Three Days in the District


Last week, I was lucky to be able to spend a few days in D.C. for work reasons as well as to visit some of my friends who I hadn’t seen in almost a year. This was my fourth time visiting D.C., so this time, I wanted to do some new things and things that weren’t as “touristy” (Although, I still did walk the monuments!). Here’s a list of some of the places I went (food included) and why I liked them.

Places to go and Things to See: 

Photo courtesy of National Geographic

National Geographic Museum

As a photographer myself, I can’t believe that I hadn’t really known about this museum before. It is a bit farther from many of the others, as it is located on 17th St. in between L and M streets. It’s also one of the museums that you have to pay for: $15 general admission or $12 for students! But this museum was so worth it. To begin, since not as many people know about it, this museum was fairly empty when I visited. It was so nice to be able to take my time and to see everything so easily since this museum didn’t have the massive crowds that others have.

The exhibits inside were great as well. One exhibit featured Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark, such a cool project that he’s doing to help bring attention to all animals and prevent species from becoming extinct. It was very cool to see this exhibit, especially since Sartore had previously come to talk at UNC before.

Autumn trees on a street in Washington
Photo courtesy of

Georgetown/Waterfront Area

I had never explored this area before since it’s farther than many of the tourist destinations and since it’s not on a metro line. I absolutely love this area of the city though. It’s so cute, historic and charming. It’s definitely worth checking out, and the waterfront area is just beautiful and home to some great walking/running trails. 

Photo courtesy of

DuPont Circle Area

My good friends live in this area, located north of the White House. I had never been up to this area before either, but it, too, is so full of charm. There are so many cute bars, restaurants and shops in this area as well.


D.C. Eats: 

Ok, so some of these places likely aren’t that off the beaten path, but if you’re looking for somewhere to eat, I definitely recommend them!



Think Chipotle but instead of burritos, there’s pizza. Have I sold you yet? This place also has its own hand crafted sodas – apparently this is a big thing in D.C., according to one of my friends who lives there. Also, if you’re not feeling creative (I wasn’t when I went), they do have a few signature pizzas that you can choose from instead of building your own. In the end, I chose the “Gnarlic” and drank their black cherry cola. I’m still dreaming of that cola now that I’m back in NC. The pizza was incredible, definitely some of the best I’ve ever had, but the soda was really the icing on the cake. Definitely don’t get water when you go!


Baked and Wired

Baked and Wired is one of D.C.’s famous cupcake joints, but from what I’ve heard, many claim that it’s better than its more touristy counterpart, Georgetown Cupcakes. There was still a line out the door when I visited this place (Granted, it was a Saturday. It seemed very quiet during the week.). Even so, the line was so worth it. I ordered the “Dirty Chai” cupcake, which was so good – it’s one of my friend’s favorites, although note that it’s apparently only available on weekends.


Pret a Manger

I first experienced this lovely place when I visited London last November. I’d basically describe this as a British Panera more or less. I love their sandwiches and their unique sodas. I was definitely very excited to see that this restaurant chain has locations all over the city. So if you want a quick or healthy bite to eat, you can’t go wrong with this place!

Photo courtesy of

100 Montaditos

Now I can’t say that I’ve seen the American version of this delicious Spanish restaurant, but there’s a location in D.C.! The concept of this restaurant is that they have 100 different kinds of montaditos (little sandwiches). In Europe, they were usually about one euro each. I’m excited to see how this restaurant compares! IF you like sandwiches, definitely check it out!

Photo courtesy of

Peet’s Coffee

I’ve been such a fan of the Peet’s K Cups for quite some time now, so it was great to travel to D.C. and be able to try the “real deal.” And I will say, I wasn’t disappointed! So if you’re a regular Starbucks drinker, step away for a day and try something new. I mean, did you know that Peet’s served as a model for Starbucks? It was around first!

Photo courtesy of

Potbelly Sandwich Works

These are by far my favorite sandwiches – better than Firehouse, Jimmy Johns, you name it. This restaurant is also very cozy and has live music a lot, which makes for a great lunch break!

 So maybe next time when you visit D.C., you can step out from the National Mall and check out some of these places that are more off the beaten path! Try something new – a new site, a new eat, whatever. D.C. has so much to offer!




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