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1 Frommer’s Favorite Free & Affordable Washington - page 3 / 9





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F R O M M E R ’ S FA V O R I T E W A S H I N G T O N E X P E R I E N C E S


8:30pm, you pay $5 to tour the mansion-museum rooms filled with Impressionist, post-Impres- sionist, and modern art. Your tour ends up in the paneled Music Room, where you’ll enjoy jazz, blues, or other musical combina- tions performed by fine local musicians, topped off by an artful lecture. It’s a popular mingling spot for singles (there’s a cash bar and sandwich fare). Call & 202/ 387-2151 for information. See chapter 7 for complete details on the Phillips Collection; see chap- ter 9 for more nightlife.

  • Strolling Along Embassy Row. Head northwest on Massachusetts Avenue from Dupont Circle. It’s a gorgeous walk along tree-shaded streets lined with beaux arts man- sions. Built by fabulously wealthy magnates during the Gilded Age, most of these palatial precincts are occupied today by foreign embassies. See chapter 7 for more information.

  • People-Watching at Dupont Cir- cle. One of the few “living” circles, Dupont’s is the all-weather hangout for mondo-bizarre biker-couriers, chess players, street musicians, and lovers. Sit on a bench and be astounded by the passing scene. See chapter 4.

  • Cutting a Deal at the George- town Flea Market. Pick up a latte from the nearby Starbucks and spend a pleasant Sunday browsing through the castoffs of wealthy Washingtonians, hand- painted furniture by local artists, and a hodgepodge of antiques and collectibles. Everybody shops here at one time or another, so you never know who you’ll see or what you’ll find. The market is located at Wisconsin Avenue NW at S Street NW in Georgetown; it’s open year-round, Sunday from

9am to 5pm. See chapter 8 for more shopping.

  • Shopping at Eastern Market. Capitol Hill is home to more than government buildings; it’s a com- munity of old town houses, antiques shops, and the veritable institution, Eastern Market. Here, the locals barter and shop on Sat- urday mornings for fresh produce and baked goods, and on Sunday for flea market bargains. It’s located at 7th Street SE, between North Carolina Avenue and C Street SE.

  • Ordering Drinks on the Sky Ter- race of the Hotel Washington. Posher bars exist, but none with this view. The experience is almost a cliche in Washington: When spring arrives, make a date to sit on this outdoor rooftop terrace, sip a gin and tonic, and gaze at the panoramic view of the White House, Treasury Building, and monuments. Open from the end of April through October, for drinks and light fare (& 202/347-4499).

  • Chilling to the Sounds of Live Jazz in the Sculpture Garden. Friday evenings in summer at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, dip your toes in the foun- tain pool and chill, as a live jazz group plays a set for you, from 5 to 8pm. The garden’s Pavilion Café sells tapas and wine and beer, by the way. See chapter 7.

  • Ice Skating on the Mall. The National Gallery Sculpture Gar- den pool turns into an ice skating rink in winter. So visit the Gallery (at 7th St. and Madison Dr.), fin- ishing up at the Sculpture Garden, where you can rent skates and twirl around on the ice, admiring sculptures as you go. Treat yourself to hot chocolate and sandwiches at the Pavilion Café in the garden. See chapter 7.

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