As you know, MrsMJ and I relocated to Atlanta from Washington, DC last fall. I lived in the DC area for 12 years, and in the city of DC itself for 5 years. MrsMJ went to college in DC and has spent more time than me there. We are really enjoying Atlanta, but our Nation’s Capital is a great place, and I enjoy going back from time to time. Last week I was in Washington on business, and experienced a lot of reminders of why I like DC so much. The opportunity to attend the Freddie Awards popped up a couple of weeks ago, and I was able to extend my business trip at my expense and stay two additional nights so I could make the awards. This also gave me an opportunity to do something I haven’t done in a while, take a random day off and just wander around town. In no particular order are a few of my favorite things (from bars to museums) in DC.

The National Air & Space Museum (600 S. Independence Ave SW) – I may be a wannabe sailor, but I’m an honest to goodness licensed aviator. I’ve been staring at the sky since I could spell plane, and there’s no better place for someone like me to spend a little time than Air & Space. Enough said.

The lobby bar at the Mayflower Hotel (1127 Connecticut Ave NW) – I spent the personal part of last week’s trip at the Mayflower, and enjoyed a great stay, upgraded to a suite. If you haven’t been to the Mayflower, be advised that it is old school DC (and listed on the National Register of Historic Places), and it is not unusual at all to see politicians in the lobby bar enjoying a drink and discussing deals. The lobby lounge isn’t quite as cool (in my humble opinion) as it was before it was renovated, but it’s worth a stop if you are passing by, and certainly if you are staying in the hotel.

The International Spy Museum (800 F St NW) – I don’t know why, but the place has always entertained me. Don’t miss the Bond (James Bond :) ) exhibit.

Marx Cafe in Mount Pleasant (3203 Mt. Pleasant St NW) – A neighborhood bar, the likes of which I did not know existed in DC until I actually moved there. Everybody knows my name. Libations, of course, but food that will surprise you too.

National Museum of American History (1400 Constitution Ave NW) – A perennial favorite of mine since Junior High bus trips to DC, I love this museum. I love history, especially the history of us. It’s worth a visit.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop for now. I could only do so much in a day and a half in DC. What are some of your favorite spots in Washington, DC?


I just completed a 2-night business stay at the Renaissance Washington DC at 999 9th St NW. The hotel is an easy walk from the Gallery Place Metro station or a reasonably priced cab ride from DCA. It sits between the Convention Center and Gallery Place stations, but having tried both stops, I found Gallery Place to be the easiest for getting to the hotel IF you don’t mind the crowds around that area. In this case, traveling with 2 associates, we arrived at the hotel via cab where we were immediately greeted by bell staff. No need for assistance, but having bell staff greet you immediately is one of the marks of a quality hotel in my book.

Check in was fairly swift, though only one person was working the front desk. By the time I was processed, there were already 4 people in line behind me. I paid attention to desk staffing throughout my stay and did not note any other instances of minimal staffing, so perhaps my experience was a fluke. My other stays certainly seem to validate that. In any event, soon enough I was on my way to my 6th floor room in the Club tower, which was home to the 2nd floor Concierge Lounge.

My room was fairly standard issue Renaissance, but the results of the hotel’s recent renovation has certainly shown through. Furnishings have been updated, bathrooms are brighter and feature very nice walk in showers. The place even smelled new. I snapped a few pictures for your perusal.

I have to tell you, my favorite thing about the shower. That was the fact that they put the water control on the wall closest to the entry, and the actual shower head on the other wall. Why does that matter? I don’t have to get spritzed by cold water when I turn on the shower. Thoughtful, and I can think of some other hotels that I like a lot that could learn from that little feature.

Around the Hotel

The Gallery Place/China Town area is home to a plethora of great restaurants and entertainment. Check out the Gallery Place website for some details. Being an ex-resident of DC, I have some favorites. For typical American food, you can’t go wrong with Clyde’s at 707 7th St. NW. There are tons of restaurants in the area, but you cannot go wrong with Jaleo, Oyamel, Rosa Mexicana, or Proof. That’s not saying that others aren’t good, it’s just that I’ve actually dined at these spots, and know they’re great. Had a really good stay at this hotel, and don’t mind recommending it to you at all for your next trip to DC.

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