Washington - Lifestyle and Culture
With an abundance of historic buildings and monuments, DC is like one enormous museum city. The Smithsonian’s warren of research centres, art galleries, science museums and national collections deserves a weekend in its own right (especially good are its American Art Museum, American Indian Museum and National Museum of American History) but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a wider seam of art and culture, both old and new.
Head to the West End to enjoy classical art at The Kennedy Center. This government run centre is the major venue in Washington DC and offers a variety of performances, including free shows on the Millennium Stage daily at 6pm. Here you’ll also find The National Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale of Washington in residence.
The National Gallery of Art comprises two buildings connected by a tunnel. The National Gallery’s West Wing features mainly European art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century while, in the East Wing, you’ll find modern and contemporary art including Warhol, Pollock and Picasso. Including a sculpture garden with intriguing works and beautiful plants, this gallery has a little something for everyone.
Washington DC has an enviable nightlife for a city of its size; whether cosy drinks or lively partying, you’ll find the perfect spot in one of DC’s many venues.
For clubs, bars and a vibrant atmosphere, head to Adams Morgan, a district that really gets going after midnight. Try the District Nightclub with its sushi bar, Club Heaven and Hell with its appropriate décor or Habana Village, a Cuban restaurant and dance club with dance lessons and live music. Whatever your nightlife tastes, you’re bound to find something in this buzzing centre.
For live music of a less interactive sort, check out Wolftrap Farm Park, a national park devoted to performances with outdoor and indoor seasonal performances. Then there are DC’s two main music venues for independent music, the 9:30 Club and the Black Cat, while at Downtown’s National Theatre and Warner Theatre you’ll be able to watch more established names. The jazz fans are all hanging out in Blues Alley, Georgetown or in the neighbourhood of Shaw, where the likes of Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker once played.
To check out local funnymen and women, as well as national touring names, The Improv Comedy Club on Connecticut Avenue is the place to be. Those who like their comedy with a heavy splash of politics will seek out The Capitol Steps, where former Congressional staffers perform a political musical satire at various venues.
For hi-brow thrills, The Kennedy Centre often stages performances by the renowned Washington National Opera, and the National Symphony Orchestra.
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