D.C.-area AOA members share their favorite places to go in the city.

Explore the Optometry's Meeting® host city of Washington, D.C.

Excerpted from page 32 of the June 2017 edition of AOA Focus.

Between the expansive continuing education courses and networking events offered at Optometry's Meeting®, you may find yourself with some down time-and Washington, D.C., is the perfect city to explore.

Whether you're looking to indulge in local cuisine or soak up the city's rich history, the map below has you covered. D.C.-area AOA members share their favorite places to go in the city.

1. Adams Morgan and U Street
"These two nightlife areas are full of bars and always a hit." 
-Dean Gogerdchi, O.D.

2. Birch & Barley
"This is a great restaurant featuring craft beers."
-Ashley Wong, O.D.  

3. BLT Steak
You had us at modern American steakhouse.
"Pricing is more, but it's considered a premier steakhouse."
-Gene Sweetnam, O.D.  

4. Boating in DC
Via kayak, see the cherry blossoms in bloom, the Capitol riverfront by twilight or the monuments by moonlight.  
-Blake Schermer, O.D. 

5. Chaplin's Restaurant & Bar
A 1930s-themed Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar with a "silent film noir" motif that reflects the time when such films entered Tokyo's cinemas.   "It's got the most beautiful art deco décor, a really unique drink menu and awesome food."
-Howai Jenny Chan, O.D.  

6. Chesapeake Bay
"Come spring through fall, my favorite outdoor activity includes a picnic table covered in brown paper/newspaper, a mallet, a sharp knife and a galvanized bucket. Nothing says summertime like an afternoon sunset spent eating fresh "Old Bay"-seasoned steamed crabs on a water deck along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay."
-Luis Toledo, O.D.  

7. CityCenterDC
Part neighborhood, part luxury hotel, part downtown oasis: CityCenterDC has been described as "a modern-day Rockefeller Center," with more than two dozen high-end retail shops, renowned cuisine, and an assortment of cafes and cocktail bars.   "My favorites are Milk Bar for cereal milk ice creams, and next door, Momofuku, for flavorful, casual Asian Fusion food."
-Vicky Wong, O.D.  

8. Dangerously Delicious Pies
"Try the Baltimore Bomb Pie!"
-Vicky Wong, O.D.  

9. Founding Farmers
Farm-to-table dining experience and an annual readers-choice favorite.   "Food (American cuisine) is excellent. It's in the heart of D.C., so one would need to Uber or use a taxi."
-Gene Sweetnam, O.D.  

10. Georgetown
A historic, cobblestone neighborhood situated northwest of Washington, D.C., along the Potomac River, Georgetown is home to some of the city's top shops, restaurants and tourist attractions.   "Georgetown is a classy place to hang out, but it's not accessible via metro so it may be appropriate to use a cab or Uber. There is plenty of fine dining in Georgetown, including the famous Filomena Ristorante." -Dean Gogerdchi, O.D.   "It offers a wide variety of options for most interests: old architecture, multiple eateries, shopping, art galleries, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Potomac waterfront among other things."
-Luis Toledo, O.D.  

11. International Spy Museum
"One-of-a-kind museum is dedicated to exploring the craft, practice, history and contemporary role of espionage."
-Gene Sweetnam, O.D  

12. Library of Congress
The largest library in the world with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts.   "The most beautiful building in D.C. is the Library of Congress. It is worth the trip, but has limited hours."
-David Hettler, O.D.  

13. MGM National Harbor
"The newest casino in our area with a super luxurious feel, awesome decorations and a smorgasbord of food options, from high-end steakhouses to casual sushi. This is an option away from the city."
-Vicky Wong, O.D.  

14. Monuments at Night
The capital city is home to some of our nation's most iconic monuments and memorials, many right off the National Mall. Discover these attractions on your own, or use one of the many tour services to learn the history of each attraction.   "This is the local's secret: Beat the crowds and heat of the day, and be 'wowed' by the night views of D.C.'s monuments and the Potomac River."
Vicky Wong, O.D.  

15. National Museum of the Marine Corps
Stands as an ongoing tribute to U.S. Marines.   "The Marine Corps Museum is a short drive south on I-95. It has undergone a significant expansion, and the exhibits are very moving."
-James Powers, O.D.  

16. Newseum
Considered one of the most interactive museums in the world, the Newseum is a dynamic, engaging museum of news from yesterday and today.   "If you're looking for a museum that is slightly different, or if you've done all the Smithsonians already, then I definitely recommend the Newseum. It's an interactive museum that tells the story behind the story!"
-Vicky Wong, O.D.  

17. Pinstripes
"This place is worth checking out. It's a fun gathering spot with a bar and restaurant, and adult games, such as bocce ball and bowling."
-Dean Gogerdchi, O.D.  

18. Rasika Restaurant
"You'll need to make reservations in advance for this popular Indian restaurant."
-Ashley Wong, O.D.  

19. Smithsonian Institution
The world's largest museum, education and research complex with 19 museums and its National Zoo.   "I highly recommend the Renwick Gallery (contemporary craft and maker culture) and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (modern and contemporary art) and the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, all of which are free. The 'Jazz in the Garden' events, which occur every Friday evening at the Sculpture Garden, are a great place to unwind with a beer or sangria, listen to some jazz, see some art, and people watch."
-Blake Schermer, O.D.  

20. Southern Efficiency
"This restaurant changes its theme every season. They had a Christmas pop-up bar during the winter, and in the spring, a cherry blossom theme."
-Howai Jenny Chan, O.D.  

21. Teddy Roosevelt Island
"Landscape artists transformed this National Park Service island in McLean, Virginia, into forest to honor Theodore Roosevelt, the nation's 26th president and a noted outdoorsman and conservationist. You can walk, bike or run its trails or just stand back and take in the wildlife."
-Blake Schermer, O.D.  

22. Truckeroo DC Food Truck Festival
"This monthly, family-friendly festival showcases the hottest food trucks in D.C. It's next to the Nationals baseball stadium and over 30 trucks participate. It's only about two miles away [from the convention center]!"
-Chen AuYeung, O.D.  

23. U Street Corridor in the Shaw Neighborhood
"If you want some live music, check 930 Club, Black Cat, U Street Music Hall, or DC9."
-Blake Schermer, O.D. 

24. Union Market DC
"This long, brick building contains a wide variety of pop-up restaurants, coffee bars, etc. Very hipster. Must wear flannel to get in-just kidding."
-Chen AuYeung, O.D.  

25. Willard InterContinental Hotel
The stately and historic hotel enjoys a reputation for hosting nearly every U.S. president since Franklin Pierce in 1853.   "Old-style service, wonderful scotch lounge, weekend packages. Hang out to see Congressmen (the practice of lobbying started in the Willard lobby). The restaurant is pricey but elegant. The White House is a block away."
-Blake Schermer, O.D.

June 13, 2017

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