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Hotel Deals for Washington
The Dupont Circle Hotel
Mar 20 - Mar 20, 2018
per night from
$ 229
$ 160.3

There are some hot new developments in Washington, DC, and they have nothing whatsoever to do with politics (phew). In fact, even though the halls of power (and the Smithsonian) are nearby, the district’s new Wharf faces the Potomac River. This lets everyone turn their backs on the political landscape to enjoy an alternative view of the city.

Phase 1 of the $2.5 billion dollar development opened in the fall of 2017. When the whole kahuna is finished in 2021, one mile of waterfront will be buoyed by hotels, stores, cultural spaces and marinas, piers and waterfront parks. And did we mention restaurants? There will be dozens of them.

But what can you do there right now, today? Plenty, actually.

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The Anthem | Flickr CC: Ted Eytan

Go to a show, any show

The Wharf houses three major music venues. The Anthem is a 6,000-seat theater featuring acts that often perform in larger spaces. See the likes of Foo Fighters, Lorde and Walk the Moon up close and personal. An even more intimate space is Pearl Street Warehouse. Its 300 seats all have front-row views, no farther than 25 feet from the stage. Bringing a bit of an Austin vibe to the nation’s capital (the owners are from Texas), this is where you can see rock, country, folk, soul, rhythm and blues. and bluegrass, depending on the night. Most shows cost less than $20. Other places to see live music include Union Stage and Kirwan’s Irish Pub. Buskers and street musicians also stage spontaneous performances throughout The Wharf’s winding streets.

Flickr CC: Ted Eytan

Play hard, in water and on the green

The Wharf is a waterfront playground. Head to Recreation Pier to rent a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard. Or catch the Wharf Jitney, the free ferry that goes across the Washington Channel to East Potomac Park. Once on land, you can tee off on a public golf course, dive into the Olympic-size pool, play a round of miniature golf, or challenge your partner to a tennis match. The peninsula’s roads and paths are perfect for runners, bikers and inline skaters. Back Wharf-side, DC Sail offers sailing lessons, boat rentals and fleet racing on the Washington Channel.

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Politics and Prose | Flickr CC: Ted Eytan

Shop local

The Wharf’s developers were required to find local retailers to fill shopping spaces, so there’s no sense of a generic town center here. Don’t miss Politics & Prose, the first spin-off of the locally-owned bookstore that’s a legend in its own right. The mix of, well, politics and prose will give you a good sense of what’s on the minds of Washingtonians. Washington’s women are seeking out styles with a contemporary edge these days, like those featured at D/eleven. In addition to clothing, shoes and accessories, the boutique carries home goods and gifts. Feeling artsy? Martha Spak Gallery at The Wharf showcases original fine art and photography from local artists, as well as specialty items for the home.

Photo courtesy of the Canopy

Drop anchor for the night

You’ll almost feel like you’re right at home when staying at Hyatt House. This extended-stay hotel is designed to welcome residents rather than guests. Its rooms come complete with kitchenette and a separate living area with a sleeper sofa. Even better than home—you get free breakfast every day. Dig into made-to-order omelettes, Greek yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit and anything else you’d expect on your morning menu.

The first Canopy by Hilton in North America is at The Wharf. It’s a happening place. Canopy Central offers free breakfast (for guests) by day and live music (for everyone) at night. The Cafe serves up local coffee and small bites, while the rooftop Bistro & Bar is the place for adult beverages and spectacular views. Meantime, the rooms have cool features like 55-inch TVs, mini- fridges, Nespresso machines, and beds designed exclusively for Canopy.

The fanciest hotel of the current lot is InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf. The interior design harmonizes the industrial waterfront heritage of the Potomac River with DC’s Washington modern international aesthetic. Top Chef graduate Kwame Onwuachi celebrates his West African and Caribbean roots at Kith/Kin, the hotel’s restaurant. Coming in 2018: a L’Occitane Spa.

Flickr CC: star5112

Grab a sweet or savory treat

Expect a line at Shake Shack, the modern-day restaurant version of a burger stand that also serves up delicious hot dogs, frozen custard and shakes.

Meanwhile, Dolcezza is a locally-owned artisanal gelateria and coffee house. Sample hand-crafted gelato made from fresh ingredients from local farms or sip on an Argentinian-inspired coffee beverage.

Or, you can opt to save the rainforest and eat chocolate at Harper Macaw, a responsibly-sourced chocolate manufacturer founded in Washington, DC. The store’s mission is to offer customers the ultimate chocolate experience with yummy products that support rainforest restoration and protection.

Tagged: Washington DC

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Laura Powell

Laura Powell

Laura is a 20-year veteran travel journalist. She was CNN's first travel reporter, and has written for publications ranging from Alaska Airlines Magazine to The Washington Post. Find her at the or on Twitter: @dailysuitcase

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