By Franshisca Diaz
If you live anywhere near the tri-state area, Washington D.C. is no more than four hours away by car. This makes it the perfect destination to explore on a long three-day weekend. No matter if you’re traveling with friends, family, a special someone, or even alone (no one’s judging), D.C. has so much to offer.
In April of this year, my boyfriend and I found ourselves with some time off from work and nothing to do. We decided to go on a quick little trip to Washington D.C. as I had never been before. After recruiting my best friend and her boyfriend, we decided we would drive down early Thursday morning and come back Sunday afternoon.
Upon our arrival, we had a seamless check-in into our hotel for the weekend. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Washington D.C. Downtown. We landed on this specific hotel not only due to the affordable nightly rates but also because it was in the center of all of the activities and places we were interested in visiting. Also, we took into account the fact that Uber rides to and from the hotel would remain economical, something that was important to us being that we would be Ubering everywhere we went.
Our first stop that night was DLeña, an extravagant fine dining experience specializing in elevated Mexican cuisine. The ambiance itself was enough to impress any out-of-town traveler. The food and drinks completely exceeded our expectations and left us in awe. My boyfriend and I shared the 14oz 30 Day Dry Aged Boneless Ribeye and were satisfied to the fullest. The presentation and service offered by the wait staff were exemplary.
After dinner, we walked downstairs to find a sublevel Mezcal lounge called Roja. Unfortunately, since our dinner reservation was late at night, the lounge was already doing last call. However, we could not pass up the opportunity to do an entire photo shoot as the vibes and aesthetics perfectly matched my outfit.
Once we were done capturing all of our best angles, we were ready to hit the town for the night. I had done a little bit of research prior to our trip and knew that all of the nightlife spots were all on one strip called U Street. Since we were Ubering, this was extremely convenient for us because the Uber could simply leave us on the strip allowing us to walk around and stop at different places without having to catch another ride. As we walked past the different clubs, bars, and lounges, we stumbled upon this place called The Right Spot and immediately the name made sense. The DJ was on point playing a mix of r&b, hip-hop, and top 100 hits. The bartenders were friendly, attentive, and great at making drinks. Long story short, we did not leave until the lights came on.
The following day, we were desperate for food and a cure for the debauchery that took place the night before. After a quick Google search, we decided on Old Ebbitt Grill. This American restaurant was established in 1856 and truly captured the historical vibe of Washington D.C. It is the oldest saloon in the city and the architecture, layout, and details spoke to this idea. We arrived at the perfect time because after being seated, there was a big rush at the door and a wait of over an hour. Old Ebbitt Grill has an extensive menu including gourmet burgers, steaks, salmon, salads, waffles, and more. It was the perfect remedy for the partying we did the night prior. We left feeling brand new.
After being brought back to life, we hopped on electric scooters found on almost every corner around the city and headed up to the Lincoln Memorial. You haven’t experienced Washington D.C. if you don’t take the time to see some of the monuments. After waiting for what seemed to be forever to take solo photos in front of the Lincoln Memorial, we scooted over to the Washington Monument. In my opinion, the Washington Monument is arguably one of the most impressive monuments in the city. Towering over the city, the obelisk is easily seen from miles away. Afterward, we headed over to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, one of the newer monuments. Walking around the city surrounded by all this American history really gave me a sense of American pride. It makes you feel like such a small part of something much greater. Every American should take the time to visit at some point in their lives.
All that scooting and walking around left us extremely tired. We returned back to our hotel, showered, and took a much-needed nap. Once recharged, we got ready for our dinner reservations at Nobu DC. Yes, we were feeling very fancy this trip. The sushi, salmon, and jalapeño yellowtail were out of this world. Our drinks were strong, delicious, and Instaworthy (worthy of being posted on Instagram). My cocktail had butterflies in it! I was in heaven. We lounged and conversed over a few rounds of drinks and called it a night.
Saturday, our last full day in the city, we had made reservations for brunch at Focus DC. They specialize in soul-food brunch and play anything from r&b, and hip-hop to afrobeats and early 2000s throwbacks. They kept the mimosas coming and we loved every second of it! Being that it was our last full day in the city, we went HARD!
After dancing and singing our hearts out, we walked four minutes down the street and stopped at a street-style clothing store called A Ma Maniere. Here you can find exclusive Jordan sneakers, accessories from designers such as Christian Dior, Off-White, and Fendi, as well as streetwear apparel for both men and women. Unfortunately, they did not have the shoes my boyfriend wanted in his size but he ended up picking up a baseball-fitted cap that he had been on the hunt for. It was a beautiful space and worth visiting even if you’re just browsing.
Later on that day, we started getting a little hungry again and decided to stop by this sandwich deli that I had found on Instagram. This is not your average sandwich shop. Capo Deli not only offers phenomenal subs, they’re also famous for what they call the “Fauci Pouchy,” a to-go cocktail served in a plastic pouch available in several different flavors. This place was a 10/10 and if you thought it couldn’t get any better, you’re wrong. I had asked to use the bathroom and a staff member guided me through a big metal door that looked like it would’ve led to a freezer. What I encountered on the other side is something out of a movie. Through the metal freezer door was a speakeasy. Yes, behind the sandwich shop. It had a full bar, an open dance floor, and several lounge seating. To this day, it is one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.
The next day, we woke up bright and early to grab a quick bite to eat and prepared to hit the road back home. As we packed our bags, all I could think about was the next time I would come back and visit.
If you’ve also visited Washington D.C. and would love to share your experience and suggestions, please leave your comments below! A little over an hour away is the stunning Shenandoah National Park. Girl Pack Your Bag has all the details on where to stay, hike and explore if you’re looking to extend your visit in the area.
If you haven’t had the chance to visit Washington, D.C., I encourage you to do so next time you have a free weekend.
You’ll have the time of your life!