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Plan It: Guys’ Weekend in Washington, DC
Comments () | Published May 13, 2008
SATURDAY: EXPLORE PENN QUARTER AND U STREET
Though you’ll take a spin around some tourist attractions on a bike this afternoon, you’ll spend most of the day exploring DC’s Penn Quarter and U Street neighborhoods.

9 AM: Breakfast

Pry yourself out of bed after a long night of partying and head to Poste Moderne Brasserie (555 Eighth St., NW; 202-783-6060) for a hearty breakfast to fuel up for the day. There’s a stick-to-your-ribs croque madame, a morning sandwich loaded with grilled ham and Gruyère and topped with a fried egg; a bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and all the fixin’s; fluffy omelets sided with potatoes; and more. While most places in Penn Quarter only serve weekend brunch, Poste opens for breakfast on weekends at 8, so you can reward yourselves for rising early with a top-notch meal before walking to the International Spy Museum, just up the block. Breakfast entrées at Poste run between $8 and $14.50.

10 AM: Spy Museum
Head to the International Spy Museum (800 F St., NW; 202-393-7798) for a taste of espionage—real and Hollywood style. The museum requires a good amount of reading—a lengthy placard accompanies almost every exhibit and item on display—but you’ll get to see some real-life spy gadgetry, such as a pistol disguised as a tube of lipstick, alongside some of Hollywood’s renditions, like the 1964 Aston Martin outfitted for James Bond. The best part: You can spy on museumgoers from above while crawling through the ductwork in the ceiling. Tickets range from $15 to $18 depending on age.Noon: Lunch
For a fun, delicious lunch just a short walk from the museum, visit one of superchef José Andrés’s lively small-plates spots in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. 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 as among the area’s best restaurants on The Washingtonian’s most recent 100 Best Restaurants list.

1 PM: Be Your Own Tour Guide

Work off your lunch with a do-it-yourself bike tour of the National Mall area. The Bike and Roll kiosk behind the Old Post Office Pavilion (1100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-289-4224) rents a variety of bikes—from cruisers to performance bicycles—at fees ranging from $15 for two hours to $70 for more than 4 hours. Rentals include a helmet, bike tube, pump, lock, city map, and handlebar bag.

A good loop to ride, setting off west from the Old Post Office Pavilion, is here. Be sure to stop and relax at each site—you have plenty of time to finish, so don’t feel like you need to rush. Along this route, you’ll see (in order):

• Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
• White House
• Vietnam Veterans Memorial
• Lincoln Memorial
• Reflecting Pool
• Korean War Memorial
• Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial
• Jefferson Memorial
• Washington Monument
• National Mall and Smithsonian museums
• J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building3:30 PM: Build Something
After returning your bikes, head to the National Building Museum (401 F St., NW; 202-272-2448) for an inside look at all things architectural. A brainchild of Congress in the 1980s, the museum is housed in an 1887 building designed by an army general and boasts several notable architectural achievements—most significantly, the Corinthian columns, standing 75-feet high and among the tallest in the world. In addition to its permanent collection, which documents the evolution of architectural styles and construction techniques through photographs, blueprints, and material samples, the museum houses temporary exhibits, such as an Amish barn raising, in its large open spaces. The museum is free, but a donation of $5 is suggested.

5 PM: Taste Beer From Around the World

At Regional Food and Drink (810 Seventh St., NW; 202-289-2030)—known as R.F.D. to locals—you can sample from more than 300 of bottles from across the country and around the world. Want to try a Bulgarian beer? Order a Zagorka Special Lager. How about a taste of the Czech Republic? Try the Crystal Diplomat Dark, one of two Czech beers on the menu. The bar also features the city’s largest tap list; draft selection changes weekly.

6:30 PM: Dinner
Hop in a cab or board a Metro train and head to the U Street Corridor—U Street between 9th and 18th streets, Northwest. For dinner, try Marvin (2007 14th St., NW; 202-797-7171), a new hot spot just off of U Street that offers an unconventional mix of soul food and Belgian fare. Don’t miss the chicken and waffles. If the weather’s nice, linger over a postdinner drink on the upstairs terrace before moving on to your next destination. Even when it’s a little chilly, the heaters up there keep it cozy. The closest Metro station is the U Street stop on the Green and Yellow lines.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 05/13/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Articles