What’s hot in Washington DC for the end of 2023?

Storm rising over United States Capitol Building, Washington DC
Edited by Travel Weekly

    From a renovated landmark museum, new exhibits, arts and culture to new restaurants and bars spicing up the nightlife scene, Washington DC is ready to shine!

    Here are our picks if you’re planning a few days in the U.S capital:

    Things to see

    On 21 October, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s first major museum dedicated to championing women artists, will unveil its highly anticipated, two-year, top-to-bottom renovation of its majestic 1908 building. The museum will reopen as a more inventive, accessible, flexible and interactive institution which features an enlarged gallery space for the collection of more than 6,000 works, including large-scale sculptures that previously could not be accommodated.

    National Museum of Women in the arts. (Supplied)

    For the first time since 2021, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Galleries for Modern and Contemporary Art reopens on 22 September, with a more inclusive narrative of American art, including the often-overlooked contributions of Asian American, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, LGBTQ+ and female artists.  Theatre Week kicks off the launch of theatre season in the DC region and runs from 21 September to 8 October. With dozens of participating theatres and productions, the celebration provides an opportunity to sample diverse and vibrant work on a variety of stages and at great prices.

    Art & Culture

    National Museum of African Art presents John Akomfrah: Five Murmurations from 14 October 2023 which showcases works by internationally renowned artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah and how he addresses the pandemic, murder of George Floyd and worldwide protests in support of Black Lives Matter via a visual essay.  National Portrait Gallery’s Forces of Nature: Voices that Shaped Environmentalism exhibition runs from 20 October to 2 September 2024 and presents key people whose work has influenced attitudes toward the environment in the United States from the late 19th century until today.  Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden presents Simone Leigh from 3 November 2023 to 3 March 2024. Over the past two decades, Leigh has created art that situates questions of Black femme subjectivity at the centre of contemporary art discourse and explores ideas of race, beauty, and community in culture.


    This fall see why DC is named the Capital of Sport with a late-season Washington Nationals baseball game, Washington Spirit or DC United soccer match, and cheer on the Commanders, under an exciting new ownership group.   Experience the changing leaves against Georgetown’s brick rowhouses aboard an 80-foot vessel carrying visitors through the historic C&O canal for the first time in more than a decade (runs through October).


    Popular New York restaurateur Philippe Chow brings a luxurious dining experience to The Wharf. Enjoy a Beijing-style menu boasting Peking Duck, Nine Seasons Spicy Prawns and Chilean Sea Bass.

    Philippe Chow. Washington D.C. (Supplied)

    Purl, located on H Street, serves classic comfort food and playful cocktails. Ashlee Jack, the director of hospitality at Lemon Group Hospitality, is the mastermind behind Purl and collaborated with cocktail curator Kelsey Ramage to design the menu.  Oyster Oyster recently opened Oyster Garage, a casual offshoot to assist with meeting the demand for the popular restaurant. Chef Rob Rubba was recently named “Chef of the Year” by the James Beard Awards.

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