Visitors and residents alike look for hidden treasures in Washington, D.C. The district is known for historical attractions like the Lincoln Memorial, sports teams like the Nationals, and fine dining. After exhausting these tourist hotspots, you may be ready for attractions and events off the beaten path. You can use the following suggestions to plan your trip and make parking easier during your time in D.C.
Learning District History
Washington, D.C. is flooded by tourists every year who want to see the Washington Monument, the White House, and other historical attractions. The district’s connection to the past runs deep, however, and you can learn plenty about the nation’s history from lesser known attractions. The Heurich House Museum just south of Dupont Circle is a former 19th-century brewery that now hosts tours and beer tastings. Free public tours of what is known as the Brewmaster’s Castle are available Thursdays through Saturdays, while the Castle Garden is open each weekday.
For a quieter outing, the National Bonsai Museum in northeast Washington gathers hundreds of the tiny trees into a serene setting. You can learn about the museum’s oldest tree, which was first planted in 1625 and survived the bombing of Japan during World War II. There are also exhibits on bonsai art, Chinese rock penjing art, and trees native to North America. The museum is a free place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the district.
Visiting D.C. Festivals
The festival season in Washington, D.C. provides a glimpse into the district’s cultural and natural attractions. You have the world at your fingertips from spring through fall thanks to a full festival schedule. The Arbor Day Festival in Oxon Run Park celebrates the district’s parks every April. This free festival in southeast Washington attracts visitors of all ages with birdhouse building, bike rides, tree climbing, and music.
Cultural events dot the D.C. festival schedule and attract visitors looking for new experiences. The Literary Hill BookFest held each May at Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market connects local and regional authors with readers. The Immigrant & Refugee Music Festival in July books immigrant musicians with a portion of ticket proceeds dedicated to the International Rescue Committee. You can also sample local fare at neighborhood festivals like the Adams Morgan Day Festival in September and the H Street Festival in October.
Catching a Game
D.C. sports fans are focused on scoreboards year-round thanks to the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the MLB’s Washington Nationals, and the NFL’s Washington Redskins. Ticket prices, traffic, and parking for these D.C. sports staples can make them tough sells for casual fans or first-time visitors. A visit to a Capital City Go-Go basketball game is an affordable way to get a taste of D.C.’s sports scene.
The Capital City Go-Go play in the G-League, a developmental league operated by the NBA. The Go-Go began playing at St. Elizabeth’s East Entertainment and Sports Arena in Congress Heights during the 2018-2019 season. Basketball fans can catch up to 25 home games from fall through spring with ticket prices starting at $10. The team’s home arena is also located away from heavily traveled areas of the city, making it easier to arrive, park, and depart than other games.
Grabbing a Bite to Eat
Washington, D.C. may not seem like the biggest place, but it houses more than 2,000 restaurants according to Destination DC. The D.C. restaurant scene can seem daunting if you are concerned about beating traffic and finding a parking spot amidst the city’s hustle and bustle. While we can’t cover every restaurant, there are a few starting points depending on your interests and budget.
You can take a tour of world cuisine without setting foot out of the district. Appioo African Bar & Grill samples Ghanaian dishes like fufu and egusi from its location in Westminster. Maizal in Southwest Washington prides itself on authentic South American flavors on baked arepas. The district’s Chinatown neighborhood is a standout with well-regarded restaurants like the Hong Kong-inspired Tiger Fork and the cozy confines of China Boy.
Washington, D.C. also caters to night owls with plenty of bars and late-night eateries. Osmand and Joe’s is a 24-hour diner in Friendship Heights with an expansive shake menu and classic diner dishes like patty melts. Espita Mezcaleria in Shaw is best known for its roster of more than 100 mezcal options to accompany Oaxacan dishes. The Coupe in Columbia Heights serves an all-day breakfast that includes a masala scramble and shrimp and coconut French toast.
Make Parking Easy
As you travel between local destinations in Washington, D.C., ParkMobile can make your experience easier by allowing you to seamlessly find, reserve, and pay for parking for your mobile device. ParkMobile is widely available throughout the city at various on-street parking spaces, downtown garages, and venues.