Magic is in the Air: Summertime in Washington D.C.
Home to world-class museums and Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. is a beautiful city and offers so much that it's impossible to see it all in one visit. Especially in summer, with plenty of sun and trees in bloom everywhere, few cities rival its allure. Fairmont Washington, D.C. hotel is centrally located and an ideal starting point to visit the city. The luxury hotel is in Georgetown, the city’s oldest and wealthiest neighborhood. In 2009, it welcomed 105,000 honeybees to its rooftop. They provide the honey for the signature BeeTini cocktail. The courtyard garden is picture-perfect for a wedding. A recent $27 million renovation has brought the latest in comfort, décor and technology. No wonder it is a favorite with heads of state, national and international celebrities, film crews and anybody wanting an authentic, high-end taste of the town.
City of Museums
With 138 million pieces, the Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum and research institution as well as serving as a repository of American culture, history and art. Among its 19 museums, visitors love the National Air and Space Museum, which has a collection of historical aviation and space artifacts including Wright's Flyer, Lindbergh's Spirit of Saint Louis, Amelia Earhart's Red Vega, the Apollo 11 command module and Hubble Space Telescope test vehicle. A 12-ton, 14-foot-tall African elephant welcomes visitors to the National Museum of Natural History, where you won’t want to miss the 45.52-carat, deep blue Hope Diamond, once owned by King Louis XVI. The National Museum of the American Indian features artifacts from more than 1,200 native cultures of the Americas.
The National Gallery of Art started with the collection of Andrew Mellon and is known for its collection of European and American art from the 13th to the 21st century. Paintings by Leonardo, Raphael, Rembrandt and Vermeer share the West Wing with masterpieces from the Impressionists. The modernist East Wing designed by I. M. Pei was added in 1978 to display contemporary pieces. A small waterfall at ground level between the buildings turns into a water wall for the underground concourse connecting both wings. The bookstore in the concourse is one of the best of its kind.
The Phillips Collection is one of Washington's most visited art museums. Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party is a favorite among a collection that boasts masterworks by Van Gogh, Matisse and Rothko.
But Washington, DC museums aren’t simply focused on art. Newseum is an interactive news and media museum; don’t miss their collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs. The International Spy Museum displays interesting espionage artifacts from around the world, including replicas of fictional items from such popular shows and movies as Mission: Impossible and Get Smart.
The Fairmont concierge can arrange transportation, guides, tours and visits to any of these destinations.
Home to stately mansions, Georgetown has kept a relaxed atmosphere along its shaded cobblestone streets and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The canal was used in the 19th century to transport goods. Today, it is a National Park and perfect for a leisurely walk or bike ride. The houses lining most of Georgetown's streets are original 18th- and 19th-century buildings, which have been painstakingly restored.
Georgetown is known for its high-end shopping and dining options. M Street and Wisconsin Avenue offer a mix of luxury stores, classic American brands and unique boutiques. Search for the perfect hat at Gorin Bros. The family-owned company has been making high-quality, exclusive pieces for four generations. Pick a piece from the extensive collection of French and Continental antiques for home and garden at Côté Jardin to update your decor.
Restaurants, cafés and gourmet stores are sprinkled all around Georgetown. Between shopping stops, enjoy hand-made macarons from Olivia Macaron or delicious cupcakes from Baked & Wired. Café Bonaparte's crêpes are perfect for lunch. Marcel's, just a few blocks from the Fairmont, has the largest selection of Belgian beers and several multi-course dinner menus that change daily. It also offers a 3-course pre-theater menu, transportation to the Kennedy Center in an executive car included.
Monuments at Night
There’s nothing like seeing the Mall at night, when the monuments are lit against the night sky. It’s the perfect moonlight tour, which the Fairmont concierge can arrange. You’ll enjoy a car with a driver, champagne and canapés as you motor from one striking view to another, including the Capitol and Lincoln's Memorial.
Are you planning a Fairmont visit this summer? Book our Moments Offer and enjoy up to 30% off.
National Museum of the American Indian by Michelle Lyles
Georgetown Streets by Victor Pelaez
Washington DC Skyline by Joe Ravi