THINGS TO DO
For things to do in Washington DC, our historic neighbourhood is known for its parks, restaurants, and eclectic street fairs, and we are within walking distance of Union Station and most of the city. 'It' list. Some of the country’s most powerful edifices including the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress are housed on this famed incline, where Instagram-ready views of the Capitol Dome come at almost every turn.
Capitol Hill is one of the city’s most popular places to live, with 19th-century row houses plus a market plus a vibrant dining and nightlife scene. Politicos, young staffers and tourists alike head to the neighbourhood both for its government buildings like the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court, and the surrounding historic, walkable, restaurant-filled blocks.
From halls of power to food halls, the Hill is forever hopping.
It’s the center of the U.S. government, the center of the city and is a central hub for locals and visitors alike. Mini neighbourhoods like Eastern Market and Barracks Row comprise Capitol Hill, highlighting its unique blend of federal and local diversions. Here are some great ways to explore the neighbourhood.
See Congress in session at the U.S. Capitol
Catch lawmakers in action with an advance pass from your Senator or House Representative. Find out how to arrange a visit to one of the most recognisable buildings in the world.
Take a picnic to the park at the Bartholdi Fountain
On the U.S. Capitol grounds, this beautiful park houses the ornate fountain Bartholdi designed for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. In summer months, it provides a cool respite from the humid temps. Bartholdi is also famous for designing the Statue of Liberty.
Explore a foodie haven near Eastern Market
Getting hungry? Make Barracks Row, the city’s oldest commercial district, your next destination. The strip that runs along 8th Street SE, which gets its namesake from the country’s oldest Marine Corps post nearby, has undergone an incredible revival throughout the last decade. You'll find everything from quick bites and family-friendly carry-out storefronts to Michelin-starred establishments like Rose's Luxury and Pineapple & Pearls. If it’s sweets you crave, District Doughnut serves up handcrafted gourmet doughnuts seven days per week. Or slurp down raw oysters–a popular snack since D.C.’s early days (First Lady Dolley Madison was a fan)–at one of the strip's many pubby restaurants.
Go to a play at the Folger Shakespeare Library
The intimate playhouse at the world’s greatest collection of Bard’s works was modeled after an Elizabethan inn, with tiered wooden balconies and carved oak columns. It hosts classical plays, concerts and readings throughout the year.
Take a self-guided tour of the Supreme Court of the United States
Line up to take a self-guided tour—or maybe hear an argument when court is in session—at the 1930s, neoclassical marvel with its bronze, bas-relief doors and columned interiors. On days the court isn’t in session, docents give short, free lectures on the building and its functions.
Continue your patriotic march to the Library of Congress
It's the largest library in the world, holding millions of photos, films, recordings and maps, as well as featured exhibitions and tours that bring the library’s vast collections to life.
Escape into the green world of the U.S. Botanic Garden
In a glassed-in, Art Deco structure, this living plant museum holds cacti, orchids and a two-level tropical rainforest garden. Frequent events include gardening seminars and cooking classes.
Sneak away to the Summerhouse on the U.S. Capitol Grounds
Located on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, this open-air, hexagon-shaped structure was completed in the 1880s and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Constructed of red brick, it has arched doorways, seating for 22 people, and a small grotto. It’s the perfect spot for solitude seekers.