Venture outside of Foggy Bottom using our complete Metro itinerary. With a day’s worth of activities based on destinations along three Metro lines, your only job is to pick a color.
The Red Line
Stop 1: Dupont Circle
10:30 a.m.: Start your day with some dessert disguised as breakfast at GBD Chicken and Doughnuts (1323 Connecticut Ave. NW), a restaurant with drool-worthy doughnut creations that range from classics such as Vanilla Glazed to exotic flavors like Maple-Bacon Bourbon, Samoa and Tres Leches.
11 a.m.: Pair your choice of doughnut with a steaming cup of coffee and amble through the shops of Dupont Circle. Don’t miss Red Onion Records & Books (1901 18th St. NW), an independent store for vintage vinyls and books, or Claude Taylor Photography (1627 Connecticut Ave. NW), a small gallery crammed with hundreds of photos from one man’s world travels.
Stop 2: Gallery Place/Chinatown
Noon: This stop is for museum lovers. Choose from the National Portrait Gallery, International Spy Museum, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum or the Newseum, all located within walking distance of the Metro station.
Been there, done that? Catch a film instead at E Street Cinema, an independent theatre (555 11th St. NW) complete with gourmet concessions, a fully stocked bar and a homey, neighborhood feel.
Stop 3: Woodley Park
Take a quick walk over to Adams Morgan. Crammed with laid-back bars and late-night eats, it’s the perfect locale for a low-key night out.
6:30 p.m.: Kick off your night at Bar Charley (1825 18th St. NW), where eclectic cocktails and novelty drinks start at just $7. Among the high-end drinks is crowd favorite “The Stepdad,” which mixes the smoke of burnt cedar wood, homemade pipe tobacco bitters and cognac, finished off with a black tea ice cube.
8:30 p.m.: Next, grab a bite at Muzette Karaoke Studio, a Korean restaurant that rents out karaoke rooms by the hour. Embarrass yourself and your friends with a selection of more than 70,000 songs in seven different languages while snacking on traditional Korean dishes like bibimbap and udon noodle bowls ($10 to $12). Only those 21 and older can get in after 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The Green and Yellow Lines
Stop 1: Shaw
Noon: What better place to begin your journey than Chaplin (1501 9th St. NW), the eponymous restaurant and bar with gutsy, Asian-inspired dishes. David Cooke, one of the figures behind city favorites Siroc and Toki Underground, took classic Charlie Chaplin films and translated them into a bevy of boozy entrees and cocktails. Chaplin offers drinks with carbonated helium to make the drinker’s voice high-pitched and “drunken dumplings,” a dish so high in alcohol content that customers will be carded when ordering.
Stop 2: U Street
2 p.m.: The U Street Corridor is notoriously busy at night, but it offers just as much sightseeing in the daylight. For the shopper, the street is packed with enough vintage and antique stores to occupy an entire weekend.
Some of our favorites are Junction (1510 U St. NW), a women’s clothing consignment boutique with a large selection and personal touches like outfit suggestions written on each item’s price tag, and Big Planet Comics (1520 U St. NW), a comic geek’s paradise.
Stop 3: Columbia Heights
5 p.m.: Take a break from the busy streets of the city at Meridian Hill (2400 15th St. NW), a grassy park known for its running path and Frisbee field. If you’re not in the mood to be active, cozy up to one of its shady benches, rest your feet and watch the sun set over the District.
Stop 4: Petworth
8 p.m.: For dinner, try Crane & Turtle (828 Upshur St. NW), the sweet, minimal-yet-cozy restaurant where French and Japanese cuisines meet. Love seafood? The menu is full of fresh cuts like tataki big-eye tuna, mussels and halibut. Looking for a more exotic dish? Try head chef Hamamura’s twist on ramen that replaces noodles with strips of fried pork rinds.
The Blue Line
Stop 1: Eastern Market
9 a.m.: While the iconic Capitol Hill farmer’s market and vintage goods dealer (225 7th St. SE) is open from Tuesday to Sunday, we suggest making a trip to the market on a Sunday morning. Open at 9 a.m. (versus 7 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays), it’s best to make a trip closer to opening time when produce and flowers are freshest.
Make sure you don’t spend too much time by the food. Once you’ve purchased a homemade oatmeal raisin cookie (or two) for breakfast, check out the beaded African jewelry, vintage movie posters and impressive collection of succulents and cacti. By the time you finish perusing the more than 100 vendors, you’ll likely be ready for lunch.
Noon: Located inside the market itself is Puddin’, the southern comfort food you didn’t realize you wanted but found out you desperately needed. Shrimp po’ boys, grits, gumbo and bourbon bread pudding all grace the menu. When you’re done eating, hop back on the Metro for the second stop of the day.
Stop 2: Federal Triangle
1 p.m.: For a sugary afternoon pick-me-up, take a 10-minute walk down E Street to Pitango Gelato, the parlor that uses farm-fresh milk and eggs to make its sweets. Flavors include bacio (chocolate hazelnut with chocolate chips and hazelnuts), black tea, cardamom, Sicilian almond and créme fraîche.
Stop 3: King St./Old Town
2 p.m.: Head past Foggy Bottom for a day by the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. Like the U Street Corridor, King Street is synonymous with independent stores. Literature lovers and rare book collectors should head to the Book Bank (1510 King St.), a used book shop that carries about 25,000 nonfiction, fiction and out-of-print titles.
7:30 p.m.: For history buffs, Old Town’s Ghost and Graveyards Tour (221 King St.) is a unique way to hear the legends and folklore that have made an impact on Virginia’s culture for centuries. In the winter months, the tour is also offered at 9 p.m.
Bonus: The Silver Line
Take a break from indoor shopping at Pentagon City and try Tyson’s Corner, the largest mall in the D.C. area. Aside from housing the ever-popular trifecta of Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and H&M, it also boasts more upscale shops like Cusp, Armani and Free People.
If shopping isn’t your thing, Wiehle-Reston East offers hiking enthusiasts and mountain bikers the perfect getaway on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. Here you can go fishing, picnicking, birdwatching, jogging or rollerblading along a wooded path.