Washington, DC. What to do this summer.
The city in summer.
In my opinion, Washington, DC is unique, in that for a city, you really do have such a VAST panorama of attractions, outdoor activities, and in general, freedom of movement, freedom of action and activity. You don’t have that stuffy city feel that you sometimes get in other cities around the US. That’s one of the reasons I love the city so much and why a lot of the patients we see here love the city so much. It’s that “wide open” feel. Summer in the city just brings out the best the city has to offer. People playing pick-up games of various sports on the Mall, tourists and natives alike enjoying the museums, paddle-boats in the basin, biking along the C & O Canal, a stroll through Rock Creek Park. All of these things available within the city limits.
Well, you haven’t really BEEN to Washington, DC unless you’ve explored the plethora of museums our fine city has to offer. Ok, I guess it IS possible that you have actually been located in Washington, DC geographically speaking, but, if you have yet to see the museums, your missing out. Big time. From the Natural History Museum to the National Gallery of Art, there really is something for just about anyone. The Smithsonian Institute is recognized as “the world’s largest museum and research complex” and includes over 19 museums and galleries, not to mention the National Zoo. They don’t stop there, currently under construction is the new African American History and Culture Museum being built right now next to the Washington Monument. The Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia is one of the newest and is not far away from DC.
Here’s a nice image found on the Smithsonian Institutes website:
A hop skip and a jump away from the main concentration of museums you’ll also find the National Botanical Garden, which is located very close to the US Capitol. There are also other museums located around the city, the Spy Museum and the Newseum to name a couple. All are fun, all are interactive, and all a great way to spend some time exploring in the summer. The National Zoo has events year around, the summer is full of fun things to do there!
While you’re out there exploring those museums, if you’re in any way an American History buff, you can’t take a step outside in downtown without stubbing your toe on a statue, and those statues are quite beautiful. Especially the ones over by Memorial Bridge, which were a gift from Italy to the United States.
I’ve heard tell by a number of people that the music scene in Washington, DC was, well, lacking. I have found that this couldn’t be further from the truth! From DC9 to the Black Cat, music abounds in the city. Down on H street where the hipsters “hip”, over to the Kennedy Center where the opera and classical enthusiasts “enthuse”, you really can find what you’re looking for, music-wise, right in the area. Heck, we just had a Bluegrass Festival the other day!
For those who want to experience the diverse culture that DC has to offer, I’d like to point out that various embassies around Washington, DC have events, regularly. You can attend a French Ball for instance, or go dancing at the Ukrainian embassy to scores played by a live band.
There is even a ball being held directly on the Mall proper with dinner, music, dancing, drinking…everything! The proceeds of which go to The Trust for the National Mall.
Outdoorsie? No problem!
All around Washington, DC, as well as in the city proper there are gorgeous trails, water ways, hikes and other outdoor activities.
The city is home to quite a lot of parks. Each of them remarkable in their own right. Just strolling around downtown you will run into some very gorgeous ones. From the Rock Creek Park to the DuPont Circle park, where I’m writing this now. Go for a stroll, play chess, or just sit in the sun with your Starbucks, reading a book. Down on the C & O Canal you can rent bikes, kayaks, or just take a stroll down the beautiful expanse of waterway. Speaking of waterways, the Georgetown harbor is an incredible escape for the weary city-dweller, and you’re not even really out of the city! Further away you have the Great Falls National park to explore the falls in all their splendor and get that nice mist to cool you off on the hottest days of summer.
Some remaining bits of the incredibly gorgeous cherry blossoms are still available along the basin as well. To see these in full bloom, you usually have to check them out early to mid March.
Go even further out and you have Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park. Voted one of the most scenic drives in the US. You have the Appalachian Trail not too far down 66 West. World class climbing just a few hours away in West Virginia. The list goes on.
I hope I’ve given you some things to look forward to this summer that you might have not known about, and I hope you take advantage of them! You can always comment with any other’s that you feel people should know about as well!
Stay healthy my friends…and have a really fun-filled summer!