The federal capital of the United States is landlocked between the states of Maryland and Virginia. Enough to make this region a real cultural, culinary and historical melting pot. It’s hard to resist the authentic charm of Annapolis, historic DC or the growing dynamism of Richmond … Why choose?
Discover a different side of Washington DC
The Capitol, the memorials, the White House… Of course, the federal capital is full of historic sites which it would be a shame to miss out on. But to fully enjoy Washington DC, you must also discover its most lively and atypical neighborhoods! Starting with U Street Corridor. In the 1920s, this district in the northeast of the city was the hotbed of African-American nightlife. In 1968, he experienced the violent riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King. Today, the streets are dotted with jazz and rock venues, period theaters alongside Ethiopian and Italian restaurants and a myriad of trendy bars.
It is surprising! Who Said Washington Is A Plane City? The Wharf will have something to change their minds. Located along the Potomac River, this central district has become a must-see. You buy your fresh fish at the market with its inimitable atmosphere, you grill your marshmallows around a wood fire before meeting up with friends in one of the restaurants overlooking the quay. And to prolong the pleasure, concerts, nightclubs and atypical bars abound. La Vie has one of the highest rooftops in the city with a rare view of Le Capitole. Another district, another atmosphere: we recommend a digestive walk or bike ride along the canals of DC’s oldest district, Georgetown.
Sail on Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay stretches 300 km long and 50 km wide between the states of Virginia and Maryland. It is still the largest estuary in America! The latter is often associated with Annapolis, the American capital of yachting. From Washington, it takes only an hour to reach the capital of Maryland, located north of the golf course. It is the ideal starting point for exploring the bay by boat. From its charming little port, you can embark on a two-masted ship and go sailing for 2 hours.
We advise you to climb on the Schnooder Woodwind, run by a happy team of sailors! Try to reserve a Wednesday to participate in the boat race organized each week in summer. Little more: the captain always needs motivated arms to raise the sails or even hold the helm! In the distance, you can make out the huge campus of the prestigious Annapolis Naval Academy (which you absolutely must visit!) And its multicolored little houses reminiscent of European capitals. With the sunset in the background, it is priceless.
Taste Maryland’s specialty: blue crab
Each year, more than 10,000 tonnes of blue crabs are caught in Maryland during peak season. And it is the Chesapeake Bay that supplies half of the production of the whole country. So the claw crustacean is THE great pride of the inhabitants of Maryland. Impossible to pass in the capital region without tasting it. Good thing, it’s a la carte at every restaurant, whether you’re in a coastal town or not. Nothing to do with our big cakes! These little blue crabs that turn red when cooked have in any case inspired local cooks.
Some serve them steamed sprinkled with spices, others breaded or fried or even crumbled over a hot dog. But the great specialty remains the “crab cake”. A guilty pleasure made of shelled meat, crackers and mayonnaise. We taste one of the best in Annapolis, at Carrol’s Creek Café located on the harbor. In Baltimore, meet your eyes closed at the Rye Street Tavern. If the weather permits, you can eat in front of the port on a large table. And the house specialty is… The whole crab fried in a hamburger!
Rediscover street art in Richmond
Richmond is a far cry from the image one can have of rural Virginia. Young and trendy, the capital of this state is booming. Partly thanks to its renowned universities but also for its world-renowned street art. Walking through the city, one often has the impression of a huge living canvas. There is no code, everyone paints where they want. Whether you are a local or international artist. The city is said to have around 400 graffiti. And there’s something for everyone! Carytown, Shockoe Bottom, the Fan District to name a few. Difficult to recommend one area over another because it is everywhere. To spot them, browse the Richmond Mural Project website.
Many events are organized to encourage artists to express themselves and revitalize parts of the city that are sometimes forgotten. One of the most popular, the RVA Street Art Festival is usually held in April. This local festival wishes to transform the neglected and degraded areas of the city into works of art. Enough to raise funds to support the artistic education of young people and discover local talents. Mickael Broth is one of the instigators. “In a few years, certain infrequent neighborhoods have become very frequented and this, in large part, thanks to this art”. In 10 years, this local figure has painted no less than 200 walls, including many witches often colorful. This represents for him “a figure of a strong woman”. Our favorite is at Triple Crossing Beer. Can you spot them all?
Enjoy a wine and brewing region
With 350 vineyards, the capital region is renowned for being a wine-growing area. Virginia is the heart of it, as it alone owns more than 275 vineyards and wineries. It ranks second largest wine producer in the country behind California. From Loudoun to Blue Ridge Wine Way via Monticello Wine Trail, there would be a total of 24 wine routes. And Maryland is not left out with a choice of over 400 different wines. The discovery of these areas often holds great surprises. We recommend the Great Frogs, a historic vineyard in Annapolis founded in 1681.
A warm place where the tasting of the grape varieties is done almost in the middle of the vines. The house also organizes concerts and other events throughout the year. The region’s brewing offer is not left out either, with more than 200 breweries, cider producers and distilleries! Richmond, DC and Baltimore are full of great places. You can even enjoy local beer at Washington Dulles International Airport at DC Craft Brews.
United Airlines operates a daily non-stop flight all year round between Paris CDG and Washington DC From 344 euros. Phone: 01 71 23 03 35; www.united.com
Annapolis (Maryland): The hotel Annapolis, from 202 euros per night, 126 West Street, Annapolis, Maryland, 21401, tel: 410-263-7777; https://www.thehotelannapolis.com/
Richmond (Virginia): The Commonwealth, from 105 euros per night, 901 Bank Street, Richmond, VA 23219, tel: 804-343-7300; http://www.thecommonwealthsuites.com/
Washington: Kimpton Glover Park, from 170 euros per night, 2505 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20007, tel: (877) 2192970; https://www.gloverparkhotel.com/
The Maisons du Voyage design tailor-made trips with a team of specialists in the United States, at your disposal to organize the stay corresponding to your expectations and criteria. You can explore this region on a 10 day / 8 night tour, touring Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. From € 1,750 per person, including flights, accommodation, and car rental. Phone: 01 53 63 13 43;