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48 Things To Do In Washington, D.C., In 48 Hours

Let's assume you won't be needing sleep. Visit D.C. today.

1. Say you start your D.C. journey somewhere near the White House. First, soak in the views.

2. Peep the latest Instagrammable exhibit at the Renwick Gallery.

3. Drop by Dolcezza in CityCenterDC for a nitro iced coffee, then window-shop down Palmer Alley.

4. Do bottomless brunch. Our reco? Boqueria.

5. Grab a book and coffee from Kramerbooks & Afterwords.

6. Allow your spirit to become uplifted by visiting Busboys and Poets.

Fun fact: The name Busboys and Poets is a reference to American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel in the '20s.

7. Walk around the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Yeah, you’re gonna be walking a lot.

Make it to "the Hill," then head south down First Street NE, and you’ll walk past the Senate, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and the House of Representatives.

8. Check out the Bartholdi Fountain, sculpted by the same Frenchman who created the Statue of Liberty.

9. Go see pretty things at the United States Botanic Garden.

10. Walk to the Washington Monument and gaze up at the over 555-foot-high structure, the world's tallest stone structure and obelisk. ENJOY.

11. Walk around the tidal basin to the Jefferson Memorial and get lost in history.

12. Walk until you get to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

13. Next, head to the National WWII Memorial — try not to cry when you see all the veterans visiting.

14. Walk along the Reflecting Pool until you get to the Lincoln Memorial.

15. Marvel at the sky from atop the Kennedy Center.

16. Walk along the river, rent a paddleboard or kayak and have some fun!

17. Treat yourself to a bomb coffee at Maketto.

18. Get a beer at the uber-cool Bluejacket brewery in Navy Yard and then catch a baseball game.

19. Dine at Kapnos — it’s delish.

20. Walk around Dupont. Stroll down Embassy Row into Georgetown and feel like you’re in the opening credits of House of Cards.

21. See a show at the 9:30 Club.

Check out upcoming concerts here.

22. Head to DC9, a tiny venue where unknown musicians go to get discovered. Tix run around $12–$22.

23. Go out on U Street. See people older than you partying harder than you’ve ever partied in your life.

24. Go to Velvet Lounge and jam to some rock 'n' roll/soul music.

25. Get ready to get sweaty and head to Dodge City.

26. If you're in the mood to rave, you just gotta do Flash.

27. Go people-watch in Adams Morgan.

28. Grab a bite at Haydee’s in Mt. Plesasant, a funky joint offering Salvadoran cuisine.

29. Go to the Raven. Bring cash and get a $5 combo. Whoop whoop!

30. Try the spicy lemongrass pho at Pho Viet in Columbia Heights.

31. Go to Red Derby in Columbia Heights.

Get a combo and relax on the roof. Let loose and make friends with strangers.

32. Chill on the back porch at DC Reynolds on Georgia Ave.

33. Then go next door to The Looking Glass Lounge.

34. Check out Showtime Lounge in Bloomingdale.

It’s very divey, and they have $5 beer/shot combos.

35. Take a nap maybe.

36. Wake up and nosh on some delicious sweets at the ~world-famous~ Georgetown Cupcake.

They have a LIVE 24/7 “Cupcake Cam,” meaning you’ll know what cupcakes are in the oven or being frosted.

37. Hit the shops on M Street in Georgetown.

38. Grab lunch at Clyde’s of Georgetown.

39. Go check out a Da Vinci or Dalí at the National Gallery of Art.

40. Let mother nature spoil you as you walk through Rock Creek Park. A good route is starting in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood (which is lovely) and then going up to the National Cathedral.



42. Visit the Sunday afternoon drum circle in Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park (it's a weekly occurrence!). Have a picnic, bring a Frisbee, pet some dogs, or just bring your drum. Or maybe just go ahead take another nap.

43. Hit up Ford’s Theatre.

44. Catch a movie at E Street Cinema.

45. Catch a show at Black Cat.

46. Get your late-late-night falafel fix at Amsterdam Falafelshop on either 18th or 14th St.

47. Check out the Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place for thousands of American service members, and a worthy final stop on your jaunt to D.C.

48. Spend the next 48 hours talking about how awesome D.C. is.

48 hours in D.C., 48 hours of fun…and we didn’t even touch on the Smithsonian museums (which are FREE). Come check out D.C. — you’ll love it!