Washington, D.C. – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine
As the nation’s capital, D.C. doesn’t lack for sites and attractions of “monumental” interest – all certainly worth a visit, and many within walking distance of The Jefferson, Washington, DC, which presides over the corner of 16th and M Streets, N.W. But beyond the museums and memorials of the National Mall, there’s another side of the city that beckons visitors to explore. This is the Washington that that the expert concierge team of The Jefferson loves to introduce to the hotel’s discerning guests, and to that end, they have created the ideal insider’s itinerary for a summer weekend getaway.
Friday: A Capital Evening at the Capitol
Slip into vacation mode with a spa treatment upon arrival at The Spa at The Jefferson, featuring Monticello-inspired botanicals and exclusive vino therapies. Renewed and refreshed, prepare for sunset – a magical time to see the monuments from a Capital River Cruise along the Potomac River. Cruises depart from Georgetown’s Washington Harbor. With its boardwalk feel, the harbor itself is worth a look around once you’re back on land. Then, head for the U.S. Capitol by 8 p.m. for a free open-air concert by the U.S. Army Band (weekly on Fridays throughout the summer). To cap off the perfect evening, enjoy a late dinner at Buddha Bar – one of D.C.’s hot new restaurants.
Saturday: One-of-a-Kind Shops and an “English” Countryside Stroll
Toast a memorable weekend with champagne tea service in The Greenhouse, complete with a glass of Gaston Chicquet, “Blanc de Blancs,” Aÿ, Grand Cru, Champagne, France, NV. Then, spend a relaxing morning browsing eclectic stores within walking distance of The Jefferson. (Concierge pick: Start at the Tiny Jewel Box, just two blocks west, for the region’s largest collection of estate jewelry.) For young ones on your shopping list, museum gift shops are a treasure trove of unusual gifts, from sheets of uncut one- and two-dollar bills at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to hard-to-find building toys and architectural gifts at the National Building Museum.
Political junkies will find plenty of memorabilia to feed their habit – from campaign buttons to presidential Christmas cards – at Capitol Coin and Stamp on Connecticut Avenue and Political Americana on Pennsylvania Avenue. Those who still appreciate fine penmanship can slip into Distinctive Bookbinding for high-quality writing accessories that include Florentine papers, or Fahrney’s Pens Inc., revered since 1929 for its exceptional selection of Montblanc, Parker, Waterman and other sought-after writing instruments. All are within 10 blocks of The Jefferson.
After you’ve crossed the last loved one off your gift list, head to Georgetown’s Dumbarton Oaks – the historic property where the League of Nations first met. Between 2-5 p.m., you can tour the expansive grounds, whose rolling hills and landscaping evoke the English countryside. (Concierge pick: Bring a pad and paper to try some sketching, or test your photography skills.)
Return to The Jefferson for a cocktail at Quill. (Concierge pick: try the Mango Caipiroska – featuring fresh Mexican mango, lime, sugar, Heavy Water Vodka and black pepper.) Then, it’s dinner at Plume, where the navarin of Maine lobster has been heralded by food critics. And be sure to let The Jefferson’s award-winning sommelier Michael Scaffidi, formerly of French Laundry, choose wines to complement your meal.
Sunday: A Two-Wheeled Adventure through Dupont Circle
Get the day off to an energetic start with a power breakfast in The Greenhouse atrium, where the Lobster Eggs Benedict is not to be missed. Those watching their summer figures will find healthy indulgence in the Jefferson Parfait, with its layers of non-fat Greek yogurt, summer berry compote, caramelized oats and local honey. Fully fueled, head to Bike the Sites and choose a rental from its fleet of new bikes, accompanied by a map of suggested routes. A quick ride brings you to Dupont Circle’s Farmer’s Market. (Concierge pick: Among its small artisanal stands is the fanciful Mount Harmony Soaps, which grows all of its own herbs on a farm in Virginia. Select a few bars — aloe, olive, lavender, cumin and peach pits are favorites – for the perfect gift for someone back home.)
Also in Dupont Circle, stop into the intimate Phillips Collection, home to an extraordinary collection of French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and modern art masterpieces. Then travel a few blocks north and west to Hillyer Place NW – a small gem of a street that features a series of picturesque brownstone mansions with exquisite stained glass windows. For a light lunch or coffee accompanied by plenty of local color, try Kramerbooks & Afterwords, an independent bookstore and café that is a Dupont Circle institution.
Before leaving town, enjoy a taste of local food culture with lunch at Dancing Crab in Northwest Washington, then head home from your Washington weekend revitalized and inspired.