Sponsored by Cambria Hotels & Suites
Over Labor Day weekend, I scheduled as many meetings and coffee dates as I could into two and a half days. I wanted to make sure I got the most out of the time that I was downtown so I stay at Cambria Hotels & Suites where cute new shops and activities are located on every corner. Literally. From the cute date night dinner spot, Maxwell, to La Colombe where I had one of the best cups of coffee (or three) in my life, it was a weekend filled with exploring new spots and spending time at my favorite old ones.
With only half a day of free time to spare on the first day, we got moving relatively quickly to make sure we got to check out the neighborhood before the city really woke up. First stop was Union Kitchen Grocery which was a block from the hotel and a spot I went back to at least once a day. I’m a sucker for that new old-vibe packaging and this place was filled with DC centric treats in that packaging I can’t say no to. From stocking stuffers to housewarming gifts to yummy sandwiches, this place was a new find that I was more than happy to spend some time in. UKG also offers delivery in case you live a father out or are feeling a little lazy.
Next up on the list was La Colombe and not just because I’d been awake a whole hour without coffee. We spent a little time enjoying a few cups at this local shop that had been recommended to me by a few readers and the Cambria Hotels & Suites staff. It was a short walk from the hotel, in Blagden Alley, and the perfect place to take a break to organize our morning and plan content for the day. It’s kind of unbelievable how you can live in a city your entire life and still discover new and unique spots.
The alley the coffee house is in is a gem in it’s own right. This was another new-to-me spot that I can’t believe I never knew about. Hello, perfect location for outfit shots! Blagden Alley is home to the delicious La Colombe, a ton of unique street art, and a new restaurant, The Dabney. Their menu changes every few weeks but I highly recommend the seafood on the menu. It rivaled some of the best I’ve had in Maryland.
After spending the morning exploring Shaw, we hopped on a few City Bikes and hit The Mall. With a DC-first timer in tote, I hit all the essential tourist spots and a few of my lesser known favorites. Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time at the Lincoln Memorial. No matter the time of day, I always find a calmness when I spend time here. The historical significance of this particular President, the grandness of the monument, and just existing in the same place where Martin Luther Kin, Jr. gave his speech is always incredibly overwhelming to me and somehow peaceful at the same time.
We shot over to the Smithsonian and spent the rest of the morning finding Nemo, gawking at the Hope Diamond, and taking age inappropriate pictures with T-Rex before we stopped into the National Gallery of Art to experience the light sculpture for the first time.
National Gallery of Art image via Jarrett Hendrix
After a full morning of running around the city, I made my way back to the hotel for a quick refresh, picking up my dry cleaning, and prepping a little business at the hotel’s brand new business center before heading out for an afternoon of meetings. Later that night, as I made my way back to my weekend home away from home, I’d come to find out that we had reservations as that cute spot on the corner we had seen earlier that morning. We snagged a table outside and indulged in two plates of their cured meats, two orders of burrata, and some of the best wine I’ve had in a long time.
Make sure to check back for the next installment of this series where I share my Cambria Hotels & Suites experience!
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