After last minute planning to travel back home to the East Coast for ten days, I decided it’d be a great opportunity to explore nearby cities while being home in Pennsylvania, especially DC, since I’ve been very curious about exploring the city even more ever since graduating and considering new locations for the future.
During my weekend stay in the city, I partnered with Kimpton Hotels and stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar DC, which was in such a perfect and ideal location, right in DuPont Circle and an easy Uber ride to nearby prime locations, such as Georgetown, 14th Street, U Street, and more.
I arrived in DC on Friday afternoon right around check-in time and was immediately greeted by the friendly doormen and front desk team upon arrival. I remember being quite impressed with the very stylish interior of the hotel and detailed art and design throughout the lobby and as I entered my room.
Kimpton Hotels provided a lovely King Deluxe Studio room with a City View, which made it feel extra at home, as if this was my own mini apartment in DC, with a view of the busy and vibrant city. As a traveler, I always prefer to travel to places and go about my day as if I am a local, rather than a traveler or tourist. It’s always interesting to see how places I never thought twice about, could feel like home.
After settling in the hotel for a little bit after the two and a half hour drive, I stopped by Colada Shop on 14th street with a girlfriend, with initial intentions to grab a snack or coffee, but ended up being mesmerized by the vibrant cafe energy and opted for a glass of rosé during their happy hour instead and enjoyed it on their rooftop. It definitely is a great spot for IG photos if you’re visiting DC and want some vibrant photo options 😉
Later on, I returned to the hotel to enjoy more wine (whoops) during the hotel’s complimentary wine hour and also decided to keep dinner simple and dine at the hotel’s in-house restaurant Urbana, an Italian restaurant (which was actually perfect because Italian is my favorite kind food)! I ended up enjoying a delicious Margherita Pizza and not only was the food great, but the service was phenomenal thanks to Carlos, the manager, as well as Charlie, who was keeping my friend and I company at the bar. Of course, we had to return again to enjoy the food and service, so we came back for brunch on Saturday.
With the main focus of this weekend getaway as a leisure and relaxing trip, I enjoyed my Friday evening out on town, checking out bars and hot spots on U Street, which is the main attraction for nightlife. My friend and I started at 801 Restaurant & Bar, which is a place I was already familiar with from my previous visit last year and was definitely a great spot to start the night out at. My favorite aspect of this bar is that it’s three stories and it plays mainly house and tropical house music, which if you know me well, I am a hugeeeeee fan of house and that’s the main genre I listen to on a daily basis (haha). Another noteworthy bar I enjoyed during my weekend in DC was TAKODA, which was actually next door to the 801 Restaurant & Bar spot and had a very similar vibe, except it was definitely more crowded and even had a slight wait to get to the rooftop section, but it was definitely worth it. To my surprise, there was actually a dance club called Flash that was essentially a Euro House club that resembled what you’d see/hear at nightclubs in Germany and Europe and they played deep house all night, which was such a unique experience in DC because I did not expect DC to have something like that, since based on individuals I asked, it didn’t seem like nightclubs were much of a thing in this city.
On Saturday, I spent time exploring Georgetown, which is personally my favorite part of DC because it has a slightly more trendy vibe with a lot of delicious (and healthy) food options and of course, bakery items aka Georgetown Cupcakes (it’s a MUST try). I also fell in love with one of the coffee spots there that my previous internship manager recommended to me called Grace Street Coffee, which was located inside a plaza that had other food/drink options, so it wasn’t just a coffee shop. The coffee taste reminded me of one of my favorites in California (Daydream Surf Shop) because I got the same exact drink I usually get, an Iced Vanilla Latte with Oat Milk 🙂
Aside from enjoying my favorite Harvest Bowl at sweetgreen for lunch in Georgetown, I went around on M Street where most of the shops are located and lightly shopped around and of course, took lots of fun photos at the IG perfect walls 😉
Sunday was my last day in the city, so I tried to soak up as much as possible before leaving and decided to stop by Georgetown area again for my new favorite coffee (aka Grace Street Coffee) and also took an Uber scooter to ride on the waterfront park, which felt so liberating and free and to be honest, for the first time in a very long time, I didn’t have such a crazy urge or desire to come back to Southern California. Although, it doesn’t mean I don’t still love it (because I really do)!
This weekend trip to DC was truly such a fun and relaxing experience and I couldn’t be more grateful to partner with Kimpton Hotel Palomar DC on this getaway.For those who love the East Coast, I definitely recommend taking time to explore DC sometime, because I didn’t give it much thought when I grew up and now I wish I had. I’ve compiled a list of majority of the places I stopped by that I’d highly recommend if you’re visiting DC anytime in the future!
Personal Recommendations for DC:
– Lupo Verde — Italian fine dining, located on 14th street (prime area)
– Colada Shop — vibrant cafe aesthetic, great for rooftop drinks/snacks, on 14th street
– 801 Restaurant & Bar — great bar to start the night at, rooftop vibe with house music
– TAKODA — another great rooftop bar, usually more crowded and early-mid 20’s focused
– Grace Street Coffee — amazing coffee, perfect for on-the-go when in Georgetown
– sweetgreen — similar to chipotle, but salad bowl version
– Georgetown Waterfront Park — beautiful and scenic area, dining options and a great walking/bike path on the water
– Flash Nightclub — only go if you LOVE European house and are with friends that do as well
Next time, I definitely will plan to spend a little more time in DC rather than just a weekend. You never know, I might end up living there next year as well 😉