DC was my first stop, post-graduation. While I didn’t love living there then, I managed to meet my future husband and some lifelong friends there. That said, I now look back at my years there with a huge heart, as some of my more formidable. It’s a city of mystery (something I found incredibly frustrating), social hierarchy, great restaurants and museums, and all things politically historical. Through all the frustrations, however, I can’t imagine a better city to kick off my early 20’s as the city is literally bursting with young people all in the same boat.
The restaurant scene in DC is one of the best in the US, which was difficult to keep up with as a 23 year old living in a shoebox-sized studio that cost more than most mortgages. That said, I found my way to some of the city’s best thanks to visits from family and work events. To this day, some of my favorites (both bargain and expensive) remain some of the most talked about restaurants in DC.
Another cool component to DC is its vibrant hotel scene. This may seem weird to some, but being a complete hotel snob, I have found some great spots in the city thanks to many many many return trips for work and with a certain boy-now-husband. The Kimpton hotel chain is one of my favorites of all time for its impeccable design, nightly happy hour, and excellent service, which is convenient because there are MANY options to choose from in DC.
I’ve found it incredibly alarming how many people I know who have never visited DC. To which I say, “go! now!” How many cities can you visit with this many FREE museums and “things” to do? Not to mention, you’re almost guaranteed to be brushing elbows with politicos no matter where you go.
Just a little tidbit from a former resident: “The Mall” does not refer to an actual shopping mall. “The Smithsonian” is not just one building- it’s a network of museums. It’s “The Metro” not “The Subway”. And while we’re at it, stand right, walk left. Or you WILL get run over.