This weekend, I accomplished 3 DC firsts. These were 3 quintessentially “DC” things to do, that I hadn’t done in my 16 years in the place I call home:

  • Visited the farmers’ markets in the Eastern Market/Capitol Hill area
  • Cherry Blossom Festival at the Tidal Basin
  • Jazz on U Street (Bohemian Caverns, unique atmosphere, good food, great music)

It made me think about all the other things I haven’t discovered in this amazing city and the surrounding area, which inspired me to compile a sort of “bucket list” but for the summer. This is going to be a live list that I’d like to tick off and blog about as I accomplish these things.

The criteria for the list are as follows:

  • Must happen in the DC Metro Area (or within a 2 hour drive)
  • Must not take more than a day to complete (most activities will be a few hours at most)
  • Indoor or Outdoor, doesn’t matter
  • Preferably something more unique to DC (watching movies doesn’t count)
  • If I haven’t done it in 2-3 years, it counts.

Without further ado, the list (in no particular order):

  • Ride the Capital Crescent Bike Trail
  • Ride the Beach Drive Bike Trail
  • Ride the Mount Vernon Bike Trail
  • At least 1 restaurant on DCFoodies’ list of favorites
  • Go to the top of the Washington Monument
  • White House (sober, during the day, and not when on one of my introspective drives at 2am)
  • National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center (near Dulles Airport)
  • Dupont Circle Farmers Market
  • Outdoor concerts by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Bands at the Capitol grounds
  • (From Limbo in comments) USMC Band at the Barracks on I St, and at the Iwo Jima Memorial (Tuesdays)
  • Performance at the Carter-Barron Amphitheater on 16th St
  • Performance at the Kennedy Center (I used to go 4-5 times a year, haven’t gone in ages)
  • Performance at the 9:30 club (seeing Prodigy there on May 18)
  • Performance at Wolftrap
  • Grab a Telescope and go see the stars at night in Shenandoah Valley
  • Ethiopian Food on U St
  • At least one more Jazz club on U St (apart from my regular Utopia and now, Bohemian Caverns)

Suggestions on things to add?


  1. I’d also say go to the American History Museum (my fav), eat at the Native American Museum (I have yet to do it, but really want to!!), brunch somewhere in the city like you’re totally cool (I can’t do that, I’m not cool enough), go to the top of the Old Post Office Tower, go to happy hour in the city (there are some GREAT places to go with great prices!), go to the National Arboretum, and maybe go to the Ronald Reagan Building at night to do a club? I’d also look at the Washington Post guide to the city for interns that it publishes every year.

  2. I’ve played in an orchestra at the Am. History museum as a kid :)
    Also had brunch at Sequoia @ the Georgetown Waterfront one mother’s day.
    Been to the Old Post Office but not the tower
    Done happy hours, but not the Arboretum.
    The Ronald Reagan building has one of the most beautiful lobbies I’ve ever seen. :)

  3. I have to second the cafeteria at the Native American museum and the Old Post Office tower. And good call with Ethiopian food; I’ve neglected that for way too long, too.

    I have three things at the very top of my list that I think you might be interested in, too:

    *Tour the US Naval Observatory. They only have tours after dark on Monday nights, and you have to book a few months in advance.

    *Military Parade at the Marine Barracks
    (Another weekly night-time event that often gets booked up.)

    *Eat at the Florida Avenue Grill.

    I also want to attend an event at the DC Armory and sneak into the old Uline Arena, but those are more for my inner stadium geek than my inner DC geek.

    Impressive lobby in the Reagan Building? I must have gone in a different entrance. Add that to my list! :-)

  4. I’d also say you have to check out the USMC band at their own Barracks (on I) or @ the Iwo Jima Memorial (Tuesday nights) – free shows that are truly beautiful. You also didn’t list Screen on the Green on the Mall! Have you all ready done that?

  5. Well I’ve done the NIH Film Festival, but would love to do Screen on the Green!

    I will check out the USMC band at Iwo Jima. That sounds amazing. (at sunset too I’m sure). Thanks!

  6. Dude, they redid the American History Museum. I’m sooo going sometime soon (like when I’m unemployed in August).

    Also, I forgot to say go to the Portrait Gallery if you haven’t been yet. I L O V E it. It’s just as good as England’s!

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