Things to Do in Capitol Hill

Things to Do in Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill, with its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant community, is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. The stunning architecture of Capitol Hill is like a living history book. Neoclassical and Gothic Revival facades stand alongside modern structures, creating a visual blend of the old and the new. Exploring the cobblestone streets, you'll find a treasure trove of architectural wonders, from the magnificence of the Supreme Court to the dignified grandeur of the Library of Congress. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive look at the best things to do in Capitol Hill, including parks to relax in, and restaurants to dine at.


A unique blend of shopping and dining awaits you at CityCenterDC. Located in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C., CityCenterDC offers a mix of upscale boutiques, restaurants, and public spaces. The modern architecture and its pedestrian-friendly design create a cosmopolitan vibe, inviting visitors to shop, dine, and relax in its serene courtyards and plazas.

Planet Word Museum

Dive deep into the world of words and the magic of language at the Planet Word Museum. Situated in the historic Franklin School building, this museum combines technology and art to create interactive exhibits that celebrate and explore the power of language. Whether you're a linguist, an avid reader, or simply curious, Planet Word promises an enlightening experience.

United States Botanic Garden

Experience nature's beauty firsthand by taking a serene walk in the United States Botanic Garden. Established in 1820, it's one of North America's oldest botanic gardens. From tropical rainforests to desert flora, the conservatory houses plants from around the world, ensuring a delightful journey through nature's vast diversity.

Library of Congress

As the world's largest library, the Library of Congress is a haven for bibliophiles and history enthusiasts alike. Housing millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps, and manuscripts, it's an epicenter of knowledge. Regular tours allow visitors to marvel at the stunning architecture and gain insight into the library's historical significance and operations.

National Mall

Visit the iconic National Mall, a sprawling expanse of greenery flanked by monuments, museums, and historic landmarks. Whether you're strolling from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol or enjoying a picnic beside the Reflecting Pool, the National Mall offers a picturesque setting to reflect on America's history and future.

THRōW Social

Ready for a fun evening? Engage in an eclectic mix of games and activities at THRōW Social. This venue uniquely combines classic games like darts and shuffleboard with more adventurous ones like axe throwing. Paired with a gourmet menu and craft cocktails, it's a destination where fun meets sophistication.


Step into a digital wonderland at ARTECHOUSE DC. This innovative art space blurs the lines between art, science, and technology. With rotating exhibits featuring digital projections, augmented reality, and sound installations, visitors are treated to a sensory feast that challenges the traditional art experience.

U.S. National Arboretum

Revel in the peace and greenery of the U.S. National Arboretum. Covering a generous 446 acres, this verdant haven is a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts. A stroll here reveals a vast collection of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants from different terrains and climates. Themed gardens, such as the Fern Valley, the Asian Collections, and the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, are delightful pockets that provide insights into specific plant categories. One of the standout features is the majestic Capitol Columns – 22 sandstone pillars originally from the U.S. Capitol’s East Portico. These columns stand as silent sentinels to history and provide a magnificent backdrop for photographs being set against a large reflecting pool. For those keen on bird watching, the Arboretum is a sanctuary with diverse avian species making their presence known. Whether you're a botany enthusiast, a history buff, or someone seeking a tranquil retreat from the city hustle, the U.S. National Arboretum promises a refreshing escape.

Museum of Illusions

Challenge your perceptions and indulge in some optical fun at the Museum of Illusions. As you step inside, prepare to have your mind twisted and turned in delightful ways. Rooms here are artfully designed to challenge one's sense of space, depth, and reality. Whether you're walking on walls, shrinking or growing in size, or floating in mid-air, the museum's illusions are bound to leave you amazed and amused. A highlight for many visitors includes the Vortex Tunnel, where a rotating cylinder creates the sensation of the ground shifting under your feet. Additionally, the museum is home to a variety of holograms, stereograms, and optical illusions that playfully test one's visual and sensory perceptions. Interactive exhibits ensure that visitors of all ages are engaged, making it a perfect destination for families. Not just a place for fun, the Museum of Illusions also educates about the brain, vision, and how we perceive the world around us. So, come and embark on a whimsical journey where seeing is both believing and disbelieving.

Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden

Dive into contemporary art and culture at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden. Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the circular building houses an impressive modern and contemporary art collection. Outside, the Sculpture Garden displays remarkable works set against the backdrop of landscaped gardens, providing an artistic retreat in the midst of the city.

Capitol Hill Parks

The parks in Capitol Hill provide serene escapes from the city bustle. Lincoln Park, with its statue of the Great Emancipator, is a place of reflection and contemplation. Stanton Park is perfect for picnics and relaxation, while the National Mall offers wide-open spaces for recreation and events.

Capitol Hill Restaurants

When it comes to dining, Capitol Hill leaves no culinary stone unturned. From cozy neighborhood cafes serving up artisanal coffee to high-end restaurants offering gastronomic delights, there's a culinary adventure waiting for every palate. Popular hotspots include Pacci’s, L’Ardente, and Ambar. Eastern Market, a local institution, is a hub for fresh produce, gourmet foods, and handcrafted goods.

About Thomas Kolker

Thomas Kolker, a third-generation Washingtonian, boasts an innate understanding of the District and the Northern, VA, area. If you're looking to buy or sell a home or have any questions about Capitol Hill real estate, contact Thomas Kolker today.

Recommended reading: A Guide to Capitol Hill Parks

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