Hotspots in Washington, DC

Bamian

If you are looking for something new to tantalize your taste buds visit Bamian for authentic Afghan cuisine. The food is so good members from the Afghani embassy including the Ambassador have paid visits here for a little taste of home. If you are new to Afghani food and have any questions the staff is very knowledgeable and will help you decide what to order off the menu, all the appetizers come with a homemade yogurt and spicy chutney sauce for dipping. The kabobs are standard Afghan cuisine and will not disappoint, and the homemade flatbread is also worth  try. The vegetarian dishes are eclectic and creative featuring vegetables like pumpkin, eggplant, tomatoes, and spinach. 

Woodend Sanctuary

A wedding at the Audubon Society's Woodend Sanctuary combines elements of both city and country. Woodend is located inside the Beltway and features an elegant 1920s Georgian mansion designed by John Russell Pope, architect of the Jefferson Memorial. But Woodend also offers 40 acres of outdoor space, including a wildflower meadow, towering trees and sweeping lawns. Outdoor ceremonies often feature deer as surprise guests. Thanks to its association with the Audubon Society, Woodend is one of the most eco-friendly venues in the DC area, with a commitment to recycling, energy efficiency and even green cleaning. (And of course rental fees support the work of the Audubon Society itself.) Site fees, which range from $2,600 in winter to more than $10,000 for a day-long rental in summer and fall, include both indoor and outdoor spaces and a tented terrace. There's a list of approved caterers, but BYOB is allowed.

American News Women's Club

So you want an elegant, Metro-accessible DC venue that offers multiple rooms of private space, and all for a site fee under $2,000? Believe it or not, that actually exists! Cranford House, the headquarters of the American News Women's Club, is a gracious 1906 townhouse on Embassy Row near Dupont Circle. Two floors of entertaining space offer rooms for ceremony, reception, bridal suite, childcare and more. The home is filled with period antiques and boasts built-in bookcases, balconies with French doors, fireplaces and welcome touches like a coatroom and well-appointed catering kitchen. The only hitch is that the space is small, topping out around 100 for a reception and half that for a seated dinner. The wedding rental fee of $1,650 for non-members includes setup, take-down and use of the club's audiovisual equipment.

Capital Crescent Trail

This 11 mile trail goes from the Georgetown neighborhood of DC to Silver Spring, MD. It is built along an old line of the B&O Railroad, but is now paved. There are bridges and tunnels along the way as well as water fountains and places to eat not too far off the trail along the way. So if you are feeling ambitious try to tackle the whole trail, if not you can drive to several points along the trail and walk or jog at your leisure. Your dog will love the scenery and the changes in gradient presented from the tunnels and bridges. 

 

Dragon Boat Festival

Enjoy the flavors of China over this two day festival sponsored by the Chinese Women's League of Washington, DC. Enjoy watching dragon boat teams from across the country compete in races and cultural events. The weekend starts by awakening the dragon and the cultural events include brush painting, paper cutting, xiang-bao, and kungfu. The races take place in Georgetown so you can sneak away for a little shopping and a quick bite to eat in one of DC's nicest neighborhoods. 

Fountains Day Spa

You will both enjoy this much deserved day of pampering, get just a couples massage or get a package that includes the massage and foot reflexology or a facial. If you want to pamper each other at home then the couples massage class might be of interest, you will get to give each other massages and learn all the proper techniques to practice on each other later. The couples massage starts at $218 and includes the candlelit massage and chocolate and fresh fruit tray to munch on while you relax in the lounge. The special Valentine's rate is good for the month of February but if you can't make it you can get all these services throughout the year at their regular rates. 

Cantina Marina

This restaurant takes you straight to the Caribbean, you should show up in shorts and flip flops and be prepared to be taken to the islands with the food and music. You and your dog will most likely sit right on the water since the restaurant sits over the Washington Channel, there is only a rope separating you from the water so if your dog loves the water and will want to jump in this might not be the right spot. But for those whose dogs will just relax and take in the breeze this spot should surely make its way into your itinerary. If you are in town on Monday stop in for the doggie happy hour from 5-9 where your dog will get some treats and you can enjoy some menu favorites for $2. 

Hotel Rouge

If a romantic get away is what you are looking for this holiday weekend then Hotel Rouge's Valentine's Package should be at the top of your list. Located near DuPont Circle for $369 a night using the PROM code online or when you call in the reservation at least six days in advance you will receive quite the romantic experience. Starting with a rose and bottle of champagne upon arrival, a 50 minute aroma journey massage, chocolate truffles, breakfast in bed, and free valet parking. If you were looking for something a little more laid back they also offer a drive in package, a much better alternative to going to a drive in movie. You will get a king deluxe room, free valet parking, popcorn, and an in room movie. So whichever you decide on you will be comfortable and relaxed to celebrate your love.

 

Downtown Holiday Market

In many parts of Europe, outdoor Christmas markets are a longstanding holiday tradition. DC may not be Europe, but it does have its own annual Christmas market. For three weeks each December, a diverse roster of vendors hawk their wares from tents set up outside the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Penn Quarter. Vendors rotate regularly to keep the market fresh and new, but you'll find plenty of arts and crafts, jewelry and textiles, and gifts for everyone on your list. Food vendors stand ready to assist if an empty belly gets in the way of your shopping. And a diverse array of daily performers offer music from holiday carols to jazz and rock to keep shoppers' toes tapping. The Downtown Holiday Market is open from noon to 8 p.m. daily.

The P Spot Fitness Studio

The P Spot offers classes that fuse traditional strength training with exotic dance, encouraging women to take control of their bodies with poise, confidence, sensuality and sass. And if you think that means the workouts aren't serious, you've never tried one! The P Spot's pole, chair and floor exercises work every muscle and work it hard. Luckily, sessions are so much fun you'll almost forget you're in pain. Feeling extra confident? Try renting a pair of 6-inch platform heels to make your workout even more challenging. The P Spot's woman-only studio is located on the second floor of a rowhouse on Capitol Hill.