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Places to snap a pic

Pictures of Lincoln Monument and the White House are great. But if you really want to impress your friends and family, show them you know the cool side of DC.

Space Window at the Washington National Cathedral

Five years after making history as the first men to set foot on the Moon, Apollo 11 astronauts presented the Washington National Cathedral with a small memento from their voyage. In the four years preceding the Moon rock’s arrival at the cathedral, NASA worked closely with St. Louis artist Rodney Winfield to design and construct the window that would house the stone. Known to most as the Space Window, the stained glass creation depicts stars and orbiting planets in hues of blue, green, white, orange, and red, inspired by photos taken from the Apollo 11 mission.

The Space Window is located on the south side of the cathedral. Nearby atop the cathedral’s West Tower, a Darth Vader grotesque introduces an unexpected sci-fi element to the space motif.

National Bonsai Museum

The National Bonsai Museum may not be the most heavily visited museum in Washington, D.C., but it’s certainly unique. This amazing horticultural collection includes 150 miniature specimens, lovingly doted on by an expert bonsai staff. The crown jewel of the Bonsai Museum is a Japanese white pine that has been “under training” since 1625—a tree that is as old as the first colonial settlements in North America. 

The nearest Metro station is Rhode Island Avenue. Parking is also available at the Arboretum.

National Capitol Columns

In 1958, the sandstone columns that had supported the east portico of the U.S. Capitol since 1828 were replaced with newer, marble columns. Unsure of what to do with the columns, the U.S. government held them in storage until 1984, when the Department of Agriculture and private donors arranged to display the columns at the National Arboretum.

The Arboretum is located in northeast Washington, D.C., 2.2 miles from the Capitol. It is bordered on the west by Bladensburg Road, on the north by New York Ave., and on the south by M St. Visitor entrances are located on New York Ave. and on R St.

International Spy Museum

Get up close and personal with lipstick pistols and the Enigma cipher machine, transmitters, receivers, tiny cameras, and disguised listening devices—the most interesting tools of espionage. The International Spy Museum dedicates its time and space to educating the general public on the techniques of one of the most intriguing trades to ever overthrow a leader, win a war, or go through the trash bags of the rich and famous.

The museum has timed passes. On busy days you can wait 1-2 hours. The best bet is to buy your timed pass ahead of time. 

The Lincoln Book Tower

The other Lincoln Monument. This unusual one stacks up to the others in a whimsically bookish way. At the Petersen House, the house where Lincoln died, there’s a 34-foot-tall stack of books all dedicated to the life and times of the storied 16th president standing in the middle of a spiral staircase. It consists of 6,800 books and stretches three floors high.

The Petersen House can be toured with the purchase of a ticket from Ford’s Theater across the street.

Places to Grab a drink

Sometimes, we all need a break. Yes, even from the best group of people in Placer County. Check out some of DC's most unique hidden bars and speakeasys.

Archipelago Tiki Bar

Tiki idols rule at this hip, island-themed spot for dramatic rum-based cocktails and snacks. Check out their website.

The Crown & Crow

Inspired by Victorian pubs, this expansive, lower-level watering hole features a 19th-century bar. Check out their website.

The Gibson

Sleek space with dark lighting offering up Prohibition-era cocktails & a charming outdoor patio. Check out their website.

Denson Liquor Bar

Atmospheric, art deco-ish bar with leather banquettes serving old-school drinks and elevated nibbles. Check out their website.

Madam's Organ

Lively blues bar offers comfort food & drinks in mason jars along with music, dancing & a roof deck. Check out their website.

Places to Get Your Coffee On

When you realize it’s not a Placer County winter, get warm and caffeinated at these cozy coffee shops in DC.


Cozy coffeehouse with exposed brick, serving java, vegetarian eats, charcuterie, and cocktails. Check out their website

Ebenezers Coffeehouse

The largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill, Ebenezers serves “coffee with a cause.” This means their profits go to mission projects in cities around the world. Check out their website

La Coop

La Coop is a family owned and operated business from the beginning of the value chain in Union Cantinil, Huehuetenango, Guatemala, to the end, in Washington. Check out their website

The Royal

LeDroit Park’s all-day cafe has three autumnal drinks on the menu made with Counter Culture coffee. Check out their website

Colada Shop

The local Cuban cafe chain is serving two special lattes this fall inspired by tres leches (milk cake) and dulce flan desserts. Check out their website

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