Literature lovers: interested in visiting Washington, DC sometime soon? Well, now you have even more reason to get excited about that prospect. Our friends at Literary Hub, the go-to hub for book lovers and literary culture, have put together a killer itinerary for anyone traveling to DC, and spoiler: DC is a unique paradise of bookstores and history. You’re going to love it in a whole new way.
Be sure to stay at the Kimpton George Hotel or the Kimpton Banneker Hotel. They’re both offering 20% off their best available rate for readers of this blog post.
Check out just a few of Lit Hub’s top tips for book lovers visiting DC, below. And be sure to follow along with @literaryhub and @kimpton on Instagram as we explore some of the world’s coolest cities, stories and storytellers. Join our book club Facebook Group, too!
Make Your Way to the Library of Congress
It boasts over 100 collections of 800,000+ books, pamphlets, theater playbills, prints, posters and photographs that show works produced by Americans. Get a little nosy and peek at the personal libraries (hey, we all like to know what other people have read) of figures like Susan B. Anthony, Teddy Roosevelt, and even Houdini. The gift shop is worth a visit: guaranteed to delight any book nerd.
Supplement Your U.S. History Education with a Visit to the National Museum of the American Indian
The exhibits here feature stories and oral histories you (sadly) won’t find in most American history books. Be sure to stop by the Mitsitam Café during your visit.
Attend the National Book Festival Every Fall
Put on by the Library of Congress each year, the National Book Festival is worth devoting an entire trip to. It has become one of the most prominent literary events in the world, hosting author Q&A’s and outstanding talks on current topics.
Pop Over to Baltimore
Another nice thing about literary DC is its proximity to Baltimore: Edgar Alan Poe, Gertrude Stein, and a radical bookstore and coffee shop, Red Emma’s, await. Take advantage of the free book exchange called The Book Thing. While you’re on your way back to DC, you can visit the resting place of F. Scott Fitzgerald at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Brush Up on Your Shakespeare Trivia
Take some time to explore The Folger Shakespeare Library, a gorgeous library devoted to you-know-who. Peek at folios and early bound editions of Shakespeare’s work, and even learn how scholars handle these sacred literary relics. The Folger Theatre is next door, producing write-home-about productions of Shakespeare’s plays.
Say Hi to the Don (Quixote)
You’ve got to include a literary monument or two in your itinerary, and a visit to the Don Quixote statue (given to the US by Spain) at The Kennedy Center is a great way to do just that.
Grab a Drink at Bar Pilar
Bar Pilar has literary roots in the machoism that inspired Hemingway to name his boat and lead female character in For Whom the Bell Tolls the same thing.
Pick Up Collectables (and Gifts for Your Literary Friends at Home)
Second Story Books, at P and 20th St. NW, is a book collector’s delight. It has walls and walls of limited edition books and classics. The staff here is top notch and can help you track down (or even sell) a rare title.
We can’t thank the experts, our partners at Literary Hub, enough for rounding up some of the best ways for book lovers and literature aficionados to spend their time in DC. This is just a small selection of their full hour-by-hour itinerary, so be sure to visit their Literary Long Weekend Guide to DC for all the fun.
Heading to DC soon? Make The Kimpton George Hotel or The Kimpton Banneker Hotel your home base, now at 20% off for literature fans with our Kimpton x Literary Hub rate.