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Washington DC is home to many symbols of the United States. One can see the original Declaration of Independence   More...
Washington D.C. is a diverse area, and its restaurants reflect this diversity.   More...
There's bad news, good news, and great news about traveling in D.C.   More...
Washington D.C. has a good mix of eclectic stores and large shopping centers.  More...
The first thing you should do when planning your nighttime activities is to pick up a copy of   More...

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Guide To Washington
The first thing you should do when planning your nighttime activities is to pick up a copy of The Washington City Paper , a free tabloid weekly that provides a comprehensive guide to what's happening after hours in D.C. that week. If you are in the area on a Friday, The Washington Post includes a tabloid with its daily paper that highlights the best of the weekend.

If you don't see D.C.'s monuments at night, you are only getting half of the picture. The Jefferson Memorial is beautifully lit and casts a romantic reflection off the Tidal Basin . The shimmering patterns of light that the FDR Memorial's fountains make are mesmerizing. And the Washington Monument , surrounded by a circle of spotlights and U.S. flags, accentuates some of the Monument's features that are washed out in the harsh daylight.

Moviegoers will enjoy the Uptown Theater, the largest movie theater in the D.C. area (Woodley Park Metro stop). The theater only shows one movie at a time but offers balcony seating and the largest screen in the area. We recommend buying tickets online or ahead of time at the box office for popular movies.

Lovers of independent movies will be thrilled with the E Street Cinema, Visions Theater, and Cineplex Odeon, both in Dupont Circle (red line). On weekends, Visions shows cult movies such as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at midnight and sometimes even provides a keg of beer in the theater. Dupont Circle is a popular place for visitors to stay because of its many shops and restaurants. Hotels in the area include the Brickskeller Inn, The Churchill Hotel, Jurys Washington Hotel, and Radisson Barcelo Hotel.

For comedy, there are two good bets. One is the Improv comedy club ( 1140 Connecticut Avenue ; Farragut West and Farragut North Metro stops). The popular club features nationally-recognized comedians for a very reasonable price. Dinner and drinks are served before the show. The club takes reservations, which are essential for many of its shows.

The other good bet for comedy is the DC Arts Center, a small theater tucked away in Adams Morgan ( 2438 18th Street NW ; Adams Morgan/Woodley Park Metro stop). The improvisational comedy troupe W.I.T. performs there off and on during the year. If they are performing during your visit, they are worth taking a night to check them out.

But there is more to the nightlife than movies or comedy. Georgetown , Adams Morgan, and Dupont Circle are three trendy neighborhoods that are popular for their taverns, restaurants, shopping and clubs.

If you plan to spend a lot of time shopping or partying the night away, then you may want to get a hotel in Georgetown . and upscale neighborhood located in Northwest D.C. Along with its excellent shops and restaurants, Georgetown has some classy places to relax at night. Mr. Smith's of Georgetown has a nightly piano bar and great bands Friday and Saturday night.

Close by is Blues Alley, the nation's oldest continuing jazz supper club. Blues Alley offers Creole-style cuisine and a show after dinner. Three hotels that will put you in the heart of the neighborhood are t he Georgetown Inn, the Savoy Suites, and the Monticello .

Parking is difficult to find at night in Adams Morgan, so we recommend taking the Metro. Adams Morgan is a 15-minute walk from the Metro. The neighborhood's diverse mix of bars and restaurants makes it an extremely popular nighttime location. There are only a few hotels in the area, such as Marriott Wardman Park and Windsor Park Hotel. For bars, try local favorite Madam's Organ. The bar has a friendly atmosphere, interesting memorabilia on the walls, and occasionally a local band.

Adams Morgan also has several excellent wine bars. The bars can be hard to get into because they hold relatively few people, but they offer a relaxing way to spend the evening and chat with your companions.

Like to dance? Adams Morgan has most places beat. Chief Ike's Mambo Room ( 1725 Columbia Rd NW ) has two stories, downstairs for dancing and upstairs for playing pool. You can sit on one of Ike's cushy couches or dance to the DJ's tunes, typically hip-hop, R&B, reggae, and '80s music.

If you're free on Thursday night and you like 80s music, Heaven and Hell ( 2327 18th St. NW ) is the place to be. The club hosts an 80s dance party on Thursday nights, and the place get jumping, noisy, and fun.

A few Metro stops nearby is Dupont Circle . Any beer fan will fall in love with the Brickskeller, ( 22 nd St. and Q, NW). The bar serves regional food and around 800 types of beers. Their beer menu lists unique beers from countries around the world and of every type. This is not a place for people who have trouble making up their minds.

Another popular Dupont Circle bar is Timberlake's (no, not that Timberlake). The restaurant and bar has a relaxing, casual atmosphere and a large seating area. Nearby hotels in Dupont Circle are the Hilton Washington, Jurys Normandy Inn, and Courtyard by Marriott Northwest.

If you're up for venturing a few miles out of the city, then make sure to visit the Clarendon area in Arlington , VA (Clarendon Metro stop, orange line). The closely packed shops and clubs give Clarendon a party-like atmosphere on weekend nights. Visit the rooftop bar at The Clarendon Ballroom, eat at one of the many Asian restaurants, or watch a second-run flick at the Arlington Cinema n' Draft house. Need a hotel? Try the Hilton Garden Inn Arlington , Hyatt Arlington , and Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge .

D.C. has several good options for live music. The 9:30 Club ( 815 V St. N.W. ; Green Line, U St./Cardozo) shows well-known artists as well as lesser-known bands respected by the music community. If you want to be truly adventurous, the Black Cat ( 1811 14th St. NW; Green Line, U St./Cardozo) features local and somewhat more obscure groups than the 9:30 Club, but many of them are true undiscovered gems.

Sports fans can watch a game of professional basketball or hockey at MCI Center , ( Metro Center ; red, yellow, green lines). The MCI Center is home to the Washington Wizards (men's b-ball), Mystics (women's b-ball), and Capitols (hockey). This area is in the center of downtown and thus offers many hotels to choose from, like the Four Points Hotel - Downtown, Lincoln Suites - Downtown, and Marriott At Metro Center.

Washington D.C. also has a substantial theater community. Its most famous theater is the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts ( 2700 F Street, NW ), which shows world-class shows and gives free concerts during certain parts of the year. Nearby the Kennedy Center is Saint Gregory Hotel and Suites. The best theaters of the rest are the National Theatre, Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, and the Warner Theatre, all located downtown.

D.C. has a bit of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in it. The city can be serious in the day, but with its variety of nightlife, quite exciting at night.

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