McLean Robbins

Correspondent

  • Washington, D.C., USA

McLean Robbins is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent who lives in Washington, D.C. The freelance luxury lifestyle writer specializes in travel, hotels, spas, weddings and social media for national magazines and websites. Her work has appeared in publications including Robb Report, AOL, The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, DailyCandy and many more. She is also an experienced digital content and SEO strategist, working with businesses across the country to help develop engaging Web content. Robbins holds an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University.

  • On May 6, 2013
    Andi Berens is now following McLean Robbins
  • On May 1, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What is the best new restaurant in Washington D.C.?

    In a city once known for its meat-and-potatoes attitude towards food, Washington, D.C. has become a culinary capital to rival many of the United States’ most formidable food towns. While several restaurants open each week in Washington, none has generated more buzz in the past few weeks than the French Bistro inspired Le Diplomate – where Katy Perry recently caught a late night meal when she was in town for the White House Correspondents Dinner. Known for its traditional bistro atmosphere and dishes like Onion Soup Gratinee, Steak Frites and Escargots, the STARR restaurant group is fast becoming a must-visit. If you can get a reservation, that is.
  • On May 1, 2013
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  • On April 30, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What are the most unusual dining experiences in Washington D.C.?

    Washington, D.C. has a number of dining experiences that will whet the whistle of even the most jaded palate.
    Washington, D.C. is a city known for a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds. As a result, the town offers some of the world’s most unique and unusual dining experiences. Here are a few of our favorites:
    • Thai X-Ing – Located in a tiny basement in Shaw, this tasting menu-style Thai restaurant is one of the city’s view BYOB destinations and offers some of the city’s best Thai food in a setting that reminds guests of being in a native home.
    • Ethiopian Food – Washington boasts one of the country’s largest Thai populations. Be sure to try this African country’s native cuisine on your next visit to the city.
    • Rogue 24 – This 24-course tasting menu offers a journey through the world of molecular gastronomy. Similar to the equally impressive Minibar by Jose Andres, this Blagden Alley restaurant is considered one of the city’s finest and most unusual dining experiences.

    Of course, just about any cuisine, from fondue to French to Far Eastern, can be found in DC. We welcome you to try all that the city has to offer on your next visit. 
  • On April 30, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What are the hottest upcoming concerts in Washington D.C.?

    The Washington, D.C. area is a hotbed for music acts both large and small. From country to rock and roll, rap to indie folk, you’ll find it all at our small nightclubs and large-scale arenas alike. Here are the top concerts headed to the Washington, D.C. area in the next few months. Start planning your summer music experiences now:

    • Rush – May 7 – First Mariner Arena
    • Taylor Swift – May 11 & 12 – Verizon Center
    • Luke Bryan, Thompson Square, Florida Georgia Line – May 18 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Tim McGraw – June 1 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • New Kids on the Block & Boyz II Men – June 14 – Verizon Center
    • Bruno Mars – June 22 – Verizon Center
    • One Direction – June 23 – Verizon Center
    • Heart – June 25 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Kid Rrock – June 28 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Brad Paisley – June 29 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Train – July 12 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Lynyrd Skynyrd & Bad Company – July 14 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Blake Shelton – July 20 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Dave Matthews Band – July 27 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Miranda Lambert – July 28 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Jonas Brothers – July 29 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Beyonce – July 29 & 30  - Verizon Center
    • Justin Bieber – August 3 – Verizon Center
    • Jimmy Buffett – August 17 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Honda Civic Tour Featuring Maroon 5 – September 7 – Jiffy Lube Live
    • Pink – November 24 – Verizon Center
  • On April 30, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What is the one must-do activity when visiting Washington D.C.?



    Washington, D.C. has a wealth of activities for all ages, cultures and interests. From the White House to the Washington Monument, the best part about visiting Washington is that most of the best things to do in the city are free and open to the public. But if you’re only visiting Washington for one day and have just a few hours free, we’d suggest a visit to the famed National Mall. The home of our esteemed President is lovely, but one can only get so close to 1600 Pennsylvania. Spend an afternoon touring the Air & Space museum, the Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Art. You’ll see some of the world’s most unique artifacts, from ancient Egyptian mummies to Monet paintings, all in just a few block radius. It’s quintessential Washington, D.C. – and best of all, it’s free.
  • On April 30, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What are the best parks in Washington D.C.?

    Washington, D.C. is home to a large number of public parks, but a few are near and dear to our hearts. One of our favorites is Rock Creek Park, the city’s version of New York’s Central Park, with its wide running paths, beautiful forests, and striking water features. We also love Meridian Hill Park, located in Kalorama, where you can enjoy a spectacular waterfall, join an impromptu drum circle, or have a picnic in the sunshine.  Another must-visit spot is Great Falls, a national park located on two sides of the city (Maryland and Virginia). We’d suggest a visit to the Maryland side for challenging yet fun hiking and beautiful water views.
  • On April 30, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What are the best free museums in Washington D.C.?

    Visitors to Washington are lucky – nearly all of the city’s museums are free and open to the public. The Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall are popular tourist destinations and definitely among the area’s best free museum destinations. We’d also suggest the less-visited but no less impressive Portrait Gallery and Museum of American Art in Chinatown and the Renwick Gallery, also part of the Smithsonian collection, located just beside the White House. If you’re visiting Washington, D.C. for just a short while, don’t miss the “Big Three,” which includes the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Museum of American History and the Air and Space Museum.
  • On April 30, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What restaurants have the best views in Washington D.C.?

    Dining with the best views of the Washington, D.C. skyline must take place on one of the city’s famed rooftop restaurants and bars. Some of our favorites include the kitschy yet enjoyable Lauriol Plaza, a Mexican restaurant in Adams Morgan, the popular Latin fusion Masa 14 and its sister restaurant El Centro D.F. in Logan Circle, and the Asian-inspired Zentan at the Donovan House in Thomas Circle. All of these restaurants offer popular rooftop decks for dining and drinking that offer impressive views of some of the most iconic sites in Washington, D.C.
  • On April 25, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What are the best bookstores in Washington D.C.?

    Washington is a haven for book lovers and offers several wonderful bookstores for pleasure reading and research alike. This comes as no surprise – the Washington, D.C. area boasts one of the most highly-educated populations in the United States.

    Here are a few of our favorites:

    Politics & Prose
    Known for offering a heavy selection of locally-written titles, Politics and Prose is equally known as a bookstore and a destination to hear prominent local and national authors speak. Considered a Washington, D.C. staple, the store is located on Connecticut Avenue in Van Ness.

    Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café
    Located in Dupont Circle, this incredibly popular bookstore-café combination boasts late hours and a loyal following. The well-stacked selection of fiction and nonfiction is second only to the delicious food. Many a local romance has started over a cup of coffee here!
  • On April 25, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What are the best family hotels in Washington D.C.?

    Washington, D.C. is a popular place to visit as a family, and as a result, many of the city’s best hotels cater to parents traveling with kids. Nearly all luxury hotels in the city offer connecting rooms and some sort of welcome amenity for younger travelers, but here are a few of our favorites – all of which also happen to be Forbes rated properties!

    At the St. Regis Washington, D.C., children not only enjoy a welcome amenity, but access to the concierge who can organize special tours and events just for kids.

    Visitors to the Four Seasons Washington, D.C. and the Ritz-Carlton (both the Downtown and the Georgetown) property also enjoy dedicated welcome amenities for children, as well as special kids friendly restaurant and in-room dining menus.
  • On April 25, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What should I pack for a trip to Washington D.C.?

    Packing for a visit to Washington, D.C. isn’t much different from visiting any other major U.S. city. First, we’d suggest you check the weather. In any given week, Washington’s temperatures can fluctuate, particularly in the early spring, between late March and early to mid-May. One day you’ll have temperatures in the high 70s and another in the mid 50s.

    You’ll want to remember comfortable shoes, as Washington is a highly walk-able city, and historic areas like Georgetown and Capitol Hill have brick or cobblestone streets that can wreak havoc on high heels.

    Dress for most museums and monuments is casual, but many of Washington’s restaurants cater to the businessman and business traveler. While jackets and ties aren’t necessary, a “business casual” look for dinner is appropriate for most restaurants.

    You’ll definitely want to bring along your camera as well, as the city offers many of the East Coast’s finest and most iconic views!
  • On April 22, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What are some things to know before visiting Washington D.C.?

    Before visiting Washington, D.C., here are a few things travelers should know:

    Transportation
    The Washington, D.C. area has three major airports – BWI, IAD and DCA. The first two are considered “international” airports and offer the largest number of flights. In some cases, these airports may be cheaper to fly in and out of  because low cost carriers like Southwest have more frequent flights from these gateway cities. DCA, however, is the closest airport to Washington, D.C. (about a $20 cab to anywhere in the city) and is also connected to public transport. IAD, by contrast, is a $50-$60 cab, and BWI is about $100. Consider the added cost of transportation when booking your ticket.

    Weather
    Washington is hot and humid in the summer, and cold in the winter. Just like many other Mid-Atlantic cities, you’ll want to check the weather forecast just before visiting – we have frequent temperature shifts.

    Getting Around
    When using the public transportation – Metro – remember the cardinal rule for visitors. Stand on the right, and walk on the left. If you’re walking, the city is generally laid out in a grid, with street numbers running North-South, lettered streets running East-West and streets named after states running on the diagonal.
  • On March 26, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What are the best rooftop bars in Washington D.C.?

    When it comes to Washington, D.C. rooftop bars, only one stands out: P.O.V. at the W Hotel. This quintessentially "Washington" rooftop bar is ideal for locals and visitors alike. Open year-round, the lounge and bar offers everything from brunch to late night cocktail favorites, plus bites from the hotel's Jean-Georges menu. Sip creative and seasonally-changing cocktails, look down over the White House lawn, and enjoy inspiring views of the Washington monument. Just beware: drinks are expensive and the servers aren't exactly friendly. In fact, they're often downright snotty. But even their sourpuss attitudes can't spoil the amazing view. 
  • On March 26, 2013
    McLean Robbins answered the question: McLean Robbins

    What is the one must-do activity when visiting Washington D.C.?

    Really, we have to pick just ONE? There's so much to do in Washington, D.C. that fitting a must-do down into one thing is torture. But if we had to pick, it would be a walk through the memorials and monuments, with perhaps a stop at the museums of the National Mall. Sure, it sounds touristy, but it's the one quintessentially Washington activity that never gets old. We'd start our afternoon at one of the museums -- your choice, although we're partial to the National Gallery of Art -- and then work our way at sunset down to the memorials. Lincoln and Jefferson always inspire us, but if you have a bit more time, try a lesser-visited memorial like the one for FDR. We guarantee you'll leave feeling a sense of history and place that just about any other attraction in Washington D.C. doesn't offer.