Of the hundreds of places to eat in the District, these are some of my favorites. This list is not encyclopedic. It doesnít include the ever-changing trendy places in the U Street and Logan Circle areas. There are no rankings. These are just places -- some are single restaurants and others are locations offering lots of choices -- that you should know about if you live here.
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Museums and Historic Sites
Albert Einstein Planetarium
National Air and Space Museum
Sixth Street and Independence Avenue SW
Special accommodations: 202-357-1400
This planetarium is in the National Air and Space Museum. Accommodations may be arranged for wheelchair seating; simultaneous audio translation into French, German, Spanish and Japanese; audio description in English; and captioning in English. Planetarium hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. Closed Dec. 25. Single admission: $8.50 a single show, $7 combo ticket; ages 2-12, $7 single, $6 combo; 60 and older, $7.50 single, $6 combo; Smithsonian members, $6.50 single or combo. Combo prices are valid when purchasing two or more shows per person. A combo discount is available only when purchasing in person at the box office or by phone.
Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Pl. SE
Smithsonian Museums information: 202-633-1000
This Smithsonian museum is dedicated to African American history and culture. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Closed Christmas. Free.
Art Museum of the Americas
201 18th St. NW
The museum spotlights the art and cultural traditions of the 34 member countries of the Organization of American States, with an emphasis on modern and contemporary art from Latin America and the Caribbean. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. Free.
400 Seventh St. NW
This one-room museum is dedicated to beads and other ornaments, with exhibits and tours. Hours: noon-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and Easter. Free, but donations welcome.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
14th and C streets SW
Tour office: 202-874-2330
The public may tour the printing facility, which produces millions of dollars' worth of paper money every day. Tours lasting 45 minutes are conducted weekdays 9-10:45 a.m. and 12:30-2 p.m. Free tickets are distributed at the ticket booth on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of four per person. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more. The visitors center is open 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays. Summer hours, in effect May 7-Aug. 31: 9-10:45 a.m., 12:30-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Closed on weekends, federal holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year's.
Corcoran Gallery of Art
500 17th St. NW
One of the District's oldest art museums. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission: $14; seniors and military, $12; students with ID, $10; members and children 6 and younger, free.
1776 D St. NW
This museum features examples of decorative and fine arts in 33 period rooms, docent tours and a genealogy research library. Hours: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. Free.
Decatur House Museum
748 Jackson Pl. NW
This is one of the District's oldest surviving residences. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, noon-4 p.m. Sundays. $5 suggested donation. Visitor entrance at 1610 H St. NW.
Department of the Interior Museum
1849 C St. NW
This museum features objects and documents dealing with such topics as art and zoology. Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays and the third Saturday of each month. Free. Adults must show a photo ID when entering the Interior building to gain admittance to the museum. Reservations are required only for guided tours or appointments to view the building's New Deal murals in restricted areas, and they must be made two weeks in advance.
Dumbarton Oaks Museum
1703 32nd St. NW
This 19th-century Georgetown mansion is a major research center and a showcase for Byzantine and pre-Columbian art, and books on garden history. The galleries of the Byzantine and pre-Columbian collections are closed and will not reopen until the renovation of the main building is complete. The garden remains open to the public. Consult the Dumbarton Oaks Web site for updates. Garden hours: 2-6 p.m. daily except Mondays, March 15-October. Admission: $8, children and senior citizens, $5. Open 2-5 p.m. November-March 14, free. Closed during inclement weather, federal holidays and on Christmas Eve. Garden entrance: R and 31st streets NW. Garden season passes: $55 individual, $75 double, $85 family. Museum entrance: 32nd Street NW between R and S streets.
Folger Shakespeare Library
201 E. Capitol St. SE
Box office: 202-544-7077
The library is dedicated to the life and works of William Shakespeare. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, except federal holidays. Exhibition and building tours begin at 11 a.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays. Garden tours begin at 10 and 11 a.m. every third Saturday, April-October. Free. Call 202-675-0395 for group tours.
Ford's Theatre National Historic Site
511 10th St. NW
The site is dedicated to the life and times of, and the assassination of, Abraham Lincoln. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Closed Dec. 25. Free. The site is still an active theater and is sometimes closed for productions.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
1411 W St. SE
Tour reservations: 877-444-6777
The site is dedicated to the legacy of 19th-century African American leader Frederick Douglass. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, mid-April through mid-October; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily mid-October through mid-April. Tours begin 9 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Group tours start at 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Entrance is free on a first-come, first-served basis, but reservations are required for groups of five or more. Reservations, $1.50 per person or $5 for a school group.
Hillwood Museum and Gardens
4155 Linnean Ave. NW
This former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post showcases the reign of Catherine the Great, luxury arts of 18th-century France and several gardens. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Admission: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 65 and older, $7 for full-time college students and $5 for children ages 6-18. Mansion visitors must be at least 6 years old.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue at Seventh Street SW
The museum has primarily focused its collection and exhibitions on the post-World War II period, with particular emphasis on art created during the past 30 years. Key artists of the 20th century, including Picasso, Giacometti, de Kooning and Warhol, are represented in the collection. Museum hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily except Christmas. Plaza: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sculpture garden: 7:30 a.m.-dusk. Free.
Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center
1300 New York Ave. NW
The center features exhibitions with an emphasis on Latin America and the Caribbean, including ceramics, textiles, masks and stone carvings. Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays. Free.
International Spy Museum
800 F St. NW
This is a museum about espionage and its effect on current and historic events, focusing on the role spies have played throughout history. Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, subject to change. Admittance to permanent exhibits ends at 6 p.m. Admission: $16; age 65 and older, active military, intelligence community, $15; ages 5-11, $13; age 4 and younger, free.
Kiplinger Research Library
801 K St. NW
Historical society: 202-383-1800
The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., operates the library chronicling the city's history through literature, maps, photographs and artifacts. The library is in the City Museum building. The museum is closed, but the library is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays. Free.
2401 Foxhall Rd. NW
The museum has paintings and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries. Reservations are required for guided tours, offered at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays. No reservations are needed for visits 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. Admission: $8; students and age 65 and older, $5.
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Visitor information: 202-707-8000
This is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with more than 130 million items on approximately 530 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 29 million books and other printed materials, 2.7 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.8 million maps and 58 million manuscripts. Public tours are offered at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. weekdays in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Saturday public tours are offered at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. All Library of Congress buildings are closed to the public on Sundays and federal holidays. Free.
Department of Commerce
14th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues NW
Animal keeper talks and animal feedings take place daily. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admittance ends at 4:30 p.m. Admission: $5; ages 2-10, $2; seniors and military personnel, $4; children younger than 2, free.
National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Public programs: 202-357-5000
The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are among the historic documents displayed here. The visitors entrance is on Constitution Avenue between Seventh and Ninth streets. Reservations are required for groups of 20 or more. Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, March 15-Labor Day; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily the rest of the year. Closed Sundays and federal holidays. Free.
National Building Museum
401 F St. NW
The museum showcases architecture and building design. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free; a donation of $5 per person is suggested.
National Gallery of Art
600 Constitution Ave. NW
The gallery's east and west wings house more than 100,000 works of art, dating from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. Free.
National Geographic Museum
At Explorers Hall
1145 17th St. NW
Changing exhibitions and permanent displays reflect the world's diversity. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and holidays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. Closed on Christmas. Free.
National Museum of American Jewish Military History
1811 R St. NW
This museum documents contributions of Jewish Americans to the U.S. military. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Closed weekends except for previously arranged tours. Free.
National Museum of Women In the Arts
1250 New York Ave. NW
The museum describes itself as "the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to recognizing the contributions of women artists." Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission: adults, $10; age 60 and older and students, $8; 18 and younger, free.
National Zoological Park
3001 Connecticut Ave. NW
The zoo is home to giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian and their first offspring, Tai Shan, plus about 2,400 other animals. Hours: grounds, 6 a.m.-8 p.m., buildings, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., daily March 15-Oct. 31; grounds, 6 a.m.-6 p.m., buildings, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., daily Nov. 1-March 31. Closed Christmas. Free.
1799 New York Ave. NW
One of the oldest and most elegant residences in the District, the octagonal house provided refuge for James and Dolley Madison after the White House was burned during the War of 1812. One of the best examples of the Federal period of architecture in the country, the landmark building is preserved as a museum of the American Architectural Foundation. Open by appointment only to groups of 10 to 25. Fees: $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children. Special arrangements can be made for larger groups.
1600 21st St. NW
This private museum was the nation's first museum of modern art and contains masterpieces in a mansion setting. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, noon-7 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays. Weekday admission for the permanent collection is by donation. Admission to special exhibitions and weekend admission to the permanent collection for adults, students and seniors varies by exhibition. Children younger than 18, free.
Pope John Paul II Cultural Center
3900 Harewood Rd. NE
The center contains interactive exhibits, a collection of Vatican art and a center for scholars. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays-Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Free, with suggested donations of $5 per person, $15 for families, $4 for seniors and students.
144 Constitution Ave. NE
This museum is also the headquarters for the National Woman's Party. Tours are offered 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and noon-4 p.m. Saturdays. Suggested donation of $5 per person. Groups of 10 or more must make reservations at least two weeks in advance.
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
600 I St. NW
Originally dedicated as a synagogue in 1908, the building served as the home of Turner Memorial Baptist AME Church from 1951 to 2002. In 2004 it was rededicated as the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. Tours in English are offered noon-3 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and noon-3 p.m. the first Sunday of the month. Tours in Hebrew, French, German, Polish, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese are offered by appointment. A $3 donation is suggested.
Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery
Eighth and F streets NW
On July 1, the gallery reopened in its newly restored historic building. Among the thousands of artworks returning to public view are the famous Lansdowne portrait of George Washington, as well as portraits of notable Americans such as Marilyn Monroe and Shaquille O'Neal. Hours: 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, except Christmas. Free.
Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Ave. NE
This museum is on the lower level of the historic City Post Office Building, which served as the District post office from 1914 to 1986. In addition to having one of the world's largest collections of stamps and philatelic materials, the museum has postal history material that predates stamps, vehicles used to transport mail, mailboxes, mailbags, postal uniforms and equipment. Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, except Christmas. Free.
Smithsonian Institution Building, The Castle
1000 Jefferson Dr. SW
The Smithsonian's first building, known as the Castle, houses the institution's administrative offices and the Smithsonian Information Center. Tours, dependent on docent availability, are given November-March and July-August. Free.
Smithsonian Institution Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Ave. SW
These are museums of world art. Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, except Christmas. Free. The Sackler Gallery is at 1050 Independence Ave. SW. The Freer Gallery is on Jefferson Drive at 12th Street SW. The two are connected by an underground exhibition space.
Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum
Independence Avenue at Fourth Street SW
The museum maintains the world's largest collection of historic air and spacecraft. Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, except Christmas. Free.
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Ave. SW
The cultural diversity of Africa is reflected in this collection, which includes objects and works of art from ancient times to the present. Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, except Christmas. Free.
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
The museum is closed for renovations and is expected to reopen in summer 2008.
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
The museum is dedicated to the study of natural and cultural history. Its collections include more than 125 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites and human artifacts.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, except Christmas. Additional hours: open until 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays until May 19, and open until 7:30 p.m. daily May 27-Sept. 2. Free.
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian
Fourth Street and Independence Avenue SW
On the Mall between the National Air and Space Museum and the U.S. Capitol, this newest part of the Smithsonian features nearly 1 million Native American artifacts. Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, except Christmas. Free.
2320 S St. NW
A world-famous collection of garments, rugs and fabrics is displayed regularly in themed, multicultural exhibitions staged in two historic houses. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Closed all federal holidays and Dec. 24. Free but a $5 donation is suggested.
Tudor Place Historic House
1644 31st St. NW
The largest public collection of objects related to George and Martha Washington outside Mount Vernon in a family setting. House tours begin at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the hour Saturdays; noon-3 p.m. on the hour Sundays. Garden visits: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Admission: adults, $6; seniors, $5; students 13-21 with ID, $3; children 6-12, $2; younger than 6, free. Garden admission, $2. Groups of more than 10, $5 per person, reserved in advance at 202-965-0400, Ext. 115. Closed in January.
U.S. Botanic Garden
100 Maryland Ave. SW
The garden has a variety of plants and educational exhibits. Hours: Bartholdi Park is open dawn to dusk daily; the conservatory is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, including holidays. Free.
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl. SW
The museum studies, documents and interprets Holocaust history.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, except Yom Kippur and Christmas. Free. Passes are required to visit the museum's permanent exhibition.
U.S. Navy Memorial
701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
The memorial features a granite map of the world, 100 feet in diameter, surrounded by relief sculptures showing events in naval history. The Naval Heritage Center, next to the memorial, has a theater, an electronic log with the names of Navy veterans and other displays. The memorial is open at all times. Naval Heritage Center hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, Nov. 1-Feb. 28; 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Mondays-Saturdays, March 1-Oct. 31. Free.
U.S. Navy Museum
Washington Navy Yard
805 Kidder Breese SE
This museum chronicles the Navy's history, from the American Revolution to modern day. Reservations and photo ID required. Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends and holidays. Call 24 hours before visits. Weekdays, enter through the gate at Ninth and M streets SE. Weekends, enter through the gate at Sixth and M streets SE. Free.
White House Visitor Center
1450 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Tour information: 202-456-7041
The visitor center has a display of photographs and other memorabilia chronicling the transformation of the White House. The center provides tours of the White House to groups of 10 or more. To obtain tickets, contact your member of Congress approximately one month in advance. Tickets are not available at the Visitor Center. Visitor center hours: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. White House tours: 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, excluding federal holidays.
Woodrow Wilson House
2340 S St. NW
The last home of the 28th president is the District's only presidential museum as well as a case study in 1920s style. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays, except federal holidays. Admission: $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $3 for students, free for children younger than 7. Call for group rates.
Theaters and Theater companies
1101 Sixth St. SW
Box office: 202-488-3300
Arena Stage specializes in American theater. Two main stages include the Fichandler Stage, with 816 seats, and the Kreeger Theater, which has 514 seats.
Carter Barron Amphitheatre
Rock Creek Park
16th Street and Colorado Avenue NW
The National Park Service owns this outdoor venue for the performing arts.
DAR Constitution Hall
1776 D St. NW
Box office: 202-638-2661
The 1929 landmark building, which was constructed for the annual convention of the Daughters of the American Revolution, is the largest concert hall in the District, seating 3,700.
511 10th St. NW
Box office: 202-347-4833
Group sales: 202-638-2367
Group sales fax: 202-638-1001
Administration fax: 202-347-6269
Plays and musicals are still presented in this historic theater where President Abraham Lincoln
John F. Kennedy Center
For the Performing Arts
2700 F St. NW
The Kennedy Center offers music, dance and theater and is home to the National Symphony Orchestra. Other affiliated groups include the Washington National Opera, Washington Performing Arts Society, Washington Ballet, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Master Chorale of Washington, Washington Chorus, Greater Washington Society of Association Executives, Vocal Arts Society and Young Concert Artists. Daily performances at 6 p.m. on the Millennium Stage are free.
1215 U St. NW
Opened in 1922 as a theater for African American audiences, this restored 1,250-seat venue hosts a variety of performances.
George Washington University
730 21st St. NW
The 1,500-seat venue hosts music, theater and dance performances.
1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
This historic theater, seating 1,676, features music, stage productions and a summer cinema series.
450 Seventh St. NW
202-547-1122. Toll free: 877-
The 451-seat theater has a resident troupe.
1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW,
The theater, with a capacity of 1,847, offers performances by national and international recording artists as well as theatrical, dance and television presentations.