Don’t let this district’s architectural grandeur daunt you. Look behind the facades and you’ll find a warm neighborhood with local markets, artisans, and festivals.
Capitol Hill: to many, this D.C. district is the icon of the U.S. Congress, but for those in the know, it’s a place to get the goods for an A-grade sandwich. Sure, serious decision-making goes on beneath the stately dome of the United States Capitol, but visitors to the district’s taste-bud-tingling markets have more pressing questions in mind: provolone or mozzarella?
First, let’s find out why this place is so important. The neighborhood is named for the neoclassical masterpiece that houses the seat of the national congress. Take a peek inside by checking out the visitor center or attending a guided tour. For more monumental landmarks, stop by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Library of Congress or take in the Greek-revival splendor of the National Mall.
Have you worked up an appetite? Follow your nose to the redbrick Eastern Market, where local vendors offer up freshly baked breads and sweets, dairy products, meat, preserves, and fragrant flowers. On a weekend, you’ll find artists and crafters selling handmade goods, as well as farmers and their seasonal harvest. Pick up the goods for a picnic at the nearby U.S. Botanic Garden and wonder why they don’t put a picture of this building on the fifty-dollar note.
Stay until nightfall and watch as Capitol Hill transforms into a hub for after-dark adventures. Barracks Row is at the top of the list when it comes to restaurants and bars. Street festivals, free concerts, and arts events are regularly held on this buzzing strip. If you want to get the inside scoop on what it’s like working in the U.S. Congress or find out which market vendor has the best cheese, chat with off-duty senate workers and interns at the bars that line Barracks Row.