If we’re going to gush about our favorite D.C. haunts, we’re going to have to call-out the National Gallery of Art.
D.C. is unique in that the Smithsonian thinks it important to have all these amazing museums clustered about, all free of charge. We agree. The National Gallery is one of the best, renowned not just for its gratis status, but because it actually has some rad stuff: da Vinci icons, Whistler portraits and even a Vermeer for good measure. There are two buildings, connected by one of D.C.’s most-photographed underground landmarks: Multiverse. There are seriously so many nooks of great things it’s hard to even hash it all out here.
If you’re ever in need of inspiration and low on cash, the National Gallery should be your destination. To us, one of the best things to do is look at the details of the old paintings — preferably the old Italian stuff. It’d be impossible not to get thousands of new ideas for clothes or jewels or just living your life like someone for whom a closetful of Valentino is a normal thing.
The best time to go is during a weekday to avoid the crowds — but even on the weekends, there’s calm to be had. And if you have even a passing interest in movies — even think that moving pictures “are pretty cool,” then don’t sleep on the NGA’s film program. Everything’s free and usually either rare or foreign — a heady mixture.