Although the first things that come to mind when you think about visiting Washington, D.C. are probably the historic monuments and the free museums, that’s not all there is to do in the capital city. Of course, you will want to hit those memorable spots, but once you’re done with them, there are a few more non-touristy things you should check out in the city before you head home.
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Ride a Horse Through the Park
If horseback riding has always been on your bucket list, why not do it in the nation’s capital? Rock Creek Park Horse Center offers guided rides that take you through the wooded trails of Rock Creek Park at a leisurely and relaxing pace. Rides are offered in the mornings and mid-afternoons, as well as an early evening ride during the summer months, making it the perfect way to end your day of sightseeing.
Eat Some Chicken and Doughnuts
Even though fried chicken and donuts may be more of a southern thing, the folks at Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken in DC do it up with a true Mid-Atlantic flair. First, there’s the fried chicken sandwich that’s seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning (a staple in the MD/VA/DC area) and served on a savory donut bun, a cheddar biscuit or an Old Bay donut. But, why stop there when you can grab a sweet donut for dessert, like the PB&J, the crème brulee or the maple bacon.
Paddle or Kayak the Potomac River
Most tourists see the monuments of Washington, D.C. from the ground, but why not shake things up a little and see them from the water instead? With several rental and instructional centers located in and around Washington, D.C., you can be on the Potomac River in a paddleboat or a kayak in no time. Float down the calm waters of the Potomac and catch some amazing views of the Kennedy Center and the Jefferson Memorial.
Visit the Nation’s Oldest Miniature Golf Course
East Potomac Park Mini Golf[/caption] is the oldest continually-operated miniature golf course, located in Washington, D.C. In fact, it’s not even that hard to find, since its located right next to the grounds of the Jefferson Memorial. But, with so much else to see in the area, many visitors never know to look for it. Although it’s not as fancy as newer courses, it is kind of cool to be able to say that you played at the nation’s oldest mini golf course, which just also happens to be the only outdoor mini-course in all of D.C. as well.
Go to a Farmers Market
Don’t make your whole trip all about restaurants and fast food. Do as the locals do and visit one of D.C.’s amazing farmers markets that are located across the city. One of the best ones to check out is the FreshFarm market in Dupont Circle. The market features over 40 different farms with fresh produce, fruit, meats, cheeses and more. During the summer, it is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sundays, so grab a coffee or water and prepare to munch your way through!
Take in a Live Jazz Show at Blues Alley
Blues Alley is exactly what it sounds like – a swanky jazz and blues club located in an alley off of Wisconsin Avenue in the neighborhood of Georgetown. This iconic club that dates back to 1965, is the oldest continuing jazz supper club in the country and offers live jazz music nearly every night of the year. Over the years, its stage has seen the likes of some of the most famous names in the industry including Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Eva Cassidy and Teddy Wilson. Just a grab a ticket online or at the door, put on your best “bluesy” attire (it’s not necessary, but it’s fun) and head out for a night of unforgettable music.
Ride the Carousel
Okay, this one might be a little touristy. But, after a long day of walking the National Mall and seeing all the sights, what better way is there to relax and feel like a kid again than by taking a ride on a vintage carousel? This iconic ride dates all the way back to the 1940’s and was significant not only for its technological achievements at the time, but also because of its significance in the Civil Rights movement in the area, when an African American child rode it for the first time on August 28, 1963 – the same day as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech.