Cafés aside, it’s not easy to find a public restroom in DC’s Penn Quarter/Chinatown. There’s no department store in the area and you have to be inside the Regal Movie Theatre or the Verizon Center as a paying customer in order to use their restrooms. What’s a person to do in an emergency?
Relax. The National Portrait Gallery is your friend. It’s right in the heart of Penn Quarter and not as crowded as some of the other museums. The Gallery is free and you don’t have to have your bags checked by security.
There are restrooms on every level which means there’s not much, if any, wait. The restrooms are clean, bright and well-stocked. And while you make your way to the facilities, you have the opportunity to see some beautiful works of art. It’s possible to become so enthralled you might forget your planned trip to the movies or Ann Taylor shopping and, god forbid, avail yourself of some culture.
The only caveat is the hours—the Gallery is open daily from 11:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets, NW, DC 20001