Sipping a Rickey-san cocktail with a splash of gin, green tea fizz and Yuza lime at a Japanese-inspired ‘Izakaya’, or tavern, with a gaggle of gal pals from Virginia and a Japanese chef who has lived in Dubai perfectly describes the multicultural melting pot that makes up The District, as the locals call the world’s most iconic capital city. Chockablock with perches that are couple-ready for photo taking, nowhere else on the planet can visitors pose where Martin Luther King, Jr. declared “I Have a Dream”, chow down on President Obama’s favorite sandwich at Ben’s Chili Bowl or stroll the neighbourhood where jazz legend Duke Ellington was born.
Summer deals include hotel discounts from May 23-September 8 and discounts on attractions, restaurants, theatre and tours. “Book a room on Washington.org, select your discount and soak up the season at the DC Jazz Festival, soccer matches in June or our signature celebrations like the Fourth of July fireworks and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington in August, ” said Elliott Ferguson, CEO, Destination DC. www.Washington.org/summer
A Yen for RomanceNot just for couples with a yen for noodles, ramen at Daikaya is as authentic as a bowl of noodles gets this side of Tokyo. Near the monuments and galleries, the city’s funkiest eatery is a three-storey palace of delights and the ideal spot for a date night, bachelor soiree or après wedding toast. “Our low lighting, potent cocktails, discreet servers and chocolate gelato with miso caramel for dessert make our restaurant the perfect perch for couples in love,” said Daisuke Utagawa, co-owner. A casual spot for Sapporo-style ramen on the ground floor and late night dining upstairs, Daikaya is fast becoming a favorite of foodies from around the world who come for the mountain yam served in a pretty pottery bowl, Japanese-style fried chicken and a host of other small plate specialities expertly prepared by Executive Chef Katsuya Fukushima. “Our team had intensive training under our ramen master in Japan,” adds Daisuke Utagawa, co-owner, “following the mantra ‘kaizen’, our promise is that we will strive to create that perfect bowl.” With menus cleverly tucked into glossy Japanese magazines, the décor is equally as innovative with vintage lights, mosaic tiles and pieces of Japanese pop culture that easily spark a spirited conversation.
A Sight to See
A perennially popular photo-op, Albert Einstein Memorial is awesome not only because you can climb onto his leg, but also because if you stand in the middle of the semi-circle, your voice will echo. Carved in bronze, the famed mathematician holds equations in one hand while quotations from his work are engraved on the majestic bench.
Between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial stands proud on the Mall. Dedicated on August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the March for Freedom, the solid granite memorial pays grand tribute to the history-making civil rights leader.
The museum of all museums, Smithsonian is not only free but open every day of the year except Christmas. Founded in 1846, it’s the world’s largest with nineteen museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park. Fun for couples with kids, summer camps run from June 24 to August 16.
Beds for Heads
An architectural gem with a colorful past, the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel evokes a glamorous bygone era while offering couples all the modern extras that make for a perfect wedding and honeymoon. “The hotel is a perfect match for couples who appreciate a small town feeling with big city amenities,” said Michelle Matthews, travel sales manager, as she peruses her scrumptious breakfast menu at Restaurant 14K.“We are delighted to arrange all the details from food and entertainment to photographers and great décor,” added Jennifer Hill, director, revenue management, “We can comfortably host a wedding for up to 125 people and because the food is prepared in our terrific Restaurant 14K, it’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.”
With packages to suit all budgets, best bets for a spring visit include the ‘No Worries Weekend’ and the ‘Historic Escape’ for twosomes curious about how the US government works (or doesn’t work). “DC is a terrific wedding destination because guests can also plan a sightseeing trip,” adds Jennifer Hill, director, revenue management, “couples can enjoy a nearly free honeymoon because so many attractions do not have admission prices our neighborhoods are delightful to explore.”
For the ultimate chill-out after a day of touring, the Spa treats with a “Calm Mind” massage that soothes with a blend of lavender and peppermint and for brides and grooms, the hotel will happily arrange head-to-toe massages for a pre-ceremony glow from top to bottom.
Get Your Groove On
- Jazz legend Duke Ellington was born and raised in Washington and a thriving musical tradition continues with plenty of hot spots to hear live music along the U Street corridor where Ellington used to play.
- Blues Alley in Georgetown is the oldest continuing supper club in the USA.
- Mood-making music is aplenty at Marvin’s, owned by the family of the late Marvin Gaye.
- The Tryst Coffeehouse in Adams Morgan hosts free jazz nights Monday through Wednesday.
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