Valerie Wilson Travel

Getaways You’ll Love – Washington DC

With endless museum options, unique art galleries, fantastic dining and of course, the nation’s capital, Washington DC. is a great option for a weekend getaway! Whether you’re bringing the whole family or just your significant other, we guarantee there’s something for you DC. But, where to start? That’s where we come in. Below is our expertly curated guide to a weekend in DC!

Where to Stay

When it comes to hotels in DC, there are a ton of options. Luckily, we’re here to sift through them for you. All three of our top picks in DC have been vetted by our team of experienced travel Advisors. 

The St. Regis Washington DC

If you want to be in the heart of the capital, this is the option is for you. Located just two blocks north of the White House, this is a prime location and will give you easy access to the monuments and museums of the National Mall. The hotel lobby is absolutely stunning with lush drapes and couches, incredibly carved ceilings, and crystal chandeliers. History buff? you’ll be excited to know that every president since Calvin Coolidge has visited the hotel, and Ronald Reagan regularly had his hair cut here. Plus, if you’re really looking to get away, the signature St. Regis Butlers will cater to your every whim. A VIP moonlight tour of the nation’s capital? No problem. Afternoon tea with champagne pairings? The St. Regis has you covered.

The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown

The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown provides a uniquely modern hotel experience. Located in Washington, DC’s famous and fashionable Georgetown district, this hotel was redesigned on the site of a historic industrial building and is within walking distance to a myriad of shopping destinations, unique boutiques, fine dining, nightlife and the picturesque waterfront. The industrial building is rooted in history, and it is one of the few boutique hotels in the world to feature a soaring brick smokestack. Be sure to visit the signature fireplace in The Living Room lobby in the evenings for craft cocktails or a bold glass of wine.

Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.

With waterfront views of The Jefferson Memorial, Tidal Basin, Washington Channel, District Wharf and Washington Monument, this urban oasis provides guests access to D.C.’s most sought-after attractions. Explore eleven of the Smithsonian museums, monuments, memorials and the nation’s capital, all within walking distance. Visit the Tidal Basin for cherry blossom viewing and District Wharf for dining, concerts, shopping and water sports, both accessible from the hotel’s footbridge. The lobby is inspired by the work of John Russell Pope, designer of the Jefferson Memorial, and boasts the familiar domed ceiling and column placement of the neighboring memorial.

Where to Eat

Washington DC is full of unique culinary experiences, if you know where to look. Recently, we’ve seen some of DC’s top chefs reimaging traditional cuisine and elevating authentic flavors. Work these modern, upscale eateries into your DC getaway and we promise you won’t regret it.

American Son

A new take on American comfort food from one of DC’s best and brightest, Tim Ma. American son epitomizes what modern-day American cuisine truly is: a melting pot of immigrant culture. Set in a greenery-filled artistic environment, American Son presents simple yet thoughtful iterations of American comfort food, using ingredients and techniques influenced by Ma’s own immigrant background as a second generation American.


Created by Executive Chef Todd English, MXDC is renowned for its modern Mexican cuisine, elevated by high-end ingredients. The menu consists of small plates as well as family style dishes and a quality tequila tasting program. Whether you come for a ceviche, a shared plate of skirt steak or a beautifully crafted cocktail, MXDC is sure to please. Chef Todd English’s restaurants can be found everywhere, from the Bellagio in Las Vegas to the high seas (Queen Mary II and the Queen Victoria). MXDC is one of his latest ventures, and his first in Mexican cuisine.


Drawing inspiration from his heritage, ranging from Nigeria and Jamaica, to West Africa and the Caribbean, to New Orleans and New York, and now immersed in The Wharf of Washington DC, Executive Chef Kwame Onwuachi created Kith/Kin as a celebration of where he’s from and where he’s been. He takes traditional African cooking to another level, letting classic flavors shine through all his dishes. Kin represents family and tradition and Kith stands for friends and improvisation, this unique restaurant is not to be missed.

What to Do

When it comes to DC, it’s not necessarily what you do, but how you do it. Everyone clamors to visit the Smithsonian Museums, National Mall and the famous reflecting pool at the foot of the Capital, however, what else does DC have to offer? Here’s how to see the classics in style and dive deeper into DC culture while you’re there.

Private Tours

Like we said, it’s not always what you do, but how you do it. Partaking in a private tour of DC landmarks can take a day of sightseeing and turn it into a cultural experience. Instead of walking the National Mall, take a private moonlight tour of the monuments. Instead of standing in line at countless museums, take a stroll through American History with a private museum guide. Instead of staring up at the Capital building, take a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of congress and the Supreme Court Library.

Art Galleries

With the abundance of national history, the DC art scene is sometimes overlooked, especially by those who aren’t spending more than a weekend in the city. However, from classical works of art to modern immersive installations, art in DC is as impressive as it is unique. If you’re looking for the classics, head to the National Portrait Gallery where you will find yourself face-to-face with American presidents and historical figures. The “cracked-plate” portrait of Abraham Lincoln and the Lansdowne portrait of George Washington are just a few of the famous portraits you will find here. You’ll find more classics, along with some modern installations at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which boasts a stunning timeline of American visual culture from colonial period to today. SAAM is a bit more family friendly! 

For those who want to push the boundaries, we haven’t forgotten about you! DC is home to the Hirschhorn and ARTECHOUSE. The Hirshhorn is a leading voice for contemporary art and culture and provides a national platform for the art and artists of our time. Here, you can find a diverse range of modern works including sculpture, photography and mixed-media. Head to ARTECHOUSE for a completely immersive digital art adventure. With an ever-rotating list of exhibitions, ARTECHOUSE is the first innovative art space dedicated to showcasing experiential and technology driven works by artists who are forerunners of the new age in the arts and technology. This is as cutting edge as it gets.


CityCenterDC offers some of the best luxury shopping in the city with 35 stores and a plethora of dining options. Find a two-level Dior outpost, BVLGARI, Ferragamo, David Yurman and more, all in a convenient outdoor shopping metropolis. In winter, you’ll see the shops decorated with sparkling icicle lights and in the spring, you’ll find the streets peppered with faux cherry blossoms – always Instagram ready. Just a short walk away is the bustling historic district of Georgetown where you can find even more shops to explore. Definitely don’t skip Georgetown for shopping, you won’t to miss Intermix or Alice and Olivia!

Now that you’ve gotten a taste for DC, it’s time to get packed and go! Click here to see how one of our Travel Advisors can help make your DC adventure uniquely yours.