Getting around D.C. is best accomplished on the Metro, but how do you know where to go? The Red Line is the gateway to many of the city's hidden treasures. Here's a list of some of the best tourist stops on the Red Line.

Sure, you can spend days wandering the National Mall, but who wants to be stuck doing the same thing all the time while on vacation? Here are some cool spots around town, all easily accessible by taking Metro's Red Line.


Though technically not in D.C., this close neighbor in Maryland is the perfect stop for the shoppers in the family. Bethesda Row is just a few blocks away and has all sorts of boutiques, major retailers, and restaurants to explore. There's even a movie theater if you've got someone who hates shopping.

One of my personal favorites in this neighborhood is Paul, the French bakery chain for pastries and light fare. You're going to need the sustenance for all the retail therapy you're about to get!

Paul Bakery

Courtesy of Paul Bakery on Facebook

Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Station

Here, you want to plan at least a few hours for the Smithsonian's National Zoo. You'll lose yourself in the entire experience and fall in love with the animals you meet. There are two conference-friendly hotels in the area so the neighborhood's restaurants are really good at catering to a quick-lunch crowd. 

tiger, zoo

Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Facebook

The Washington National Cathedral is just a brief walk to the west of the Metro stop. You can go and take pictures in the beautiful historic building or simply stop and light a candle for someone.

Come back at night to experience the bars, coffeehouses, and clubs of Adams Morgan. Just wander up and down 18th Street and go in if the music speaks to you. Taking the Metro is one of the easiest ways to make sure you always have a designated driver! If you get good and sloshed, make sure you get a Jumbo Slice, a tasty D.C. tradition (even if you're not drunk).

Dupont Circle

It's more food and drink when you get off at the Dupont Circle stop. Check out a comedy show at the D.C. Improv or just explore all the quirky shops and restaurants. Embassy Row is just up the street if you're into that sort of thing. You can take a self-directed walking tour or contact an embassy beforehand for a guided tour.

For the historian in the family, the Heurich House Museum will tell you all about D.C.'s famous brewmasters. You can even try a 19th-century beer that they are bringing back to market!

Heurich House Museum

Courtesy of the Heurich House Museum

Gallery Place-Chinatown

The Gallery Place-Chinatown stop is full of cool museums and restaurants. This is also where you get off if you're going to a Caps game at the Capital One Arena. D.C.'s Chinatown is on the small side, but you'll still have a good time wandering its streets.

Must-see museums at this stop include Madam Tussauds and the National Portrait Gallery. Both are very short walks from the station.

 Capital One Arena hockey game

Courtesy of Capital One Arena on Facebook

This list is clearly just a tiny piece of what it means to explore D.C. by Metro. Think outside of the box when it comes to planning your vacation—or even a staycation if you're local. The Red Line is the gateway to many of the city's hidden treasures. For more information about seeing D.C. by Metro, visit the WMATA website.

What's your favorite thing to do on the Red Line? Is there one neighborhood you think tourists simply have to visit? Let us know in the comments!