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The Best “Hidden Gem” Activities in DC


July 8th, 2016

The Best “Hidden Gem” Activities in DC

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 4.17.20 PM DC is awash in touristy “must do’s,” so after you’ve checked the obligatory stops off your list, visit some of the lesser known (but certainly not lesser loved) sights in town. Here are DC’s best hidden gems:

Street Murals on Blagden Alley, Shaw

The DC Alley Museum, funded by grants from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, is a public art space and open-air museum on Blagden Alley in Shaw. Blagden Alley and the adjoining Naylor Court have seen many lives (from open air prostitution to gambling dens and brothels), but have been preserved as an example of the alley dwellings that previously dotted the city. While you’re exploring, make sure to grab a cup of coffee and a pastry from La Colombe, one of the best new coffee shops in Washington. For more information on the history of Blagden Alley, check out this article by Historic DC. Where 924 Blagden Alley NW Washington, DC

Have a Midnight Seafood Feast at Old Ebbitt

Old Ebbitt’s big-ticket Orca Platter comes with a lobster, a dozen crab claws, a dozen clams, a dozen oysters, and a dozen shrimp. This plateau de mer sells for $104.95 during daytime hours, but locals head to Old Ebbitt in the off hours to get the big ticket feast for half the price. Monday through Thursday from 3-6 pm and 11-1 am, the two-tiered seafood tower gets cut in half, so head to Old Ebbitt after a night on the town for some seafood with your nightcap. Where 675 15th St NW Washington, DC

Go Monument-hopping at Night

DC’s monuments are best enjoyed in the mild temperatures and crowd free hours of the late evening and early morning. Stop first at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, where 19 stainless-steel soldiers appear to come to life with white spotlights capturing their individual expressions. Next, head to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, where the statues, walls, and waterfalls are the most evocative after dark. Next stop, MLK, followed by Lincoln, the WWII Memorial, and the Washington Monument. And if you’re really up for a trek, make sure to end your moonlight tour at the Jefferson Memorial, a place that is almost always deserted (and the most stunning) at 3am. Where 900 Ohio Dr SW Washington, DC

Enjoy the Most Underrated Museum in Washington (By Yourself!)

Built between 1902 and 1905 along Embassy Row, the Anderson House is a 50 room Beaux Arts mansion, which was the fall and winter residence of Ambassador Larz Anderson III, an American diplomat, and his wife Isabel Weld Perkins, an author and Red Cross volunteer and nurse. After Larz’s death in 1937, Isabel gifted the home to the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization comprised of descendants of American Revolutionary War officers, of which Larz Anderson was a member. What makes the tours truly special is the deep knowledge of the Anderson House tour guides, the stunning Winter Garden and grand staircase in the ballroom. Where 2118 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington, DC

Embrace the Quiet at Tudor Place

This 1816 neoclassical Georgetown residence, once the home of Martha Custis Peter (a granddaughter of First Lady Martha Washington) is the most stunning example of early American history in Washington. Guided tours take you inside the home, which features more than 15,000 objects from the mid-18th to late-20th centuries, but the 5.5 acre gardens circling the home are the real gem of Tudor Place. Where 1644 31st St NW Washington, DC

Eat Crabs With Friends at Cantler’s Riverside Inn

Cantler’s Riverside Inn, which sits on an inlet off the Chesapeake Bay, can be a trek from DC, but the reward is worth the trouble. During the summer months you can find some of the sweetest, meatiest steam crustaceans around, so bring friends and an empty belly-the crabs are best when shared alongside local Maryland beer. Where 458 Forest Beach Rd Annapolis, MD

Seek out dozens of political leaders at Congressional Cemetery

Dozens of historical figures and political leaders (including J. Edgar Hoover, John Philip Sousa, 19 Senators and 71 Representatives) have found their final resting place at Washington’s Congressional Cemetery. The graveyard, also a popular dog park, dates to 1807, predating Arlington Cemetery as a final resting spot for luminaries, from a Vice President to a silent-screen star. Where 1801 E St SE Washington, DC @street_walls

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