I recently took a trip down from NYC to Washington, DC for a girl's weekend with my sister. Although she lives in Brussels, she works for the UN in environmental politics which brings her to the east coast often. DC probably wouldn't otherwise have been a destination for us, but we decided to stay in the Georgetown area and it made for a perfectly charming weekend getaway. We even caught the end of the cherry blossoms in bloom!
So if you find yourself in DC for work, play or are looking for a cultural destination that's easy access from just about everywhere - here are some of the healthiest and nattiest ways to make the most of your trip.
This modern hotel is the perfect place to stay if you'll be here longer than a weekend, or just like to feel at home when you travel. All of the spacious suites are equipped with full kitchens and there is a Trader Joes directly across the street where you'll find plenty of organic fixin's and affordable wines. It's just around the corner from the beautiful Rock Creek park that's perfect for running, and there's a nice little garden in the back where you can get some work done in the sunshine. If you're there on a Saturday, sign up for a complimentary in-house yoga class!
If you're looking for something with a little more character, the Tabard Inn is just the spot. This old world inn near DuPont circle dates back to the 1800s. Tabard has a bed and breakfasty vibe, which is great because the Sunday brunch downstairs is consistently named one of the best in town. The other good news; the rates are as easy to swallow as the yummy food.
If you want to feel like the president, The Jefferson Hotel is worth the splurge. It's decor is modeled after Thomas Jefferson's own Monticello home, and is so grandiose you'll feel like Eloise at the Plaza. Dark wood, fireplaces and a cozy library make this DC destination especially ideal come fall/winter. They've also got a luxurious little spa where they use botanical products and herbs from Monticello's garden!
Brunch at Juniper - Splurge on Sunday brunch at Juniper for a local, seasonal and sustainable buffet feast. The decadent smorgasbord of goodness includes everything from oysters and crab knuckles to grilled veggies, grass-fed meats, organic berries and made-to-order eggs and omelets. Stack your plate then head to the beautifully manicured garden and indulge by a fountain in the sunshine.
Lunch at Sweetgreen - This socially conscious chain offers up BYO (build your own) salad and bowls, using local, sustainable, and organic ingredients. They've got a cult following all over the east coast, but Sweetgreen was founded by 3 Georgetown students and it's original location was on M street. It's an awesome spot to grab a healthy, quick meal to eat there or bring to picnic in a nearby park.
Dinner at Farmers Fishers Bakers - Want to enjoy a delicious meal out but not feel guilty about it? Head to Farmers Fishers Bakers where every single thing is made from scratch using sustainable, local ingredients. Whether you sit outside or in, the river views are unavoidable. There is something for absolutely everyone on the massive (and affordable) menu of grass-fed meats, pizza, seafood, sushi and veggie dishes. As if that wasn't enough, even the Leed certified building itself will make you feel good about dining at this eco friendly spot.
Aperitivo at Ristorante Piccolo. Sometimes you stumble upon a gem without doing any research at all. That's exactly how I found Ristorante Piccolo, an unassuming little Italian spot who's food quality will surprise you. Drawn in by the charming balcony on a balmy Sunday eve, my sister and I went for a drink and an appetizer, and wound up sampling half the menu as we sat and sipped. The wine selection may not be the best, but the pasta fagiole, antipasti and crab stuffed portobello are simply rustic and delicious.
Get your zen on at Georgetown Yoga. The sunny little studio is the perfect space to get you in the mood for some Vinyasa or Hatha.
Go for a scenic run or walk along the Rock Creek and over to the Patomac. You'll also get a peek at some of the historic, riverfront homes in the area.
Pay a visit to the beautiful campus of Georgetown university. Bring a picnic, find some green space and reminisce about your own collegiate days.