Our Washington, D.C., monuments
Jurys Washington Hotel, expensive to very expensive, (202) 483-6000, www.jurysdoyle.com/usa/washington_hotel.htm. This modern Dupont Circle lodging embodies the hospitality and homeyness you'd expect from the Irish-run Jurys chain. There's an American restaurant on-site, but why not go for a pint and some shepherd's pie at their pub, Biddy Mulligan's?
Topaz Hotel, moderate, (202) 393-3000, www.topazhotel.com. Some visitors prefer the Tabard Inn next door, but we like this funky Kimpton outpost. From its staffers cloaked in sunburst tunics to the in-room yoga channel, the vibe may have you wishing the boys up on Capitol Hill would check in for a little enlightenment.
Annie's Paramount Steak House, moderate, (202) 232-0395. Want to splurge on steak like a politico on an expense account but don't have the funds? Consider this 17th Street spot. The steaks aren't as deluxe as the dry-aged cuts that the Palm serves up, but neither are the prices.
Tony Cheng's Seafood Restaurant, inexpensive. The ground floor of this Chinatown favorite is a Mongolian barbecue joint (202-842-8669), where you pick your ingredients and watch the chefs whip it up on giant grills. But we prefer the upstairs restaurant (202-371-8669), popular not only for its Cantonese-style shrimp, lobster, crab, and other seafood sensations, but also for its juicy roast duck.
Monuments by Moonlight, (202) 832-9800, www.historictours.com/washington. Are D.C. and the Washington Monument as romantic as Paris and the Eiffel Tower? Judge for yourself on this two-and-a-half-hour trolley trip to some of the city's most popular points of interest.
National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, (202) 633-1000, www.nasm.si.edu/udvarhazy. How cool is it that you can see your first D.C. attraction without even leaving the Dulles area? Just over two years old, this companion to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum houses part of what makes up the world's largest assemblage of aviation and space artifacts, from flight simulators to experimental flying machines.
The Phillips Collection, (202) 387-2151, www.phillipscollection.org. At the moment, the Phillips has two firsts to its name. Not only was it the country's first museum of modern art, but it's also the only stateside venue of the exhibit Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec: London and Paris, 1870-1910, which runs through May 14. The exhibit itself includes a handful of works never before on public view.