51 Hours in DC by Jason De Vries
51 Hours in DC is a series highlighting the richness and diversity of the Nation’s Capital through the eyes of the employees of Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC.
This edition is brought to you by Hotel Manager Jason de Vries. Jason lives in the 14th street district of DC with his husband Jonas and loves to explore the city by bike or while marathon training. Jason’s favourite way to unwind is to visit art museums and discover hip cocktail clubs in DC.
Read below for how Jason would spend an ideal weekend in DC. We hope that this will inspire your own travels to our Nation’s Capital.
51 Hours in DC by Jason de Vries
I would start my weekend by walking north from the Hotel around the Georgetown residential neighbourhood to admire the uniquely DC federalist and colonial style homes. Continue walking through the stunning gardens of Dumbarton Oaks, take Wisconsin Avenue back to look at storefronts of Georgetown and end up at Kafe Leopold for a late afternoon champagne and cake.
Georgetown is one of the largest historic neighbourhoods in the country. When I pass the houses it gives me a special quaint feeling of living. Situated in beautiful brick Cady’s Alley, Kafe Leopold really reminds me of relaxing in a simple German café in my husband’s hometown where everything just feels perfect.
Japan and Europe are my two favourite places to vacation. Izakaya Seki feels like a small neighbourhood Tokyo gem but it’s only a short walk away from my house. Red Hen offers world class Italian food in a neighbourhood setting. Pasta and a glass of wine in the cosy space is so comforting after a long work-week.
Columbia Room is DC’s best cocktail bar, also in Blagden ally is the backyard feeling at Calico serving adult juice boxes. For a great urban dive bar, Showtime is an experience.
- Morning run in Rock Creek Park or along the National Mall
At the moment the Beach Drive section of the path is closed, creating a perfect 8 mile (13 kilometre) loop that gives you a feeling that you are way outside the city. Alternatively, there is no better location to start a run from our Hotel to run down the canal onto the National Mall. No matter how long I have lived here, the monuments never get old and impress me on each run. Returning back to the Spa for a cold bottle of water and a nice smile gives a great feeling.
Chef Einat Admony from Balaboosta, one of my favourite New York restaurants, has opened her fast casual concept in Georgetown with THE BEST falafel sandwich in town. I love to grab a falafel sandwich and hummus to-go and walk two blocks to the Georgetown waterfront to relax and enjoy Potomac views with great social distancing.
- Coffee at Big Bear Café and grab bread from Seylou Bakery, followed by a beer at Dacha Beer Garden, and then walk towards 14th street to check out Good Wood and Miss Pixies, then pre-dinner evening cocktails on the patio at Le Diplomate
Big Bear Café reminds me of when I lived in Los Angeles; the Instagram-worthy patio is overgrown with wine grapes and sits across from a park that on Sundays has a small farmers market. Seylou Chef Jonathan Bethony studied at The Bread Lab at Washington State University and mills his own flour from locally-sourced grains in a beautiful space where you can see into the kitchen. Dacha Beer Garden feels like a typical neighbourhood German beer garden with a fun scene. Good Wood is classic vintage furniture and clothing store that is really well merchandised. Miss Pixies is shabby chic on steroids. Le Dip is that busy loud French bistro that you can only love, and it’s SO DC.
The beautiful copper-domed wood fire grill built inside an old laundry plant is a show to watch. The staff have a special bohemian and uniquely warm vibe about the service at this Middle Eastern hotspot.
- Compass Coffee - locations around DC
The best nitro cold brew you will find in the world.
Sunday Brunch or Lunch
I am a huge fan of modern art. In the city The Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall always has interesting exhibitions that change often. The building itself is an open cylinder making the galleries easy to navigate and you can really focus on an idea without feeling overwhelmed. Glenstone in Potomac is the “country escape version” of The Broad in LA. One of the most stunning modern private art collections and gardens in the country. Go early for a walk around the grounds and enter the perfectly minimalist space of the full-service café for brunch.
- Picking up gifts at Shop Made in DC
Great gift shopping for unique products made from small-scale, local producers. Born from a fund established by the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, to encourage entrepreneurs to make things in Washington.