There’s more to our nation’s capital than the outpouring of political news. In fact, one of the best ways to escape the torrent of breaking updates and seemingly inescapable political happenings, is to venture into Washington, DC, itself, for some summertime fun. We invite you to head on down to the District, tune out, and have a wonderful little summer getaway; and we’ve hand-selected some of our favorite DC activities for those traveling with or without kids.
We’re big fans of all that the Smithsonian Institute does, but one of our favorite offerings from one of the nation’s most prominent museums, is the National Zoo. Sure, it’s a great half-day outing for families visiting DC, but childless travelers will enjoy it just as much. Exhibits tend to be very matter-of-factly named, but for good reason. The “Small Mammal House” obviously houses small mammals like the golden lion tamarin, a variety of hedgehogs, and a family of meerkats and is accordingly a fan favorite. Plus you have the zoo staples: elephants, giant cats, gorillas, and the like. For added outdoor enjoyment, take a hike through nearby Rock Creek Park after your visit.
If your idea of a good time in DC factors in less walking, and more consuming delicious Maryland crabs, then perhaps you’ll be better served by grabbing a table at Ivy City Smokehouse Tavern. There you’ll be able to grab some fresh, local seafood, an ice cold beer, and listen to live music at this neighborhood favorite.
To work off a hearty meal of Chesapeake crab, an afternoon out on the Potomac is a necessity. The Key Bridge Boathouse — located in DC’s gorgeous Georgetown neighborhood — offers stand-up paddleboard and kayak rentals, along with a beautiful series of waterways to explore. Take in the monuments from a watery vantage point via the Potomac, or slip into the C&O Canal for a more tranquil experience.
Just as a visit to the zoo can be taxing, so too can a day on the water. For a less physically demanding afternoon or evening, what could be more positively American than catching a professional baseball game in our nation’s capital? Nationals Park is located near a slew of great eateries and watering holes, so you can really make a day of visiting the ballpark. Or if you’re bringing the kiddos, you really can’t go wrong with bringing a glove, grabbing some popcorn, and vying to catch a fly ball — no guarantees on catching one though!
After long days spent strolling around the zoo, indulging in oysters, cheering for the home (or visiting, I suppose) team, and paddling around the Potomac, we highly recommend unwinding with a relaxing night at the theater. The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage offers free performances nightly at 6:00p. And for much of August, the Shakespeare Theatre Company hosts daily, open-to-all performances of Othello.
This is just a peak at what DC has to offer to summertime visitors. If these particular suggestions don’t speak to you, then check our Washington DC programs and experiences by clicking here or drop us a line here — we’d love the chance to help you plan your perfect vacation!