My family and I actually had a different trip planned this past weekend, but due to some changes, things didn’t work out like we had hoped. We were still determined to do something fun, and DC became Plan B. We stayed in National Harbor and went to Alexandria and Georgetown while we were there. DC is only about 2.5 hours away (give or take I-95 traffic), so it’s easy to do a short trip like this for us. We also really lucked out with the weather. Normally, I’d wish that it had been cooler, but it was nice to be outside and not worry about the weather.
Read on for a guide to where we stayed, what we did, and most importantly, where we ate!
Where We Stayed
For our quick trip, we stayed at an AC Hotel by Marriott in National Harbor. We were right on Waterfront Street and had a great view of the boats and water from our room. The nice part about National Harbor is that it’s small enough that no matter where you stay, you’re pretty close to everything. We didn’t walk more than a few blocks to get to the places we needed to go to. Oh, and Starbucks was right across the street. That didn’t hurt either. 🙂
National Harbor was new to us, and I really enjoyed staying there. You could definitely just make a day/weekend of hanging out there, but we did some other things in DC and Alexandria, so we didn’t stay in National Harbor the entire trip.
What We Did
Of course we had to do some shopping in all three places, but we did a lot of other fun things too. Saturday afternoon we took an Uber over to Alexandria, and then hopped on the ferry to Georgetown. The ferry was about a 45 minute ride, and we took the monument tour. Think of it as a guided boat tour. Definitely a fun way to see the monuments from another perspective.
Once we got to Georgetown, we grabbed a snack to hold us over until dinner. Then we did a little bit of shopping. I spent a few days in Georgetown before, so I knew that M. Street has just about every store I love. I was really excited to check out Tuckernuck this time, and I ended up getting this jacket monogrammed in store!
After shopping we headed for another drink at the bar before dinner. Once we got back to National Harbor that evening, my mom, sister, and I headed over to Bobby Mckey’s, a dueling piano bar. It was so much fun, and the performers were amazing. Tip: make a reservation there if you want a good seat and don’t want to pay for standing room only. My mom and I went to a piano bar in Orlando before that didn’t require a reservation, so we didn’t even think we needed one. While not required, I’d definitely recommend it, especially for a large group.
Where We Ate
Lunch: Redstone American Grill in National Harbor. If it’s nice, you can sit outside on the deck and get a nice view of the water!
Snacks/Beer: We were actually looking for a different place that we had gone to on our previous trip, but we ended up at J. Paul’s. It was just okay, but since we were only there for beer and snacks, it was fine for me. Casual saloon atmosphere located right on M. Street in Georgetown.
Dinner: Dinner (and pre dinner drinks) was at The Grill Room at the Rosewood hotel on 31st Street in Georgetown. I can’t lie, this restaurant was amazing. Definitely one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I got filet, which came with asparagus. Fun fact, I’m a mashed potato lover, so I tried their mashed potatoes. So delicious. We shared apple spice donuts for dessert because it was my sister’s birthday. While I’m not normally a donut person, these were so good. If you want a really delicious meal with great service, The Grill Room is well worth it.
FYI, the restaurant’s dress code according to the website was smart casual. We almost wore jeans, but decided to dress up a little more, and I’m so glad we did. You could wear dark jeans, but a lot of women were in dresses, and I did see men in suit jackets and ties.
Sunday Brunch: The Warehouse Bar & Grill in Alexandria. I got the crab cakes benedict dish, which was really good. Lots of succulent jumbo lump crab meat. All entrees are served with strawberries and champagne or strawberries and cream. A fun added surprise!
This restaurant was a fancier brunch spot (white table cloths), but I didn’t feel out of place in jeans.
For a 24 hour trip, we were able to pack a lot in! I didn’t expect this post to be so long, but I hope this helps if you’re planning a trip to DC anytime soon. And if anything, it’s proof that you can squeeze a lot in without feeling overwhelmed!