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24 Hours In Washington, DC

24 Hours In DC

Welcome to 24 Hours In Washington, DC, where Yelp talks to a local influencer about spending a perfect day in the nation’s capital.

There is more to District living than what you have seen on Scandal, Independence Day, and House of Cards. Someone who knows this metropolis better than most is Kimberly Van Santos, Yelp’s DC Community Manager who loves helping locals discover hidden gems and pimping out her favorite hot spots to out-of-towners. When she’s not throwing parties in bars or warehouses, she can be found potting succulents in her tiny apartment or chasing after the best tea and dumplings across all four quadrants. We caught up with Kimberly to see what her most perfect day in DC looks like.

8 am: I pull those covers over my head and spend the next fifteen… or forty-five minutes snuggled up in my comforter and liking all of the photos I missed on social media from the night before.

9 am: Up and at ’em! The day officially does not start unless I’ve had the avocado and goat cheese toast and a pot of tea at Slipstream.

10 am: I hop on over across the street for a quick looksie at Miss Pixie’s. With new vintage furniture coming in every week, it is a weekly habit for me to check out what new treasure may be gracing my home next.  

11 am: I indulge in some self love with a mani and pedi at Nailsaloon. Sipping on a cocktail in their exposed brick, chandeliered loft is a vacation in itself.

12 pm: I’m going to let you in on a little secret, the Bonsai Collection at the National Arboretum is the best place in town to unleash your inner Karate Kid.. and Instagram it too. I  lace up my Nikes and prepare to win my Fitbit challenge for the week as well as get my daily dose of zen, all for the price of free!  

2 pm: After all of that walking, it’s time to refuel with some red sauce! Since 1926, A Litteri has been providing Washingtonians with authentic Italian groceries and delicious antipasti, pasta and sandwich platters for mere pennies. I will spend no more than five minutes awkwardly going back and forth on what to order before finally deciding on their chicken parmesan sandwich which is made on a hot, soft roll.

Meridian Hill Park. Photo by Ilhana V.
Meridian Hill Park. Photo by Ilhana V.


3 pm: Every day is a lovely crafternoon at Bits of Thread studio in Adams Morgan. I like to unleash my inner Martha Stewart with their Intro to Sewing classes and leave with a brand new, handmade pillowcase.

5 pm: I spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy the evening with my best friends at Meridian Hill Park. Sometimes we play cards or read a book but mostly we come here for the people watching. From drum circles to painters to aerialists to tai chi masters–this place has it all.

6 pm: Whether it’s rain, snow, a broken Metro line or the Pope-mobile or a presidential motorcade,  I can always count on DC traffic to ensure I’m always late to my next event!

7 pm: After dodging traffic, I’m in need of a stiff drink! Luckily, I can always count on Copycat Co for a dizzying array of seasonal, handcrafted drinks.

8 pm: I put my name on the inevitable waitlist at Toki Underground and then head over to Atlas Arcade with a sack of quarters in tow. I try to beat the high score on Ms. Pac-Man and fail miserably. End up watching my husband crush everything within five minutes of trying.

9 pm: Climb the stairs to Toki Underground and try to make myself comfortable on their high bar stools (it ain’t easy being five feet!). I always order the classic ramen with an extra egg on top. I slurp every last drop and remember that all things in life that are good are worth waiting for.

10 pm: The last few hours of the night are usually a blur. I may catch a live set at the Rock & Roll Hotel, dance my heart out at Little Miss Whiskey’s or play a round of mini golf at H Street Country Club.  

1 am: High five everybody in line at &pizza. I know most of the workers by name and I never tire of their Farmer’s Daughter which has a freshly cracked egg on top.

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