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Washington, D.C./East End

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Washington, D.C. : East End
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Washington, D.C./East End

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Verizon Center, home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals, on 7th St. NW.

East End is a district of Washington, D.C. comprised of D.C.'s old downtown quarter, east of 15th Street, including the smaller downtown neighborhoods of Chinatown, Penn Quarter, Judiciary Square, and Mount Vernon Square. To the south is the National Mall, while Capitol Hill is to the east, the West End is to the west, and Shaw is to the north.


The East End of Washington, D.C. is centered on 7th St. NW, where the Chinatown and Penn Quarter neighborhoods are located. Chinatown is situated roughly between 5th and 9th St. NW (from east to west) and between Mount Vernon Square and F St. NW (north to south). It is a very compact (i.e. small) community of Asian-owned shops and restaurants which is dominated by the Verizon Center sports arena and associated bars. The Washington Convention Center opened in 2004, on Mount Vernon Square, a couple blocks north of Chinatown.

In the early 1990s, when Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Abe Pollin arrived for the first time by limousine at 7th St. and F St. NW to scout out possible sites for a new arena, he was told not to get out of the vehicle. The site, then a parking lot, had drug dealers doing business there, and the neighborhood was crime-ridden and deserted at night. But, he decided that was the place to build his new arena. The Verizon Center (then the MCI Center) opened in December 1997, and since then, the neighborhood has experienced a remarkable turnaround with tremendous gentrification. Chinatown is quite safe nowadays and lively in the evenings. As an increasing number of chain stores and restaurants have opened in recent years, and Chinatown increasingly resembles a miniature Times Square with activity day and night into the wee hours. With the transformation, the neighborhood has been losing its ethnic character, though even new businesses in the neighborhood are required to post signage in Chinese. The heart of Chinatown is located at 7th and H St. NW, with the large Chinatown Friendship Arch, and most of the remaining Asian-owned businesses and restaurants are concentrated on H St.

To the south of Chinatown is the Penn Quarter and the National Portrait Gallery/National Gallery of American Art. The bustling entertainment area between the Verizon Center and the National Portrait Gallery is also called Gallery Place. Penn Quarter is distinguished from the rest of downtown by its 19th century buildings and facades, many of which were preserved by the federal government for art gallery use prior to 1994. After the opening of the Verizon Center in 1997, most of these buildings were redeveloped as the ground-floor facades of private luxury apartments and office buildings, resulting in the creation of an "arts and entertainment" district. The International Spy Museum is located at F St. and 9th St. NW.

Judiciary Square, located to the east of Penn Quarter and Chinatown, is home to the United States District Court building, along with the D.C. Superior Court building, and various other government buildings. The National Building Museum is located in the former Pension Bureau building, which was designed by General Montgomery C. Meigs and built in the late 1880s. The Pension Building boasts a huge open space, with massive columns, with the space used for major special events including Presidential inaugural balls. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is also located at Judiciary Square, across from the Pension Building.

Metro Center is located to the west of Chinatown, between 10th and 15th St. NW. It has many older buildings that used to be department stores and shops. After the opening of the Verizon Center in 1997, most of these buildings were redeveloped as the ground-floor facades of private luxury apartments and office buildings, and new shops (mostly downtown-oriented chain retail), shopping arcades, and theaters. Home of the National and Warner Theaters located on Freedom Plaza, Metro Center is considered part of Washington's theater district. Ford's Theatre, where Abraham Lincoln was shot, is located on 10th St., as is the Petersen House where Lincoln was taken and died. The National Museum of Women in the Arts is situated a couple blocks east of the White House, on New York Avenue NW.

The old Downtown area is dominated by the ceremonial stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue, between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, which is the location of most of the city's major parades, festivals, and ceremonial processions. Located on Freedom Plaza are the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, Pershing Park, City Hall (located on 13 1/2 St. NW) and the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, the largest federal office building in D.C., which is surrounded by other pedestrian plazas and neoclassical arcades. Both the Reagan Building and the Old Post Office Tower contain a visitor center and food courts. The National Archives located on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 7th and 8th St. NW, across from the Navy Memorial, and the J. Edgar Hoover FBI building is on Pennsylvania Avenue between 9th and 10th St. NW. This area on the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue is known as Federal Triangle.

Get in

By metro

Map of the East End-Penn Quarter area of Washington, D.C.

Before exiting the Metro stations, you may want to check out the neighborhood map that is displayed in the station to help orient yourself.

Metro is the best way for getting into Penn Quarter and Chinatown, as well as the National Mall, with the both the Metro Center and Gallery Place-Chinatown (at the Verizon Center) stations as major transfer stations. Metro's Red Line runs east-west through the Penn Quarter district, with stops at Union Station, Judiciary Square, Gallery Place-Chinatown, and Metro Center. The Yellow and Green Lines run north-south, with stops at Mount Vernon Square (Washington Convention Center), Gallery Place-Chinatown, and Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter. The Blue and Orange lines pass through the western section of the Penn Quarter district, serving the McPherson Square station (near the White House), Metro Center, and Federal Triangle (close to the Ronald Reagan Building).

If your destination is the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, National Gallery of Art, Newseum, and other places at the east end of the National Mall and Penn Quarter, then getting off at Union Station is a good choice. When you come out of Union Station, you should see the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Russell Senate Building across the open plaza area. Cross at 1st St. NE, and continue along Louisiana Ave. to Constitution Avenue to get over to the Mall and Capitol Reflecting Pool area, or you can cut through the plaza and by the Russell Building to get over to the Capitol Building or Supreme Court. Judiciary Square is the closest station to the National Building Museum and National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

The Gallery Place-Chinatown station has three exits — one exit on 9th Street, adjacent to the National Portrait Gallery, and two exits on 7th St. NW. (at H St. and at F St.) The Yellow/Green Lines run on a level beneath and crosses under the Red Line, and has a center platform. The Red Line level has split platforms: the north, H St. side of the platform (towards Shady Grove, including Dupont Circle and Bethesda) and the south, F St. side (towards Glenmont, including Union Station and Silver Spring). If you are arriving via the Yellow or Green, you will come up a set of escalators to the Red Line level, and most likely end up coming out one of the 7th St. exits. If you arrive on the Red Line, you will see the 9th St exit at one end, and the 7th St exits and Yellow/Green Line transfers at the other end. To get from the Glenmont side to the Shady Grove side (or vice versa), you need to go up another set of escalators, cross over, and come back down on the other side.

To get to the National Gallery of Art, you can get off at either the Gallery Place-Chinatown (if arriving on the Red Line) or Archives/Navy Memorial station. Head south on 7th Street to Constitution Avenue, and the Gallery will be on your left (to the east). The National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Gallery is on the west side of 7th Street. The Gallery Place-Chinatown station is most convenient for going to the Verizon Center, the National Portrait Gallery, or the shops/restaurants along 7th St. NW.

If you are heading to the National Museum of Natural History (coming via the Red Line), you can get off at the 9th St. exit of the Gallery Place-Chinatown station, then walk south on 9th St. to Constitution Avenue, where you turn right and you will see the museum ahead on the left. You can also get off at Metro Center (configured similarly to the Gallery Place-Chinatown station, with split Red Line platforms), at one of the 12th St. exits, and go south on 12th St. until you get to Constitution Avenue, and you will see the museum on the left. If arriving via the Orange or Blue Lines, then get off at the Federal Triangle station, and the Archives/Navy Memorial Station is a good choice if coming on the Green or Yellow Lines. The Metro Center and Federal Triangle stations are also convenient to the National Museum of American History, which is located on Constitution Avenue, between 12th and 14th St. NW.

If you do decide to take the Metro to downtown D.C., coming from the suburbs, beware of the parking situation at the suburban stations. The parking lots and garages at many suburban Metro stations fill up extremely early in the morning (before 7 AM). If you do find parking at a Metro station, the parking rates can cost up to $4.75 and is payable only if you use a SmartTrip card (available for purchase at Metro stations). Without a SmartTrip card, you cannot exit the Metro parking facility.

By car

Parking around the mall is extremely limited during the day on weekdays. There are parking garages throughout the downtown/Penn Quarter district, though they often fill up with office workers who have monthly parking. Some parking garages may still have space available, but prices are steep ($14 per day). There is a parking available at Union Station, with validation available, allowing you to park for 2 hours for $1. There is a validation machine inside the station, just before heading out to the parking garage. Beware, if you exceed the 2 hours or forget to validate, then the parking rates skyrocket.

There also is metered parking throughout the downtown area of D.C., with payment required and 2 hour time limits enforced. But, metered spaces are also very scarce, and you may find yourself circling around the block for a half-hour or even an hour in search of a parking spot. Along some stretches, including around Freedom Plaza and Judiciary Square, parking is restricted to permit holders only, and other spots, parking is for taxis or other special vehicles only. You may also find emergency no parking signs posted, which make parking off limits. There are parking spots with 3-hour limits and no payment, along Madison Drive on the National Mall, but these spaces fill up quickly and are scarce.

On evenings and weekends on the off season, it is quite easy to find parking spots very near to the mall in places along Independence Avenue. It's also possible to find metered spaces throughout Penn Quarter, or find parking in one of the many parking garages. Meters are in effect on Saturdays, with the two-hour time limit enforced. But, there is no enforcement on Sundays or Federal holidays, so you can stay parked as long as you wish. If you park in a garage, make sure you know what the hours are, so you can exit before the garage closes!

If you do drive into the city, from south of D.C., take I-395 and come up 14th Street, and the Penn Quarter district will be to your right once you pass Constitution Avenue. From the north, you can take Georgia Avenue into the city from Silver Spring or the Beltway. Georgia Avenue turns into 7th St. NW., so just keep straight and you will eventually end up in Penn Quarter. If coming down Georgia Avenue from the Beltway or points north, you can also take 16th Street (forks to the right from Georgia Avenue, soon after the Beltway). 16th Street is mostly non-commercial, with Rock Creek Park on the right for much of the way. 16th Street will take you all the way to H St., where you will run into Lafayette Park and see the White House. There, you will be forced to turn left on to H St., and can continue straight into the Chinatown/Penn Quarter area. If coming from the east, take New York Avenue to 6th-9th St. NW and turn left. From the northwest, take Massachusetts Ave. to 9th St. and turn right.

By taxi

Taxis are plentiful and reasonably priced, with a metered system. It is possible to hail a taxi from the street at almost any hour of the day or night in downtown D.C. A cab is especially useful when coming from Georgetown, Union Station, or National Airport. Taxis are also a good option for getting from point A to B in the downtown area if it is too far for you to walk, or the weather is unpleasant. The Washington Post website has a taxi fare estimator [57] which can give you an idea of what the fare is supposed to be.

By bus

The Metrobus system is centered on downtown D.C., but is unfortunately very complex and locations of bus lines and routes are not advertised to anyone who is not a regular rider. There is no central terminal or bus mall, for instance. The main exception is the Pennsylvania Avenue (stops between 7th St. and 15th St. NW.) bus line, which takes you to Georgetown and upper Wisconsin Avenue, which are areas not easily accessible by Metrorail. MetroExtra [58], is an express bus, running along 7th St. north to Silver Spring, Maryland, connecting Gallery Place with uptown areas.

The D.C. Circulator [59], a new bus service, provides service for a $1 fare. The Circulator has a bus line running east-west from Union Station, stopping near Mount Vernon Square (two blocks north of Chinatown), and along K St. NW., and over to Georgetown. Another Circulator bus route runs north-south along 7th St. from Mount Vernon Square, to the Southwest Waterfront. Perhaps most useful to the visitor is the Circulator bus route that loops around the National Mall, along Constitution and Independence Avenues, between 4th St. (by the National Gallery of Art) and 17th St. NW. (by the National World War II Memorial). However, the Mall loop route operates only on the weekend, from 10 AM to 6 PM.

On foot

The Penn Quarter area is easily walkable from the Smithsonian museums (Mall area) by walking north through the courtyards of Federal Triangle, past the National Archives. The many shops and restaurants in the east end of Downtown are very convenient to tourists visiting the Mall on foot, since there are few actual stores or restaurants in the National Mall. From the White House, walk east on Pennsylvania Avenue to G, E, or F St. From the National Mall, walk north on any cross street.


  • Old Post Office Tower, Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th St NW, +1 202 606-8694, [1]. Summer (1st weekend in June through Labor Day) M-W & F 9AM-7:45PM, Th 9AM-6:30PM, winter (Labor Day through Memorial Day) 9AM-4:45PM, Sa-Su and holidays 10AM-5:45PM (all year).. At 315 feet this is one of the tallest buildings in D.C. Enter through the food court and take the elevators to the 270-foot observation deck for excellent views of D.C. Bell-ringing practice is held on Th from 7PM-8PM Free. Free admission.
  • International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW (Metro:Gallery Place/Chinatown), +1 202 393-7798 (), [2]. Admission: Adults: $20, Seniors: $15, Children (5-11): $15, Children (4 & under): Free.
  • Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences, Corner of 6th & E St NW (located near the Judiciary Square Metro station), +1 202 334-1201, [3]. 10AM - 6PM (except Tu). $5/adult, $3/seniors, children, students, active duty military.
  • National Building Museum, 401 F St NW (located at Judiciary Square), +1 202 272-2448, [4]. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Located in the Pension Building, the building itself is a highly recommended for its architecture, with an expansive open interior space with massive columns. The space is used on occasion for special events, including Presidential inaugurations. There is a small cafe inside, to the right of the entrance, and places to sit and relax, as well as a gift shop. The National Building Museum features long-term exhibits on the planning and building of Washington, D.C., and on green building and communities, along with various short-term exhibits and special events. Free, suggested donation $5.
  • National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Ave NE (Metro: Union Station on the Red Line. Just west of Union Station.), +1 202 357-2700, [5]. Daily except 25 December 10AM-5:30PM. Exhibitions of how mail has been delivered throughout history, rare stamps, and other ways that the mail shapes culture. Free admission..
  • National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave NW. (located a couple blocks north of Metro Center), +1 202 783-5000, [6]. 10AM-5PM (M-Sa); Noon-5PM (Su). $8/adult, $6/student, free/children (18 and younger).


The Verizon Center [60] is home to both the Washington Wizards [61] of the NBA and the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals [62]. The Georgetown Hoyas [63] college basketball team also plays games at the Verizon Center, as do the WNBA's Washington Mystics [64]. As well, the Verizon Center hosts major concerts, WWE wrestling, and various other events throughout the year. Tickets are sold through Ticketmaster [65], or at the box office.

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center hosts events throughout the year, including shows geared towards the public, as well as trade shows and conferences. The popular Washington Auto Show takes place annually in late January or early February, the Washington Home and Garden Show is in March, and the Washington Craft Show takes place in November.


  • Ford's Theatre, 511 10th St NW (Between E and F St. NW, near both the Metro Center and Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro stations), +1 202 347-4833, [7]. This is where John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, and he was taken across the street to the Petersen House where he died. Ford's Theatre is not only a historic site, but remains a working theater, with regular performances. Note: Ford's Theatre has been closed for renovations, but is scheduled to reopen in February 2009. Tours are free, but show tickets range from $40 - $55.
  • National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave NW (located across from Freedom Plaza, near the Metro Center and Federal Triangle Metro stations), +1 202 628-6161, [8]. First opened in 1835, many Presidents have come to see performances, with many famous performers back in is heydey. National Theatre now hosts broadway shows and musicals, and other events.
  • Shakespeare Theatre, 450 7th St NW (near the Gallery Place-Chinatown and Archives/Penn Quarter Metro stations), +1 202 546-9606, [9]. Puts on plays by Shakespeare, as well as other playwrights.
  • Warner Theatre, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave NW, +1 202 783-4000, [10]. Reopened in 1992, the Warner Theatre hosts broadway shows, concerns, dance, and other events.
  • Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St NW (near both Judiciary Square or Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro stations), +1 202 289-2443, [11].


  • Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14, 701 Seventh Street NW (next to the Verizon Center), +1 202 393-2121, [12]. The Regal cinema shows all the popular, current movies. Though, beware that this movie theater is popular among young adolescents (especially on weekends and in the evenings) who may be rambunctious. Ranging from $8 for children to $10.75 for adults. Discounts also for seniors, students, military, and matinees.
  • E Street Cinema, 555 11th Street NW (Entrance is on E St., between 10th and 11th, near the Qdoba), +1 202 452-7672, [13]. A Landmark Theaters cinema, showing independent films. The E Street Cinema is quiet, and does not draw the same youth crowd as the Regal cinema. $10 general, $7.50 before 6PM on weekdays, $7.50 for seniors, children, and $8 for students.

Ice skating

  • Sculpture Garden Ice-Skating Rink (at the National Gallery of Art), Constitution Avenue and 7th St. NW, +1 202 289-3360, [14]. Seasonal (November to March), weather permitting; open 10AM - 7PM (M-Th); 10AM - 9PM (F-Sa); 11AM-7PM (Su). Relaxing place to enjoy the fresh air, listen to music, and enjoy the surroundings, including a view of the National Archives building. Take a break from skating to enjoy hot cocoa or a meal at the Pavilion Café, next to the skating rink. Note that the sculpture garden itself closes at 5 PM (6 PM on Sundays), and access after that time is restricted to the ice rink only. $7 adults, $6 children, students, and seniors; $3 for skate rental.
  • Pershing Park Ice Rink, 14th St. and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, +1 202 737-6938, [15]. Enjoy ice skating in the shadow of the Ronald Reagan Building and the Willard Hotel (specially decorated during the holiday season). Note: Temporarily closed, probably through inauguration.


  • Lucky Strike Lanes, 701 7th Street NW (Next to the Verizon Center), +1 202 347-1021, [16]. 12PM-12AM (M-Th); 12PM-2AM (F); 10AM-2AM (Sa); 10AM-12 PM (Su). Lucky Strikes is a combination bowling alley and lounge. After 9PM, only those age 21+ are permitted, and there is a dress code (no sportswear, baggy clothes, etc.)


The Penn Quarter was once the capital's premiere shopping district. Some department stores still remain, but most shops have decamped for the suburbs. They have been replaced by art galleries, museums, entertainment destinations, and a wide variety of restaurants, especially in the Penn Quarter. Shops and offices catering to the daytime business and lobbying crowd are concentrated around Metro Center and the "New Downtown" of Connecticut Ave. and K Street (West End).

Downtown shopping is more dispersed, but there is a cluster of stores around the Metro Center station anchored by the large Macy's department store directly connected to the station. The Shops at International Plaza, located near the Farragut West station on the Orange and Blue Lines, is a three-level indoor mall featuring over 100 stores and restaurants. Additional shopping can be found at the Pavilion at the Old Post Office, on Pennsylvania Avenue NW near the Federal Triangle Metro station.

All Smithsonian museums have gift shops and they are tax-free. The largest and can be found in the National Museum of American History (currently closed for renovations) and the National Air and Space Museum. The gift shop in the National Building Museum is one of the best gift shops not run by the Smithsonian Institution, though D.C. sales tax applies.

In the summer months, a farmers market takes over 8th Street NW, between D and E Streets each Thursday afternoon between 2 and 7 PM. During the holiday season in December, the Downtown Holiday Market is setup on F Street NW, between 7th and 9th St., with an array of handcrafted items, jewelry, pottery, and edible goods.



  • California Tortilla, 728 7th St NW, +1 202 638-2233, [17]. 11AM-10PM (M-Th); 11AM-11PM (Fr-Sat); 11AM-9PM (Sun). Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, salads, and other tex-mex food served in funky setting. $5-10.
  • Capital Q, 707 H St NW, +1 202 347-8396, [18]. 11AM-9PM (M-Th); 11AM-10PM (Fr-Sat); Noon - 8PM (Sun). Texas-style barbecue joint serving pulled pork and chicken, variety of sandwiches , ribs, and other options.
  • Chop't Creative Salad, 730 7th St NW, +1 202 374-3225. 10:30AM-10PM (M-Sat); 11AM-7PM (Sun). A variety of salads, made-to-order. $5-10.
  • Nando's Peri-Peri, 819 7th St. NW, +1 202 898-1225, [19]. Nando's is a South African chain, which recently opened in D.C. They serve spicy chicken and sandwiches, as well as chicken livers, and vegetarian options including salads and veggie burgers.
  • Old Post Office Pavilion food court, Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th St NW (Close to the National Mall).
  • Qdoba, 555 11th St NW (located on E St., between 10th and 11th St.), +1 202 347-8477, [20]. Burritos, quesadillas, tacos, nachos, and other options made to order. $5-10.
  • Red Velvet Cupcakery, 675 E St. NW (Corner of 7th and E St., near Gallery Place-Chinatown and Archives/Penn Quarter stations), +1 202 347-7895, [21]. For a nice treat, enjoy cupcake varieties including mocha/espresso, peanut butter cup, and other options. $3.25 per cupcake or $36 for a dozen..
  • Smartkart, 7th and F St NW (outside the National Portrait Gallery), [22]. 11AM-4PM. Chicken Estofado, Tacos, and Julias Empanadas, along with organic snacks, served from an eco-friendly electric vehicle. $5.
  • Teaism, 400 8th St NW (by the Navy Memorial), +1 202 638-6010. 7:30AM-10PM (M-F); 9:30AM-9PM (Sat-Sun); Brunch served on weekends until 2:30PM. Teaism has a large selection of teas, and an adjacent tea shop where you can get some to take home. In addition to tea, they serve a variety of Asian dishes including Japanese bento boxes, udon noodle soup, ochazuke, Thai and Indian curry, and many vegetarian options. Breakfast is also delicious at Teaism, and their salty oat cookies are a must. $3-4 for tea, $10-15 for a meal, $20 for afternoon tea.


  • Hotel Washington, 515 15th Street NW, +1 800 424 9540, [23]. The top level of this hotel features a restaurant that provides an unmatched view of the Washington Monument and the White House. You're so high and close that federal police will watch you eat through their binoculars from neighboring rooftops. The food isn't spectacular and the line to get a seat is long, but it's definitely worth it. Try going during non-peak times.
  • Jaleo, 480 7th Street NW, +1 202 628-7949. Many credit this loud, happy restaurant in the Penn Quarter (a local chain) for the current boom in Spanish tapas bars. Serves tasty tapas and wonderful sangria, as well as a great selection of ports and sherry.
  • Marrakesh, 617 New York Ave NW, +1 202 393-9393, [24]. Moroccan Cuisine, belly dancers, eat with your hands. The food is excellent, the serving staff to be good, and the atmosphere to be wonderful. The seven course meal is the only food served. There are some minor choices for main dishes, or if you want a vegetarian meal. The website lists the current meal choices. Be sure to check out the back hallway with pictures of all the famous visitors.
  • Matchbox, 713 H St NW, +1 202 289-4441, [25]. 11AM-10:30PM (M-Th); 11AM-1AM (Fr-Sat); 11AM-10PM (Sun). Pizza and bistro place, also serving sandwiches, burgers, salads, and entree, and a good place to go for a drink. Matchbox has outdoor seating when the weather is warm.


  • Butterfield 9, 600 14th St. NW (near Metro Center), +1 202 289-8810. Chef Michael Harr creates the most intriguing and nuanced food in town. Expensive.
  • Minibar by José Andrés (Cafe Atlantico), 405 8th Street NW, +1 202 393-0812, [26]. Mr. Andrés' wild culinary ride. This six seat restaurant within a restaurant dishes up everything from cotton candy foie gras to lobster injection to beet tumbleweed. Expensive.
  • Tenpenh, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, +1 202 393-4500, [27]. Tastes and textures of the Far East influence the cooking here. Refreshingly eclectic dishes and startlingly new sauces. Expensive.
  • Zaytinya, 701 9th St NW, +1 202 638-0800. 11:30AM-10PM (Sun-M); 11:30AM-11:30PM (Tu-Th); 11:30AM-Midnight (Fr-Sat). Serves a variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian Greek and Lebanese mezze, along with large selection of wines.


  • ESPN Zone, 555 12th St. NW (At 12th St. and E St. NW, near Metro Center station), +1 202 783-3776, [28]. Not a place to take a date, but a fun place that is a little expensive, but with over 200 TVs and 13 foot tall TV all tuned to sports, it is worth it.
  • Indebleu, 707 G Street NW (Off of 7th St., near the Verizon Center and Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station), +1 202 333-2538, [29]. Stunning decor, $15 drinks, and young D.C. types rubbing elbows with each other make Indebleu a hot spot not to be missed. Also a full service restaurant upstairs.
  • R.F.D. Washington, 810 7th St NW, +1 202 289-2030, [30]. 11AM - 1:30AM (M-Th); 11AM - 2:30AM (F-Sa); Noon - 12:30AM (Su). R.F.D. is a shoot-off of the Brickskeller, a Dupont Circle landmark. There are 30 varieties of beer on tap, and nearly 300 choices of bottled beer. R.F.D. serves standard American food, along with a selection of seafood and other regional dishes. Despite serving beer, it's also suitable for families eating there before Washington Capitals or Washington Wizards games at the nearby Verizon Center or when sightseeing downtown. There is outdoor seating when the weather is warm.
  • Zola, 800 F St NW (At the International Spy Museum, a block from the Verizon Center), +1 202 654-0999, [31]. 11:30AM - Midnight (M-F); 5 PM - Midnight (Sa); 5 PM - 10 PM (Su). Place for a nice lunch or dinner, or for drinks. Reservations recommended.



  • Hotel Harrington, 1100 E St NW (corner of 11th & E Streets NW), +1 202 628-8140, [32]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: Noon. Rooms from $99 per night.
  • Red Roof Inn, 500 H St NW (near the Judiciary Square Metro), +1 202 289-5959, [33]. checkin: 1PM; checkout: Noon. Rooms from $130 per night.
  • Washington International AYH Hostel, 1009 11th St NW (off of Massachusetts Avenue, near the Washington Convention Center), +1 202 737-2333, [34]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. $25 - $40.


  • Hampton Inn, 901 6th St., NW (on Massachusetts Avenue), +1 202 842-2500, [35]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: Noon. Rooms from $249 per night.
  • Holiday Inn on the Hill, 415 New Jersey Ave., NW, +1 202 638-1616, Toll free 1-800-638-1116, [36]. This hotel is conveniently located close to many D.C. attractions such as the US Capitol, Union Station, and the Smithsonian museums. This hotel offers business and leisure accommodations with a number of children’s activities for fun family vacations.
  • Hotel George, 15 E St., NW, +1 202 347-4200 (fax: (202) 347-4213), [37]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: Noon. Rooms from $229 per night.
  • Marriott Courtyard, 900 F St., NW (near the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro), +1 202 638-4600 (fax: (202) 638-4601), [38]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: Noon. Rooms from $169 per night.
  • Washington Marriott at Metro Center, 775 12th St., NW, +1 202 737-2200, [39]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: Noon. The Marriott at Metro Center Hotel is centrally located in downtown Washington D.C. Its location near the Metro rail system provides business, family, and leisure travelers easy access to the hotel. Rooms from $189 per night.
  • Wyndham Downtown Washington Hotel, 1400 M St., NW, +1 202 429-1700, [40].
  • Morrison Clark Hotel, 1015 L St NW, 20001, 202-898-1200, [41]. Experience the storied legacy of the a 19th Century Victorian mansion, now a full service hotel, proud to be on the National Register of Historic Places. A short distance from the DC convention center, federal and local government buildings, and downtown attractions and sights, the Morrison-Clark Historic Hotel and Restaurant is a magnificent link to the District's glorious past. A stately, 19th-century Victorian mansion situated near the Capitol and The White House, we offer a distinctive alternative to standard boutique hotels in downtown Washington, DC. Rooms from $99 to $149 per night.
  • Henley Park Hotel, 926 Massachusetts Ave NW, 20001, 202-638-5200, [42]. Celebrate a landmark union of past and present at this luxury hotel located in downtown Washington DC. Grinning marble gargoyles lead you into a magnificently restored interior, which features leaded stained-glass windows, summoning the grandeur of a bygone era. Take advantage of access to a nearby fitness center and outdoor pool. Savor the gourmet offerings of Coeur de Lion, our award-winning restaurant. Enjoy traditional English tea served in our charming Wilkes Room, or visit the Blue Bar Cocktail Lounge for drinks and live entertainment on weekends. Rooms from $99 to $409 per night.


  • Embassy Suites, 900 10th St NW (off of Massachusetts Avenue, near the Washington Convention Center), +1 202 739-2001, [43]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. Suites from $339 per night.
  • Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H Street NW, [44]. Luxurious hotel, centrally located in Penn Quarter. In-lobby Metro Center access. Walking distance to US capital, Verizon Center, historic monuments or the Smithsonian Museums. 888 Elegant Guestrooms, with City and Lagoon Views. Full-service business center and 32 meeting rooms.
  • Hotel Monaco, 700 F St NW (convenient to the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station), +1 202 628-7177, [45]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: Noon. Rooms from $279 per night.
  • JW Marriott Hotel Washington, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW (near Freedom Plaza), +1 202 393-2000, [46]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: Noon. Rooms from $259 per night.
  • Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel, 999 Ninth Street NW, +1 202 898-9000, [47]. A distinctive luxury hotel in D.C.'s Chinatown, and convenient to the Washington Convention Center.
  • Willard Inter-Continental, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, [48]. Luxurious, historic hotel near the White House and the Old Post Office.



  • Cosi, (601 Pennsylvania Ave, NW), +1 202 347-0307, [49]. 7AM-5PM (M-F). This coffee and sandwich shop offers free wi-fi, though not all Cosi locations offer wi-fi.
  • Kogod Courtyard (Reynolds Center, National Portrait Gallery), 8th and F Streets, NW, +1 202 633-1000, [50]. 11:30AM-6:30PM. Free wi-fi is available in the Kogod Courtyard at the Reynold Center Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. There is a small cafe in the courtyard where you get coffee and sandwiches. The courtyard is a peaceful, quiet place to escape for a break. Note that your bag will be inspected when you come into the museum.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW (Near the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station), +1 202 727-0321, [51]. 9:30AM-9PM (M-Th); 9:30AM-5:30PM (F-Sa); 1PM-5PM (Su). Provides free wi-fi access, along with computers available for use.
  • Freedom Plaza and Pershing Park, Pennsylvania Avenue, between 13th and 15th St. NW, (703) 842-4851, [52]. The Open Park Project provides free wi-fi for both Freedom Plaza and Pershing Park outdoor areas.


There is no longer a post office in the Old Post Office Pavilion building, but there are several post offices within the Penn Quarter and downtown D.C. area. If you need to call the USPS, the number is (800) ASK-USPS.

  • Techworld Post Office, 800 K St. NW (enter from 7th St., between I and K St, go down the escalator, and the post office is straight ahead). 8:30AM-5PM (M-F).
  • Benjamin Franklin Post Office, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (at the EPA headquarters building), (800) ASK-USPS. 7:30AM-5:30PM (M-F); 8AM-12:30PM (Sa).
  • Frances Perkins Station, 200 Constitution Avenue NW. 8:30AM-4:30PM (M-F).
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Post Office, 1400 L St NW. 8AM-5:30PM (M-F); 8AM-2PM (Sa).
  • National Capitol, 2 Massachusetts Ave, NE (in the National Postal Museum Building, entrance on North Capitol St., adjacent to Union Station). 7AM-Midnight (M-F); 7AM-8PM (Sa-Su). This is the main post office for Washington, D.C., thus it has extended hours during the week and on the weekends.
  • Russell Station (Russell Senate Office Building), Constitution Ave and 1st St, NE. 8:30AM-5:30PM (M-F). You are welcome to go into the Russell Senate Office Building and use the post office on the basement level. Of course, you will need to pass through a security checkpoint when entering. Cameras are okay.
  • Union Station, 50 Massachuesetts Ave, NE (located inside, on the main level, near the Metro entrance, next to the beer/wine/lottery shop and across from the bookstore). 7AM-5:45PM (M-F); 7AM-3:30PM (Sa).


  • FedEx Kinko's Office & Print Center, 325 7th St NW. 24 hours.
  • FedEx Kinko's Office & Print Center, 800 K St NW (Enter from 7th Street). 6AM-11PM.
  • FedEx Kinko's Ship Center, 419 11th St NW. 9AM-8:30PM (M-F).
  • FedEx Kinko's Ship Center, 1350 New York Ave NW. 12PM-8:30PM (M-F); 1PM-5:45PM (Sa).
  • UPS Store, 455 Massachusetts Ave, NW. 9AM-7PM (M-Th); 9AM-5PM (F).

Get out

The Smithsonian [66] is not a single museum; there are 18 Smithsonian museums, many of which are located on the Mall. Museums run by the Smithsonian Institution are free of charge and their gift shops do not have the 6.5% D.C. tax levied on items sold.

From east to west along Constitution Avenue (the north side of the Mall):

  • National Gallery of Art, [53]. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 11AM-6PM. The east building of this museum focuses on modern art, while the west building showcases more traditional, mostly European, paintings and sculptures. The two buildings are connected by an underground walkway which has a store and a restaurant. Unlike most art museums, flash photography is allowed. The sculpture garden's foot pool is an excellent way to cool off during the day. Free admission.
  • National Archives, (Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial via the Green and Yellow Lines), [54]. Rotunda and exhibit hall, Open Daily except 25 December; 10AM-5:30PM (day after Labor Day through March 31), 10AM-7PM (April 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day weekend), 10AM-9PM (Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day). In summer you can go in the evening and avoid the long queue (everything else in town is closed then anyway). See the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other displays. Gift shop. Free admission.
  • National Museum of Natural History, [55]. 10AM-5:30PM, summer (May 26 to September 4) 10AM-7:30PM. This Smithsonian museum presents a variety of displays including world cultures, meteorites and mineral samples. It traces the evolution of life from its beginnings through fossil plants, dinosaurs and mammals. Be sure to see the Hope Diamond, the most famous blue diamond in the world. Free admission.
  • National Museum of American History, [56]. 10AM-5:30PM, summer 10AM-6:30PM. A Smithsonian museum, it covers topics ranging from technology to social and political history. Newly re-opened after renovation. Free admission.
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