Before coming to D.C, I remember feverishly looking through various TripAdvisor posts on what the “highlights” of D.C. were. I had visions of strolling by the White House each day. However, the academic workload and the bustle of student life meant that I wasn’t able to leave the bubble of Georgetown in the ways that I had originally intended. Yet, this allowed me to make my own experiences based on my passions and interests, as well as gave me the opportunity to meet some wonderful people along the way.
1. Have a picnic on the National Mall.
There is no better location to enjoy the sunset with a group of friends than on the National Mall. With spectacular views of the Capitol and the Washington Monument towering behind you, it’s the perfect place to catch a sunset. Don’t forget to bring blankets, drinks, plenty of snacks, and speakers!
2. Catch a gig (or two) at Songbyrd Cafe.
The Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House is located in the Adams Morgan area, and is one of D.C.’s glittering gems. They have a great bar and nightly events, which even include free concerts! They also sell plenty of records and boast a fantastic day-and-night cafe full of delightful treats. The icing on the cake is their 1947-style style recording studio.
3. Get lost in the bookstores in Dupont Circle.
Dupont Circle is a free shuttle bus ride away from Georgetown University and is full of interesting finds. Kramer Books is the most famous bookstore at this destination, holding a wide range of titles, as well as a cafe and a bar! There are plenty of second-hand bookstores as well to delve into. If you’re hungry, go for a bite at the renowned Bub and Pop’s, which is home to fantastic sandwiches and a signed plaque from Guy Fieri!
4. Stroll around the Georgetown waterfront.
The area near the Georgetown waterfront is home to numerous places to eat, such as sweetgreen or, my personal favourite, Chaia Tacos. Catch the rainbow glow of the lights from the Kennedy Centre in the evening, and then go watch a film at the AMC cinema! They even have reclinable seats. Luxury.
5. Go on a night out to the Black Cat.
Some people say it’s grimy but I’m a huge fan of the Black Cat. It has a bar and a cafe, with vegan options. It’s also the hub of alternative, indie, and rock music in D.C. There are plenty of live music acts to catch, as well as great themed club nights / dance parties centred around indie music, such as ‘Dance Yourself Clean’ or ‘Take Me Out.’