Washington DC tHE CAPITAL

If you are planning to visit the United States, Washington, DC is one of the cities you must see. The nation’s capital is not only the political hub and home of the U.S. President, but also a beautiful city with dozens of monuments and museums that are free to the public, artistic neighborhoods, nice food and also a long history in Jazz music.

Arrival

There are two major airports in D.C. (Although they are technically located in Virginia):

1-Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), which is close to the city, or

2- Dulles International Airport (IAD), which is 30 miles away from the city.

When we arrived in D.C., we landed at IAD. Since there is not a metro station close by, we took a cab from the airport to downtown DC that cost 70$.

In DCA, there is a metro station, however, this airport is for domestic flights only. So if you are coming from overseas, DCA is not an option.

Sightseeing - Food - Drinks

Our rental house was a beautiful studio located at 14th St & L, NW, only few blocks away from the White House. 14th street is a very vibrant location and the heart of DC’s nightlife where you can find plenty of restaurants, bars, theaters and art galleries. You should take a walk from 14th Street all the way to the U street and mix with the crowd. It’s a nice way to get the city vibe.

14th Street, NW

We were at our rental house by late afternoon. After we met our host, she gave us a brief tour of the house. Then we went out for a drink and light dinner. For dinner, we discovered “Amsterdam Falafel” (www.falafelshop.com) which is a great choice if you like fast food with decent price. After diner, we had a beer in a small pub called “Garden District” (www.gardendistrictdc.com). Garden District has one of the best patios where you can enjoy your beer while viewing the scenery of 14th street.

14th Street

The next morning, we woke up early and headed to the National Mall to see the city’s most famous monuments and museums. Washington’s Obelisk, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the Reflection Pool and many more monuments are all in a walking distance. However, you also have an option to rent a bike if you do not like walking. Capital Share Bikes (www.capitalbikeshare.com) has many bike stations around the Mall where you can easily rent one.

The museums around the Mall are also worth a visit. In our opinion, a must see museums are the Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art. The US Congress and the White House tours are also offered in the city.

After the monuments and museums, we visited the Library of Congress at the Capitol Hill. All of these places are free to public if you can stand the long lines at the entrance.

US Supreme Court

For lunch we headed to Chinatown, which is not to far from the National Mall. The “Oyamel”, Mexican Restaurant, (www.oyamel.com) was a great choice, but a little pricy. If you decide to eat here, you have to try their Margaritas. They are awesome!

Chinatown

In the afternoon we headed to Georgetown, the “Old Town” of DC. Narrow streets, colorful townhouses, retail stores, art galleries, bars and restaurants create a beautiful atmosphere. From Georgetown’s Harbor, you can take a boat cruise to the Potomac River. Also the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (www.kennedy-center.org) is within walking distance from Georgetown. If you can catch a show there, it is definitely worth it. For dinner, we chose “Farmers, Fishers, Bakers Restaurant” at the harbor (www.farmersfishersbakers.com)--nice quality, American food with all the ingredients coming from local farmers, fishers and bakers. After that we went to the “Blues Alley Jazz Club” (www.bluesalley.com), which is also in Georgetown, and is one of the oldest Jazz Bar in town. Another nice choice for some live Jazz Music would be the “Madams Organ” (www.madamsorgan.com) in Adams Morgan neighborhood.

Georgetown

Signature Dish - Local Markets

Washingtonians love seafood and the nearby Chesapeake Bay provides a lot of it. A signature dish in DC and surrounding areas is the Crab Cake--fried crabmeat mixed with bread cramp, mayo and spices. So we decided to buy the ingredients and make crab cakes at home. The next morning we headed to the biggest Fish Market in DC, which is in the southwest part of the city, by the Potomac River (1100 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024) to buy some crabmeat. The crabmeat at Fish Market is from Blue Crab and coming from the Chesapeake Bay. It is approximately 20$ per pound. Then we went to the Farmers Market in Independence Avenue where local producers display their products every Friday. We bought some fresh vegetables to make salad as a side dish and then we went home to prepare our meal. Below are the recipe of this signature dish and the photos of the crab cake that we prepared.

Blue Crabs

Recipe

For the Crab Cakes (4 people) you will need:

1 Pound Crab Meat

2 tbs mayonnaise

2 tbs Old Bay Seasoning

1 tbs Worcestershire

1 egg

2 tbs chopped parsley

2 slices of bread

1 tbs mustard

1 tbs tabasco

Crumble bread in a large bowl. Combine the mayonnaise, Old Bay seasoning, parsley, mustard, egg, tabasco and Worcestershire until smooth. Add the mixture to the crabmeat and gently stir. Shape 4 big or 8 medium patties. Broil 10 minutes or fry with 1 tbs butter or olive oil until golden brown on both sides.

Crab Cake Sauce:

3 tps mayo

1 tps mustard

1/2 tpsold bay

Fish Market

Quinoa Salad:

1/2 cup guinoa

1 cup water

1 cup pealed and diced cucumber

1 cup parsley

1/4 cup crumpled feta cheese

2 tps kalamata olives

2 tps chopped mint

2 tps green onion

3 tps olive oil

1 tps lemon juice

1/2 tps kosher salt

Rins quinoa with cold water. Combine the quinoa (1/2 cup) with the water (1 cup) in a pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 min. Turn off heat and let it sit covered for 15 min. In a large bowl combine al the ingredients. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.

Our Crab Cakes!

Time to visit

4th of July

To visit Washington DC, you would need at least 3 to 5 days. The weather is mostly humid, with cold winters and hot summers. Best time to visit would be spring or autumn. In both seasons, it would be easier to move around and you would have great opportunities to take some great photos. If you are planning your trip on March - April you can see the famous Cherry Blossom (www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org) or if you decide to be there on October - November, you can witness the Fall Foliage, which creates some amazing views in the city.

Cherry Blossom

Useful Links:

DC Metro:

www.wmata.com

City Guides:

www.washington.org

www.thedistrict.com

www.washingtonian.com

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