Editors’ Picks

Looking for quick recommendations? Check out Editors’ Picks, Washington Post writers' lists of the area's best in dozens of categories.

 

African American history sites

  • By Emily Wax and Jessica Goldstein
  • |
  • Updated 10/14/2011

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial attracts lots of fanfare, but just outside the spotlight, in Washington and its surroundings, there are dozens of houses, museums and other sites that reflect the history of African Americans in this capital city and the country.

 

Annapolis Neighborhood Guide

  • By Fritz Hahn, Lavanya Ramanathan and Justin Rude
  • |
  • Updated 09/09/2011

Annapolis is dominated by history and water. Tourists come to see the wooden dome of the State House, visit the U.S. Naval Academy, wander down cobbled streets past 18th- and 19th-century houses or take a pleasure cruise on one of the many boats moored at the city's docks and yacht clubs.

Amid the guided tours and Colonial landmarks, though, Annapolis has even more to offer: seriously great seafood, a night-life scene that ranges from wine bars to local sailors' pubs, alfresco art events and stylish boutiques.

It's funny how the city grows with you: As a kid, I ate peanut butter ice cream at Storm Brothers on the City Dock and ran through the gardens of the William Paca House downtown with my brother. Decades later, I come back for leisurely afternoons on the water and to visit dives that serve crab balls alongside cans of Natty Boh.

Here's a guide to our longtime favorites and recent discoveries.

More: Photo Gallery: Discover Annapolis | Visitors: How to soak up the water

 

Best area attractions outside D.C.

  • By Mark Berman | Washington Post Staff Writer
  • |
  • Updated 06/22/2010

There's so much to see in the nation's capital that it's easy to forget how many landmarks are outside the District. Here's a guide to 10 great sights you can get to without ever setting foot in the city.

 

Best bathrooms

  • By Going Out Guide staff
  • |
  • Updated 10/16/2012

What a relief it is to find such a steady stream of splashy restaurant and museum bathrooms in our area! We couldn't pick a favorite, so let's just say they're all number one.

 

Best historic houses

  • By Erin Williams
  • |
  • Updated 07/08/2011

You know Mount Vernon; here are other homes that illuminate our past.

 

Best places for a memorable proposal

  • The Washington Post Staff
  • |
  • Updated 02/09/2012

The scene of the proposal should be the distillation of who you are as a couple. Love the outdoors? Head to your favorite park. Total Washingtonians? The monuments may be your answer. We can't know the perfect place for you (or spring for a ring) but we have a few ideas to get you started.

 

Best places to escape bad weather

  • By Fritz Hahn
  • |
  • Updated 03/07/2012

When cold and rain are on the horizon, these indoor destinations will make you think you've left D.C. behind for to warmer climes.

 

Best restaurants for business travelers

  • The Washington Post Staff
  • |
  • Updated 09/17/2012

Whether you are looking for a good restaurant for a power lunch or spot to celebrate closing a big deal, here are a few can't-miss suggestions.

 

Best spots to lock lips

  • The Washington Post Staff
  • |
  • Updated 02/09/2012

In buttoned-up Washington, displays of affection are rarely public. But out-of-the-way spots see plenty of action.

 

Best views of Washington: Beyond the Monument

  • The Washington Post Staff
  • |
  • Updated 04/24/2014

There are other locations across the city with awesome -- in the true sense of the word -- vistas, not to mention smaller crowds than the Washington Monument. Take a virtual tour here with Washington Post photographer Bill O'Leary, and learn how to take them all in when you visit in person. (First tip: Bring a camera!) Read the article | View the gallery

 

Eye-opening artifacts of black history

  • By Lavanya Ramanathan
  • |
  • Updated 01/26/2012

As a capital city, the area has long attracted prominent African Americans, including civic leaders and artists. Slaves in the District of Columbia were freed before the Emancipation Proclamation, African American men had voting rights before those elsewhere, and institutions such as Howard University have been a draw as well. But the vestiges of this history won't always be found in statues or memorials. Here are some eye-opening objects that have their own stories to tell.

 

Lighthouses to visit

  • By Amy Orndorff
  • |
  • Updated 06/26/2012

Lighthouses represent a romantic notion for many of us. The guiding lights along the Chesapeake Bay and nearby waters afford spectacular views and connect us to a time before a job could be accomplished with a flick of a switch and there were still such things as frontiers,where folks fended for themselves. These lighthouses are in varying states of preservation: Jones Point in Alexandria is undergoing restoration, but Hooper Strait in St. Michaels is entirely refurbished. Each stands as a testament to the men and women who tended the lights many years ago and to the countless volunteers and workers who have labored so hard to preserve them. | What it's like to own a lighthouse

 

Sites off the Mall

  • By Stephanie Merry
  • |
  • Updated 07/18/2011

Escape from the touring masses by heading to these worthwhile spots off the National Mall's beaten path.

 

Take a tour of Civil War Washington

  • By Fritz Hahn
  • |
  • Updated 05/10/2011

One hundred and fifty years ago, as the country marched toward civil war, Washington was a very different city. The dome of the Capitol remained unfinished. The Washington Monument was barely 150 feet high -- less than a third of its finished height -- and its grounds were filled with grazing sheep and cattle. The Mall had no other memorials and only one museum (the Smithsonian Castle); a railroad station was where the National Gallery of Art now stands; and open canals known for their unsanitary conditions led to the Potomac River.

To honor the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which began April 12, 1861, we went looking for traces of the conflict beyond the usual landmarks. (Sorry, Ford's Theatre and the White House.) Many buildings that would have been familiar to residents in the 1860s are long gone, but a few others are hidden in plain sight. A well-known Chinatown restaurant is where the assassination of Abraham Lincoln was plotted, and dozens of Union soldiers who died defending the city are buried in a sleepy spot along Georgia Avenue NW.

Quiz: Civil War statues | Civil War sites photo gallery | Submit your Civil War memorial photos

 

Theater 101

  • By Michael O'Sullivan | Washington Post Staff Writer
  • |
  • Updated 07/14/2010

The Washington area is thick with theaters, so we've put together this guide to help the novice sort out the local scene.

 

Top local attractions

  • By Stephanie Merry
  • |
  • Updated 07/18/2011

Visitors can't miss these quintessentially Washington spots that also share the benefit of free admission.

 
See More Editors' Picks in Restaurants | Bars & Clubs | Events >>

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