Get us in your inbox

Holley Simmons

Holley Simmons

Holley Simmons is a lifestyle journalist based in Washington, DC. She has written articles on food & drink and arts & entertainment for Time Out, HuffPost, the Washington Post, Washington Times and more. 

Follow Holley Simmons

Articles (35)

The best things to do in Washington, D.C. right now

The best things to do in Washington, D.C. right now

Forget what you thought you knew about Washington, D.C.—the city's got way more to offer than just politics and government buildings—though we’ve got plenty of those, too. From free access to world-class museums to soaking up the sounds and beats of go-go, D.C. has got it all. So, after you snap your obligatory pic with the Lincoln Memorial, consider swinging by Ben's Chili Bowl for a legendary half-smoke. Or take a stroll through some of the nation’s best-kept parks before catching a show at the legendary Kennedy Center. The possibilities are endless and year-round. Here are the top things to do in Washington, D.C. this year. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. This guide was updated by D.C.-based writer Omnia Saed. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.  RECOMMENDED:👪 The best things to do in Washington D.C. with kids🌿 The best cannabis dispensaries in D.C.🧳 The best day trips from D.C. to get away from it all🍺 The best bars in D.C.🛏️ The best hotels in Washington D.C.🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Washington D.C.

The best museums in Washington, D.C. to visit year round

The best museums in Washington, D.C. to visit year round

History buffs, art enthusiasts and people simply interested in America's past need to look no further than the best museums in D.C. The nation's capital has much to offer in the way of cultural institutions, many of which are free to enjoy, we might add. You'll find most of them within walking distance to one another, if not a short ride or drive away. Washington, D.C.'s best museums are housed in some of the country's most remarkable buildings. So, if what's inside doesn't pique your interest, marveling at the architecture will keep you busy for many hours. Visiting the best museums in D.C. can get a bit overwhelming, but we're here to guide you to the galleries and spaces you can't miss—whether you're into modern art, pop culture, African American history or old nuclear missiles. Trust us, there's something for you.  RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in Washington, D.C.🏛️ The best Washington, D.C. attractions🍴 The best restaurants in D.C. right now🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Washington, D.C. This guide was written by Washington, D.C. locals. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

Where to stay in Washington, DC’s best neighborhoods—and why

Where to stay in Washington, DC’s best neighborhoods—and why

Planning a trip to DC? Good call. The District is packed with free, cheap and family-friendly things to do to keep visitors busy. The city is broken into four different quadrants that are made up of distinct neighborhoods, each one promising history, art, food, drinks and so much more. Below are a few of our favorite neighborhoods (complete with pros and cons for each one), so you can better decide where to stay in Washington, DC on your next visit. Plus: Hotel picks for each neighborhood. We hope these are helpful – hopefully see you out on the town sometime soon! Happy vacation, friends. RECOMMENDED: The best hotels in Washington D.C.RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in Washington D.C. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best singles bars in DC

The best singles bars in DC

Single in DC? Don’t despair. This city can seem a little big and scary, but there are tons of people out there waiting to make friends (and a hell of a lot of singles too). Washington’s inhabitants tend to adopt a ‘work hard, play hard’ ethic, and its lead to some seriously great bars popping up (and staying) all over the city.  Obviously, the neighborhood favorites for partying remain the center of it all – H Street, U Street and Adams Morgan, to name a few – where you’ll find plenty of places that’ll welcome you with open arms. Think dive bars with cheap drinks, sultry cocktail bars with a sexy vibe, and when it gets late, spots to have a dance at too. Here are the best singles bars in DC.  RECOMMENDED:🍺 The best bars in DC🎷 The best jazz clubs in DC🍽️ The best restaurants in DC🏘️ The best Airbnbs in DC

The 39 best restaurants in Washington, D.C. right now

The 39 best restaurants in Washington, D.C. right now

Very important things get done in our nation's capital, but nothing can happen without fuel and sustenance. That isn’t opinion, that is a fact, and the best restaurants in Washington, D.C. have been holding up their end of the bargain for years. Whether you are after a fine-dining extravaganza or something quick and easy that can be devoured on the move, you’ll find it in the busy metropolis.Washington, D.C. is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, and that is mirrored in its culinary scene. Everything from Filipino to French is available here, with new tastes and cuisines around every corner. After a day of exploring the best museums and attractions (or banging out a peace treaty with ol’ POTUS), make a beeline for these magnificent eats. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Washington, D.C.

The 14 best day trips from DC to get away from it all

The 14 best day trips from DC to get away from it all

Skipping town for one of the best day trips from DC. can feel strange, considering the amount of things to do in this city. Seriously, you could spend an entire week just checking out the best museums. And yet, given it’s prime spot on the Potomac River, DC. is a perfect jumping-off point in the Mid-Atlantic for a variety of destinations—there are so incredible small towns and scenic vistas worth exploring within a day’s drive or easy train ride.From adventurous trails to indie coffee roasters, historic buildings, wine country, and Southern eats, the options are endless. So whether you’re a nature lover or antique shop connoisseur, give yourself a city break on one of these best day trips from DC.
RECOMMENDED: where to stay in Washington, DC

The top florist picks in DC

The top florist picks in DC

 A bouquet of flowers is healthier than a box of chocolates and looks prettier sitting out on the counter. We’re not saying you shouldn’t still get the sweets, just that there may just be some fresher options to consider. With that in mind, we’ve plucked a bunch of our favorite local florists from every price range, each offering flower delivery and stunning arrangements year round. Go the extra mile by taking your loved one/new flame to brunch or dinner at one of the city’s best restaurants. RECOMMENDED: Valentine’s Day ideas for Washington, DC

The 19 most Instagrammable places in DC

The 19 most Instagrammable places in DC

A picture is worth a thousand words—but an even better picture is worth a thousand Instagram followers. Boost your social media coolness by posting pics of these very snappable sights and attractions in Washington DC. From some of the capital's most popular monuments to under-the-radar restaurants and neighborhoods, here are the most Instagrammable places in D.C. The best part? Most of these are completely free to visit. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in DC  

Events in DC all year round

Events in DC all year round

Our ultimate DC events calendar is your guide to things to do in Washington, DC all year long. And believe us, there’s loads on offer when it comes to events in DC, with festivals, cultural celebrations, street parties, parades, kids activities and more popping up all annually over the city—and in the midst of some of the most iconic sights and attractions. So whether you’re looking for Easter egg hunts at the White House in spring, Independence Day concerts at the Capitol in summer, national book festivals in fall or holiday fun in winter, we’ve got you covered. Read on for the best events and things to do in Washington, DC in spring, summer, fall and winter.

How to spend 48 hours in Washington, D.C.

How to spend 48 hours in Washington, D.C.

Offering a clear abundance of fun things to do (must-visit attractions! Delicious restaurants! Eye-opening museums!), Washington, D.C. is an ideal destination for a week-long vacation. Alas, most travelers don’t have the luxury of time. Worry not! We’re here to help. Check out our handy guide to spending 48 hours in D.C., offering the ideal and most efficient itinerary to explore the American capital if you’ve only got two days at your disposal. Just don’t stop moving.

Find the best pizza in D.C. at these local spots

Find the best pizza in D.C. at these local spots

Any way you slice it, D.C. loves its pizza. Just notice the surge of new spots that opened in the last three years. No matter what you’re craving—be it a gourmet pie topped with supreme ingredients made at an authentic Italian restaurant or a greasy jumbo slice that requires multiple napkins and a whole lot of beer to wash it down—you can find a spot to satisfy your palate. Whether grabbing a bite while touring the city’s best attractions or planning a delicious and romantic dinner date, find the best pizza in D.C. at these local spots.

It's about time you know about these secret spots in DC

It's about time you know about these secret spots in DC

Sure, properly exploring our capital requires a tour of the city’s best attractions, countless meals at the best restaurants in D.C. and weekends spent navigating the best local museums. But to truly experience D.C., you’ll have to look beneath the surface. From a church-themed bar to a magic shop tucked above a historic theater, these secret spots in D.C. are stuff of local legend. It’s finally time for you track them down.

Listings and reviews (25)

BKK Cookshop

BKK Cookshop

3 out of 5 stars

Helmed by the same family behind Beau Thai’s success, BKK Cookshop serves a sleek menu of classic street food dishes and over a dozen noodle bowls and stir fries (the coconut noodle bowl is an absolute must). Head to the corner patio for a pleasant meal outdoors when the weather permits it.

Thai X-ing

Thai X-ing

3 out of 5 stars

The secret is out on this charming restaurant that started out as a humble takeaway joint in the owner’s home on Florida Avenue. It has since grown into one of the hardest reservations to snag with a new, BYOB location in Shaw. It’s a dream for indecisive diners, as chef Taw Vigsittaboot serves a rotating tasting menu based on the freshest ingredients available—but always expect (and order!) the signature pumpkin curry.

Beau Thai

Beau Thai

3 out of 5 stars

This family-run restaurant earns high marks for staying true to traditional Thai tradition: many dishes follow the owner’s family recipe book and the walls are adorned with sepia-toned snapshots of the founder’s ancestors. Menus are essentially identical at both the Shaw and Mount Pleasant locales, though the latter offers a spicy pork stew worth driving out of your way for.

Tara Thai

Tara Thai

3 out of 5 stars

Recipes dating back generations are the stars of the menu at this family-owned restaurant. With nearly ten locations throughout the D.C. area, Tara Thai does its part to bring classic, flavor-rich Thai dishes and sushi to the masses. Offerings range from standard favorites (think pad thai and larb gai) to modern takes on classics, like the Bangkok wings dish and the tilapia sautéed in hot chili paste.

Thai Chef & Sushi Bar

Thai Chef & Sushi Bar

3 out of 5 stars

Our favorite spot to enjoy the chef’s Asian classics is up top, in space’s mezzanine section. From here, observe what’s going on all around the bustling restaurant while admiring the masterful sushi chefs working at the counter below. This Dupont Circle spot also offers an excellent happy hour programs that includes $4 glasses of wine and sake as well as select nigiri sushi and maki rolls for under $5. 

DC Noodles

DC Noodles

3 out of 5 stars

This Logan Circle standard has satisfied DC slurpers for years. Following a redesign, the noodle house better reflects the sleek area that surrounds it. The space is intimate, meaning you can easily hear the clinks of woks over the buzzy conversations while waiting for your skewered meat, dumplings and salads. The venue also leads a swift take-out business, just in case you’d rather devour your meal at home.

Soi 38

Soi 38

3 out of 5 stars

Based on common Thai street foods, the menu (and interior) at Soi 38 is designed to reflect Bangkok’s open air night markets. The dining room can be just as bustling, with guests enthusiastically ripping into skewered meats and rustic curries. Don’t be afraid of a little spice—especially since the extensive beverage and cocktail menu will help you wash down any fiery bites you decide to indulge in.

Doi Moi

Doi Moi

3 out of 5 stars

Doi Moi is your spot if you like your Thai food with a side of fusion and flair. The 14th Street hotspot serves polished Southeast Asian cuisine, including Thai-style fried marinated beef and Vietnamese marinated pork ribs. Ever accommodating, the restaurant also offers gluten-free and vegetarian options. Don’t overlook the carefully concocted cocktails and, if you’re still thirsty by the time you pay your bill, just head downstairs to sister speakeasy Two Birds One Stone.

Baan Thai

Baan Thai

4 out of 5 stars

Located on the second level of Tsunami Sushi on 14th Street, this restaurant within a restaurant serves one of the city’s meanest plates of pad thai. Dishes hail from every region of Thailand, with standouts including the milky Tom Yum noodle soup with roasted pork and ground chicken. Perhaps the best part: Although this hidden gem is in a pretty popular neighborhood, it’s usually fairly easy to find a table.

Lupo Verde

Lupo Verde

The first thing you’ll probably notice when you enter Lupo Verde—the Italian hotspot at the heart of all the 14th Street action—is the curing room where pancetta, sausage and other meats hang while they’re aged. It’s just one way this restaurant ensures flavors as close to the motherland as possible. The cuisine is rustic with seafood highlights (reflective of Southern Italy, where the owner is from) and includes dishes such as homemade cavatelli with smoked muscles, cherry tomatoes, potato and white wine sauce.

Good Stuff Eatery

Good Stuff Eatery

4 out of 5 stars

DC claims several stars from the popular Top Chef tv cooking competition, and one of the most recognizable is Spike Mendelsohn. Following the success of his fun, classic American burger joint on Capitol Hill, Mendelsohn opened a second DC locale in Georgetown. The Michelle Melt, a free-range turkey burger with Swiss cheese and a wholewheat bun, is named after the First Lady, a frequent fan. Grab your order at the counter and don’t miss the dipping bar where you can doctor up your handcut fries with flavored mayonnaises and sauces. The delicious toasted marshmallow milkshake is the stuff of legend.

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

The only way you could enjoy Kenilworth Park more was if you were a frog and able to jump from lily pad to lily pad. The sprawling nature conservatory in Northeast DC is made up of a series of foot bridges that allow you to take in all the beauty of the wetlands sprinkled with blossoming lotuses. The park is open year-round, and you can attend a ranger-led nature walk daily at 2pm. But by far the best time to visit is during the Locus and Water Lily Festival during the summer when the foliage will be in full-bloom.