6 Atypical Attractions Everyone Must See in Washington DC This Summer
Washington D.C. is one of if not the most highly frequented cities in the US by tourists. Every spring and summer busload upon busload of tourists flock to the city to see the many historical sites around the city. Having lived right outside the city for the past year and a half prior to these past few months when I was down in New Mexico, I have seen the many tourists doing the typical tourist activities. Today, I am going to tell you about a couple of the must see attractions and activities this wonderful city has to offer which the typical tourist likely would not experience on their visit.
See the Many Monuments at Night
Whenever a friend of mine comes to visit the city, I don’t take them out for a day of touring the many national monuments. I take them out for a night of exploring the monuments! Not only will the huge crowds have largely dispersed, but the monuments will be beautifully lit up and the stark white of the marble sets a dazzling contrast against the night sky.
Watch Planes Fly Right Overhead at Gravelly Point Park
The park is located directly next to Regan National Airport. While you won’t be literally blown over, like at the Saint Martin airport and beach in the Caribbean, it is pretty damn close. You feel like you can reach up and touch the planes! Or, more likely as there are often sports games going on in the park, throw a ball and hit the planes. While the noise of a plane rushing by overhead every 5-10 minutes can put a damper on conversation, it is a must see experience if you’ve never been up close and personal with a landing or takeoff before. It’s also a great spot to wait for a friend or loved one to arrive at the airport, as you can say “I Literally saw you arrive!”
Have a Picnic on the Steps of the Lincoln Memorial
One of my favorite past times is people watching! Who doesn’t love people watching? We are such a fascinating and varied species. People watching can lead to hours of entertainment and conversation topics. A great place to do it and to enjoy a cool spring or summer evening is on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Pack some food or grab something at one of the many food trucks around the National Mall and enjoy the scenic location. I’m also a big fan of sneaking in a bottle of wine. You’re technically not allowed to imbibe on or around the national monuments but as long as you’re not being obvious and pouring it into wine glasses, no one will bat an eye. I know from experience.
Take a Sunrise Stroll Along the National Mall or Tidal Basin
If you’re not able to drag yourself out of bed at sunrise, just take a morning stroll, or hop on one of the many bike shares offered by Capital Bikeshare and take a ride. Washington DC was ranked as the 2nd healthiest city in the United States by Forbes.com and that is evident in the early mornings. You will see a huge amount of people going for an early morning walk, jog, or bike ride around the wonderful views of the National Mall, Reflecting Pool, and Tidal Basin. This is also a great time to view the many monuments you will be passing by as you walk, if you didn’t make it out to view them at night, because the tourist crowds will not be out and about yet.
Stop and Watch a Kickball Game on the National Mall
Both social and competitive adult kickball (yes the sport we all played in elementary school on the playground) leagues have swept across the United States in recent years. A little known fact is that it all started here in Washington D.C. I’m admittedly a little biased on this point, as I’ve been playing kickball ever since moving to the area and it’s how I met many of my friends here. But Kickball has been a great way to socialize, have fun and play some sports! Not to mention we play right on the National Mall with the view of the Washington Monument on one side, and the Capital building on the other. You don’t get a much better location than that! Next time you’re walking around D.C. and you see a game of kickball taking place, stop, reminisce a bit, and take a picture. Trust me, you’re not the only one.
Many a DC resident will tell you that they are brunch enthusiasts. It is a growing trend in the city for many of the top local restaurants to offer an all you can eat brunch. And we all love it! If you’re in the city on a Saturday or Sunday morning, be sure to scope out which restaurants around you will be serving a special brunch. Many even offer bottomless mimosas, bloody marries or other such breakfasty libations if you’re so inclined. This one’s a favorite among many of my kickball friends.
Have you been to Washington D.C. on your trips around the United States? Do you have any other atypical attractions you think visitors to this wonderful city should see? Let me know in the comments!