This city without a state contains much of the country’s treasures. It’s a perfect place to honor our past presidents — walk where they walked, see what they saw, go to the gay bars they went to.
D.C. is not about the scene, so the fun you have at night should only supplement your daytime adventures. Every place holds its own significance; seek out the ones that mean the most to you.
Get Your Patriotic Party On This Presidents’ Day In Washington DC
Since Presidents’ Day weekend is coming up, consider visiting the big three: the Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington memorials. Or you could see all 46 of the chiefs at America’s Presidents, a permanent exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, a free Smithsonian museum.
Pro tip: At night head to the back of the Lincoln Memorial, and you can see the JFK Eternal Flame in Arlington National Cemetery.
Touring works up quite an appetite. Try the indoor food hall, Union Market. This incredible market showcases more than 40 local vendors, including District Doughnut for the gourmet doughnut and coffee-loving crowd. Or you could head to the gay-friendly Dupont Circle neighborhood and indulge at Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse. This beloved restaurant isn’t just a place to grab a mean steak; it’s a slice of LGBTQ+ history that’s been sizzlin’ since ’48. Annie’s is named for the owners George Katinas’ sis, a true icon who welcomed the LGBTQ+ fam with open arms. It’s home to countless stories, a contender for a James Beard Award (basically the Oscars of food, honey), and a testament to a legacy of inclusion and fierceness.
You can explore shops all over town, but M Street in Georgetown might offer the best options. It boasts everything from the secondhand store Buffalo Exchange to the high-end boutique Rag & Bone. At the Bonobos Guideshop, on Cady’s Alley, just off M Street, you can experience the best fitting men’s clothes available.
When you’re ready for some libations, start at JR’s Bar & Grill; it’s one of those neighborhood bars that always seem to be packed. The heavy pours and drink specials might have something to do with that. Then head to Pitchers. There’s so much to love there: the sports, the friendly guys, the drinks, the tops.
And before you head out of town, you’ve gotta make a pit stop at The Little Gay Pub. Believe me, ever since it opened in 2023, it has become quite the hotspot. Locals and visitors alike can’t get enough of its prime location, friendly staff, amazing atmosphere, and cozy vibes. But here’s the real kicker … the bathroom is where all the magic happens. Yep, you heard that right! It’s become so popular that there’s even an Instagram account dedicated to documenting the shenanigans.
And there you have it, my patriotic pals and history buffs, Presidents’ Day in Washington DC is the ultimate destination. Because really, where else can you get selfie-ready with Honest Abe? Or take a leisurely stroll through monuments that practically ooze historical drama? Or better yet, maybe even overhear some political gossip while sipping on that all-American latte?
So, why settle for another ho-hum Presidents’ Day? Live it up in the capital, surrounded by tales of founding fathers (and mothers!), rocking your star-spangled best!
Photos by Ted Eytan used under Flickr Creative Commons