Growing up near Washington DC you take your access to the museums and monuments for granted sometimes. You forget that people are out there saving money so they can make a trip to the Nation's Capital. Now that I live in DC I have had the opportunity to explore other parts of the city and learn some insider locations. Here are my recommendations:
This is a mix of a farmers market and open air shopping in Southeast DC. As well, the surrounding neighborhood is full of cute and tasty restaurants and shops. I recommend hitting up brunch and then checking out the market. My favorite part is the free samples of fruits and veggies!
If you are into art at all this is a different type of museum you can check out. They use technology for different light installations. It is a small area and the installation is a pretty quick trip so I recommend going at night and taking advantage of the bar. That way you can sip drinks and then check out the displays.
This locally brewed DC coffee company is my absolute favorite. Since it is currently winter I am sipping on Americanos but during the summer you have to check out their cold brew. It is so creamy and smooth before even adding milk! They now have locations all over DC that you can check out.
DuPont Circle Area
Checking out the Dupont Circle area is always fun. It is about a mile from the White House and chalk full of restuarants and shops. On a nice day you can sit in the circle and enjoy a nice picnic lunch.
The W Hotel - POV Restaurant and Bar
At the top of the W Hotel is the "best view in the city." Head up there at night for a clear view of the White House and Washington Monument. It has a fancier vibe so you may need to get dressed up but it will be worth it when you are sipping on cocktails overlooking the city.
Washington D.C. has so much history. Make sure you take it all in whether you live nearby or you are making a trip to see it!