Oh say can you see, by the dawns early light… DC is definitely ranked in my top 5 favorite cities on tour. Wicked inhabited the Kennedy Center for ten whole weeks, giving us a full summer in our nations capitol. Perhaps the phrase, “So much to do, so little time” stems from a tourists mouth while trying to see what DC has to offer. Below are some of the highlights I found while exploring this patriotic escape.
The Kennedy Center- In a word, stunning. I had no idea that the Kennedy Center was considered JFK’s monument and I definitely have to say there is something prestigious and alluring in the air. It was, by far, my favorite theatre to play while on tour. It’s crazy to think we performed on the same stage that the “Kennedy Center Honors” is held every year. I wonder who else had been in my dressing room before me??
300 Mass Ave. - A ton of cab drivers kept telling us that our building was were Obama used to live when he was a Senator. I mean who knows, but I like to think it was. The building was great, minus the AC breaking down for 5 days (I won’t even get into that one), it was one of my favorite housing on tour.
- Firehook Bakery - Cute DC chain bakery. Try the mini fruit tarts!
- Lauriol Plaza - Cute outdoor patio, with margarita pitchers! Food was pretty good, but it looked like people come for the drinks!
- Booeymongers - Great local sandwich bistro.
- Georgetown Cupcakes - It might take about 20 minutes to get into the door, but while you wait in line, you get to gander at the extensive cupcake menu. Three words, chocolate banana cupcake. Absolutely worth the wait.
- Chop’t - DC local chain where you get “creative” with your salad that is chopped to bits in front of your eyes. Good healthy option.
- Graffiato - Top chef all star, Mike Isabella’s new restaurant. With a small plate flair, everything we had was incredible. A must eat!
- City Paws Vetrinary - Zoey had a little stomach bug and City Paws was great about fitting us in last minute. The doctor’s were very helpful and gave her great medicine. She was back to normal in no time!
- Birch and Barley - A favorite brunch spot. Try the sticky buns!
- Lincoln - Themed around the 14th President himself (the entire floor is made out of pennies!), Lincoln is a fun venue and has great food. Served tapas style, one must order a lot to get full!
- National Archives - You have to wait a while in line but once you approach the rotunda, you are able to see the original documents that make up the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
- Holocaust Museum - Very depressing and solemn but this museum is a must see. An absolutely incredible museum honoring the victims and survivors.
- White House - Unfortunately free public tours do not exist anymore, however since we were with a “Wicked” group, we were able to take a self guided tour of the first floor (no, we did not see Obama). I am told though you can try to get a tour through your local congressman.
- Willard Hotel - Famous hotel where Lincoln stayed. Very beautiful and ornate. Has a great breakfast buffet.
- Smithsonian - American History Museum - Favorite exhibits include, the First ladies inauguration dress display, the Star Spangled Banner, and the Pop Culture (features the original “ruby slippers” worn in the Wizard of Oz.
- Smithsonian - Natural History Museum - Favorite exhibits include, the Crown Jewels featuring the Hope diamond, and the Wildlife Photography awards gallery.
- Marvins - A fun nightspot with a great out door patio.
- Ben’s Chili Bowl - A DC staple. I have to admit, the chili cheese fries are to die for! (Warning, chili is a tad spicy)
- American Ice Co. - An industrial trendy beer garden with a great selection of drafts and bottles.
- 7th Hill - Wood fired pizza with a creative menu. They also have amazing cheese garlic foccacia bread.
- We the Pizza - Another top chef, Spike Mendelsohn, brings an over the counter quick pizza joint. They are also known for their sodas. Try the orange soda, super sugary, but quite good.
- Founding Farmers - This farm to table concept restaurant was, without a doubt, Wicked’s cast and crew’s favorite place to go. Everything I tried was exceptional, and all fresh and organic. Some highlights you must try are: the deviled eggs, their cornbread, their chicken and waffles, and last but not least their amazing beignets.
- SweetGreens - A DC local chain that offers organic salad creations and wraps. While their salads are quite good, this place made the list because of their amazing soft serve yogurt (in the style of Pinkberry).
- Fur Get Me Not Doggie Daycare - This establishment was definitely my favorite doggie daycare place I have had on tour (and if Zoey could talk I am sure she would agree). The staff was great (most have dog training experience), the location was clean, and most of all Zoey always came back happy and pooped. We also had a great pet taxi chauffeur named Jodi, and I would recommend her highly. The only downside, and I mean only, is that their prices are a little on the expensive side.
- Old town - Very cute and quaint. Has a ton of food, cafes, ice cream, and coffee shops. A great place to spend an afternoon.
- Monuments by Moonlight Trolley Tour - While most of DC is self guided and free, this tour is well worth the money. Not only are the monuments stunning at night but the tour guides give you a lot of great information while making the 3 hour tour entertaining and fun. A must do while in DC!
Now as fall approaches and it begins to cool down, I realize how much I already miss hot and humid DC. Summer is over, and what a great summer it was. Onto Hartford, CT.