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12 Reasons to Visit Washington, D.C. in 2020

by Matthew Wexler
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Feb 18, 2020
Capital Pride Parade
Capital Pride Parade  (Source:washington.org)

Our nation's capital is bursting at the seams in 2020 with can't-miss happenings and an array of dining and hotel options for every budget and style. DC also remains a vital hub for advocacy work for the LGBTQ community, anchored by signature events that gather some of our community's most prominent leaders and voices.

Discover your own DC with our top recommendations for the coming year:

The Cherry Fund
The country's longest-running nonprofit LGBTQ dance music festival, The Cherry Fund had donated more than $1.3 million to HIV/AIDS and mental health services in the DC metropolitan region and beyond. This year's event includes nine parties over four days. It features 19 DJs from around the world, including Dani Brasil (Brazil), Dan Slater (Australia), Nina Flowers (Puerto Rico) and the legendary Susan Morabito, who played The Cherry Fund's inaugural event 25 years ago. (April 16 — 20)

Capital Trans Pride
A celebration of our transgender and gender non-conforming community, Trans Pride returns this May for a weekend packed with programming, entertainment, movie screenings and more. Last year's event included an array of impactful (and free!) workshops, including information about gender-affirming surgical services, updating identity documents and adult allies for trans and non-binary youth. (May 15 — 17)

Capital Pride Celebration
This year marks Capital Pride's 45th anniversary, and the week-long celebration promises to be packed with events and appearances you won't want to miss. Nearly one million people are expected to descend upon DC for a line-up that includes block party, parade, concert, festival and more. (June 5 — 14)


DC Front Runners Pride Run 5K
Pack your running shoes and head to DC for a 5K Pride Run to kick off Capital Pride Weekend. More than 1,600 runners will hit the streets at dusk, starting at Historic Congressional Cemetery, concluding with a Finish Line Party, DJ and entertainment. (June 12, 2020)

Capital Fringe Festival
New theatrical works take center stage at this annual festival, which draws dozens of performers and companies from around the country to present interdisciplinary works with the guidance of festival producers. DC's Arena Stage returns as the festival's anchor venue partner, with other venues peppered throughout the city and an outdoor pop-up bar at Saint Matthews Church to socialize with the diverse array of creators. (July 2020)

HRC National Dinner
If ever there was a time to dress for success, it would be the Human Rights Campaign's National Dinner, which draws an astounding 3,600 attendees to champion the equal rights of the LGBTQ community through education, research and political activities. Last year's event, featuring a cocktail reception, a silent and live auction, dinner, live entertainment, honored actress Dominique Jackson with the HRC National Equality Award and global superstar Ricky Martin with the HRC National Visibility Award. (September 26)


Any Time of Year
National Gallery of Art  (Source:washington.org)

Any Time of Year

DC boasts dozens of galleries and museums to explore, but for an LGBTQ cheat sheet, consider these two:

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden — The National Museum of Modern Art is free to the public, and boasts a large-scale work by gay artist Mark Bradford. "Pickett's Charge" spans 400 feet and draws inspiration from Paul Philippoteaux's 19th-century cyclorama depicting the final charge of the Battle of Gettysburg. Bradford's abstract interpretation combines colored paper and reproductions of the original. (Through 2021)

National Gallery of Art — Sometimes it's not what is on exhibit, but how a cultural institution evolves that sparks interest.
The NGA recently appointed openly gay African American Darren Walker to its board, described by the Washington Post as one of the "smallest and most exclusive governing bodies in the art world... His appointment to the National Gallery board could be one of the most transformational appointments in the museum's history."


Dupont Circle  (Source:washington.org)

Dining in Dupont Circle
Much of DC's LGBTQ nightlife can be found in Dupont Circle, but before you hit the dance floor, enjoy a great meal at one of these Dupont Circle dining spots:

Plume at The Jefferson Hotel — The Michelin-star restaurant offers a la carte or a five-course tasting menu. We recommend the latter to experience chef Ralf Schlegel's seasonally inspired dishes such as King crab with Ossetra caviar and venison saddle with juniper vinegar gastrique.

Little Serow — Chef-owner Johnny Moni offers a curated Thai tasting menu, with highlights that may include savory fish dumplings with coconut and lime, and sticky pork ribs with Mekhong whiskey and dill.

Doyle — This mid-century room with a view offers stellar views of Dupont Circle, along with craft cocktails and small bites.

Stay a While
The newly opened Conrad Washington, DC offers luxury digs for fans of the Hilton brand, which has been a longtime supporter of the LGBTQ community. Jon Muñoz, Vice President Global Diversity & Inclusion at Hilton was recently elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association.

Rooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows and a natural color palette. The Sakura Club (10th floor) offers additional amenities and priority access to the rooftop bar and Estuary, the Chesapeake Bay-inspired restaurant by the James Beard Award-winning Voltaggio Brothers.

Visit Washington.org for more travel tips, ideas and deals.

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Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Senior Editor of Travel, Lifestyle, Health & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at www.wexlerwrites.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.


Winter 2020

This story is part of our special report titled "Winter 2020." Want to read more? Here's the full list.


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