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Planning Your Trip

In Arlington, Virginia, just steps from the Pentagon and at the center of everything Washington, D.C., has to offer, The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City is the ideal hub for work or play in the nation’s capital. Whether business meetings or days spent at Smithsonian museums and on a White House tour are on your itinerary, there are a few must-pack items to bring along.


Business Travel

As the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., is always bustling with activity and has an appropriately formal air about it. This clearly translates to the business dress code for both men and women. While there are no official rules, here are a few things to keep in mind.


  • Suits are commonplace for both men and women. While in the mid-summer heat, jackets may be carried while commuting, most professionals don’t forgo them entirely even when humidity soars.
  • Depending on your audience, consider sprucing up your standard suit or blouse and blazer combination with a fun accessory like a patterned tie or a statement necklace.
  • Heels are commonplace for women but not required. Particularly if you’re commuting to and from meetings on the Metro, consider wearing a pair of stylish, sensible flats or low heels.

Exploring the City

There is so much to see and do in the city, from the 13 free museums on the National Mall to a tour of the White House to a stroll through picturesque Georgetown. Be prepared for a bit of everything by packing these essentials.


  • A smart pair of shoes is key. While Uber and taxis are available, most people commute by walking or taking the Metro. Plus, you’ll likely be on your feet for hours while touring through the many museums.
  • Bring several layers no matter what the season. In summer, temperatures can soar into the 90s with high humidity, but a light layer will be welcome in air conditioning. In winter, snow is common, so a hat and an extra sweater and scarf will be appreciated additions to your suitcase.
  • Bring one polished outfit for a night out at a restaurant or the theater. Most locals will wear their business attire or dressier clothes, so more casual garb will stand out.

Evening Chic

Casual dress is a wise choice for touring the capital, but once it’s time to enjoy the  nightlife, it’s best to sport a more polished ensemble. Here’s what to bring.


  • If traveling on business, it’s completely acceptable to wear your business attire to a more formal dinner or performance. Most locals will be coming straight from the office and similarly dressed.
  • Most locals have a decidedly preppy aesthetic — think high-quality materials done in classic, tailored silhouettes. For men, a suit or well-cut blazer with slacks is practically the uniform. For women, slightly more conservative dress is common even for a night out.
  • For a more casual outing — to a bar, perhaps — consider packing a dressier pair of jeans to pair with a nice blouse or a sharp blazer and shirt.  
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Don't Forget:

Summer rainstorms are common in D.C., so bring a small umbrella that can be tucked into a purse or briefcase.

A coveted table at one of Washington, DC’s most popular restaurants; a ticket to a must-see exhibit; a tour through Virginia’s wine country and the chance to see an unforgettable musical performance are among the experiences visitors should reserve in advance.

Dining Reservations

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Make a reservation at Santé for Mediterranean-inspired cuisine in a sophisticated, yet approachable atmosphere. The seasonal menu showcases the fresh, global flavors of the western and eastern coastline regions, and allows them to meet at the table in perfect harmony in a nourishing mosaic of shareable presentations and craveable dishes. Or set aside time for a sumptuous afternoon tea on a Saturday or Sunday and enjoy homemade pastries and from-scratch scones along with a variety of teas.  

Day Trips

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If getting just outside of town is of interest, consider arranging for a tour of historic Old Town Alexandria with buildings and historic sites dating back to the earliest days of the United States. Or arrange for a day of wine tasting throughout Virginia — home to more than 250 wineries — just a short car ride from the hotel. Take a restorative walk at the National Arboretum, a 446-acre property full of stunning trees and plant life just 2 miles from the capital.  


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Begin with a signature cocktail at Santé. Order the Santé Sparkler, featuring Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin, Campari, and Sparking Grapefruit Soda. Then head off for an evening of exploring, perhaps with a drink at one of the trendy cocktail spots popping up all over town, a musical performance at the classic 9:30 Club or a performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (the Millennium Stage hosts free performances every day at 6 p.m.).

Museum Tickets and Cultural Sights

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With the blue and yellow Metro lines just outside of the hotel doors, it’s easy to pop into town to explore D.C.’s many attractions. Arrange for a tour of the White House (a request for a White House tour must be submitted through your representative in Congress, and well in advance), spend the day exploring the Smithsonian museums, take a tour of George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, or opt for a lovely day outdoors with a trek through Rock Creek Park and a visit to the National Zoo.

Drawing on the expertise of the hotel’s Ladies and Gentlemen, itineraries highlight well-known sights and lesser-known gems. Guests are encouraged to use these as foundations for exploring Arlington and Washington, DC and draw upon the hotel concierge for specific recommendations or reservations.

24 Hours in Pentagon City

Situated just outside of Washington, D.C., Pentagon City offers the ideal starting point for exploring the best of the nation’s capital, from the Pentagon and Capitol Hill to the Washington Monument and Arlington National Cemetery. Combine the area’s culture and history with world-class shopping and dining, and you’re in for a perfect day.



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Family Vacation Fun

The Washington D.C.-Arlington, Virginia area is the cultural core of the United States, home of revered institutions like the Smithsonian and one-of-a-kind sites like the National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a family vacation while exploring centuries of American history, with experiences catering to young and old alike.


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