Explore Washington D.C.

A Perfect Day in Washington: Nova Payton's Itinerary

The singer-actress shares some of her favorite spots for dining, shopping, theater and family bonding.

This Washington native and stage star relishes fashion finds, a subterranean jazz club and checking out "creepy crawlies" with son Micah.

Nova Payton
Nova Payton (Courtesy Arena Stage)

Morning: Breakfast at Smokey’s

After an egg white-vegetable omelette and turkey bacon there (4714 14th St. NW), I’d head to Carter Barron fields (16th and Kennedy sts. NW) to watch Micah play soccer.

Midday: A Date in Penn Quarter

Micah enjoys the chicken fingers at Clyde’s, then maybe a movie at the Gallery Place multiplex. Or we go to his favorite museum—Natural History—to see the bug zoo and the newfound T-Rex, getting a public cleaning this summer.

Clyde's
Clyde's (©Ron Blunt, Courtesy Clyde's Group)

Afternoon: Solo Shopping

With time to myself, I head to Friendship Heights where Nordstrom Rack has great deals on shoes, clothes and jewelry. I also go to Mazza Gallerie and Lord & Taylor but no discounts there!

Evening: Dinner and a Show

Signature Theatre, the homebase of Eric Schaeffer in Arlington, Virginia, always puts a fresh spin on its shows. I’ve enjoyed performing there in musicals and in my solo cabarets. Sometimes I stop across the street at Busboys and Poets (also downtown) for salmon on top of spinach and wheatberry salad with quinoa on the side.

Signature Theatre
Signature Theatre (©Brooke Sabin)

Late Night: Old Haunts

It’s fun to go to the legendary club Bohemian Caverns at 11th and U streets. Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Miles Davis played there long ago. Now on Monday nights, a jazz orchestra takes the stage, and I sometimes claim the open mike.

Read our Q&A with Nova.