9 Non-Typical Ways to Enjoy Washington, D.C.

Enjoy Washington DC

For a special take on a getaway weekend, we thought it be fun to highlight our recent trip to Washington DC.  No, this isn’t a guide for a typical scenic tour of our nation’s capital.  We have never been accused of doing anything “typical”, and we embrace that fact.  Instead here are some non-typical and interesting things you might want to enjoy in Washington, D.C.

Experience the Gold Treatment

Luxury Room on Gold Floor at Fairmont

For our trip to D.C., we got to experience the gold level treatment.  At the Fairmont in D.C., we stayed on the Gold Floor.  It is a private level of the hotel with its own lounge serving an amazing complimentary breakfast and treats all day long.  Really I could have just stayed there all the time for the food, but the service is what made it so special.  The attention to detail and level of service is beyond compare.  Don’t believe me, just ask for a simple cup of coffee and see what happens.

Elegant Lounge and Bar at Fairmont

Snacks in the Gold Lounge of the Fairmont       Snacks on the Gold Floor

Shhhh There Is a Disco Going On

Rooftop Dance Floor at the Embassy

The next non-typical experience you need to try in D.C. is to head over to the Embassy Row Hotel Rooftop.  There you will find the quietest disco in town.  Not because they play the music really low, but because you have to wear headphones to hear the music.  Yes, this disco comes with an awesome view of the city and the ability to take off your headphones to actually have a conversation with someone.  My favorite part is the headphones have 4 different music tracks to switch to if you aren’t digging a song on one of the channels.  It was fun and definitely not your typical disco.

View from Embassy Rooftop

Explore the Parallax Gap

Renwick Gallery Entrance

D.C. is known for its many museums and galleries of all kinds, but for something unique that blends art and architecture go to the Parallax Gap exhibit at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Fascinating displays with dynamic perspectives are mounted on the ceilings of the Grand Salon.  Walk the length of the halls to see the drastic changes in the appearance of the exhibits from different angles. This exhibit will be on display until February 11, 2018, if you miss it there is sure to be another amazing exhibit to see there!

Parallax Gap in the Renwick

Into The Hive

From Inside the Hive

Another non-typical exhibit found in D.C. right now is the Hive.  Located in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum, this exhibit built entirely of wound paper tubes rises to a height of 60 feet.  This exhibit creates both intriguing designs with the light as well as provide a chamber to hear echoing sounds that can be made from within the hive.

Tip: Be sure to journey to the upper levels to see the structures from above.

Get outside for some art!

Take a stroll through the outdoor Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall at the corner of 7th Street SW and Independence Avenue.  The National Mall is great to see so we recommend you stop by for a visit and the Hirshhorn Museum is right there- without the crowds!  Wander through, have a picnic and add your wish to Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree!  The best part – it is free admission!!

Yoko Ono Wish tree at Hirshhorn Sculpture Park

Stop for a Sip

Not sure how many of you have ever been to a rum tasting, but it was a new one for us…so we of course did it.  Stop by and visit D.C.’s first Rum distillery, Cotton & Reed, and learn how these two friends went from working with NASA and the aerospace industry to making rum.  Of course you need to sample the product and maybe select a signature drink to try.

pina coladas at Cotton and Reed Washington DC
The pina coladas were perfect on a hot day!

Innovation Meets Art

Artechouse needs to be seen to be believed.  This digital art space has interactive displays bringing real world and virtual worlds together.  The beautiful imagery created by Computer scientist Adreien Mondot and graphic designer Claire Bardainne responds to touch, others to sound and is an experience not to be missed in a non-typical tour of D.C.

Artechouse introduction

This is interactive exhibit was great!  It was a dance party with Casual Travelist, Always5Star, Traveling Well For Less and The Touring Yorkie!

Fill Up and Sink the Titanic

All the exploring worked up an appetite.  We got the chance to fill up and recharge at the Hill Country Barbeque.  They have a great bbq with mouth-watering selections.  What could top that….dessert of course!  We visited one of the finest Italian restaurants in D.C., Carmine’s.  Besides the obvious delicious Italian cuisine, they have the non-typical dessert that is worth the trip.  Get the Titanic for you and a few friends to indulge in a sinful ice cream and chocolate creation to die for.

Titantic chocolate dessert at Carmines restaurant Washington DC
The chocolate flourless tarte on the bottom was incredible! If you are a chocolate lover this is heaven!

Enjoy Washington, DC your way!

Although our trip to D.C. was not the usual sites, sometimes those are the best experiences.  Never be afraid to march to your own beat and take a chance.  Keep Calm and RoarLoud.


Our stay at Fairmont Washington DC was discounted and our upgrade to the Gold Level was complimentary.  Our visits to Cotton and Reed rum distillery, Carmine’s Italian Restaurant-DC, Hill Country BarbecueArtechouse, Embassy Row Hotel’s Silent Disco and the Hive exhibit at National Building Museum were complimentary.  Thank you to our sponsors and Washington, DC Tourism for their hospitality!  As always all opinions are honest and our own.  

Visits to Renwick Gallery and Hirshhorn Sculpture Park are free exhibits! 


Looking for more art in your travels?  Check out these posts:

Montreal’s Mural Festival is a fest for your eyes and stomach!

Wynwood in Miami is an outdoor art gallery for street art lovers


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Ways to enjoy Washington, DC

9 Ways to Enjoy Washington, DC

About Frank

Frank is the creator of the RoarLoud website, go to guy for gear reviews and Cathy's IT guy. I know that stands for information technology but Cathy calls him her "IT" guy because he is everything! A lover of nature and a curious soul he tries new adventures eagerly. Fortunately he is also the voice of reason to level out Cathy's wildcat side.
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10 Comment

  1. Looks like you guys had a really good time there! I’ve only visited DC once, for a couple of days, and did only the typical tourist stuff I guess. The silent disco sounds cool and the art exhibits look really interesting! Now I know where to look if I ever go back 🙂

    1. I need to go back and do the traditional things now and see more of the street art:)

  2. Leanne says: Reply

    Great blog article! I’d love to go to that rooftop silent disco! So much fun!

    1. Thanks, it was a fun different spot to visit:)

  3. You can never run out of cool things to do in Washington DC. Here are more for my list. 🙂

    1. It was my first visit so it was very interesting to hit the not so typical. I definitely need to go back to see more!- Cathy

  4. Natasa says: Reply

    The “silent” disco got me intrigued! An interesting thing to try out when visiting DC, that’s for sure! Thanks for sharing it and spreading the word out. 🙂

    1. I had never heard of that either so it was very interesting to experience. The views from the rooftop alone were worth it!

  5. Washington is on my bucket list for a while now and your post is very motivating. I would definitely love to enjoy it through your tips!

    1. Thank you, so much to see and do there. We can’t wait to head back!

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