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The best Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping, Art, Cultural Attractions, and just plain Fun Stuff to do and see in Washington, D.C..

HOTELS: WASHINGTON, D.C.

Sleep at the Willard InterContinental, a historic hotel where the Union recruited Civil War spy Lafayette C. Baker. 
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Bunk down at the Tabard Inn, where shabby meets chic and rooms start at $107. 
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Whip up a bowl of mac-’n’-cheese in your kitchen at Georgetown Suites. 
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Bunk among the Warholian prints and other Pop art at Hotel Helix in Logan Circle. 
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RESTAURANTS: WASHINGTON, D.C.

Lunch on hefty cheeseburgers at the Five Guys location in Georgetown, where KGB defector Vitaly Yurchenko escaped his CIA minder in 1985 by climbing out of the bathroom window. 
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Dine on fresh oysters at Old Ebbitt Grill, where covert Soviet officials in the ’70s conducted intel fishing expeditions. 
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Nosh on tasty fish and chorizo tacos for less than $5 at award-winning chef Ann Cashion’s Taqueria Nacionale. 202-737-7070

Dine at 2Amys, known for the best Neapolitan pizza in town and a kid-friendly vibe the whole family will enjoy. 
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Enjoy weekend brunch among the hipsters in the cozy yet eclectic space at Busboys and Poets.
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SHOPS: WASHINGTON, D.C.

If you’re an expert haggler—the type who regularly scores on eBay—you’ll want to take the Metro to the 135-year-old Eastern Market. You’ll find a thriving urban bazaar that draws a mishmash of residents and tourists six days a week. (Your wallet deserves a break on Mondays.) Start bargain-hunting at the pedestrian-only 7th Street, the heart of the market. Pick up impressionistic scenes of D.C. by Zakhar Sasim near East Hall. Then look for Tom Rall, the flea market manager who also sells old stereoviews of the District from his spot under the canopy at the north end. Finally, visit jewelry maker Larry Gallo of Stio Design near the entry to North Hall, and pick up a pair of his signature historic coin cufflinks.
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Score finds at Miss Pixie’s, a thrift store in the 14th Street neighborhood whose owner plies her customers with fresh-baked cookies. 
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Pick up an avant-garde potato peeler sculpted to look like a monkey or a cheese grater in the form of a mouse at Home Rule. 
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ART: WASHINGTON, D.C.

Sample the D.C. art scene at 1515 14th Street, a large building housing four diverse galleries. At Curator’s Office, you’ll see Charles Cohan’s Airfields, featuring prints of the world’s airport terminals and runways, through April 5. 
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The third-floor Hemphill shows up-to-the-moment art to stunning effect in a former auto showroom. Catch Franz Jantzen’s photographs of architectural objects from a constantly moving perspective and Martin Kotler’s paintings of construction sites from March 15 to May 24. Combined, these two exhibits illustrate D.C.’s changing landscape. 
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G Fine Art, which highlights young artists pushing the boundaries of traditional media, focuses on Dan Steinhilber in March and April. The 30-something artist creates large sculptures with cutlery, coat hangers, and other everyday objects.
In a town filled with established works in major museums, D.C.’s galleries have not deserved much attention—until now.
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CULTURAL/HISTORIC: WASHINGTON, D.C.

From the launch of the CIA to the treachery of local FBI agent Robert Hanssen, Washington, D.C., has more saucy espionage tales than a box set of 007 films. 
Investigate the town at the International Spy Museum in the newly revitalized Penn Quarter neighborhood. This state-of-the-art repository, beloved by spy fans of all ages, contains intel on the coolest Cold War-era gadgets and celebrities like Marlene Dietrich and John Ford, who provided covert services. You’ll adopt a secret identity—and try to keep it—in the Covers and Legends exhibit and try to break a code with an Enigma cipher machine in the Spies Among Us section.
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FUN STUFF: WASHINGTON, D.C.

Take 15th Street to Tidal Basin Paddle Boats, opening for the season on March 15. Sixteen dollars gets a boat for four and videocam-perfect views of those awesome blossoms. With spring temps ranging from the 50s to the 70s, D.C.’s weather should be perfectly pleasant. Primetime viewing of the flower power concludes with the Southwest Airlines–sponsored Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival on April 12.
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Take your brood to the must-see National Zoo, in Rock Creek Park. Families love this world-class urban sanctuary housing 2,000 animals and covering 163 lush acres. Kids will enjoy meeting their animal counterparts, such as the three 2-year-old Sumatran tiger cubs and the 6-year-old Asian elephant, Kandula. But the real stars are the world-famous giant panda parents and their son, Tai Shan. Though the toddler’s fans track his every move on the zoo’s “panda cam,” you’ll find Tai Shan looks even cuter in person.
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