The Perfect Day in D.C., In Three Outfits

I’ve always been particularly fond of city getaways. For urban explorers, a weekend in a new city offers a variety of sensory-driven experiences and you often come back re-inspired. The question is: can one fully experience all a city has to offer in a single day? Probably not. That’s not to say you can’t have fun trying, however. The last time I attempted to do this, I went to Nashville with 2 girlfriends. We ate 6 meals in one day just to make sure we weren’t missing out on Nashville’s culinary delights. Halfway through this feat, we renamed the city Noshville. My body wasn’t too happy with me, but it was totally worth it. And now, I’m ready to attempt this feat once again.

Tomorrow I travel to Washington D.C. with fellow blogger, Apartment 34 editor Bianca Sotelo, for a weekend of cultural sites, antiquing, cocktailing and chili eating. We’re heading to the heart of the city to put together a weekend-sized city guide to D.C. with One Kings Lane and Starwood Luxury Collection, which will included a detailed list of places to eat, drink, shop, and explore in just one or two days. If you’re going to do it all in 36 hours, you might as well include some outfit changes.


My flight leaves MSP on Thursday morning, and with all the traveling I’ve been doing lately, packing has come to feel like turning on autopilot. This is good, because packing is the worst part of any trip ( if you exclude unpacking). Upon arriving and checking into the historic Fairfax on Embassy Row, I’ll have the afternoon to explore DC on my own. Thanks to my friends on Twitter, I have some quality recommendations lined up (and I’ll be sure to divulge these in my recap post). I’m really looking forward to taking the evening to rest and re-boot at The Fairfax. Hotels are the perfect place for just that.


Friday is dedicated to seeing the sites. And in D.C., you’ve got to take your pick. While the National Mall is a no-brainer, we’re headed to the historic Woodrow Wilson House, followed by a stop at Kalorama’s Spanish Steps. I LOVE traditional Georgian architecture, and this tour won’t help ease my angst when it comes to house hunting in the Midwest. We’ll conclude our day with dinner at The Fairfax, jazz on U Street and a late-night pit stop at Ben’s Chili Bowl. I’ve heard amazing things about Ben and his chili. I hope he delivers, because my expectations are super high.


Saturday includes antiquing with Andrea Stanford from One Kings Lane, who oversees their vintage and antique merchandise group, which is responsible for the Vintage & Market Finds marketplace (um- yes please). We’ll peruse Brass Knob, stop by the studio of interior designer Dylan Carter, and check out Susan Calloway Fine Arts. Seriously, I could spend a whole weekend hunting for beautiful things with a story. So this, I’m very excited about. After working up an appetite, we’re finishing off the day with rooftop cocktails and dinner at Barcelona.

Sunday, before my flight home, I’m thinking about trying Busboys and Poets for brunch, and a trip to Union Market to check out Salt & Sundry. I’d love to hear any last-minute recommendations you have! Lots of action will be happening on Instagram and Twitter this weekend, so feel free to connect with me over there!

The Perfect Day in Three Outfits:

One // Travel Outfit: Bra / Lotuff Leather Bag / Everlane Blouse – Image from NY Mag / Zara Jeans / White Birks / Gold iPhone Case / Aesop Hand Balm

Two // Site-seeing Outfit: Zara Dress / Another Feather Necklace / Black Flats / Bag

Three // Rooftop Cocktails Outfit: Zara Dress (similar) / Clare V. Fold Over Clutch / Asos Heel / Tom Ford Lipstick

  • I hope you enjoy the city. I think you’ll absolutely love Salt & Sundry and Barcelona. Busboys is worth the trip — more so than even Ben’s I think — make sure to try the lemon-pom and sweet potato fries. 2Amys has the best pizza in the city — and it’s toward the top of Embassy Row — right near the National Cathedral. Not touristy. You can try the Mexican iced coffee at Tryst (in Adams Morgan) or the iced tea and baked goods at Baked & Wired (in Georgetown). Have a wonderful time!

  • i never comment but i felt compelled to give you a good impression of dc! busboys has a cool vibe, but i don’t actually love the food (eek). i’d recommend graffiato or etto for pizza, teds bulletin or dgs delicatessen for brunch. there are some fun places for drinks around u st but also shops like goodwood. and definitely check out takorean or red apron while you’re at union market! enjoy!

  • I went to college in DC and just went back for my 10 year reunion a few weeks ago. It’s changed so much, but is so lovely. If you have a chance to fit in even one hour at The Phillips collection, it’s an amazing art gallery set up in the collectors house. It’s just fantastic and Mr. Phillips story is great. I enjoyed it in college and still enjoy it today. Your itinerary sounds amazing and jam-packed, you will have so much fun!

  • The Little Fountain Cafe in Adams Morgan is so intimate and sweet, with delicious entrees and wine, AND attentive staff, to boot!

  • On your way to U St jazz and Adams Morgan, you might check out the Swann Street Gallery, home of mid-century abstract artist Robert E. Kuhn (1917-2000). 1767 Swann St Nw Open Sat-Su and during the week, ring the bell.

  • These outfits are just perfect for a weekend in D.C. I was lucky enough to take a trip earlier this Spring and LOVED all of the amazing sites. Can’t wait to see your recap!

  • Yay! You’re coming to my city! Too bad Barcelona doesn’t have a rooftop but their garden is gorgeous!

    I hope I run into you #girlcrush !

  • I agree with Molly I don’t think Busboys and Poets is worth your time. It’s fine. But, that’s about as far as I’d go. Enjoy DC! You’re missing the stupid heat, the weekend promises to lovely. It’s a really amazing city, but in that secret kind of way “).

  • I agree with Emily – U Street/14th street has really great food. For brunch – I love St. EX, bar pilar, Ted’s bullet, and matchbox (esp. their cinnamon buns). Birch and Barley and Estadio (Slushito?!) are my fav for dinner. Churchkey (just above Birch and Barley) is great for beer. If you truly want great south food- Oohh’s & Aahh’s is great (just carry cash).

    Also 11th street in Columbia heights has really great food- I love Room 11. Kanagroo boxing club and El Chucho are great too.

    I would also check out in bloomingdale.

    Not sure, who said food was not good in DC, but they are obvious not eating where I am going. I could go on and on about my favorite places.

    When playing tourist with my friends from out of town, I always take them to Eastern Market. Tuncliff’s tavern has great food and just across the street from the market.

    Enjoy! DC is a beautiful place, despite the heat.