Washington D.C. Luxury City Guide: One of America's oldest and unique cities, Washington DC was officially established on July 16, 1790 by the Constitution as the nation's capital. Since then, Washington DC has grown to become not only one of the most powerful cities in the world, but also one of the most multi-cultural and luxurious.
Pierre Charles L'Enfant designed the city in 1800 in tribute to his native Paris, complete with sweeping boulevards and ceremonial spaces. The famous monuments were added at a later date and after the War of 1812, in which much of the city was burned by the British, the city began to grow and absorb much of its surrounding areas.
Today, Washington DC includes a multitude of hotel properties and restaurants, in addition to numerous attractions that tourists flock to at various times of the year.
DC is divided into an array of neighborhoods, some dating back as far as the founding of the historic city.
Adams Morgan is best known for being the site of the city's first segregated schools. Now the area is an eclectic hotbed of international flavor, offering up cuisines from all over the world and making it a favorite for foodies. Also in the area are the embassies of 16th Street as well as historical bits of architecture, like the Victorian townhouses of 18th.
In Downtown DC, you can explore just about every highlight the city has to offer, including: the International Spy Museum, Newseum, Madame Tussauds, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the new National Museum of Crime and Punishment, Ford's Theatre, Chinatown.
You can also go on the self-guided Civil War to Civil Rights heritage trail that will take you past an array of historical sites including: the boarding house frequented by the Lincoln conspirators, the home and office of famed Civil War nurse and American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, the alley which John Wilkes Booth fled after shooting President Lincoln, the nation's oldest synagogue (now a Jewish history museum) and the hotel where Martin Luther King, Jr. put the finishing touches on his "I Have a Dream" speech.
In Georgetown, not only will you find the famous Georgetown University but also historic streets lined with designer and mainstream boutiques, as well as cafes, restaurants and bars amongst architectural and historical must-sees.
In a city as old as Washington DC, there are a wide array of popular attractions that millions of visitors flock to each year, including various museums and monuments: Smithsonian's: National Museum of Natural History, the National Air & Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, the National Zoological Park, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean Memorial, the FDR Memorial and Rock Creek Park. Not to mention all the theatres, performing arts venues and sports arenas as well.
Wining and Dining:
Ben's Chili Bowl is home of DC's signature dish. The chili half-smoke may not be fine dining, but it is a DC legend, located in the heart of DC's thriving African-American community in the U Street/Shaw/ Logan Circle neighborhood.
Near the White House and Capital buildings, you'll be able to rub elbows with some of the nation's top policy makers at establishments like The Monocle, Article One at the Hyatt Regency Washington, The Hay-Adams Hotel's Off the Record Bar and The Willard InterContinental Washington.
In the Downtown and Penn Quarter areas, try some of the small bites at the newly opened minibar inside Café Atlantico, featuring trendy molecular cuisine.
Throughout the city, you can also enjoy happy hours and small bites at some of the nation's choicest lounges and oldest bars.
For the VIP:
In a city that regularly hosts international dignitaries and royalty from around the world, the VIP amenities are outstanding. To experience DC like a true VIP, stay at one of the city's top rated hotels:
The Hay-Adams was ranked the #1 Hotel in Washington, DC in Travel + Leisure's 2007 list of the world's best 500 hotels for its excellent service.
For classic luxury, you can also choose to stay at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C., the city's only hotel to earn the honor of being a Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond Hotel.
Or check out one of the city's Ritz-Carlton hotels, spend your days luxuriating at the St. Regis or Sofitel Lafayette Square.
The JustLuxe City Guides have been created for you, our discerning readers, to highlight the most sophisticated, the most popular and the most elegant locations in every destination.
Our local concierge continuously strives to ensure we feature the best of the best in luxury services, dining, hotels and more. Every city offers new things to enjoy, cultures to immerse yourself in and sights to see. We have sought out the best places to see, be seen or just be.