The Smithsonian Institute was built on the estate that was bequeathed to the American government by James Smithson, a British scientist whose sole objective was the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge’. His aim is honoured to this day, with the Smithsonian being the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, including the National Zoological Park. With over 138 million artefacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s sprawling collections, the institute provides the perfect day out for aspiring historians and cultural enthusiasts. Historians will also appreciate the gravitas contained in the Holocaust Memorial Museum, located on Raoul Wallenberg Place. Not only is this museum a stark reminder of the importance of remembering the mistakes of the past moving forwards, it has also been fundamental in relation to education within the justice system. For example, in 2007 and 2008, virtually all Arizona prosecutors were trained by the museum. Containing archives, survivor testimonials and action points to help raise awareness against future atrocities and genocide, the museum is as much a place of inspiration as it is a stark reminder about the implications of intolerance. From this side of mankind to its best side, the National Gallery of Art, located on Constitution Avenue NW, serves to showcase prominent a vast collection of paintings, sculptures and graphic art from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Not content with being the seat of politics, culture and history, Washington is also known for its diverse range of gourmet cuisine. Located on 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fiola offers elegant Italian dishes complemented by a plethora of beautiful cocktails featuring house-made ingredients and wines – incidentally Fiola’s wine programme is nationally recognised. Their menu changes daily to show by example the evolution of cuisine, while Sunday dinners feature live jazz to demonstrate its vibrancy. This means you can always expect a good combination of atmosphere to complement the restaurant’s delectable dishes. Located on Mount Vernon Square, Corduroy has a considered menu and a quiet atmosphere to make the dining experience peaceful to the point of zen-like. Produce from local farms goes into light and balanced dishes such as red snapper bisque, tuna tartare with mountain potato and lamb loin with garlic creamed spinach in an effort to give each diner a true taste of Washington.
The Rosewood Hotel located on 1050 31st Street boasts a distinctive red brick exterior, while a form inspired by classic American architecture has been furnished on the inside with the highest quality materials for its décor, including antique parquet flooring and opulent hand-crafted European leather touches. A wraparound bar, lounge area, indoor-outdoor swimming pool and panoramic views of the Potomac River have drawn visitors from all over the world to its imposing doors. For another fine place to lay your hat, head down to 923 16th and K Streets to The St. Regis. This award-winning hotel features a chic combination of opulent furnishings and the best of modern technology, including complimentary Internet access throughout and Bose technology. The hotel has also played host of the biggest names in jazz – a legacy that the establishment continues through continued performances, featuring the next generation of talent.