Things to do during your first weekend in Washington DC

Are you new to Washington DC? Here are some recommendations for things to do, as well as some of our favorite cafes and restaurants.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

capitol, washington dc

Washington D.C. may not be a state yet, but it certainly gets newcomers into a state of excitement. There’s so much to do in the US capital that it can be a little overwhelming for anyone who has just moved to the city or is considering joining the fray. We’ve put together the perfect itinerary for your things to do in Washington D.C. on your first weekend in town.Life in Washington D.C. can be fast-paced, so save yourself all the hassles of a traditional apartment hunt by opting for a turnkey option.

Every Blueground apartment comes stocked with luxury linens, kitchenware, and high-tech extras like Smart TVs. Having everything set up and ready when you arrive saves so much time. Life moves fast enough without having to worry about calling brokers, setting up utilities, and shopping for furniture.

Washington D.C. is home to power brokers, wannabes, and millions of other people living somewhere in between. When the workweek is done, it’s time to relax and enjoy the culture of this one-of-a-kind city. Here’s a perfect way to spend your first weekend in town.

Friday: Dinner and a Show

There are too many incredible restaurants in the D.C. area to count, thanks to the city’s international flavor. If you like Ethiopian food, check out Das in Georgetown. The elegant eatery has staple Ethiopian dishes like tibs and doro wat on the menu as well as their own house specials, including ribs with awaze sauce. You can’t go wrong with the combination vegetarian entree sampler, which lets you try a little bit of everything along with Das’s fresh-baked injera (the spongy bread that’s ubiquitous in Ethiopian cuisine).

Das Ethiopian restaurant DC

If you feel like staying in, there’s nowhere better than a Blueground apartment. Pop some popcorn, pour a glass of red wine and turn on Netflix to catch up on all five seasons of Scandal, which stars Kerry Washington as a D.C. fixer. (Out of your favorite rioja? Blueground guests enjoy special discounts on purchases from NakedWines. Check the app for details.)

Saturday: Boutique Living

It’s time to find your new favorite Washington D.C. coffee shop. Obviously, you’ll want something close to home. Our Georgetown guests will want to sample the brews at Grace Street Coffee Roasters, while anyone living near Logan Circle should head to The Coffee Bar (TCB to locals) for their caffeine fix. Most cafes in D.C. are still pickup only, but that’s OK, you’ve got the whole day ahead of you. Get your cup of joe and then check out your local park, or plan a longer walk to see some of the city’s famous cherry-blossom trees.

Cherry blossoms in a DC park

It’s great to embrace minimalism, but sometimes you need something new. D.C. has some incredible shops and boutiques, so it’s hard to go wrong. We like Steadfast Supply, an incubator for more than 70 independent designers and brands, both local and from further afield. The enterprise started out as a single pop-up shop, but there are now has two permanent Steadfast Supply shops at The Yards in Washington, DC and Ballston Quarter in nearby Arlington, Virginia. (You can also shop most of the collection online.)

Sunday: A Trip to the Zoo

Ready to spend some time in nature? Washington, D.C. is home to the National Zoo, where you can get up close and personal with around 2,700 animals, representing almost 400 different species. The zoo is set on 163 acres in the center of the city and gets almost 2 million visitors a year.

Panda at the National Zoo in Washington DC

The zoo’s most famous resident is Xiao Qi Ji, a giant panda cub born at the zoo to parents Mei Xiang and Tian Tian in August 2020. (If you can’t make it to the zoo in person, you can always catch up on these bears’ antics via the zoo’s Giant Panda Cam.) The National Zoo also has elephants, lions and tigers, as well as hundreds of birds, including bald eagles. The zoo has only recently reopened, and there are still safety protocols in place. Admission is free, but you will need to reserve a free pass online ahead of your visit.

blueground washington dc apartment

Blueground wants you to make the most of your time in Washington D.C.,  whether you’re one of our guests or just have your eye on a few of our move-in ready furnished D.C. apartments. Our flexible leases are designed with digital nomads in mind: you can stay as little as 30 days or a year or longer, and we take care of most of the details involved in moving into a new apartment. Blueground’s turnkey furnished homes are ideal for anyone who’s looking for a fresh start in D.C. or any of our other markets.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.