Washington, DC is home to some of the nation’s best restaurants, nightlife and museums. With so many options, it's always tough to tell what's great and unique and what’s just your average, run of the mill establishment. To help you find your way, the CAIC has asked its members to recommend the best places in DC for just about everything: from Sports Bars, Fine Dining and Neighborhood Pubs to Local Tours and Monuments off the beaten path. These recommendations are by fellow Iowans for fellow Iowans, but we’re pretty sure they’ll be enjoyed by everyone.


Public tours of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are available Monday through Friday.  Free, timed tickets for public tours are handed out at the 14th street entrance starting at 8:00AM Monday through Friday.  For more information regarding public tours of the BEP, please visit the BEP website at http://www.moneyfactory.gov/tours/washingtondctours.html.

The Kennedy Center is open daily to the public from 10:00 AM- 5:30 PM weekdays, and from 10:00 AM- 1:00 PM on Saturdays. Daily Tours are offered every 10 minutes. Walk-ins are more than welcomed. Please visit the following website to get more information, http://www.kennedy-center.org/visitor/tours.html.

If you are interested in visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum or the Washington Monument I suggest ordering advance tickets for a nominal fee.  Tickets to these sites are limited and lines can be quite long.  To order tickets to the Holocaust Memorial Museum please visit the museum website online at http://www.ushmm.org/information/plan-a-visit.  To obtain tickets to the Washington Monument please visit the National Park Service’s website online at http://www.nps.gov/wamo/planyourvisit/index.htm

Tours of the Supreme Court are available to the public on weekdays every hour on the half hour with the first tour at 11:30 AM and the last at 3:30 PM.  Please report to the main hall of the court for this tour. http://www.supremecourt.gov/visiting/visitorservices.aspx

Tours of the Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress are available to the public Monday through Saturday every hour (on the half hour) from 10:30 AM until 3:30 PM.  Please report to the main lobby of the library for this tour twenty minutes before your tour begins.  On Saturday’s there are no 12:30PM or 3:30PM tours. More information can be found here: http://www.loc.gov/visit/

Tours of the Pentagon can be booked by visitors, online at:  https://pentagontours.osd.mil/tours?action=view_check_email.

The National Cathedral has tours available for reservation. You may reserve yourself a ticket by visiting the following website: http://www.cathedral.org/cathedral/visit/tour.shtml.

To learn more about each recommendation, click on the name.

Best Sports Bar
Location: Arlington/Crystal City
Description: The CCSP is home to the CAIC's gamewatches. Every fall Saturday, the back area is filled with local and visiting Iowa fans cheering on their Hawks. The CCSP is also home to many other alumni associations so the intensity is never down.
What Iowan's have to Say: I was surprised to see all the Iowa fans here for a gamewatch. The food was great and the waitresses kept the drinks cold and full. Definitely a place to watch Iowa sports and any other big events! - K.M., Arlington
Location: Chinatown/Verizon Center
Description: Equal parts sports bar and casual restaurant, The Greene Turtle combines the best of both into a different kind of neighborhood gathering place, where friends and family can gather to grab a bite, watch the game, or just enjoy a beer together in a lively atmosphere. It's a sports fan's dream.
What Iowan's have to Say: If you're downtown, check it out before the game at Verizon Center, or just meet up with friends after work.
Location: Penn Quarter/Downtown DC
Description: Welcome to DC's Alumni Headquarters! The place to be for your college game. Located just steps from the Archives/Navy Memorial Metro. The First Floor bar is historic Penn Quarter with today's high-tech upgrades. 60" hi-defs all around!
What Iowan's have to Say: This is the Chicago bar for the Cubs fan. Almost as good as Wrigleyville, well, almost...
Location: Arlington/Ballston
Description: "Think Andy Warhol meets General Motors. That's CarPool in a nutshell...The end result is a pop art testament to the American obsession of automobile culture that would make Lee Iacocca jealous." That's how Billiards Digest described CarPool when awarding it the accolade of Best New Room in 1996.
What Iowan's have to Say: Great pool tables, lots of TVs. A great place in the middle of Ballston.
Best Tours
Location: Dupont Circle
Description: One of Washington's best-kept secrets, The Brewmaster's Castle is the most intact late-Victorian home in the country, and a Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
What Iowan's have to Say: I would like to recommend Heurich House (?sp) for a tour. It is a mansion just a block south of Dupont Circle, was built in 1894 by the only brewery magnate to live in Washington, DC. It is German in decor, has beautiful carved wooden fireplaces (yes, wood!) and there are 17 of them! It is a lovely tour, includes the family history, takes about an hour, and they just ask for a 5 dollar donation at the door. They have 3 tours on Saturdays, I think the hrs are 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm.  A friend and I went last fall and it was lovely. Then we did a little window shopping and lunch right there at the Circle.  A little known gem, right in the middle of everything downtown.
Location: Alexandria
Description: The George Washington Masonic Memorial is more than a colossal memorial and museum. It is a tourist attraction and destination; research center and library; community center; performing arts center and concert hall; banquet and celebration site; and meeting site for local and countless visiting Masonic lodges and organizations.
What Iowan's have to Say: I nominate the crazy George Washington Masonic Monument in Alexandria as the best non-famous monument and/or tour. Not only does it look like a phallic wedding cake on the Alexandria skyline, but it has a bizarre collection of stuff inside: an Egyptian room, a Medieval room, one of the largest Persian rugs in the world, a giant mechanized model Shriners parade, and lots of secret rooms & weird Masonic symbols. One of the strangest tours I've ever been on.
Location: Potomac Park ( Constitution Ave. & 23rd )
Description: The statue is one of the most popular in Washington, particularly with school groups. The relaxed, informal pose of Einstein lends itself to great group photos and it's one of the few statues for which no one will yell at you if you climb in his lap.
What Iowan's have to Say: Kind of hidden, but a must stop for tourists.
Best Fine Dining
Location: Old Town Alexandria
Description: The elegance of France and the unforgettable joys of French cuisine – that’s what you will consistently find at our award-winning restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. Whether you are visiting us for the first time or are one of our treasured and faithful regulars, we are committed to providing you with a unique dining experience in a relaxed and intimate setting.
What Iowan's have to Say: French food at it's best!
Best Resturants
Location: Metro Center or Union Station
Description: Capitol City Brewing Co. opened its doors in 1992 as the first brew pub in our nation's capitol since prohibition, thus giving its citizens and its many visitors the freedom to enjoy some of the finest hand-crafted beer in the country.
What Iowan's have to Say: A Washington DC tradition at it's best.
Location: 14th and R St. NW
Description: HR-57 Center for the Preservation of Jazz Blues is a music cultural center. We take our name from a House Resolution first passed by congress in 1987. This resolution (H.Con.Res 57) designated jazz as "a rare and valuable national American treasure".
What Iowan's have to Say: For great jazz and red beans and rice.  A not for profit jazz organization with great touring and local artists.


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