Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Things to do in Washington

One of my friends is preparing to spend a few months working in Washington DC - and asked if I had any special recommendations for places to see or visit (or eat at). I could fill a year's worth of Washminster posts on the subject - and have already written much -

I wrote a post in October 2009 about my favourite places to eat.

St Elmos Coffee Pub isn't actually in DC - it is in the Del Ray area of Alexandria (nearest Metro stop - Braddock Road). I've posted a few times about this coffee shop that I could while away many hours in. The staff are friendly; it has a vibrant atmosphere - and great coffee and food. My favourite post was made in
Jan 2011

There are many branches of Starbucks which I have enjoyed visiting - the one on Capitol Hill has a very special atmosphere - I posted about this in Jan 2010. I have enjoyed many breakfast coffees at the branch closest to Bob Carr's office (Starbucks - 2109 M Street Northwest, Washington).

Ben' Chili Bowl is a must visit - see my post from October 2009 - and Chef Geoff has a wonderful jazz brunch - at which I have celebrated a couple of birthdays.

The city is full of interesting Monuments - I've often stood at the side of the Washington Monument (see video) but have never been up. Each time I visit I say I will - after the earthquake - I'm not going to put it off again (assuming it has reopened). A dramatic video of the earthquake seen from inside is available here - nothing happens for quite a while - and then!

Both the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial are inspirational. I always visit the graves of the Kennedy's, but Arlington Cemetry itself is a very special place.

As I wrote in February 2009 -

"There is so much history there - if you stand at the base of the Washington Monument you can see - just by moving your eyes, not even your head - the White House; Congress; the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington Cemetery. Scenes of some of the most important events in our lifetimes. A visit to see the Senate and the House of Representatives is a must! Thanks to my friends I have become interested in the US Civil War - and as well as researching the role of the Committee on the Conduct of the War during one of my visits - most of the key battlefields are within easy driving distance.

For more information on visiting the area go to