I love Washington D.C. Partly because it is one of those cities that feels like home, partly because my sisters and grandmother still live in the surrounding area, partly because it is a gorgeous city. So many summers have been made memorable because of D.C. I always end up spending some time there, even if just a weekend. This year was almost the exception. With all the busyness of life and work, I honestly did not have any intention of heading up that way. Yet the draw of the city and the gentle pleading of my sisters won out and to D.C. I went. Just for a week, but a wonderful week it was. So, here is my top 10 things to do in the D.C. area in the summer (no certain order).
1. Screen on the Green for a picnic and an outdoor movie – everything I have read online says to get there early to claim a spot. With my sisters and me, there really is no getting any where early. We arrived right when we thought it would be starting and there was plenty of grassy space still unclaimed. The movie did not actually start until it began to get dark.
2. Citi Open – Citi Open was the whole reason I picked this week to visit DC. I am not really into watching sports on TV, but there is something so fun about watching a match in person.
3. Hiking the Billy Goat trail – any trail that has rock scrambling is my kind of trail
4. Biking the Capital Crescent trail from Bethesda to Georgetown always with a latte stop in Georgetown at Baked & Wired
5. Wolf Trap for an outdoor concert with a picnic – but the VA, MD, and DC area has a ton of free outdoor concerts throughout the summer
6. D.C. United game
7. Dumbarton Oaks for an afternoon stroll through the gardens and relaxing with a book. Make sure to check their schedule to see if they have any upcoming art installments in the gardens.
8. Polo match in Upperville or Middleburg with a picnic. And while you are there, wander along the streets of Middleburg. Seriously one of my favorite small towns ever. And if you want to linger, there is the cutest little bed and breakfast, The Ashby Inn, in Paris, Virginia with Sky Meadows State Park close by for hiking. Definite recommendation: staying in the school house
9. the Mall at night for a walk among the Memorials (and visiting during the day)
10. the National Portrait Gallery and if you visit on a Thursday afternoon, there are a slew of food trucks lined up – I love their collection, especially the pieces by Abbott Handerson Thayer.
But how can you just stop at ten. There is so much to do in the D.C. area that I absolutely love. Roosevelt Island for a run or walk. Biking all the way out to Mt. Vernon and then touring the grounds. The Air + Space museum is another favorite if you want to tour museums. The grounds of the National Cathedral and the cathedral itself are gorgeous and worth a visit.
Walking the streets of Georgetown; exploring the gardens of Georgetown. The grounds and museum of the Old Stone House are worth a stop, as it is the oldest standing building in DC and the only pre-revolutionary colonial home in Georgetown.
The waterfront in Georgetown for a run through the fountains.
Book Hill Park in Georgetown for a race up the steps and then reading at the top.
The shops along Wisconsin Avenue are some of the best in Georgetown in my opinion. Plus, Patisserie Poupon is one of our favorites for getting a drink and an almond croissant or crudité salad. But make sure to stop by Stachowski’s Market and Deli on 28th St NW too. And Cornucopia Specialty Food in Bethesda, MD.
Even though Le Pain Quotidien is a chain, it is a definite recommendation, and they have numerous locations in the area.
A drive out into the Maryland countryside, definite recommendation. Especially to Rocklands Farm.
We didn’t do all of these things during the week I was there. D.C. United was sold out. Manchester United was in town for a game but we didn’t end up going to that either. Wolf Trap did not have anything that made us want to go. The Polo matches were under way, but the bigger matches are more fun to go to later in the year. We talked about Dumbarton but there wasn’t time. Cornucopia was closed as the proprietor was on a trip to Italy…. But we fit in a surprising amount of things for a relaxing week. Now that I am home, all I can think is I am ready for my next trip up.