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Celebrate Fall in the Nation's Capital

There’s something special about seeing the brilliant fall foliage around the National Mall and Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. The cobblestone streets of Georgetown, rowhouses of Capitol Hill and endless trails of Rock Creek Park are perfect for picture taking. Not to mention, DC’s waterfronts are alive with incredible restaurants, shops and hotels. The Wharf and Capitol Riverfront developments reestablish this world-class, inclusive city as a trendy destination, just in time for World Pride in 2025.

Among the reasons to visit this fall, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Galleries for Modern and Contemporary Art reopen in September with a more inclusive narrative of American art, including the often-overlooked contributions of Asian American, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and women artists. The works on view tell richer and deeper stories about art in the United States. In late October, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the only museum dedicated to championing women in the arts, will reopen following a significant two-year renovation of its majestic 1908 building. The museum will be a more inventive, accessible, flexible and interactive institution. The reopening will include a groundbreaking exhibit known as The Sky’s the Limit (Oct. 21-Feb. 25, 2024). When it comes to contemporary art, The Rubell Museum sets a new standard for groundbreaking and diverse exhibitions. The Rubell family’s collection of paintings, sculptures, photography, video and installation is defined by its political and social conscience.

DC has 19 new hotels and more than 3,500 rooms in the pipeline. The upscale Royal Sonesta Capitol Hill is the first new hotel on the Hill in nearly 40 years. It features a sweeping glass façade, 10-story atrium, vegetated green roof and a state-of-the-art yoga studio. The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington, DC will also unveil renovations this fall. The iconic lobby space, The Living Room, and signature restaurant, Degrees Bistro, have undergone a refresh with design inspired by the waterways that surround the hotel.

The rapidly developing NoMa neighborhood has become an epicenter of the city’s booming culinary scene, accentuated by celebrity chef hotspots. Union Market, a restored grocery and specialty food hall, is suddenly surrounded by industrial warehouses-turned-upscale condos and apartments. This burgeoning area is also home to La Cosecha, a contemporary Latin American lifestyle market created in partnership with local embassies and the artists themselves. Cap the night at Japanese-inspired Moonraker atop the boutique Pendry Hotel; Allegory, a hidden speakeasy in the back of the welcoming Eaton Workshop hotel; or the Riggs Hotel’s famed lower-level bar inside an old bank vault, Silver Lyan. It’s London visionary Ryan Chetiyawardana’s first opening in America. Each drink from the world-renowned bartender and mixologist pays homage to the spices, flavors and traditions that make up America’s diverse cultural heritage. DC also boasts 25 new or renovated rooftops since 2020. Upstairs at the Morrow and Vue at the revamped Hotel Washington provide unmatched views of the city’s spectacular landmarks.

DC JazzFest is a can't-miss event on the District's cultural calendar and most concerts are free (Sept. 1-4). Theatre Week provides an opportunity to sample diverse and vibrant work on a variety of stages. Tickets are available in increments of just $20/$40/$60, including fees (Sept. 21-Oct. 8, 2023). The massive, three-day World Culture Festival will attract attendees and performances from more than 60 countries (Sept. 29-Oct. 1).

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