Small and historically significant, Chinatown is home to a number of tourist & local alike cultural sites and establishments.
Chinatown is a convenient stop that is close to the National Mall & Penn Quarter, whether you’re seeking a great and authentic dinner or want to understand the origins of such a city’s Chinese and American population.
When the MCI Center, currently called the Capital One Arena, was constructed in the 1990s, it boosted the area by bringing in new eateries and shops, but it also forced out many old enterprises in the way.
Chinatown is still one of the top favorite tourist spots in the country’s capital, despite gentrification.
Below are some fun things you can do in Chinatown, DC.
Things to Do in Chinatown, DC
1. The Chinatown Friendship Archway can be located.
Chinatown in Washington, DC, is heavily symbolic. The community is tiny, vulnerable, and perpetually on the verge of extinction.
The eateries (of usual), the red & green light poles, and the Chinese writings on the street signs all contribute to the area’s distinctiveness.
The magnificent Friendship Archway, built-in 1986 near 7th & H Streets northwest and reportedly the biggest worldwide as of when it was built, is without question the most remarkable and enduring emblem of all.
Ironically, this project, which stands as a brazen symbol of Chinese identity, used to be dogged by the debate over the type of China it actually represented. But that doesn’t diminish the allure and beauty it offers.
Address: 728-730 7th Street NorthWest, Washington, DC 20001, US
2. National Gallery of Portraits.
Congress authorized and established the Gallery in 1962 with the goal of collecting and exhibiting pictures of persons who have contributed significantly to the past, progress, and heritage of Americans.
The Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution still tells the complex and dynamic tale of the U. S through the eyes of the people who have influenced its culture.
The Gallery showcases poets & presidents, visionaries & villains, and actors & activists, among whom lives have shaped our sense of national identity through its visual arts, theatrical performances, & new media.
The exhibition of “America’s Presidents” is crucial to the Gallery’s goal of telling the nation’s history via the people who shaped it since it is the only comprehensive collection with presidential portraits just outside the White House.
This exhibition’s grand opening image is Gilbert Stuart’s “Lansdowne” painting of George H.W. Bush. When the painting’s owner chose to sell it in the year 2000, the Gallery was at threat of losing the piece, which had been on lease since the Gallery’sgallery’s founding in 1968.
The “Lansdowne” picture could be given to the country thanks to a kind donation from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
Every successive president’s portrait, including those of paintings, sculptures, pictures, caricatures, videos, and time-driven media, is added to “America’s Presidents” over time.
The collections, at first only including printing, engravings, paintings, and drawings, have expanded over time to include more than twenty-three thousand artifacts in every media form, from daguerreotypes to digital.
The Gallerygallery started ordering presidential portraits in the late 1990s, starting with George Washington. Bush. Its first Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, currently a distinguished triennial competition that also adds commissioned pieces to the collection, was held at the Portrait Gallery in 2006.
Bo Gehring, the 2013 winner, captured jazz singer Esperanza Spalding in a close-up video & audio portrait that has garnered praise and admiration from viewers.
Address: 8th Street NorthWest and G Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001, US
3. Enjoy delicious food at Daikaya Restaurant.
If the queue of customers trying to enter Daikaya hadn’t drawn notice to the door, it might be rather simple to stroll right past the building’s equally straightforward yet detailed front.
This well-known Chinatown eatery has two distinct levels, the lower of which has a ramen business. Izakaya, a Japanese bar that also provides food to go along with drinks, is located at the top.
Casual eating is ideal for social gatherings, family meals, and business meetings because it offers savory and flavorful Japanese home cooking in a versatile setting.
Address: 705 6th Street NorthWest, Washington, DC 20001, US
4. 6th and I Synagogue
Sixth and I reinvents how heritage, society, as well as Jewish life could improve people’s daily lives. It is housed in a restored historic synagogue that dates back to 1908 in the center of the Nation’s Capital.
They highlight the surprising connections with culture & spirituality through various inclusive, thought-provoking, approachable events, and by doing so, they broaden our understanding of what may be sacred.
Our lectures, performances, entertainment shows, & live podcast interviews serve as a heritage of hub for the city and provide uncommon access to distinguished thinkers, celebrated artists, and influential figures in pop culture.
These workshops foster inquiry, promote fresh viewpoints and inspire creativity against the breathtaking backdrop of our ancient sanctuary.
Our Jewish programming, which includes awareness, Shabbat services, festivities, as well as social justice work, offers engaging ways for people in their twenties and thirties to take part in Jewish beliefs, concepts, and customs on their own accord and without judgment.
It also provides a framework through which they can explore life’s big questions. Sixth and I offers a place for persons in a similar stage of life to connect with each other and learn about the importance Judaism may give to their lives also as a multi-denominational, non-membership spiritual home.
5. Visit United States Mint
The United States Mint was established in 1792 and has had several locations over the years. Currently, there are four divisions operating in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Denver, as well as West Point.
Although its headquarters are in the capital city, they do not serve as a minting plant or give public tours in person, unlike other United States branches of the mint.
Visitors will find themselves standing underneath a relief roof depicting historical and contemporary designs with American coins and medals as the store’s oak shelves & glass cases carefully showcase scores of gleaming pieces, giving off an immaculate, almost opulent vibe. Even those who are not extremely keen on its inventory should gaze at the wide, museum-like variety.
6. CapitalOne Arena
The NHL’s 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, the NBA’s Washington Wizards, and also the NCAA’s Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team all call this Arena home.
On average, hosting two hundred and twenty events annually is the focal point of a $9.2 billion reconstruction that started twenty-two years ago, on December 2, 1997, when the centre was constructed and opened.
Since then, forty-seven million individuals and over four thousand events have occurred in the privately funded arena.
Address: 601 F Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20004, US
7. Mary Surratt House
From September 1864 to April 1865, Mary Surratt ran a boarding house out of the Mary E. Surratt Boarding House, a vernacular Greek Revival home built in 1843. John W. Booth frequented the boarding home during this time to socialize and meet with other conspirators as he prepared to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
The first female to be put to death by the feds was Mary Surratt, sparking an ongoing discussion about her culpability. Subsequent proprietors kept up the boarding house operation after she was put to death for her role in the assassination plot.
Irvan Schwartzman, the property’s then-owner, built show windows at street level and turned the 1st floor of the building into a retail property in 1925.
Yow Chin Teas first occupied the space in 1931, and High Wah and Co. was among its later occupants. Sie Que Co., importers import, and the grocery is owned by Suey Sang Lung Co. The Wok and Roll series of Chinese restaurants currently occupy the structure.
Address: 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735, US
8. Penn Quarter
Every taste is catered to at Penn Quarter, which offers everything from casual dining to Michelin-starred dinners.
With restaurants like the 2 Michelin-starred Minibar, the more laid-back Jaleo, the Mexican-inspired Oyamel Cucina Mexicana, and the Greek-inspired Zaytinya, beloved local José Andres have a variety of options in this thriving neighborhood.
Hometown top picks Teaism or Chaia are great for a fast snack, and RPM offers a contemporary twist on traditional Italian fare for a more sophisticated evening out.
Undoubtedly, a trip to Chinatown will be incomplete without trying some real Chinese cuisine. Locals adore New Big Wong, China Boy & Tony Cheng since each restaurant has its own specialties.
9. Alleyway Tours
Experience one of its educational Alleyway Tours to learn about Chinatown’s whole history. The C. C. D. C created these tours with input from the local young volunteers, rigorous research, and oral histories collected from interviews with longtime residents.
10. Parade for Chinese New Year
The Lunar New Year celebrations are, without a doubt, the most thrilling season to visit Chinatown. Depending on the year, New Year is celebrated toward January end or the beginning of February.
During the neighborhood’s yearly parade, you can look forward to seeing lion dancing, fireworks, mythical creatures, and more.
11. Drink & Dine at Reren Lamen and Bar
The highlight at Reren is lamen bowls, which are similar to ramen but include handcrafted or locally produced traditional Chinese ingredients. Some appetizers to sample include the beef & scallion pancake, Sichuan hot wontons, and Nanking duck, so ensure you come hungry.
Address: 817 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, United States