Exploring DC Like a Local with Kimpton Hotels

Ever since graduating this past May, I have been doing a deep dive on where I want to be spending my time for the next few years. The only move I’ve ever done was moving from a small rural town in Pennsylvania to a large suburban city in Orange County, California. Since then, I’ve considered what it would be like living in an actual big city, like Manhattan, NY or Washington, DC. I decided to do a quick little pit stop at both cities during my time on the East Coast after traveling to Europe and spent a full weekend in DC (trying to be) like a local with Kimpton Hotels. 

With my amazing stay experience with Kimpton Palomar during my last visit in June/July, I decided it’d be a great choice to stay with Kimpton Hotels again and this time, I stayed with Kimpton Carlyle Dupont Circle, also super close to Kimpton Palomar but in a different section of Dupont Circle.


This hotel is slightly smaller, but still has a very “homey” boutique hotel vibe to it, which I thoroughly enjoyed, as I wanted to try to experience the city as if I lived there. The Kimpton Carlyle team were generous enough to also have a welcome treat in the room, along with a bottle of cabernet (they also offer complimentary wine hour from 5-6pm).

IMG_4919Since the weather was just gorgeous (think early Fall vibes), I decided to take the thirty minute stroll to Georgetown, which I highly recommend if you like to get your steps in (my daily goal is between 10-15K steps). It’s so worth it when you live in a city and have the energy to do so 😉 I watched the sunset at Georgetown Waterfront, one of my favorite spots in the city, before heading to dinner at Farmers Fishers Bakers. If you love a nice martini style drink, I always get a Lemon Drop and I enjoyed a classic salmon sushi roll with spicy mayo.

On Saturday, I decided to do what I usually do when I’m actually home in California, which is go to a workout class! I opted for my all-time favorite 8:30am SoulCycle spin class at the 14th NW location, which was only half a mile away from Kimpton Carlyle Dupont Circle and since it was less than a mile away, the hotel team arranged for a complimentary Uber service pick-up (which is provided from 7-9am and 5-7pm for any location less than 1 mile away).

After my morning workout, I took time to get ready for the day and planned to do a lot of catch up work on my computer from the Philz Coffee shop just a brisk ten minute walk away in Dupont Circle. Since it was so close to Kimpton Carlyle, I decided to walk back for a little break and then stopped by Grace Street Coffee afterwards to finish up some more work (also where I wrote part of this blog post ;)).

In the evening on Saturday, I enjoyed an amazing dinner at Lupo Verde (my top favorite restaurant plus the bestttt Italian food) and spent a few hours catching up with my high school best friend who currently resides in DC. This restaurant was the first one I ever tried when I first visited DC for a DECA Business Competition in April 2018 and ever since then, I’ve always returned for the delicious Italian cuisine and incredible service and dining atmosphere.

On Sunday I decided to take it easy and take a nice ten minute stroll to Bluestone Lane in Dupont Circle since I wanted a small bite by myself before heading back to PA and this was definitely the perfect spot for a solo mellow vibe. I decided to take another walk back to the hotel, in which I’m really glad I did since usually I would just opt to take an Uber, but after traveling and experiencing the city life for the past two weeks, I figured why not just walk anyways!

Which ties into a huge perk I admire and love about DC–being able to walk anywhere (for the most part) if you create enough time to do so. There are also plenty of amazing food, coffee, and atmosphere options to hangout at whether you’re visiting DC alone or with company and I’ve shared my personal favorites below 🙂

Recommendations by category:

– Farmers Fishers Bakers (a classic, perfect for an evening dinner during sunset)
– Chaia Tacos (perfect for a lighter/healthy meal and vegetarians/vegans)
– Lupo Verde (my favorite restaurant, amazing if you loveeee Italian food, be sure to make a reservation on Open Table)

*Coffee spots/bakeries:
– Grace Street Coffee (coffee is great, nice workspace area too)
– Philz Coffee in Dupont Circle (classic Philz, very large workspace area)
– Baked and Wired (very unique cupcakes and sweets, deff delicious)
– Georgetown Cupcakes (if it’s your first time, it’s a MUST if you love sweets)
– Bluestone Lane in Dupont Circle (great cafe to chill solo or catch up with a friend)

*Areas to see:
– Georgetown Waterfront (breathtaking when the weather is beautiful, lots of food/drinks around)
– The Wharf (super beautiful waterfront area, great food and drinks around)

Hope this was a little helpful for your next visit to the capital!



Emily Duong

Born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, but currently residing in Orange County, California. Emily Elizabeth is an entrepreneur, athlete, and lifestyle blogger sharing her everyday lifestyle and healthy mindset.



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