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D.C.'s Best Political Haunts

Capitol Hill, the National Archives and the White House
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 12 miles
Duration: Unknown
Family Friendly

Overview :  Visiting Washington, D.C., can feel like the school trip from hell: No matter who you are, no matter what you're interested in, you're... more »

Tips:  Begin early. If this is a weekend trip, arrive Friday morning so you can watch the city at work. Political Washington completely shuts... more »

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Points of Interest

Always stingy about tours, the White House has been even more so since 9/11. You're allowed to visit from 7:30am-12:30pm, Tuesday to Saturday--if you've reserved a spot well in advance (submit a request to your member of Congress at least a month prior to your visit). These walk-throughs offer a look at the president's house that's more "... More

Wander a few blocks toward the Mall and the National Archives, where the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are housed. Check up on your favorite amendment--it's still there, despite what you've been reading in the papers.
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700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
866-272-6272
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Hours
Monday, Tuesday, Saturday 9am-5pm
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Farther down the Mall, you can sign up for free tickets to the Capitol at the kiosk on the southwest corner of the grounds. After the tour, you can drop by the office of your senator or representative and maybe even score a handshake. If you visit when Congress is in session (most weekdays, except around holidays), you can sit in the House or... More

Head over to Capitol Hill, the residential neighborhood flanking the Capitol. Eastern Market, in a gorgeous 1873 red-brick building, is home to butchers, green grocers and crafts vendors. Your goal: brunch at Market Lunch, which has incredible blueberry pancakes and even better crab cakes. Walk them off in the Capitol Hill Historic District.
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5. Marion Park

Marion and Stanton parks are lush oases--just right for a senator to enjoy a quiet assignation with a mistress. As always, in Washington, keep your eyes open and your camera handy.
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Marion Park
4th and 6th streets

6. Stanton Park

Corner of Massachusetts and Maryland avenues NE.

Political junkies might be tempted by the Willard InterContinental, one of D.C.'s grandest hotels--it's where negotiators attempted to prevent the Civil War, and where, nowadays, inaugural balls are held. But a whopping $579 only gets you a basic double with a lousy bathroom and a fussy opulence that won't go over well with the kids. The Hotel... More

This opened-in-1816 hotel remains steeped in Washington history, even though the rooms where Lincoln lived, Coolidge governed, and Martin Luther King Jr. wrote have long since been renovated away. Today's Willard, a bit like the political world it esteems, is grand in public, bland in private: its majestic lobby dazzles with soaring Corinthian... More

Charlie Palmer Steak is a dinner splurge, so if you're dressed more like lobbyists than tourists--no shorts! No fanny packs!--try to snag a table. It's expense-account central for power brokers and dignitaries; you're bound to spot a senator or two.
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101 Constitution Ave. NW
202-547-8100
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Cost
Dinner for four $170
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Hours
Tuesday-Friday... More