Art Museums & Capitol Hill
Visit the Smithsonian art museums. Smithsonian Institution museums are free in Washington, D.C. so you’ll get your money’s worth and then some. First, explore the National Gallery of Art. Break for lunch on Capitol Hill at the Hawk ‘n’ Dove, a watering hole for many Senators and Representatives. After lunch, walk over to the Freer Gallery of Art to see Whistler’s Peacock Room and its neighbor the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. If you have the chance, also visit the National Portrait Gallery (reopened in July 2006 after extensive renovations).
For dinner, treat yourself to a meal at Occidental Grill in the Willard Intercontinental Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue just west of the White House. Main courses range from $25 to $40. Their lobster bisque is truly memorable. If the weather isn’t too humid, opt for patio dining, but be aware that the inside and patio menus differ. This is the hotel where the term “lobbyist” was coined and the place where Martin Luther King, Jr., stayed while in town to give one of his most memorable speeches ever. For an authentic mint julep made according to Henry Clay’s own recipe, visit the hotel’s Round Robin Bar.