Washington DC: Things To Do and See
It's difficult to pick and choose from all the wonderfulness that is Washington DC. I have included some of my favorite places, along with some great websites. I have also included places in answer to your inquiries, and will continue to do so if you give me feedback. In addition, there's a great concierge in the hotel lobby just waiting to help you.
BREAKFAST OPTIONS IN HOTEL AND NEARBY: Everyone has different tastes when it comes to breakfast., so we do not include breakfast in our conference price.
- The Hyatt's Cabinet restaurant has a wonderful breakfast buffet for $25 plus tax/gratuity.
- There is also a menu breakfast at Cabinet. You can view the current menu here:
- There is a Starbuck's cafe inside the lobby on the main level.
- If you want to venture out of the hotel for breakfast, below is a map of some choices within a 5 minute walk of the Hyatt. Note: the main hotel entrance, with the circle drive and valet, is along H street (at the top on the map here). I've listed the highlighted restaurants below the map, along with websites and descriptions. Click or tap the restaurant name for the main website.
Atrium Cafe Basic counter-serve providing typical breakfast & lunch sandwiches, plus coffee, bagels & salads. Address: 750 9th St NW. Phone: 202-737-0327. Hours: 6:45am-3:45pm M-F. Click here for menu.
Abe's Cafe Simple counter serve offering American & Vietnamese breakfast & lunch fare, plus a souvenir shop. Not sure how it will be for breakfast, but since it's so close by, it's worth a look. Hours: 8am - 4pm. Phone: 202-791-0307. Address: 733 13th St NW. Click here for menu.
Le Pain Quotidien Classic light fare & organic breads fill out the menu at this rustic-chic bakery/cafe chain. Address: 975 F St. NW. Phone: (202) 499-4123. Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:00am - 7:00pm; Sat-Sun: 8:00am - 6:00pm. Click here for menu.
Panera Bread Address: 601 13th St. NW. Phone: 202-420-5901.
Dunkin' Donuts (not shown on map - on G Street close to Panera)
CHIC SHOPPING RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET
If you enjoy shopping, you're in luck! There is a plaza of over 30 upscale retailers and restaurants directly across the street from our hotel. Just walk out the front doors and across H Street. On 10 acres with sleek walkways and glassy street-level businesses, CityCenter DC is home to high-end boutiques including a dazzling, multi-level Dior outpost, Italian cashmere source Loro Piana and menswear power Paul Stuart. My car-loving hubby, Bob, enjoyed the Tesla store! Click here for a map and directory.
CHINATOWN IS A BLOCK AWAY, PLUS A WEB PAGE ABOUT PENN QUARTER
The neighborhood we are staying in is called Penn Quarter and it's right next door to Chinatown. Here's a website dedicated to all the great things to do right in our neighborhood:
SPECIAL SHOUTOUT TO BOBBY VAN'S
While Bob and I were checking out the area, we ate at a great restaurant called Bobby Van's. It is only a couple of blocks from the hotel. They specialize in steak and seafood but also have burgers, sandwiches and salads. The service was fabulous. Here's a link to more information, including menus and phone number for reservations: https://bobbyvans.com/steakhouse/ny-ave
Here's a good website on ALL THINGS DC:
THE DC METRO: ACCESS IT FROM OUR LOBBY!
Our hotel is right on top of a very central Metro stop. You don't even have to go outside to get to it. If you are feeling adventurous, then all of DC is at your fingertips (via your SmarTrip card). Here's a website that will help you navigate the system:
THE FREE TREASURES ON THE NATIONAL MALL
Seeing the Washington Monument rise majestically to the sky, surrounded by the stately U.S. Capitol Building at one end and the dignified Lincoln Memorial at the other, it’s hard not to think of America’s history. Explore America's most-visited national park and you’ll find inspiring monuments and memorials, museums and beauty.
For those who cannot walk far (or if it's hot while we're there -- likely!!), there is a bus system called The Circulator that runs the perimeter of the mall that costs only $1 per trip. Click here for more information on riding The DC Circulator.
Click here for 13 CAN'T MISS FREE MUSEUMS ON THE NATIONAL MALL
BUREAU OF PRINTING AND ENGRAVING / TREASURY TOUR
Watch our money being made and learn its history. This tour is only available M-F so you have to have reserved extra nights to do this. You must get in line first thing in the morning to get free tickets. This tour was my favorite as a child -- I'm sure it's still really interesting! Here's the website: https://washington.org/find-dc-listings/bureau-engraving-printing
FBI EXPERIENCE TOUR
This tour is only available M-F so you must have reserved extra nights to do this. If you want to do this tour, you need to get going: visits to The FBI Experience must be requested no later than four weeks prior to the desired visit date. You must arrange your visit through your Congressional office. The FBI requires up to a month for advance notice from Congressional offices prior to your visit because the FBI will perform a security check on all visitors. The visit itself will take about two hours. Here's the website on what looks like a fascinating tour: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/fbi-headquarters/the-fbi-experience
When I asked our hotel agent what her favorite museum is in DC, she said it was the Newseum. It is HUGE (with great views of DC from what I hear) and takes hours to get through, so you probably want to save it for one of your "extra" days, if you booked some.
The mission of the Newseum is to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. Visitors experience the story of news, the role of a free press in major events in history, and how the core freedoms of the First Amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — apply to their lives.
Considered one of the most interactive museums in the world, the Newseum has seven levels with 15 galleries and 15 theaters. Exhibits include the 9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast, which displays the broadcast antennae from the top of the World Trade Center; the Berlin Wall Gallery, whose eight concrete sections are one of the largest displays of the original wall outside Germany; and the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery, which features photographs from every Pulitzer Prize–winning entry dating back to 1942.
Admission is $24.95; Senior 65+ $19.95. If you buy your tickets online, you save 15%. If you don't get through it all in one day, don't worry -- tickets get you in the next day free. That's how big this place is.
Here's the website, with a great video about the Newseum: http://www.newseum.org/visit/
MUSEUM OF THE BIBLE
Making its grand opening to the public in November 2017, Museum of the Bible’s 430,000-square-foot building is located just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Museum of the Bible aims to be among the most technologically advanced and engaging museums in the world. Showcasing rare and fascinating artifacts spanning 3,500 years of history, the museum offers visitors an immersive and personalized experience with the Bible and its ongoing impact on the world around us.
Address: 400 4th St SW. Phone: 866-430-6682. Hours: 10am-6pm every day. Includes 2 cafes. Tickets are $15. Located at the Federal Center SW metro station. Website: https://www.museumofthebible.org/
THE US CAPITOL BUILDING & LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
Most of us know that the United States Capitol is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. But did you know that the building is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS inside? If you take the time to tour it, you will not be disappointed.
It is open from 8:30am - 4:30pm M-S (closed Sundays). All visitors tour the historic areas of the Capitol on a free guided tour. You can reserve a spot online up to 90 days in advance by clicking here (you must create an account to view available time slots). Same-day passes are available at the Information Desks located on the lower level of the Visitor Center. During spring, summer and some holiday periods, the availability of same-day tour passes may be limited. There may be a wait to acquire passes. Please plan accordingly and arrive early, if possible.
The Library of Congress is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress. It is the largest library in the entire world and also the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. It houses nearly 110 million items in almost every language and format stored on 532 miles of bookshelves. It is comprised of three buildings on Capitol Hill. Did you know that the Library of Congress (Thomas Jefferson Building) is also STUNNING inside?