The Host Committee Welcomes You Back to DC

Published in the March/April 2023 issue of Archival Outlook.

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) are joining forces once again for the 2023 Joint Annual Meeting! This July, not only will we be meeting virtually and in-person in Washington, DC, we are also moving to a new location at the Washington Hilton in Dupont Circle in Northwest Washington. While there’s plenty to do nearby, we invite you to explore the other city neighborhoods and quadrants, too. There are loads of unique museums, restaurants, and sights spread throughout the city that await your visit. Here are some additions and updates to tried-and-true favorites since we last met in DC in 2018:

  • Planet Word: An interactive and self-guided museum where visitors experience the museum through their own words and choices (
  • National Air and Space Museum: Now reopened after extensive renovations, visitors need free timed-entry passes to see eight new galleries and explore air and space (
  • The Wharf DC: Since opening to the public in 2017, the Wharf has added an incredible array of restaurants, shops, and attractions to the historic DC waterfront (
  • International Spy Museum: Check out the espionage collections’ new and expanded home in L’Enfant Plaza (

The Host Committee is excited to welcome you this summer. Beyond the four recommendations above, we are also sharing some of our favorite bites and sights around town in anticipation of your arrival. We will be making more recommendations for places to visit, restaurant options, kid-friendly activities, disability-friendly activities, and other information about DC. Be sure to check the Host Committee’s blog as we get closer to the Annual Meeting.

The Host Committee Recommends…

  • Michelle Ganz, Director of Archives, Dominican Sisters of Peace
    • The Halal Guys, a great place to get Middle Eastern classics on Connecticut Avenue. (
    • Char Bar in the Winston House apartments, where Kosher and fine dining meet. (
    • JINYA Ramen bar for beautiful ramen and unique cocktails on 14th Street. (
    • National Museum of the American Latino on the National Mall. ( 
    • The National Museum of Health and Science, the place to be if you’re interested in the weird and macabre! (
  • Mitch Toda, Archivist, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Smithsonian Libraries and Archives 
    • Moon Rabbit for contemporary Vietnamese cuisine in The Wharf DC. The menu has changed since the last time I was there, but the Ga Nuong Nuoc Mam (fried chicken wings) are a must try! ( 
    • Gerrard Street Kitchen inside The Darcy Hotel. When you make reservations through OpenTable, you’ll want to select the 9-course Omakase meal—it’s wonderful! (
    • Congressional Cemetery: Who doesn’t want to see the Thomas Mann card catalog record gravestone? (
  • Frank Robinson, Jr., Archivist, Archives Center, National Museum of American History 
    • Mr. Henry’s in Capitol Hill. American food with great atmosphere—plus it’s the place where Roberta Flack got her start. It's an LGBT-friendly jazz venue, and their Bleu Burger is my favorite thing on the menu! ( 
    • Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse on 17th Street. Just what it says: a good ole' steakhouse with lots of non-steak options. Annie’s has been a supporter of the LGBT community for decades. (
    • Washington National Cathedral on Wisconsin Avenue. You can’t miss our very own version of Westminster Abbey. It’s the resting place of many national figures, such as Matthew Shepard, Helen Keller, President Woodrow Wilson, and more! See if you can spot the Darth Vader gargoyle. ( 
    • Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown. It’s a James Renwick, Jr.-designed chapel and holds the graves of many notable figures. The novel Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is set here. (
  • Mandi Ray, Archivist, Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate 
    • Try Lapis ( in Adams Morgan for modern afghani cuisine in a chic dining room and visit Un je ne sais Quoi… (@unjenesaisquoipastry) on Connecticut Avenue for delicious, Instagram-worthy coffee and pastries. 
    •  The Kreeger Museum on Foxhall Road has a small but robust collection of modern art, and their home-turned-museum has a beautiful sculpture garden. ( 
    • Teddy Roosevelt Island in the middle of the Potomac River prohibits bikes and cars and is a great for trail walking and bird watching! (
  • Adam Gray, Contract Project Archivist, National Anthropological Archives, National Museum of Natural History 
    • I try to find a balance between places that will keep my kids engaged, where it won’t be too hard to change a baby's diaper, and where I can explore some of my interests or just take a breath. At the top of my list is the U. S. Botanic Garden (, nestled in an inconspicuous spot just southwest of the Capitol Building. The indoor conservatory is great, but the gardens offer quiet refuge from the hustle and bustle beyond the walls. If you’re lucky, the corpse flower may be in bloom, which happens only two or three days each summer. Closer to the meeting venue, Meridian Hill Park ( is a beautiful spot managed by the National Park Service, with ramps being added to the 16th Street entrance.
  • Jennifer Morris, Archivist, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum 
    • Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street has fresh homemade chili and delicious half-smokes. ( 
    • Dauphine’s on 15th Street, NW, is a New Orleans-inspired restaurant with a great atmosphere. ( 
    • St. James on 14th Street, NW, offers modern Caribbean food. ( 
    • Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, National Historic Site on Vermont Avenue NW, is part of Logan Circle Historic District. It’s the first headquarters of the National Council and Negro Women (NCNW). ( 
    • Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square—also the site of the Apple store—has three exhibits all about DC history and is a quick walk-through. ( 
    • The old post office tower at the Waldorf Astoria at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Free with no reservations required, the tower gives visitors a beautiful view of the DC. (
  • Jen Wachtel, Archivist, History Associates Incorporated 
    • Kramers on Connecticut Avenue, NW, is a Dupont Circle staple combining a beloved indie bookstore with an upscale American restaurant and bar. I somehow always end up at Kramers whenever I am in the Dupont neighborhood and never regret the trip. ( 
    • Tryst Coffeehouse, Bar and Lounge on 18th Street, NW is a great place to hang out and grab a drink and treat in the heart of Adams Morgan. A good choice for relaxing with friends. ( 
    • The Phillips Collection, on 21st Street, NW, is America’s first museum of modern art, located steps from Dupont Circle. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, check out their special exhibitions and after-hours programs. It’s off the beaten path from the Smithsonians, deeply connected to the neighborhood, and wonderful for quiet reflection during the day or a socializing at an evening program. ( 
    • O St Museum, located on O Street, NW. Explore one hundred rooms of an eclectic, ever-changing collection and find all eighty secret doors across five interconnected townhouses! Recommended for groups looking for an adventure. (
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