These five streets offer the best shopping, fashion and food in the Washington D.C. area. Here’s are our tips on how (and when) to best enjoy them.
By Ericha Richards
With the warm – or should I say hot– weather finally settling into the DMV, you would be foolish not to be spending as much time as possible outside. Although known for its political rallies and congressman dinners, DC does not lack street adventure. Restaurant-and-Boutique filled streets are a ”must-do” this summer. You never know what hidden gem you could find on your next day trip down M St. or what urban-chic bar you will sip at the U St Corridor. Although you might have to search just a little bit harder to find them here in DC, the options are limitless.
Old Towne Alexandria
What to do: Shop Arts & Crafts Boutiques
Best time: Weekend afternoons
Why Old Towne? Nestled on the other side of the Potomac lies the growing area known Old Towne Alexandria. If you haven’t dedicated a day to experience all of the ingredients of King St., we suggest you clear your schedule, round up the troops, and drive the 25 minutes down to Alexandria.
WL Picks: Filled with restaurants and boutiques, King St. has a ton of things to do, whether you are a vintage-admiring fashionista or a well-read history buff. As one of the more artsy streets featured on our list, King St. has a plethora of small boutiques with original artisan masterpieces. With shops like Arts Afire Glass Gallery and Current Boutique, strolling around Old Towne is a nice way to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
What to do: Shop Contemporary Fashion Venues
Best time: Weekday afternoons and Weekends (although can get crowded on weekends)
Why M Street? With everything from high-end stores to vintage boutiques, M St. is a much-desired shopping venue in the Washington. Parking can be tricky, yes–but it’s worth the rat-race.
WL Picks: With recent additions like Serendipity 3 and Rag & Bone, more and more out-of-town businesses are starting to view this street as a retail gold-mine. Consider yourself a fashionista? Visit shops like Intermix, Madewell, and CUSP. Seeking refugee from the scorching heat? Dine at quaint restaurants like Harmony Cafe, or enjoy waterfront seating at Nick’s Riverside Grill.
U Street Corridor
What to do: Shop Vintage and Thrift Stores
Best time: Any afternoon
Why U Street Corridor? Once first-runner up to Adams Morgan on the nightlife scene, U St. Corridor has now reclaimed its spot on top. With local hot spots like the Velvet Lounge and U St Music Hall, walking down U St is an experience worth taking in.
WL Picks: Although not traditionally known for its day-time excursions, U St is upping the ante and decorating its streets with vintage stores and small boutiques, such as Junction and Caramel, to attract more day traffic. Take a day out of your weekend (or if you are so daring as to take a day off…), venture down to U St. Corridor for a very multi-cultural and well-rounded day-trip.
What to do: Eat, Eat, Eat
Best Time: During the week (parking can be a nightmare on weekends)
Why Bethesda Row? In recent years, the Bethesda Area has taken an upturn, and has really transformed into socialite stomping grounds. Bethesda Row is at its prime during the summer time.
WL Picks: With restaurants like Cafe Deluxe, Mussle Bar, and Raku, you find yourself with an array of culinary options. Got a sweet tooth? Georgetown Cupcake and Dolcezza Gelato are there to curb any cravings you may have. Although weekends can be busy and tight to navigate, this area is not to be overlooked. Perfect for spending the day with the girls, or lunching with a certain someone.
What to do: Peruse Organic Produce and Antique Vendors
Best Time: Sundays for the Flea Market
Why Easter Market? Being the oldest open food market and public market in the city, Eastern Market attracts newbies and veterans of all shapes and sizes. Visitors are guaranteed to find at least one unique piece to compliment their lifestyle whether it be an antique chaise lounge or a statement-making jewelry piece.
WL Picks: One of the most appealing aspect of Eastern Market is that it is not only a farmers market but also a flea market (open every Sunday from 10am to 5pm), filled with local independent artisans and small antique collections. This is a great option for anyone seeking a change-up to their usual weekend plans.