Our readers voted, and here are their picks for D.C.’s best places and personalities.
Best food blog
Bitches Who Brunch
The Bitches had a big year. Last December, the D.C.-based blog, which debuted in 2010, expanded its restaurant reviews, shopping picks and travel tips to New York audiences. But the Bitches — Becca Clara Love and Cori Sue Morris — insist success won’t dim their trademark candor: A recent review complains of a restaurant smelling like “a dusty old row house owned by an unkempt grandmother.” “We are always brutally honest,” Love says. “We’re bitches.” M.C.
While the historic homes that line Logan Circle itself are picturesque, it’s nearby 14th Street NW that’s this neighborhood’s real draw. The street has come far from its midcentury incarnation, a strip of auto dealerships. 2013 brought an unprecedented restaurant boom, with standouts Le Diplomate, Ghibellina and Etto all opening near the corner of 14th and Q streets NW. Logan’s also seen a surge in luxury apartments and condos. That’s fitting for an area with fancy furniture shops like Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, and that will soon have its very own West Elm. B.M.
2nd: U Street corridor.
3rd: Capitol Hill.
Best bike lane
15th Street NW cycletrack
The city’s first cycletrack — a bike lane protected from the road by a row of parked cars and bollards — is still one of the best. Running from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to V Street NW, it provides a convenient north-south route to the many commuters who live around Columbia Heights and work downtown. Soon, it will be even better, extending northward all the way to Euclid Street NW. S.D.
2nd: Pennsylvania Avenue NW cycletrack.
3rd: L Street NW cycletrack.
Best neighborhood blog
D.C.’s branch of the Gothamist blog network aims to get readers chatting. “We write about things that people want to talk about over dinner or over drinks with friends,” Editor-in-Chief Sarah Anne Hughes says. That could be a guide to the city’s best pizza, a report of the D.C. Council’s latest goings-on or a story about a class on the history of punk. A.G.
Best Local Tweeter
If D.C.’s craft beer scene had a mascot, it might be a nattily besuited rodent with an interest in live music and witticisms. This, coincidentally, is the Twitter avatar of Adams Morgan bar The Black Squirrel (2427 18th St. NW). In between announcing dinner specials and musical acts, @thblacksquirrel upholds the timeless D.C. tradition of making nerdy jokes. A recent highlight: “Yo mama is so mean, she has no standard deviation.” A.G.
Best underrated tourist attraction
U.S. National Arboretum
3501 New York Ave. NE; 202-245-2726, usna.usda.gov
The primary tourist draws at the 446-acre Arboretum are the 2,000-plus flowering cherry trees, the National Capitol Columns (pillars once attached to the U.S. Capitol) and the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum (catch the miniature trees in peak autumn color from Oct. 24 to Nov. 10). Just as interesting, if not as picturesque, are less-sexy exhibits such as the brand-new Grass Roots, a thorough study of turfgrass, i.e. the stuff on lawns and golf courses. H.J.M.
Best nearby beach
Rehoboth Beach, Del.
This tranquil beach town, about two and a half hours from downtown D.C. by car, beat out Ocean City, Md., its bustling neighbor to the south. There’s plenty to do in Rehoboth besides beachy activities: Trendy restaurants line the streets, including family-friendly Salt Air and a molecular gastronomy hotspot named a(MUSE.). Baltimore Avenue is known for its LGBT-friendly hangouts. And the nearby Tanger Outlets will really help you make use of Delaware’s zero percent sales tax. M.C.
2nd: Ocean City, Md.
3rd: Virginia Beach, Va.
Best political celebrity
Maybe it’s the arms. Maybe it’s the garden. Maybe it’s her sense of fun — her dunk on a mini-hoop during the Miami Heat’s White House visit in January spawned a thousand GIFs. Whatever it is, we just love first lady Michelle Obama, even nearly six years into her reign. Will she have the staying power of a Jackie Kennedy or a Dolley Madison? So far, so good: This is the second time Express readers have named her Best Political Celebrity. What a legacy! M.C.
2nd: President Barack Obama.
3rd: Eleanor Holmes Norton.
Read the rest of the Express Best of 2014 issue.