Best Running Store: Pacers Running Stores

With six locations, including its newest outpost in Logan Circle (1427 P St. NW; 202-506-2029), Pacers outfits countless runners across the region with custom-fit sneaks and technical gear. Its network of community road races continues to grow, with about 18 to 20 Pacers-organized events this year. “I think we do a really good job of […]

Best Museum: National Gallery of Art

The NGA’s collection spans what our mom calls “stuff that looks like real life” to the giant swaths of paint on canvas about which ignorant people say, “My kid could do that.” Also, there’s gelato. No Way. Way!: We have a special place in our heart for the singeries, depictions of monkeys in human dress […]

Best Local Women's Boutique: Treat

Think of this Old Town “sample sale boutique” as the anti-Marshalls. The minty-walled Old Town destination traffics in spendy women’s clothing and shoe names — Tracy Reese, Hayden-Harnett, 3.1 Phillip Lim — at up to 80 percent off retail. Coming Attractions: An online version of the shop is due to launch later this year; in […]

Best Happy Hour Scene: The Front Page

This dark, friendly Dupont bar knows its clientele: They want a whole lot of cheap drinks after work, they want a bar crowded with their friends and some potential new friends, and they want buffalo wings. Sure, in the summer the interns crowd in here, but it’s a better class of intern than you’d find […]

Best Day Trip: Annapolis

How to Blend in with the Natives: 1) Wear dock loafers, an embroidered belt and a tucked-in polo shirt. 2) Arm yourself with a wooden mallet and hack crabs by the bushel at Cantlers. 3) Attend the U.S. Sailboat Show (held every year in October) and say nautical things such as “nice reversible winch.” After […]

Best Theatre (Big): Kennedy Center

With opera, ballet and the-ay-ter, The Kennedy Center seems to cater To such a wide variety Of tastes in things to hear and see. But I think we can all agree The shows that bring us extra glee Are all the ones they do for free. » Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW; 202-467-4600. (Foggy […]

Best Bowling: Lucky Strike

Even the bowling shoes are stylin’ at these 14 lanes. They have to be: There’s a dress code: No plain white T’s or excessively baggy clothes, for instance. Which makes sense, considering celebs such as John Legend, Clinton Portis and GIlbert Arenas, above, show up to play. Besides the eye candy, 10 projection screens and […]

Best Chef: Jose Andres

Whether you’re watching him on PBS’ “Made in Spain” or at a farmers market paella demo, it’s impossible to miss Jose Andres’ passion for food. The chef behind Jaleo, Cafe Atlantico, Oyamel, Zaytinya and minibar by jose andres attributes his success to hard work. “You have to follow your own vision and hope that others […]

Best Thai: Thai Phoon

» Thai Phoon, Multiple locations. » SECOND PLACE: Thai Tanic, 1326-A 14th St. NW; 202-588-1795. (Dupont); 3462 14th St. NW; 202-387-0882. (Columbia Heights) » THIRD PLACE: Bangkok 54, 2919 Columbia Pike, Arlington; 703-521-4070. » Explore a full list of the year’s winners at the Best of 2010 index. Written by Express contributor Rachel Kaufman

Best Ski: Snowshoe Mountain

With an average of 180 inches of powder a year and 60 slopes and trails, Snowshoe offers more than skiing and, well, snowshoeing. Visitors can snowboard, snowmobile or slide down a six-story tubing hill. For the elements-averse, there’s an indoor adventure center with a rock wall and arcade. Summer Lovin’: When temperatures rise, the mountain […]