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

If You Give A Girl A Little Brother

You've given her the world.

I remember back to my childhood, standing at the top of the steps yelling down to my parents "Why did you decide to have another child?" I remember riding in the backseat yelling "Mom, was I not good enough for you?" as my brother threw snow at me .

I remember crying when my mom made us share our first cell phone. I remember playing in a pool at a waterpark, and my dad couldn't play with me because my brother couldn't swim and needed my dad to be with him. I played by myself, thinking "They must have not wanted a girl when they only pay attention to him."

But now, at almost 22, I realized that the best gift God has ever given me was my little brother.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a pain in her ass.

Oh, he'll be annoying. He'll get in the shower just because you said you were going to. He'll start talking every time you do. He'll pull stupid pranks, he'll make you listen to bogus music, he'll make you watch stupid tv shows, he'll smell up the bathroom (and probably smell himself.) and boy, I promise there will be day's you will resent him. But he's just training for living with your husband one day.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a role.

As a big sister, I had somebody copying all my moves. If I did something, so did he. If I didn't eat something, neither did he. If I didn't like somebody neither did he. He was like a little shadow that did everything I did, so I was always motivated to make good choices and make him proud of me.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a rough side.

I wouldn't have done half the things I did if it wasn't for him. Play basketball in the drive way, spend hours on our bikes, spend the summer days in the pool, or down at the park. I wouldn't have learned that it's okay to get in the dirt and have some fun. I wouldn't have played half the made up, imaginary games we played every day. I wouldn't have played with Hot Wheels, or Lincoln Logs, or Leggo's. I would have played with Barbies by myself all day long, and what's the fun in that?

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her the best friend she'll ever have.

In the end, when our parent's both pass away, I won't be alone, because I will have my little brother. When the world gets tough, and everyone turns away from me, he will always be there. No matter where he end's up in life, I know he will drop everything and come running when I'm in need.

For Christmas this year, I bought my brother his first tattoo. We got matching tattoo's on our sides. Our lives our different now, because we're grown up and live on opposite sides of the state. But no matter where we go in life, if we look up, we will be looking at the same sun and moon. We are made up of the same matter, 'made' by the same people, and love each other more than I think we'd like to admit.

Alex is my true other-half.

Give a girl a little brother, and you made her whole.

Cover Image Credit: Abby Engel

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

10 Signs You're From New Hampshire, Wickedly So

I'm never cold, apparently.


I have been told that everyone from New Hampshire is always obsessed with New Hampshire; I can't blame them since is it a wicked cool state. If you or someone you know is from New Hampshire I guarantee these are 10 things they can relate to:

1. You love Aroma Joe's.

Anyone not from the northern New England area probably has no idea what Aroma Joe's is. It's basically the Starbuck of New Hampshire. Known for flavored coffee and energy drinks all Rush. Every other high school student would stroll in late to school with the iconic Aroma Joe's foam cups (which have now been changed to clear plastic to help the environment).

2. The Sheetz and Wawa's debate means nothing to you.

There is a huge debate among select states over which GAS STATION has better food. Yeah, weird right? Of course, we New Hampshire citizens have spent our fair share of time at the Chill Zone at a Cumberland Farms or 7/11 but getting real food from a gas station is a whole other story.

3. You know what fried dough is.

One of the most shocking things I learned while living out of state is that not everyone knows what fried dough is. They have a similar treat called Funnel cake (which I had heard of but never actually ordered somewhere before moving to PA) and I assure you we are not missing out because fried dough definitely takes the win.

4. You pronounce Reese wrong.

In New Hampshire everyone (including myself) pronounces it "Rees-EES," but after highly offending some Hershey, Pennsylvania residents and a heated debate I have finally admitted defeat that the true pronunciation is "Rees-IS." But I will always say "Rees-EES" because to me, that is what it is called.

5. You use the word wicked a lot .

I honestly didn't believe it when people told me the word "wicked" was a New England thing. Majority of people understand the meaning but are just shocked by how frequently I use the word. But in the past, people have actually asked me what it meant!

6. When you say it's winter you actually mean it...

I am talking temperatures in single digits or even the negatives, multiple feet of snow that doesn't melt for months and snow storms that resemble blizzards. I have been to parts of the country where people freak out about two inches of snow that melts within 48 hours and are wearing winter coats when it's in the upper to mid 50 degrees.

7. People assume that you don't get cold.

Don't get me wrong, New Hampshire residents have to go through some tough winters but that doesn't mean we don't get cold! Yes, we need to wear a jacket when it's below freezing too! We are just less bothered by snow.

8. A beach day isn't a big deal.

Some parts of New Hampshire are further from the beach than others but overall the drive shouldn't be that bad. After working full time all summer and only making it to the beach about five, I was shocked when people kept telling me how exciting my summer looked via social media. Then I was reminded that for some people the closest beach is hours away and they are lucky if they make it there once.

9. Everyone assumes you ski or snowboard.

Don't get me wrong, A LOT of New Hampshire residents grew up either snowboarding or skiing, but for those of you who didn't (me), everyone is always shocked.

10. You love your state.

People actually make fun of me for how much state pride I have. I love the beautiful colors in the fall to the mountain views in the north and the ocean sunsets that you can't see anywhere else; no matter where I live no state will match up to how gorgeous New Hampshire is.

Related Content

Facebook Comments