If you’re anything like me, then you’ve recently found yourself living in Washington, D.C., for the summer with a job/internship and no idea what the city offers.
While watching the fourth season of Arrested Development may seem like a good use of your free time for now, soon you will find yourself out of new episodes with a Netflix charge on your debit account and the need to get out of your apartment. But have no fear; here is a list of ten awesome things to add to your Summer Bucket list while down in the District for the summer:
Located in walking distance of the capital, Eastern market is D.C.’s oldest fresh food public market still in operation. With a variety of vendors who sell delicious food, fresh flours, antiques, collectables, vintage goods, and original arts and crafts, it offers something for everyone. Plus on Sundays in May and June, musicians from around the Washington area play variety music, so you get a free concert to boot.
Whether or not you are a fan of some other baseball team, nothing is quite like buying a hot dog and relaxing with America’s Favorite Pastime. Plus with tickets starting at $10 (yes that’s right — ten dollars), it won’t break the bank.
No matter what your taste in music is, there will always be great live music acts going on all over the district. If you’re into more indie, alternative bands, then check out the line-ups at the 9:30 Club or the Black Cat. If you are into a wider variety of music (rock, jazz, folk, etc.) try some of the live concerts venues such as NoMa (North of Massachusetts Avenue) and Fort DuPont Summer Theater (on Minnesota Avenue).
Although not technically not in Washington, D.C., sometimes it's important to get out of the city for the day. There is no better place than Old Town Alexandria. With a great variety of shops and restaurants (if you like tapas, you’ve got to check out Las Tapas restaurant), it’s an excellent way to kill an afternoon.
In the mood for a lively activity that doesn’t require running around the monuments in the oppressive DC heat (though if you are into running, here are some awesome trails to try.
Try kayaking on the Potomac as well. While definitely a cooler alternative, just make sure you don’t fall in.
If you want a relaxing movie night combined with a night out in the city, grab a bunch of friends and check out the DC outdoor film series roundup. Not only will classic movies like E.T. and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory be screened out on the national mall, but there are also other screenings occurring all over the city (like NoMa, Capital Riverfront, U Street, Rosslyn, Arlington, and Bethesda) for those who don’t want to travel too far away from home.
Although, as a Georgetown University student, I may be somewhat biased, Georgetown is definitely one of the best places to walk around in the city. With a diverse variety of shops, restaurants, and cupcake places (tip: if you want to avoid overcrowded tourist locations, ditch Georgetown Cupcake and head further down M street to Baked & Wired. The cupcakes are a lot larger, and you don’t have to wait in line for a half an hour). Plus, it’s nearby the waterfront, so if you are tired of walking around you can hang out in the park, watch a sailing race, and relax.
Note: Looking for cool places to eat in Georgetown? I strongly recommend places like Paulos, Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Bangkok Joes, and, of course, The Tombs.
Are you in the mood for being culturally enriched and don’t mind massive numbers of middle school students and tour groups? Then be sure to check out the Smithsonian Museums. No matter how many times you return they are always presenting new and fascinating exhibits that make for a good afternoon. Although there are enough museums at the National Mall to consume a few days worth of exploring, if you are operating on budgeted time be sure to check out the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, The National Museum of American History, and the National Gallery of Art. Plus admission is free (which is never a bad thing).
If you’re looking for a chill night of hanging out with your friends and still are not feeling artistically enhanced after a day at the Smithsonian Museums, then stop by any of the four locations of Busboys and Poets located all around D.C. Whether or not you are a poetry performer, you can always sit back and relax with a glass of wine or a latte and observe the pieces enacted by some of the District’s more creatively inclined.
Then again, if poetry really isn’t your thing and you are of legal age, you can always check out the multitude of bars located all around the District. From interactive Karaoke bars, to nightclubs and more serene locations, D.C. offers them all. While I may not be able to speak on this subject with too much authority, here is a list constructed by the editor at Thrillist.com of the best bars in D.C. Just make sure that you don’t have too much “fun” and get to work on time in the morning.
And hey, if these selections still don’t interest you, you still have that Netflix subscription.