About Renee Sklarew

Traveling. Dining.

Exploring. Telling Stories.

Renee Sklarew is a native Washingtonian who enjoys exploring her city’s many attractions, including its parks and trails. She’s lived in five states and three countries, but for her, there’s no place she’d rather call home than her beloved Washington D.C.

Renee developed a love for travel while living abroad in Zurich, and London – and she continues that tradition by traveling with her husband and two daughters to all corners of the world. She’s been a lifelong hiking enthusiast — taking every opportunity to explore the trails around the Nation’s Capital and America’s National Parks.

She is the author of The Unofficial Guide to Washington DC and co-author of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Washington D.C. and Fodor’s Washington DC Guidebook. These books are the inspiration behind a tour series she led with Smithsonian Associates.

Renee has published numerous travel articles and photos in newspapers and magazines, including The Boston Globe, AAA World Magazine and The Washington Post, and she has been featured on travel lifestyle podcasts. Her story in AAA World won the Best Family Travel category from the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Eastern Conference in 2022.

She regularly reviews restaurants and hotels for a variety of publications.

Read her stories about weekend getaways and bucket-list destinations in Fodors.com, AAA Traveler Worldwise, Virginia Living and Northern Virginia Magazine.



I’m experienced in photographing destinations and food and have had my images published in world-class media outlets including The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Fodor’s Travel, Forbes and AAA.

Food Writing

Writing about food and restaurants came to me naturally after decades of dining out and experimenting in the kitchen. I’ve written hundreds of restaurant stories and am especially interested in food culture. Lately, I’ve been testing out a wide array of spices and prepared everything from Afghan Pilau to Laotian Oyster Mushroom Larb. Thanks to my Italian-American parents, I can also whip up a hearty bowl of pasta and meatballs for a crowd.

Content Creator

I’m a content creator and have contributed blog posts, photos and travel guides for several Destination Marketing Operations, including Destination DC, Visit Arlington, Visit Loudoun County, Southwest Virginia, Abingdon, Virginia; the Shenandoah Valley and Shelby County, KY.


I’ve served as an expert on visiting and exploring the Greater Washington D.C. Area for Smithsonian Associates and in several podcasts – The Not Old, Better Show; Explore The World Travel Show; and The Unofficial Guide to Washington D.C. Podcast. I’ve led three Smithsonian tours of the Washington region inspired by my book: 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Washington D.C.

A family trip to Switzerland, revisiting Renee’s favorite towns from her childhood.

Let’s make something together.

6 Comments Leave a comment

    • Greetings Niki, fellow hiker and phenomenal blogger! Thank you for mentioning the rewrite on 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Washington DC. I would love to talk to you about your impressions of various hikes around the area. We are whittling down the list, and would like to add new ones and possibly drop old ones. If you’re available please email me so we can connect via phone. reneesklarew@gmail.com


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