In case you didn’t already know, our products are made in DC, and we have a lot of pride for it! We love being located in DC for all of the creative minds, entrepreneurial spirits, and people with a shared passion for their city. Whether you are from out of town, are new to DC, or have lived in DC for awhile, this list includes ten non-touristy, must-dos for a summer in DC.
- Visit the monuments at night – Yes, visiting the monuments during the daytime in the summer, along with the other thousands of tourists, would be considered a “touristy” thing to do. Visiting the monuments at night, however, when they are all light up against the dark sky, is quite an amazing sight to see. Not only can you actually see the monuments without hoards of people crowding around them, you can actually enjoy the view. Nighttime also brings a relief from the summer heat and humidity. Whether you are visiting DC from out of town or you’re a local that hasn’t done so, seeing the monuments at night is a must-do!
- Jazz in the Garden – Every Friday evening from 5-8:30PM until August 23rd, the National Gallery invites the community to the sculpture garden for food, drink and jazz, ranging from African fusion and go-go, to New Orleans Dixieland and salsa. We recommend getting a pitcher of their delicious sangria and spreading out on a blanket with friends to enjoy the music.
- Happy hour – Hitting up the hippest bars after a long day at work is a popular activity for young professionals in DC. There are endless options when it comes to happy hour destinations – this article by the Washingtonian lists a number of great ones to start with! One place the article doesn’t mention that is certainly worth trying is the Kennedy Center, which hosts rooftop happy hours on Thursdays. Here, you’ll see stunning views of the monuments, performances by contemporary artists, and can sample free tastings from local breweries.
- Farmer’s markets – There are farmer’s markets that take place all over the city, including the two biggest in Dupont Circle and Columbia Heights. Our favorite part about farmer’s markets is the free samples, but they’re also great for fresh produce, artisan food items, live music, and people watching! Here is a list of dates and locations for markets taking place in 2019.
- Smorgasburg DC – Credited as the largest outdoor food market in the world, Smorgasburg, which originated in Brooklyn, has recently been brought to DC’s Navy Yard. Every Saturday, about 35 vendors set up shop in Tingey Plaza, bringing all kinds of food from tacos to bao buns, from hot chicken to yakitori, and more. Whether you’re there to chow down or to hang out in the beer garden with friends, this is the perfect place to experience the great variety of cuisines that DC has to offer.
- Culture House DC – Formerly known as Blind Whino, the art community has taken an abandoned church, covered it in psychedelic paint and opened its doors to both international and local artists as a space for creation, collaboration and exhibition of art. At Culture House, they are dedicated to providing a functional art space for everyone in the community to enjoy art in its many forms through exhibits, events, live performances, and artist workshops. You can check out their website for upcoming events here.
- Artechouse – At Artechouse, they combine art, science and technology to create an immersive creative experience, and invite visitors to become part of the art. They provide unique, multimedia exhibits utilizing light and sound. Make sure to book your tickets ahead of time on their website!
- Go to a show or concert – DC has amazing venues for shows and concerts, including Union Stage, the Black Cat, 9:30 Club, Anthem, Lincoln Theater, Miracle Theater, and more. During the summer, at the smaller locations the shows tend to be inexpensive or even free, and there are plenty of outdoor locations to enjoy as well. Here is a full list of all music related events happening in DC this summer!
- Enjoy an outdoor movie – There are many venues in DC for watching films in the outdoors. For example, Georgetown has a “sunset cinema” set up in the Waterfront Park on the Potomac River on Saturday nights – perfect for enjoying the sunset while watching a classic flick. Here is a list of all the locations for watching outdoors films in DC.
- Watch the planes fly overhead at Gravelly Point Park – Last but not least, this is an incredibly underrated and unique experience DC has to offer. Gravelly Point Park is only hundreds of feet away from Ronald Reagan National Airport, and is situated just off of George Washington Memorial Parkway on the Potomac River. The park itself is a field with a free parking lot and some picnic tables, but if you bring a picnic blanket and some snacks, it is the perfect viewing spot for watching planes land and take off. The planes are so close, it looks like you can reach out and touch them!
We hope this has inspired you to go out and enjoy all of the amazing things DC has to offer with friends and family this summer!