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Allison Janney’s Tips for Visiting Washington D.C.

The former West Wing actress and recent Rosewood Curator reveals what she loves most about the nation’s capital city

In her latest role as Tonya Harding’s chain-smoking stage mom in I, Tonya opposite Margot Robbie, Allison Janney is anything but warm. However, in her new role as a brand ambassador for Rosewood Hotels, the award-winning actress is spreading warmth and hospitality to the masses.

In particular, Janney recommends the Rosewood Washington D.C., where she stays whenever she visits the Capitol – a city with which she developed a close bond while playing press secretary C.J. Cregg on the hit political drama The West Wing. “Working on a show like The West Wing, I felt like that was a passport to D.C.,” Janney says. “We showed the Camelot version of what goes on in Washington, and people were really grateful for what we were doing. I always felt I had a sense of belonging.”

Here, Janney shares with us her favorite D.C. activities.

Soaking in the European flair

“If I had to describe Washington in three words, I would say history, beauty and elegance,” says Janney. “It has a very European feel to it, so you can stay right here in the States and get a European flavor from the beauty of L’Enfant’s design for the city,” she adds, referring to D.C. architect Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant.

Seeing the monuments at night

Visiting the National Mall at night is “one of the most iconic experiences you can have,” says Janney. “It’s spectacular, the way they’re lit, and the history. It’s a must.”

Touring the White House

Janney recommends visitors return to C.J.’s stomping grounds by visiting the White House and Capitol Building. The latter’s massive dome is once again visible after two years hidden under scaffolding for a multimillion dollar renovation.

Shopping on M Street

Georgetown’s main street, lined with 19th-century buildings that now house a mix of one-of-a-kind local boutiques and international designers, is where Janney goes for retail therapy. She makes a day of it by visiting the nearby campus of Georgetown University as well.

Strolling through Shaw

On the eastern end of U Street, Shaw is Janney’s favorite neighborhood to wander by foot. She recommends stopping by its restaurants and bars, which have a “warm, intimate feel.”

World-class dining

Washington has of late become one of the nation’s leading food cities. Janney makes sure to eat at Rose’s Luxury—chef Aaron Silverman’s ode to New American cuisine with a cultish following— and Komi, a prix-fixe Mediterranean restaurant.  “It’s my go to for special occasions.”

Museum hopping

Washington is home to more than 70 museums. Janney’s two favorites? The Phillips Collection, with its well curated exhibits of American and European modern art, and The National Portrait Gallery. “It’s home to great Americana and has an enclosed terrace that’s a perfect spot for lunch.”

Visiting the Kennedy Center

Janney is a frequent visitor to The Kennedy Center, where she received her Actors’ Equity card for her role opposite Richard Thomas in the play Citizen Tom Paine. “It was an extraordinary time in my life,” she recalls. This year, the Center’s program includes centennial celebrations of Leonard Bernstein and Ingmar Bergman, performances by the likes of Leslie Odom Jr. and Cynthia Erivo, and last but not least (and of particular interest to Washingtonians), a run of Hamilton.

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