Six Ways to Experience DC this WeekendSeptember 20, 2017
Andrew J Quillen
Northern Virginians and Washingtonians love nothing more than their proximity to Washington, DC. It’s a source of pride, news, and, most importantly, activity. While choice is abundant in DC, it can sometimes be difficult to sift through it all when planning an exciting weekend adventure – that’s where I can help. If you’re looking to get off the couch, take a study break, and make some memorable moments this weekend, look no further. This brief piece will highlight a few activities for locals and visitors to enjoy.
1 – Brunch: A District Tradition
If you’re not familiar with DC’s brunch culture, then you’ve a new world to explore. DC is famous for its delectable brunch options (especially in the bottomless beverage arena). Here are three recommendations to get you started, but be sure to branch out and find your own favorites:
A – Belga Cafe – A cozy, scrumptious brunch spot serving incredible Euro-Belgian treats.
B – Birch & Barley – A delicious mix for any palate; the “Boozy Brunch” is a perfect combo.
C – District Commons – A fantastic menu of traditional brunch items with unique twists… and bottomless mimosas.
If you’d like more brunch blessings, check out Austin’s Grad Insider post.
2 – The Monuments at Night
If you’ve lived in the area for more than a week, you’ve likely participated in a night-escapade through DC’s monuments – if you haven’t, now’s your chance. You’ve no doubt been inspired by DC’s impressive monuments and vistas – seeing them at night is a whole new story. Plan to arrive on the National Mall around 10:00pm to begin your exploration. Take a few moments at the World War II Memorial to reflect, admire the striking beauty of the Capitol at night, and enjoy the long walk (or bike ride) to Lincoln’s seat. This adventure will undoubtedly become one of your fondest memories in the District. A helpful piece of advice is this: take your time and truly appreciate the views, company, and solitude of the Mall at night.
3 – Enjoy the Nightlife
You’ve probably heard of (or participated in) DC’s night culture. Three hotspots are Adams Morgan, Georgetown, and U-Street; they each have their quirks. U-Street is popular, vibrant, and home to the famous Howard Theater and 9:30 Club. Georgetown hosts a mix of students, professionals, tourists, and locals. Although bustling at night, Georgetown is a sure shot for a fun night. Adams Morgan is a fantastic fit for those with some energy to burn. It hosts a variety of late-night bars and clubs, as well as a number of all-night restaurants; Roofers Union is a great place to get started. As always, branch out and discover your favorite spots.
4 – The Kennedy Center
Whether you’re a local or new to town, you’re definitely familiar with the Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center is a hub of entertainment, art, and culture. It hosts performances from orchestras, to Broadway shows, to eclectic cultural performances– whatever your interest, you can find something there to see. Plus, students can get 50% off! If you’ve been before, go again soon; if not, what are you waiting for?
5 – Teddy Roosevelt Island
Teddy Roosevelt Island is a must-visit for everybody. Situated in the Potomac River between Georgetown and Arlington, it is an easily accessed national park for all. Although relatively small, the island has a lot to offer: walk the loop around the park, sit on the rocks jutting into the Potomac to watch the sunset, or visit the oddly Sovietesque monument of Teddy himself. While there, notice that although you’re in the city, it’s absurdly quiet on the island – minus the occasional airplane.
6 – Experience the National Cathedral and the Best View of DC
The National Cathedral is a gorgeous destination. The impressive design and gardens lend you to feel you stepped into a European town. While gorgeous on the outside, the high ceiling, stained glass, and impressive qualities make it stunning inside as well. The cherry on the cake is the tower. Hop to the top and enjoy one of the best views of DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Plus, there’re some impeccable restaurants nearby to try.
Whether you’re new to these escapades or have done them before, you should get out there and have a blast. While only a snapshot of DC’s offerings, this brief list will get you out of the house and into the city to make some unforgettable memories this weekend. With so much to offer nearby, DC is an unfailing font of fun for Northern Virginians and Washingtonians.
Looking for more? Check out some of Mason’s events in the area!
This blog post has been edited and updated to reflect current changes in information.
Edited by Sophie Gorshenin, 9/10/2018