About Renee Sklarew

I’m a freelance writer living in the Washington DC Area, who has written about destinations, recreation and food culture since 2007. My work appears regularly in print and online publications—including The Washington Post Travel  , AAA Traveler Worldwise  Virginia Living Magazine, Northern Virginia Magazine, FoodieTravelUSA.com and Getaways for Grownups.

In addition to my journalistic pursuits, I am a photographer and my images have been in countless publications and seen online. I am a tour leader and presenter for Smithsonian Associates.  I served as editor for “Oh Ranger” Guides published by the American Park Network. I provide images and blog posts for Destination DC, the Washington DC visitors bureau. I worked as an Inspector for ForbesTravelGuide.com researching and describing their four and five diamond hotels and restaurants in the MidAtlantic. I am the Dining Editor for VivaTysons and VivaReston Magazines. Read my story about New Orleans 300th Anniversary here. I’ve also had features in Fodors.com  For more links to my work, read on.

For 2020, I did a thorough revamp of the Unofficial Guide to Washington DC.  The book offers practical advice on how to navigate DC’s best attractions, find affordable hotels, as well as choose convenient transportation in and around DC. You can order the new edition online at Amazon. An earlier edition won “Best Travel Guidebook of 2016” from the Eastern Chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).

The Unofficial Guide to Washington DC’s new cover for 2020
60 WashDC_3ed

My book 60 Hikes With 60 Miles of Washington DC co-written with Rachel Cooper is available on Amazon.  To read about some of the region’s best hikes check out Facebook  and this blog post . My hiking book was featured in the Washington Post Express. 

I serve as the Active at Large for the Eastern Chapter of Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). My features have appeared in a wide variety of publications and websites including  DC Examiner, Adventure Biking, Running Times, Park & Recreation Magazine, Maryland Life.I also published a chapter in Chicken Soup for the Soul Stay at Home Moms and a monthly column in Northern Virginia Magazine  called “Kin” from September 2006 until August 2012 which delved into challenges faced by parents including mental health issues, adoption, divorce and nutrition.

As a photography enthusiast, my photos have appeared in Boston Globe, USAToday, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, The Washington Post, VivaTysons, AOL Travel and Northern Virginia Magazine.

In 2008, the Virginia Press Award for Lifestyle Writing recognized my September 2008 cover story (co-written with Kathryn McKay) on traveling the region: “High Tech to Low Country.”  “Why I Love My Hometown” was a winner in The Washington Post’s essay challenge.


The Unofficial Guide of Washington DC was awarded “Best Travel Guidebook of 2016” at the Eastern Conference of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)  judged by the University of North Carolina School of Journalism.

In 2008, the Virginia Press Award for Lifestyle Writing recognized my September 2008 cover story (co-written with Kathryn McKay) on traveling the region: “High Tech to Low Country.”  “Why I Love My Hometown” was a winner in The Washington Post’s essay challenge.

Education and Career Experience

I graduated from Indiana University in English and Journalism, and worked in television at Entertainment Tonight (New York Bureau), then in radio in St Louis’s news and sports radio station KMOX. I moved onto communications and development for nonprofit health organizations, including the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University, Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Maryland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. I served as Executive Director of the Combined Health Appeal of the National Capital Area. I attended Catholic University’s graduate program for a Masters in Social Work.


I grew up in Potomac, Maryland where I developed my deep love for the city of Washington DC. During my childhood, my family lived in Zurich, Switzerland and London, England as well. My passion for travel developed early, as my family and I explored new places. As an adult I lived in New York, St. Louis and Colorado Springs. When I visit a place, I love walking the streets, sampling native delicacies, and meeting locals. For the last several years, my extended family has gone on holiday together, and consequently, I’ve learned a lot about what works for multigenerational travel.

To contact me please write to reneesklarew@msn.com

5 thoughts on “About Renee Sklarew

    • 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


  1. I’m happy to have found your blog, Renee. I’ve already read some of your posts and I look forward to exploring more of your nice blog.
    – Amor

    PS. Your kids are so supportive! 🙂


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