13 Top Non-Touristy Places to Visit in D.C.

13 Top Non-Touristy Places to Visit in D.C.

Here are some of the best kept secrets of D.C. to spice up your next getaway to the nation's capitol.

D.C. is known for being a tourist central place, but there are many places besides the usual touristy destinations that are often overlooked. Having lived in D.C. this summer for an internship, I've accumulated a pretty thorough list of worthwhile places to visit. Some destinations, I have personally been to while others, I have only heard of in first-hand accounts, but would love to visit someday. Whether you plan on living or visiting D.C. at some point, this list can help you plan an amazing experience.

1. Watch Outdoor Movies.

There are many outdoor movie screenings at D.C. during the summer: Screen on the Green near the Capitol, National Harbor movies every Sunday night, Bethesda screenings, and so forth. Just be sure not to get sidetracked by the amazing scenery nearby!

2. Stroll to the National Harbor.

A great little town by the Potomac river, this place is full of dining options, a Ferris wheel and outdoor movie screenings every Sunday night. Since it is a bay, there is also a small patch of sand and rocks that you can take a walk along...making for a perfect romantic stroll.

3. Go to a Nationals Game.

Going to a National's Game is a must if you want to experience a piece of the D.C. life; baseball is THE WAY of D.C. life. Even if you're not particularly into watching the sport itself, the whole experience of being in the stadium among thousands of people, catching wafts of popcorn and booze and having upbeat music pound in your ears is an incredibly energizing experience. Warning though: the subway will be VERY crowded before and after the game, so be careful and just channel your inner sardine in a can form -- you'll survive.

5. Visit the Yards Park.

6. Listen to Jazz in the Sculpture Garden

7. Visit Georgetown

8. Have fun paddleboarding, canoeing, or kayaking at Potomac River

The things you can do on water here is endless. If you're looking for a more movement in your trip, the Potomac River is for you. Fletcher's Cove has a pretty good deal for canoeing and kayaking, and I believe you can fish there as well.

9. Go to the Smithsonian Museum After Hour Parties.

Smithsonian museums close at 5:30 p.m. But did you know that they come back to life again at night? In fact, a lot of these museums hold after hour parties full of cocktail, music, etc. Be sure to be on the lookout for one during your stay here.

10. Visit the Kennedy Center for Live Music.

The Kennedy Center hosts a lot of live music, including many free events. I have heard that with music or not, the view from the balcony is incredible, especially that of sunsets.

11. Explore Arlington Cemetery.

Arlington Cemetery is an often overlooked tourist destination because it's not located in the central touristy area. The visit is a sobering one, one that forces you to really appreciate the soldiers today and of the past, and their sacrifices. The seemingly endless rows and rows of tombs are breathtaking, making you wonder about each and every person's life. If you stop by here, make sure to make a stop at JFK's final resting place and see the guard change at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

12. Visit Capitol Hill Bookstore

If you're a bookworm, the Capitol Hill Bookstore is going to be your paradise. It is a used bookstore, which means everything has marked down prices. The WIDE collection of books of various genres-- nonfiction, novels, poetry-- makes it book heaven. So many amazing works all stocked together in one.

13. Go to Sunday Flea Market at Eastern Market.

Right by the Capitol Bookstore (Eastern Market Metro Stop on Gray line), the Eastern Market Flea Market takes place every Sunday. It has a great selection of paintings, photography, jewelry, bags, clothing, old Times magazines, fresh fruits, vegetables and a plethora of unique little finds. This destination is very popular among locals here and not always known to the tourists.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

Popular Right Now

The 10 Best Things About Rhode Island

Who said RI is not Awesome!

With Rhode Island being such a small state people wonder what is so great about it. There are so many attractions that lead people to "Little Rhody" from the Newport Mansions to the RISD Art Museum. RI's beautiful beaches are also a plus for the locals who live here year round. But what is the best things about Rhode Island? With so many great things to choose from here is what I thought was the best things Rhode Island has to offer.

1. Del's Lemonade

With its numerous flavors and iconic cup imagery Del's is a Rhode Island staple. My personal favorite is mixing watermelon and lemon together!

2. Caserta's Pizzeria

Located on Providence's historic Federal Hill. If you are looking for a good slice of pizza Caserta's is the place to go.

3. Providence

It is basically the smaller version of Boston! No really, and that is where the city gets all its charms from.

4. Scarborough Beach

Forget Newport, this is the prime place to catch some waves. Personally, I think the water is better and Narragansett tends to be a litttle less touristy.

5. PPAC (Providence Performing Arts Center)

When you are too poor to catch a Broadway show so you go see the national tour instead. PPAC has become an awesome venue in recent years with lots of different plays, musicals and dance troupes coming to perform.

6. The Cliff Walk

Preferably after the tourist season because then you can actually walk on it. The Cliff Walk offers some breathtaking views and a little adventure.

7. Waterfire

There are a lot of Waterfire's during the summer and early fall so you can always catch one. Plus, it is free and provides great pictures.

8. Party Pizza

Some make think it is a disgrace to pizza everywhere, but it is still good. Nobody really understands why party pizza exists, but we never question it. Especially, after you stuff five pieces into your mouth.

9. Crook Point Bascule Bridge

It has become somewhat of a local monument for the locals. My friend and I always do a bit of site seeing around here.

10. Allie's Donuts

Home of the Donut Cake! Allie's makes probably the best donuts around here and that is not an understatement.

And there you have it! While, I think these are 10 best things about Rhode Island there is obviously so much more. If anything RI's quirky local eateries, beautiful landscape, as well as up and coming attractions are what make it special. Rhode Island has so many things to offer it is hard to choose. Personally, I think the food is the best, but my New York/New Jersey friends beg to differ.

Cover Image Credit: wwp.greenwichmeantime.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating
Facebook Comments