The Washingtonian is noted for its detailed coverage of area professionals, businesses, and places. Such rankings have included top physicians, top places to dine, and top neighborhoods. Each issue also features listings of the latest fine entertainment, fine arts, and museum exhibits. Classified listings of prestigious real estate, and illustrated coverage of society social events are included in each issue. Feature articles include frank exposés and in-depth profiles of local institutions, politicians, businessmen, academics, and philanthropists, suggestions for weekend getaway trips, and reality stories of local citizens enduring personal problems and tragedies which might also befall the readers.
The Washingtonian is read each month by more than 400,000 people, who spend an average of 96 minutes with each issue and save each issue for an average of five months. The Washingtonian has won five National Magazine Awards.
In August 2009 the Washingtonian announced that Garrett Graff would replace longtime editor John A. Limpert as editor-in-chief. Limpert is currently editor-at-large. Graff left in 2014 and was replaced by Micael Schaffer.
The Washingtonian is family-owned. The former CEO was Philip Merrill (1934–2006), who was succeeded as chairman by his wife, Eleanor; their daughter Catherine Merrill Williams is the president and publisher.