How to Spend Inauguration Weekend in Washington D.C.

Insider Guide How to Spend Inauguration Weekend in Washington D.C.

No matter what side you’re on, there is a right way to experience this year’s presidential inauguration: surrounded by good food, stiff cocktails and as much culture as possible. And no better place to soak up culture than Washington D.C., a bold city where foodie finds and master mixologists are as prominent as the monuments and mansions.

So forget the political parties this inauguration weekend and opt for the real party with W Washington D.C.‘s Insider picks of the best places to see, eat and drink in the American city started it all.

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Photo via @benseverything


Ben’s Chili Bowl

1213 U St NW

Washington D.C. 20009


Many of the celebrities have ventured to Ben’s for their famous Half-smokes and milkshakes, including current President Barack Obama himself.

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Photo via @shena_nicole


1110 Vermont Ave NW

Washington D.C. 20005


While in D.C., Lincoln is a must-eat. With floors entirely made of pennies, artwork that screams “ABE!” and cocktails like Lincoln Sour, you dine like a president! Our Insider Pick:  The 1776 Elixir is perfectly fitting for the inauguration season.


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Photo via @megb42290


Right Proper

920 Girard St NE

Washington D.C. 20017


D.C. has really embraced the craft brew culture, so stop by one of the District’s best production houses! Start off with a brewery tour, but stick around for the good company and drinks. The inside features an eccentric (and slightly disturbing!) chalk mural by local artist Patrick Owens of animals breaking out of the national zoo, taking over the world, and adapting to a human lifestyle. Feeling fancy for the Inauguration? Try their Diamonds, Fur Coat, and Champagne brew. It tastes as good as it sounds.

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Photo via @thefoodandwinediva

Off The Record at The Hay Adams Hotel

800 16th Street NW

Washington, D.C. 20006


As you cross the street from the White House, sneak below ground to this luxe secret hideaway. Known as the place to be seen, but not heard, this exclusive home of the political elite is one not to miss. Enjoy the perfect cocktail in front of the perfect D.C. view.

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Photo via @smithsoniannpg


Presidential Portraits at The National Portrait Gallery

8th St NW & F St NW

Washington, DC 20001


While in DC make sure you visit the nation’s only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House.

TIP: The Washingtonian hosts their Inaugural Ball Saturday Jan 21 inside the gallery! Get tickets while you can.

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The First Ladies Inaugural Gowns at the National Museum of American History

14th St & Constitution Ave NW

Washington, DC 20001


Looking for outfit inspiration? Admire the famous collection of gowns worn by first ladies past. Make sure you see the famously featured- Michelle Obama’s Jason Wu gown, Jimmy Choo shoes, and elaborate accessories from the 2009 Inaugural Ball.