DESTINATION GUIDES

Washington DC Guide

Springing back to nature with Cherry Blossom season and the best to do in the US capital

Cherry blossoms and their scent of new beginnings at the Washington Monument

By Samantha Shankman on 03.10.22

Signs of new life are appearing in the U.S. capital, where the National Cherry Blossom Festival marks the start of Spring, and the city prepares for one of its busiest seasons. Its diverse, multicultural corners will welcome visitors from around the world for the annual celebrations of hope, collaboration, and nature for the first time in two years. 

We can smell the scent of new beginnings already wafting through the air, and we chose the LINE Hotel DC to be our home. Housed inside a 110-year old historic church in the vibrant neighborhood of Adams Morgan, it is the base we want to explore the cultural, historical, and stylish sides of the nation’s capital. 

Adams Morgan is where history meets modern culture, and old-school charm is sprinkled between live music venues, all-night diners, local bookstores, and vintage shops. The dining scene represents the city’s international landscape with incredible fare from Ethiopian, Salvadorian, Vietnamese, West African, Middle Eastern, Japanese, and Peruvian chefs.

The LINE DC mezzanine housed inside a 110-year old historic church

Beyond serving as a front door to DC’s most exciting neighborhood, the LINE DC is a portal through which you can explore the abundant natural adventures nestled right inside the capital. We were surprised to find so many green spaces and hidden trails in the cosmopolitan!

To help us get into the swing of Spring, The LINE DC offers a Cherry Blossom room special and Cherry Blossom picnic baskets curated and prepared by their restaurant. The picnic hampers, which include lunch for two, a bottle of bubbles, and sweet things from pastry chef Alicia Wang, can be reserved for March 20 – April 16 through the hotel’s booking engine powered by Selfbook.

Grand facade The LINE DC
Grand facade The LINE DC
The LINE DC offers a Cherry Blossom room special
The LINE DC offers a Cherry Blossom room special

What to Know About The Cherry Blossom Festival 2022

The 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival marks the 110th anniversary of the gift of trees from the Mayor of Tokyo to DC and will take place March 20 – April 17, with peak bloom officially predicted to spring March 22-25.

The four-week natural extravaganza celebrating the pale pink and white blossoms marks the beginning of spring and is an incredible opportunity to see the city through a softer lens.

Giant Cherry Blossom sculptures painted by local artists are placed throughout the city, and immersive Instagrammable art installations like the Capital Riverfront for the Petalpalooza Art Walk. The entire city turns pink with local businesses bringing the spring energy into the city’s more commercial district with lighting, custom installation, and decals for the City in Bloom visual campaign and local residents partaking in the Petal Porches decoration competition.

Giant Cherry Blossom sculptures painted by local artists
Giant Cherry Blossom sculptures painted by local artists
Petalpalooza parade
Petalpalooza parade
Grand finale of Petalpalooza festival
Grand finale of Petalpalooza festival

Cherry Blossom is also a great time to explore the city’s diverse culinary scene and local produce, with restaurants highlighting their best spring menus and special dishes designed just for the Festival. Tastemakers, chefs, hoteliers, and locals all come together to highlight the very best of the city, making it an exciting, almost whimsical, experience. 

The nuts and bolts:

Art at The LINE Hotel DC

Central to The Line’s ethos is a celebration of local art, and The Line DC delivers with a collection of 3,000+ original artwork and photography from local female artists highlighted throughout the hotel in addition to curated micro-libraries in the rooms.

There is also a radio station in the lobby where community podcast network and internet radio station Full Service Radio records and broadcasts 30+ shows hosted by residents.

District King room at The LINE DC
District King room at The LINE DC
No Goodbyes restaurant at The LINE DC
No Goodbyes restaurant at The LINE DC
Breakfast at No Goodbyes by Chef Opie Crooks
Breakfast at No Goodbyes by Chef Opie Crooks

Dining at The LINE Hotel DC

Dining at the Line DC is curated by the all-day neighborhood restaurant, bar, and coffee shop No Goodbyes from Chef Opie Crooks, who curates seasonal menus and highlights the Chesapeake Bay’s abundance through partnerships with farmers, fishers, and small-time ranchers. 

Start the day with best-in-class coffee or get a taste of more Southern fare with chicken and waffles. If you prefer to sit down later in the day, stop by the restaurant Tuesday through Thursday for the 1770 Special – the signature Roseda Farm Double Stack Burger plus a beer for $17.70 – in honor of the LINE DC’s address at 1770 Euclid Street.

If you want to explore the local produce, The LINE DC’s guests will have discount vouchers to shop at the Adams Morgan Farmers Market located across the street at Unity Park every Saturday morning.

Adams Morgan Farmers Market
Adams Morgan Farmers Market
Priority Bicycles
Priority Bicycles

Wellness at The LINE Hotel DC

There are plenty of natural adventures available right inside the capital. If you’re at The LINE DC, you can pick up one of their Priority Bicycles, a brand loved by gear-heads and weekend bicyclists alike. For an extra dose of flex, the hotel gym has a great range of workout equipment.

Where Else to Dine 

There are endless culinary adventures to explore in DC. Producer and founder of Full Service Radio Jack Inslee recommends stepping outside your comfort zone for the spicy Laotian dishes at Thip Khao or stopping by Pho Viet for a reliably great bowl of pho. Reveler’s Hour and Tail up Goat are two of his favorite places for food and wine in the city. “They have warm and knowledgeable staff, dynamic menus, and insane wine lists,” Jack tells us.

Maketto is also a must-visit for any first timer in DC. More than just delicious Cambodian/Taiwanese food, it’s a cultural hub and a great glimpse into the city’s creative energy. Be sure to check out Cool Kids Vinyl upstairs.”

On his days off, DC local and chef Opie Crooks will go to The Dabney for the local, seasonal menus; Albi and its cafe Yellow for eastern Mediterranean cuisine from chef Michael Rafidi; or Georgetown gem Reverie for a creative, upscale approach to seafood.

Producer and founder of Full Service Radio Jack Inslee
Producer and founder of Full Service Radio Jack Inslee
Ravioli at Tail up Goat
Ravioli at Tail up Goat
Great atmosphere at The Dabney
Great atmosphere at The Dabney

If you’re looking for something lighter, stop by one of Fruitive’s two locations for delicious, fresh, plant-based juices, nut mylks, and easy meals. Or for a slow weekend morning, creative consultant Shelby Eastman recommends stopping by “DC’s community living room” Tryst for brunch in an ambiance that feels like a scene from Friends.

Brand Experience Manager at The LINE DC Maya Oren loves to sit on the patio of Wine & Butter for a cappuccino and antipasti while dog watching at Lincoln Park, or she suggests stopping by Seylou for their croissants and locally-milled bread. In the evenings, she’ll swing by Bistro Du Coin for the Mont Blanc and the throwback French tunes, and, in the summer, you’ll find her at Bammy’s on the water for Jamaican and great tunes.

Jack Inslee says Maketto is a cultural hub
Jack Inslee says Maketto is a cultural hub
Maketto serves Cambodian Taiwanese fusion dishes
Maketto serves Cambodian Taiwanese fusion dishes

These are our favourite restaurants to book based on the occasion: Fiola Mare for a celebratory brunch or dinner. (Get the burrata and an Amalfi coast cocktail) Residents for cocktails and year-round outdoor seating perfect for a girls’ night out. Il Canale for casual pasta or pizza after a day of shopping in Georgetown. And Call Your Mother Deli for breakfast bagels so good that you’d swear you were in Brooklyn. Get the Sun City. The spicy honey is everything.

Bistro Du Coin for classic French food and tunes
Bistro Du Coin for classic French food and tunes
Maya Oren, Brand Experience Manager at The LINE DC
Maya Oren, Brand Experience Manager at The LINE DC

Where to Soak Up Some Culture

While the capital is home to some of the country’s most impressive and extensive museum collections (including 19 Smithsonian institutions), it’s easy to prefer spending the afternoon strolling past the many outdoor monuments which turn the city itself into a museum. 

“This might be cliché, but I love the idea of a sunset moment on the National Mall. The grass is SO plush it’s unreal. I try to make a point of walking barefoot on Mother Earth in the warmer months, and this is the spot to do just that,” recommends Maya.

For a more classic art experience, The Phillips Collection boasts a post-impressionist and modern art collection and hosts beautiful curated shows. Make sure to check out their program of talks and workshops because there is always something interesting happening.

To tap into the city’s more alternative art scene, swing by subterranean art and performance space Dupont Underground, which is located in an old industrial space beneath the city, or Artechouse, which explores the fusion of technology and art through featuring colorful, interactive exhibits.

Jack recommends SUNS Cinema — a local independent place to check out a great selection of films — and Songbyrd — a vinyl shop with tons of great live performances at night.

 

Jefferson Memorial dressed in pink petals
Jefferson Memorial dressed in pink petals
Picasso's Blue Period at The Phillips Collection
Picasso's Blue Period at The Phillips Collection
National Museum of the American Indian
National Museum of the American Indian

Where to Get an Extra Wellness Fix

Stop by Bhakti DC for serious heart-opening yoga classes. “The studio owner Gopi has passion running through her fingers, and her yoga classes are some of the best I’ve ever experienced,” says Maya.

It’s also worth stopping by the tea house and shop Ching Ching Cha for a centering experience and to enjoy the mood-boosting Chinese medicinal blend Eight Treasures tea.

Where to Stand in Awe of Nature

Nature abounds in DC, and we hear from locals it’s part of why they love living here. Within the city, there is a multitude of green spaces to run, walk, or sit for a picnic or read. Jack recommends getting lost on the endless trails in Rock Creek Park while other visitors will head to the Tidal Basin, where the cherry blossoms bloom.

For those Cherry Blossom first-timers, Maya recommends skipping the Tidal Basin for a different perspective. “Everyone rushes to the Tidal Basin to see the Cherry Blossoms, but I prefer to walk through the neighborhoods to take in the blossoming beauty. Try strolling through Mount Pleasant and Adams Morgan.”

Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park

Where to Shop Like a Local

A true local find is quintessential neighborhood corner store Shopkeepers because, as Maya puts it, “who can turn down an oat milk bubble tea while perusing independent home and fashion designers?”

Get a feel for the funkier side of the city at longstanding independent shops like Kramers bookstore or Meeps Vintage whose fine and affordable selection of previously-loved clothes made for one of the most delightful treasure huntings of the year.

Shopkeepers
Shopkeepers
Turkish coffee martinis at Albi
Turkish coffee martinis at Albi

Where to Drink and Dance 

There’s a vibrant underground nightlife scene in DC that locals will let you in on. Jack tells us to look out for his three favorite local DJs, Native Sun, Mathias & Farrah Flosscett. “Any party they are playing is almost certain to be a good time. Head to Flash if you want a late-night techno vibe.”

For drinks in a memorable setting, Opie will swing by Service Bar for cocktails and fried chicken, Tiki TNT for tiki drinks on the waterfront, or Middle Eastern cocktail bar The Greenzone for drinks like the Saz’iraq, Lebanese No. 1, or Janissary Corps. And when the night comes to an end stumble to the legendary Ben’s Chili Bowl for a moment of time travel. 

Check out our review of The LINE Hotel DC here.

The legendary Ben's Chili Bowl open since 1958
The legendary Ben's Chili Bowl open since 1958
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