There’s something about living on Campus that can make you a little complacent. It’s easy to spend the entire weekend in Foggy Bottom, and then come Monday morning realise you’ve half wasted the weekend away. So here are my tips for little outings in and around DC:
1) The National Gallery of Art & Smithsonian Museums
If it’s raining, catch the Metro to the Smithsonian metro stop and pick one of the museums. They’re all free, and there’s something to interest everyone. I have so many more I’d love to visit before I go! It’s worth checking their websites also, because often there are free guided tours and public talks and lectures on the weekends.
If you want to go shopping (or window shopping) Georgetown is the place to go. There are also a lot of cupcake stores (always a good thing!). Today a friend and I wandered down to our favourite, Baked and Wired, grabbed our cupcakes and went and ate them on the Georgetown waterfront. It was a perfect afternoon wander.
3) Old Town Alexandria
Catching the Metro to Old Town Alexandria is easy as pie. I’ve blogged about it before but it really is a nice place to wander and has a lot of good cafes and restaurants.
4) Capital Bikeshare cycle to the Tidal Basin
I’d prefer to walk rather than riding a bike, as I get a little anxious riding. But if you like cycling I’ve heard greats stories from other exchange students of the ease of hiring a bike from the Capital Bikeshare locations (there are a few on campus) and cycling down to the tidal basin and mall. Especially on sunny days – though these are the days the tourists are out in force, so you may need to dodge a few of them!
5) DC Challenge Scavenger Hunt
This was something two of my roommates, my neighbor and I did just this weekend. It’s organized by a company called Challenge Nation. We got a Groupon deal, so paid half the entrance price and for that got t-shirts, and a fun scavenger hunt through DC with pretty difficult clues that were great fun to figure out. We had no hope of winning but it was great fun anyway. There were big groups of friends and colleagues, and also families playing and many people in costumes (we’d definitely recommend costumes, we didn’t do them and regretted it. Especially after seeing a group of women wearing shark hats and t shirts that read ‘Every week is Shark Week’ on the back, and a day of the week on the front.)
If I could go back in time to January and give myself one piece of advice it would be to find time on weekends to have a little explore and get out of Foggy Bottom and adventure in DC.