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Plan It: Girls’ Weekend in Washington, DC
Comments () | Published May 2, 2008
4:15 PM: White House or Bust
It’s off to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a look at the President’s home sweet home. Because tours of the inside of the White House are hard to come by—they must be booked months in advance, they’re reserved for groups of ten or more, and they’re available only during certain hours—you’ll have to take in the sights from behind the fence. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty to see.

The White House complex consists of the main building, which is the executive residence space, and the East and West Wings. The East Wing, visible from Pennsylvania Avenue to the left of the executive residence, houses office space for the First Lady and her staff and the White House Social Office. Below it is a secure underground bunker, where the President goes in the event of an emergency. The West Wing is where the business of the White House happens. From the Pennsylvania Avenue side, it extends to the right of the executive residence and houses the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, the White House Situation Room, and the Press Briefing Room. Outside the West Wing, on the White House lawn, you’ll might see camera, sound, and lighting equipment—this is the area from which White House correspondents videotape their reports.

Snap a few photos, and you’re off.

5 PM: Happy Hour

Hop in a cab or hoof it eight blocks to Poste Moderne Brasserie (555 Eighth St., NW; 202-783-6060), a restaurant and bar in the central courtyard of the Hotel Monaco in DC’s Penn Quarter neighborhood. Feel free to walk through the hotel or enter the bar directly through the old carriage way on Eighth Street, last used when the space was home to the General Post Office in the 1800s. Belly up to bar to watch the bartenders work their magic. In pleasant weather, sit outside on a plush patio chair and sip one of the $10 signature cocktails, including Tango & Cash (rum and cashew juice) or the Chameleon (herbal tea with Bombay Sapphire, lemon juice, and club soda). Or ask the bartender about seasonal cocktails.
6:30 PM: Dinner
For a fun, delicious dinner a short walk from Poste, visit one of superchef José Andrés’s lively small-plates spots. His flagship, Jaleo (480 Seventh St., NW; 202-628-7949), features traditional and updated tastes of Spain; Oyamel (401 Seventh St., NW; 202-628-1005) is regional Mexican; and Zaytinya (701 Ninth St., NW; 202-638-0800) offers Mediterranean fare. All have tasty cocktails and a hip vibe. Even better, they’ve all been recognized among the area’s best restaurants on The Washingtonian’s most recent 100 Best Restaurants list.

8 PM: To the Theater!
Penn Quarter has a number of options for a night at theater. The Shakespeare Theatre Company performs the Bard’s classics as well as works by other playwrights at Sydney Harman Hall (610 F St., NW) and the nearby Lansburgh Theatre (450 Seventh St., NW)—collectively known as the Harman Center for the Arts—almost every night except Monday. Evening shows begin at 7:30 or 8; call 202-547-1122 or check the Web site for more information.

Another option is the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (641 D St., NW; 202-393-3939), which has made its name developing, producing, and performing new plays. Some of them are world premieres; others have played recently in other cities but are making their DC debut. Tickets range from $24 to $57, depending on the date and time of the show and where you’re sitting. Learn more about this season’s plays here. Performances Wednesday through Saturday start at 8, Sunday at 7.

If film is more your style, head to E Street Cinema (555 11th St., NW; 202-452-7672), an eight-screen theater featuring independent and foreign films, documentaries, and classics. Part of the national Landmark Theatre art-house chain, it serves beer and wine, among other concessions, and has an espresso bar. Tickets are $9.75; showtimes vary, so check the Web site before making plans.
SUNDAY: STRETCH AND SHOP
Your day starts off right with a wake-up work-out. Then it’s off to Georgetown for the main event—shopping! What could be better?

10:30 AM: Find Balance With Yoga
Grab an apple from your hotel’s continental breakfast—don’t worry, you’ll have brunch later—and start your day with a yoga class at Tranquil Space (2024 P St., NW; 202-223-9642). The Yoga 1 class at this studio is great for beginners who’ve always wanted to give yoga a try and advanced yogis who want to stay sharp on core positions. You and your girlfriends can also book a private lesson with an instructor (call the studio to learn more). The Yoga 1 class costs $17 plus $2 for towel and mat rental. Advanced reservations through the Tranquil Space Web site are not required but encouraged.

11:45 AM: Brunch
Treat yourself to brunch in Georgetown after a great morning workout. We recommend Leopold’s Kafe & Konditorei (3315 Cady’s Alley, NW; 202-965-6005) for a German-style Frühstück—that’s German for “breakfast.” The weekend menu offers house-made knockwurst with eggs and a goat-cheese-and-cured-tomato omelet. Espresso machines churn out strong shots of caffeine, and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice is available.

For more brunch ideas, check out our guide to the best in the area.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 05/02/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Articles