Inauguration Preview: Where to Be in D.C.

Inauguration Preview: Where to Be in D.C.
Washington by night
Giulio Marcocchi/Sipa; Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

01/17/2009 AT 03:15 PM EST

With the presidential inauguration just days away – and stars like Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez and Scarlett Johansson poised to descend on the nation's capital – PEOPLE.com presents a guide to Washington, D.C., hot spots for those who want to see and be seen – and those who prefer to monitor the fun from home.

DINING WITH THE STARS

Washington might be better know for its politics than its food, but there are scrumptious eats you won’t want to miss. Question No. 1: Where does Barack Obama eat? For one dinner last week, it was Ben’s Chili Bowl, where the President-elect chowed down just last week. For a more decadent night out, try Oya, where Diddy and Kim Kardashian have dined, or The Palm, the scene of a recent power dinner hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker.

Celebrity chef Art Smith, best known as Oprah’s personal cook, owns the swank Art & Soul. And after a day of sightseeing, there’s no better reward than a beautifully crafted cupcake at Georgetown Cupcake. Just ask Russell Crowe!

HOTEL HOTSPOTS

Though booking a room in D.C. is nearly impossible with crowds flocking to the city, you can still check out the lobby scene at Donovan House, the hipster hangout where Samantha Ronson likes to crash or for old-school elegance, you can’t beat Ben Affleck’s favorite, the Four Seasons. And rumor has it George Clooney likes to unwind at the Ritz-Carlton.

CAPITAL RETAIL ROUNDUP

For sensational shopping, all roads lead to Georgetown, the neighborhood where Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Garner and the Bush daughters bop around for fashionable finds. The colonial-era quarter's chic M Street is home to Cusp (where Nicole Richie has been spotted) to Annie Creamcheese (Victoria Beckham is a fan). If you’re a shoe enthusiast, walk your way to the Steve Madden store, where Mya has shopped till she dropped.

WHERE TO GET GLAM

Erwin Gomez Salon is the hair (and eyebrow!) destination for everyone from Rosario Dawson to Jennifer Lopez. The SkinCeuticals facial, offered at the Hela Spa in Chevy Chase, Md., has found fans in Uma Thurman and Renée Zellweger. Meanwhile, Vanessa Hudgens gets her mani-pedis at the ultra-chic Andre Chreky Salon, but book in advance – even after the inauguration has come and gone!

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