8 Ways to Explore Capitol Hill Like a Local


Capitol Hill is more than a place where the Senate and The House meet; it’s a vibrant neighborhood thriving with historical landmarks, delicious cuisine, and a variety of small businesses that will make a lasting impression upon your visit to our nation’s capital.

Where To Stay

Upon checking in to Kind Hotel, The Liaison Washington Capitol Hill, take some time to acquaint yourself with the hotel and the amenities. If you plan to visit in the spring or summer, its rooftop pool will take your breath away. You definitely should plan some down time cooling off by the pool while capturing views of the Capitol, Washington Monument, and the awesome architecturally planned streets of DC.


The Liaison is minutes away from Union Station and the Union Station metro stop (the red line) as well as Chinatown, H Street corridor and the Capitol Hill neighborhoods. Restaurants in the Adams Morgan, U Street, Columbia Heights, and Shaw neighborhoods are easily accessible by Metro or a quick ride share from The Liaison and well worth visiting if you have time.

Locals love Art and Soul, a well-renowned restaurant known for using sustainably sourced ingredients to make mouth-watering dishes such as the roasted cauliflower, mushroom and butternut squash ragu, and the beautiful Earth n’ Eats salad which changes often, and features beautiful seasonal greens and vegetables, all made to share or indulge on your own. Art and Soul is conveniently located inside the hotel, and also offers alfresco dining on our lobby level patio.

Travel Kindly - DC Central Kitchen 

When you book The Liaison Washington Capitol Hill on Kind Traveler, a $10 nightly donation to local DC charity, DC Central Kitchen, not only unlocks exclusive rates and perks, but will also provide 10 hot meals to individuals in-need provided prepared by formerly at-risk adults.



Among the historical monuments and breathtaking views of Washington DC, chefs and volunteers at the DC Central Kitchen are busy preparing 5,000 nutritious meals out of 3,000 pounds of donated food for distribution to various homeless shelters, schools, and rehabilitation clinics throughout the District.

If you are interested in volunteering to prepare a meal, click here to reserve your spot; the DC Central Kitchen is a two-minute walk from the hotel. 

In addition to assisting chefs to prepare meals for the community, you will also learn about DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training program that prepares adults facing high barriers to employment for careers in the food service industry. These students come to DC Central Kitchen with histories of incarceration, addiction, homelessness, and trauma and leave with the hands-on training and support they need to begin a culinary career.

I highly recommend this experience; it will change your perspective of DC in unexpected ways.

If you are interested in exploring historical shopping areas that tourists rarely visit, Eastern Market (7th Street SE) is where you want to be over the weekend. This year-round market is home to small business owners selling seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, original artwork, pottery, jewelry, bags and accessories, juices, empanadas, desserts, and so much more.

Stop by Clothes Encounters, a high-end consignment store popular with locals looking for quality clothing and accessories on the Hill; it is worth checking out if you are looking for something new to brighten up your wardrobe. By making a trip to Eastern Market, you are guaranteed to walk away with something that is authentically from The District.

Historical Barracks Row on 8th Street SE is another hot spot worth checking out for mental rejuvenation and brunch time fun. The oldest commercial district in DC is still thriving through a variety of international cuisines such as Korean+Chinese fusion, homemade donuts, Balkan delicacies, Belgian waffles, soul food, and Michelin starred Roses Luxury and Pineapples and Pearls.

Be Here Now Yoga offers a variety of Vinyasa and Restorative all-levels yoga classes and healing sessions throughout the day if you would like to incorporate a little self-care into your visit. Woman-owned small business Summit to Soul has you covered for yoga/running clothes if you decide to take a class on a whim. Summit to Soul also leads a run club every Wednesday at 6:30 for runners of all ages.

A few streets away from Barracks Row, you will find The Hill Center, a restored naval hospital built in 1864 currently hosting cultural events, cooking classes, and seasonal events. Little Pearl, a coffee shop by day and wine bar by night is right next to the Hill Center on Capitol Hill.

The Historic Congressional Cemetery is worth the 10-minute stroll from The Hill Center; these hallowed grounds are a beautiful representation of life, nature, and peace in a bustling city. Self-guided tours take place year-round, and free guided tours take place Saturdays at 11:00AM April through October.

Visit Union Market near the Capitol Hill area in NoMa if you have a craving or are looking for one; the Market will satisfy your hungry and curious palate without a doubt. This space is home to over 40 vendors selling food representing various regions of North and South America, The Caribbean, Asia, and Africa.

Stop by Politics and Prose, a local bookstore which hosts tons of events and classes perfect for the inquisitive literary mind. Shelter is a favorite for unique jewelry, and accessories. The owner, also a jewelry designer sells timeless pieces made by independent designers that use natural stones and sustainable materials.

The H Street Corridor has an eclectic mix of restaurants and shops along with an appreciation for the arts. Maketto, a local retail/cafe/restaurant favorite serves Taiwanese dumplings and ramen while offering guests the experience of shopping from a curated selection of clothing, footwear, and accessories. Ethiopian food is a crowd favorite in DC, but you seldom find an authentic restaurant and coffee shop within blocks from each other.

Ethopic and Sidamo are two spots that will exceed your expectations. Dangerously Delicious Pies, a Food Network favorite, serves outstanding sweet and savory pies while offering a concert hall venue for local musicians to share their talent with the community.

Atlas Performing Arts is another fantastic place to catch artistically exceptional performances that you can’t find anywhere else.

If you are pressed for time, Urban Adventures offers a fantastic three-hour food tour called, Tastes of H Street led by a local guide who takes visitors and locals alike through a historic, cultural, and culinary tour of one of DCs most hippest areas.


A visit to the DC area is not complete without going to at least one museum. The Smithsonian Museums are well-known tourist attractions in Washington DC, and as a local, the exhibits of the Renwick Gallery and the manicured gardens of The Smithsonian Castle are personal favorites.

The US Botanic Garden offers tours of fascinating flora all year-round, and The National Museum of Women in the Arts hold special collections that represent women artists dating back to the 1600s. I recommend visiting the Women’s Museum Shop before you leave for one-of-a kind gifts and souvenirs.

Most of my recommended places have events taking place year-round. I highly suggest visiting their websites and making reservations in advance if possible. No matter what you choose to experience in the District, have fun with an open mind. A multitude of really cool options are at your fingertips. Bon Voyage!

Sophia Hyder, Founder/CEO of Papilia, is obsessed with travel, culture etiquette, cooking, yoga, and living a life with purpose.