800 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 638-6600
Drive time: 3 hours
The scoop: A city landmark since 1928, this Italian Renaissance-style hotel has preserved many of its original architectural details even as it’s undergone renovations. One of the most conveniently located accommodations in the area, it’s hosted numerous American luminaries, including Ethel Barrymore, Amelia Earhart, Sinclair Lewis and Charles Lindbergh. Many rooms offer views of the White House, the National Mall and other iconic sites.
Amenities: The hotel’s Lafayette restaurant serves upscale contemporary American cuisine. Also on-site: the popular Off the Record bar. Pets are welcome.
Don’t miss: D.C. landmarks are even more impressive when illuminated at night—and you can enjoy this quieter time without jockeying for a view amid hordes of tourists.