Doing DC in Fashion with Robin Givhan
Former Fashion Editor for Washington Post
My travel cravings are for eye-popping views. Every summer, I try to hike a modest mountain, and then return to a hotel with high thread-count sheets. My earliest travel memory is staying at the Beverly Hills hotel on a family trip to Disneyland, but in my 8 year old brain, it was "the big pink hotel." The place I'm most excited to go to next is Tanzania.
I would spend my perfect day in Washington because once you get past the bad behavior on Capitol Hill, it is a breathtaking, old world city. I would stay at the Hay-Adams Hotel because it has the most sweeping views of the monuments from its deck, you can look directly onto the White House, the Washington Monument, and all the rest. My most memorable moment here was watching the 4th of July fireworks from the south lawn of the White House. The most romantic thing you can do here is visit the Mall after sunset. All the monuments are beautifully lit, the Potomac glistens and the crowds subside. It's like touring the city by candlelight.
The activities that can't be missed
1. Get out of the cabs and off the metro. Ride the Mt. Vernon trail. Start by the Lincoln Memorial, cross the Memorial Bridge, ride through Old Town Alexandria and end at Mt. Vernon - about 18 miles.
2. Visiting the Hirschhorn Museum. It's a glorious repository of modern art with a beautiful sculpture garden. It's free and even during the height of the tourist season, not crowded.
3. Wander through the Library of Congress - it's like reading a library book in the Sistine Chapel.
My favorite places to eat
1. Central by Michel Richard—bistro cuisine at its best. The frisée salad with a poached egg and lardons is perfection.
2. Ethiopic for Ethiopian food, a DC specialty. The vegetarian platter is spicy and deeply flavorful. Eating your veggies is a pleasure there.
3. The Atlas Room is on H Street N.E. and is the most grown up restaurant on the street. New American cuisine in tapas, appetizer and entree portions. I like the beef two-ways.
The places you should definitely see
1. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial—at dusk.
2. The Capitol—at sunrise.
3. The White House—any time. The view from Pennsylvania Avenue never gets old.
My favorite hidden gems
1. Salt and Sundry at Union Market: a revitalized old farmers market anchored by this store of curated home goods, fancy cocktail mixers and assorted items.
2. New Columbia Distillery, makers of Green Hat Gin: a local brew with lots of herbs. Tastings on Saturdays.
3. Harold Black—a Capitol Hill speakeasy where they take their cocktails seriously.