We asked our faculty and authors to share with us some of their favorite things about living in our nation’s capital. Their responses are posted in “Faculty Favorites”
Steve Roberts (bio), a journalist, political commentator, and the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University, shares his favorites.
Favorite Places to Visit
- I still get a thrill every time I see the Capitol, particularly at night, even after all these years. web site, map
- The branch of the Air and Space Museum at Dulles airport is a real treat. My grandkids love the space shuttle and the Blackbird spy plane. The IMAX theater there also a special event (the IMAX theater in the Air and Space Museum downtown shows the same films but tends to be more crowded). Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, web site, 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA, 202-633-1000, free admission, $ parking and IMAX have fees
- I’m a big fan of the National Zoo, lots to see in addition to the pandas. Try to catch elephant training (11 am) or seal feeding (11:30 am) shows daily (daily programs). web site, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 202-633-4800
- National Museum of Natural History is great for dinosaur loving kids. Lots of cool skeletons. web site, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 202-357-1729
- Get out of your car and walk around Georgetown or Old Town in Alexandria. Notice the small architectural details and get a feel for an 18th century cityscape. Georgetown – from Wikipedia, “Walking Tour of Old Town Alexandria,” from Rachel Cooper.
Fun Things to Do
- Walking/jogging/biking along the C&O Canal is a lovely outing particularly in spring. Take the Park Service trip on an old barge, along the canal, starting in Georgetown, complete with guides and period musicians (web site). Also the Capital Crescent Trail (web site), part of the rails-to-trails system, goes through MD and down to Georgetown. web site
- Cherry blossoms in MD neighborhood of Kenwood (in Bethesda) are actually more spectacular than at the Tidal Basin and much less crowded. map, “Walking Kenwood, Maryland During Cherry Blossom Time,” by Kevin Shaw
- National Arboretum (east of Capitol) is best in azalea season, early May. web site, 24th and R Streets NE, Washington, DC, 202-245-2726
- Glen Echo Park (also in MD) is a real old-fashioned amusement park. Don’t miss the carousel (web site). Puppet (web site) and live stage shows for kids on weekends are well-done. NPS web site, events web site, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, MD, event line: 301-634-2222
- Congressional Cemetery (in southeast DC) has some fascinating monuments (John Philip Sousa, J. Edgar Hoover, list of famous internments), very guest/dog friendly. web site, 1801 E Street SE, Washington, DC, 202-543-0539
- Downtown I like Primi Piatti (on Eye St) especially in nice weather when you can eat outside. Feels like Rome. I like the ravioli, farfalle with crab and peas, and roasted peppers with goat cheese. web site, 2013 Eye Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-223-3600
- A door or two away, Cafe Lombardy (in Lombardy Hotel) is nice for breakfast (ask for a window table, usually sunny even in winter). web site, 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 202-828-2600 [openlist | MenuPages]
- Iron Gate on N St. has the loveliest garden in town, food with a Lebanese accent. web site, 1734 N Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-737-1370 [DC Pages | Gayot | WaPo | Yelp]
- Legal Seafood on K St. has a delicious tuna burger. web site, 2020 K Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-496-1111 [Yelp]
- In the suburbs, my favorite is Pines of Rome in downtown Bethesda (on Hamden Lane, walking distance from Metro stop), very reasonable and kid friendly, white pizza a house specialty. 4709 Hampden Lane, Bethesda, MD, 301-657-8775 [MenuPages | Yelp | City Paper]
- Mon Ami Gabi on Woodmont is a great French bistro, I like the crepes and omelets. web site, 7239 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, MD, 301-654-1234 [Yelp]
For more, also see our Visiting Washington DC pages
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