Art and food, combined with luxury is what makes Washington D.C. the perfect destination for a family vacation. With rich history, artistic expression, and culinary treats, people of all ages will unexpectedly have their senses brought to life.
But this city moves FAST! Art installations often travel and there is only a limited time to view them. You'll want to visit before the end of this summer to see these incredible art exhibits. Of course, the exceptional dining and luxury is available all of the time. I recently spent a weekend exploring the arts and many great foodie experiences in Washington D.C. and would plan this same itinerary all over again!
Fairmont Washington D.C. Georgetown
For a truly memorable stay, the Fairmont Washington D.C. Georgetown is the heart of luxury in Washington D.C.. The elegant lobby, drenched in soft colors and light, is wonderfully inviting and the hospitality begins right away. I didn't have to lift a finger from the minute I stepped inside. After an easy check-in, I was enthusiastically guided upstairs to my beautifully appointed room and I couldn't stop admiring the hotel along the way.
My spacious Fairmont Gold Room featured two queen beds and newly renovated decor. Looking closely, the fun pattern on the wall is incredibly a map of Washington D.C.!
Along with the gorgeous furnishings, lavish amenities, and fantastic amount of storage space, there is also plenty of room for a family. I love when I find two queen beds in a room. Plus, many of the rooms connect so families can easily enjoy extra space by reserving two rooms. Various size suites are also available for even more living area.
During my stay, I attended a beautiful reception right off of the spectacular courtyard.
Small bites and cocktails were served and everything was just as delicious as it looks. I was in foodie heaven!
Located on the 9th floor and by card key access only, the Gold Lounge is a comfortable spot to enjoy a delicious breakfast, evening hors d'oeuvres, or a cold drink and snack any time of day. The friendly concierge staff will graciously help with anything needed.
If you are staying on this floor, head to the Gold Lounge for breakfast in the morning. The selections change daily but they always feature hot and cold items. I was thrilled to see delicious eggs and meats, pastries, and fresh fruit and cheeses. Not to mention, yogurts, cereal and much more. A perfect start to the day!
You can energize in the afternoon at the candy and cookie bar. I love that they even have take-out bags.
I was so excited for the first stop to see the wonderful art galleries that Washington D.C. has to offer.
Renwick Gallery: "Connections: Contemporary Craft"
Each piece resonates with luxury and creativity inside the Renwick Gallery. Currently showing contemporary craft artists, every piece of work is truly mesmerizing inside this beautiful museum.
I couldn't take my eyes off of the gorgeous chandelier by one of my favorite glass sculpturists, Dale Chihuly. The size and beauty of it hanging in the high, light-filled room is breathtaking.
National Building Museum: "Hive" Exhibits Through September 4, 2017
Towering 60 feet high and built from 2,700 paper tubes, "Hive" is an amazing structure that encapsulates all of your senses. With sound and touch elements, kids of all ages love this exhibit. Currently located in the Main Hall of the National Building Museum, it's a spectacular must-see this summer.
Hirshhorn Museum: "Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn" Exhibits Through January 1, 2018
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei brings to life his passion for the advocacy of human rights and expression through his remarkable art installation at the Hirshhorn Museum. The flooring depicts leaders of human activists and advocates, while the wallpaper illustrates social movements and symbols. It's truly awe-inspiring.
Then after exploring the exhibits, take a stroll outside to see the gorgeous sculpture gardens and fountains.
ARTECHOUSE Installation "XYZT: Abstract Landscape" Exhibits Through September 2, 2017
Housing futuristic and interactive art installations, Artechouse is currently exhibiting a phenomenal multimedia installation created by a contemporary French digital artist and choreographer. It's a sensory masterpiece as you are magically swept away by digital movement of landscapes, patterns, and lettering.
Hill Country Barbecue Market
You might not think you'd find some of the best barbecue you've ever had in the middle of Washington D.C., but it's easily hands down the winner.
Hill Country Barbecue Market smokes their own brisket on location and it's amazing! Along with various other meats, including sausage, ribs and even prime rib, you'll find a barbecue specialty for every palate. Don't forget to try their delicious sides, such as Skillet Cornbread, Longhorn Cheddar Mac & Cheese, Campfire Baked Beans with Burnt Ends, and oh, so many more.
Cotton & Reed Rum Distillery
What foodie itinerary doesn't include a happy hour stop?
Started by D.C.'s own Reed Walker and Jordan Cotton, the Cotton & Reed Rum Distillery is a fantastic way to see how your favorite rum is made. Sign up for a distillery tour which includes a tasting of their special White Rum, Dry Spiced Rum and Allspice Dram varieties. They are brilliantly smooth and delicious! Afterwards, have a seat at the bar for a refreshing Pina Colada.
Carmine's Italian Restaurant
Of course, you'll be starving after all of that sightseeing. There is not a better place to bring your hungry family then to Carmine's for mouth-watering, authentic Italian food. Served family style, Executive Chef Ford Barsi proudly makes everything fresh daily, including bread and pasta, and your dish is prepared to order.
Part of the charm is their expansive menu hanging on a wall in every section of the restaurant. Seating over 600 guests, it's divided into small and large rooms, all with the same wonderfully warm feel.
Don't be discouraged if you have a food allergy, they can easily accommodate your selection with gluten-free pasta or any substitution you need.
Since I was dining with a group, a pre-established menu was chosen for us. I was thrilled to see all of my favorites were included and couldn't have been happier.
Cheers to the start of a delicious meal!
Carmine's is perfect for dining as a family. The servings are extremely generous and designed to serve at least four to six people.
Go ahead and place your dessert order now. This is called the "Titanic" and with mountains of ice cream and fresh toppings sitting on a decadent flourless chocolate torte, it's a truly glorious end to an incredible meal.
Embassy Row Hotel for Silent Disco
You won't want to miss the city's nightlife! Not only does the luxurious Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle have a spectacular rooftop pool with amazing drinks and dining, but it's also the home of the seasonal Silent Disco. On Friday nights until September 29, 2017, step out on the rooftop and dance the night away. Put on headphones and listen to songs broadcasted live on three different channels. Each channel has it's own glowing color so you'll easily stay in beat with your dance partners. Dancing to your favorite tunes while overlooking the monuments and city streets is a unique and fun way to enjoy Washington D.C..
This itinerary is the perfect way to experience Washington D.C.. Whether you are visiting with your family or exploring on your own, you can take in the many cultural and culinary opportunities the city has to offer while rejuvenating and relaxing in luxury. It's definitely the capital in my book and I can't wait to get back!
Disclaimer: I was hosted by Fairmont, ARTECHOUSE, Hill Country Barbecue Market, Cotton & Reed Rum, Carmine's, and Silent Disco. As always, all opinions are my own based on my own experiences.
My Virtual Vacations Blog
About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic teenage boys. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels. We enjoy upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, we still need family friendly and comfortable. When we are not traveling, I enjoy dining out locally, as well as cooking and baking in my own kitchen.
Virtually escape and start planning your next luxurious cruise vacation on land or sea with My Virtual Vacations. Contact me for any specific questions or recommendations. And don't forget to keep checking back for the latest blog posts and information. There are always more family vacations in our future!
You'll also find me on Cruise Critic boards as SunnyAJ. Let's connect!
About the Photos
Our beautiful photographs are creatively captured by my talented freelance husband/photographer located in Baltimore, MD. Click here to explore more of his work.
Join our group
There is no stopping us! Even though travel has come to a halt, I'm rescheduling, planning, and preparing for the next phase of cruise and travel. Plus, I'm working on making this website even better.
Meanwhile, we are anxiously awaiting the status of next winter's cruise to the ABC islands on Celebrity Cruises. Have you been there?
If you have suggestions for My Virtual Vacations to visit, reach out to us on our Submission Form. We'd love to hear from you!
Be in the know!
Sign up for our email list and you'll receive a sneak peek when we have an update or new blog post.