Washington expects 2 million by Tuesday, and I have several friends on their way or just arriving. DC feels like a second (or third?) home since I used to travel there for work a lot -- and it holds one of my most favorite secret places anywhere: The Tabard Inn in DuPont Circle. The Tabard is a maze of three Colonial-era brownstones cobbled together bohemian style, plus a tiny restaurant that turns out gorgeous food. There are no TVs in the funky rooms (personal faves: #5 and #35). You can literally get lost in the crooked labyrinth of hallways. And the living room that doubles as the restaurant waiting area is usually crammed with a mix of loud people drinking Pinot before a blazing fire. Bill Clinton was a fan. I miss it just thinking about it.
As a bonus, the 'hood is cool, some of the best Modernist works in the US reside in the Philips Collection a stone's throw away, and all the other free museums are two stops over on the Metro. It's travel perfection.