not your typical vodka lemonade). The bar is located inside Hotel Hive but is also open to the public.
El Pollo Rico– Jorge loves watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations to see what restaurants he goes to in cities we visit. This place was one of them. It’s located across the bridge in Arlington, Virginia. It’s funny because when we got to D.C. I asked Jorge if there was any monuments or museums he wanted to visit and he said, “No, but there’s this chicken place I want to check out.” lol what?! They serve Peruvian chicken, and the restaurant looks like it used to be a laundromat. I will admit, the chicken was really good, but I don’t think you need to go out of your way for it.
Un Je Ne Sais Quoi– I’m so disappointed it was closed for the holiday! It’s a French pastry shop owned by French expats. The pastries look amazing and they have great reviews, so let me know if you like it!
Staying at Hotel Hive
I loved my stay at Hotel Hive, and cannot recommend it enough. When I was booking my trip, I was looking for a place that was right in the center of all the areas I wanted to explore. This well-designed micro hotel in Foggy Bottom fit that perfectly. I loved that they had two bars, a rooftop, and a pizza place inside the hotel. But what really won me over was the details they put into each room they have. The rooms are minimal but modern and Instagram-worthy. Our room was spotless, had a view, and inspiring quotes throughout. We also got lucky because we easily found free parking right next to the hotel for the weekend!
The mirror reminds us that “It’s all smoke & mirrors.”
How perfectly fitting is this quote in my room?
Blue hour on the rooftop. Make sure you try their Frose cocktails! I personally loved their Rum Punch.
Cute nooks all around. You can enjoy pizza and cocktails here, or breakfast and coffee in the morning.
If you’re visiting D.C. in the future, definitely check them out.
Thank you to Hotel Hive for hosting us while in D.C. As always, all opinions are my own.