3-Day DC Off the Beaten Path
Day 1 You'll See:
- Washington Photo Safari
- National Arboretum
- U Street
Day 2 You'll See:
- Navy Yard
- Rock Creek Park
- Southwest Waterfront
Day 3 You'll See:
- Eastern Market
Day 1 -
Washington Photo Safari - Start your trip off right with this fun tour, a travel photographer’s dream, known today as ‘one of the nation’s leading providers of photography training field trips’. During one of these special journeys around the city a professional photographer will take you around to all the various monuments of D.C while giving you helpful tips on lighting, composition, and exposure, not to mention all the great historical facts and hidden spot tidbits you will get along the way. Any skill level photographer with any type of camera can take part, with different skill level options, interest options, and camera specific options to choose from. As a matter of fact, there are over 150 different unique itineraries to choose from here. Right now some of the most popular current safaris include; Afternoon Light in Annapolis, Monuments and Memorials Basic Travel Photography, National Mall Experience, and Real Estate and Architecture Photography in D.C.
National Arboretum -It’s time to put those camera skills to the test as you and your group head to one of the most beautiful, and budget-friendly (IT’S FREE), attractions in all of Washington D.C, the United States National Arboretum. On this 412 acre property along New York Avenue you will find over the 2-hours worth of outdoor exhibits to look at, not to mention the onsite Visitor Center, Arbor House Gift Shop, and internationally acclaimed National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. You can use this gorgeous space for exercise or culture, education or fascination! Be sure to save plenty of time to make it to the Koi Pond and Aquatic Garden, Friendship Garden, and National Herb Garden as well. Inside the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum you will find a sort of shrine to the ‘miniature masterpieces’, the entire establishment a sort of ode to Japanese and Chinese Arts.
U Street - ‘The part of the city that never sleeps’ awaits you next, as you and your group head to Northwest Washington D.C and explore one of the most culture and history filled neighborhoods, U Street. This 9-block stretch of commercial and residential district holds countless shops, eateries, clubs, art galleries, and music venues, this very spot once the heart of black culture in America. Within these streets you will find ‘unparalleled music and nightlife scenes’, not to mention several unique boutiques, authentic cuisine, and so much jazz! Outside of the Duke Ellington-centric jazz scene, you will find unique food, from soul food to authentic Italian. As far as shopping in general goes, you and your group will get a much-needed bout of retail therapy, as well as a caffeine kick, as most of the streets are lined with various clothing, decor, and record stores, as well as numerous different coffee shops.
Day 2 -
Navy Yard - The Navy Yard, also known as Near Southeast, is a historic DC neighborhood located on the Anacostia River that provides great educational, cultural, and even culinary opportunities for you and your entire group. What was once a history and military focused area is now a hotbed of entertainment, luxury, and relaxation, that is when you count in the nearby Yards neighborhood as well. You can do practically anything here, from working out or taking a hike to find a brewery or spending the night at a delicious buffet. When you explore this neighborhood you will be able to see historic buildings such as the Eighth Brick Sugar House on Square 744, the oldest in the area, and learn all about why, and for exactly how long, this was the nation’s largest naval shipbuilding facility and longest continuously operated federal facility, as well as enjoy excellent riverfront views and great dining opportunities!
Rock Creek Park -Welcome to Rock Creek Park, the large urban park setting that bisects most of the area within Northwest Washington D.C. Considered to be one of the best hidden gems in our nation’s capital city, this really is the perfect place to ‘reflect and soothe your spirits, with trees, wildlife, local history, hiking trails, tennis, golf, and ranger-led programs all at your fingertips, not to mention the onsite Planetarium and Amphitheater. Within the 1700 acres of parkland here, you will find such historical aspects as Fort Stevens, the Old Stone House, the Francis Scott Key Memorial Park, and even other parks such as the Montrose and Meridian Hill Park. Learn all about the local Civil War and Slavery history here, as well as history about the first American Indians to settle here, the grist mill success in the immediate area, and all the different stages of farming and agriculture, from tobacco to flour.
Southwest Waterfront - There will be no better way to end your night than with a scenic dinner in the diverse neighborhood of D.C’s Southwest Waterfront. Within this community you and your group will have so much to do, you may not know where to start, which is why we suggest heading to The Wharf for dinner. The Wharf is an area within the neighborhood that comprises 24 out of 47 acres of land, taking up space along the shore from the historic fish market to Fort McNair. Try any of the authentic ethnic eats nearby, from Muze East West Kitchen, the Asian fusion hotspot, to Masala Art Indian cuisine eatery. If you are not feeling so adventurous head over to the popular Cantina Marina Bar and Grill. After dinner stroll along the Promenade for some unbeatable riverfront views of the Potomac River or perhaps see if there is anything happening on the Arena Stage.
Day 3 -
Eastern Market - Welcome to the famed D.C Eastern Market, the bustling marketplace established in 1873 that sets as a cornerstone part of Capitol Hill. Located on 7th Street, this iconic market sits completely unique and full of personality, a restored red brick building that has been helping tourists and locals alike shop locally, immerse themselves into the local culture and fill their stomachs for over 136 years now. While walking around in what we consider to be living history, you can also shop for local fresh made items such as pasta, desserts, locally grown produce, meats, and cheeses, as well as local crafts, home decor, body products, and even flowers. This DC staple is like a giant Farmers Market mixed with an upscale Craft Fair, perfect for your group to get to know the local people, agriculture, and economy. We think this is perfect, for both your budget and your sense of adventure, the spot for a hearty, culture-filled brunch.
Georgetown - Spend the afternoon in another one of D.C’s most historic and culture-filled neighborhoods, the iconic Georgetown. This commercial, entertainment, and residential district is located in Northwest Washington DC, right along the Potomac River. Along its streets you will find historic charm and upscale modernity, the C&O Canal and cobblestone-street-charm greeting you all along the way. Here, the place ‘where Michigan Street meets Wisconsin Avenue’, you will find some of the hottest retail spots, most peaceful tree-lined neighborhoods, and most talked-about cuisine and entertainment around D.C. Start your visit with a stroll down Wisconsin Avenue to see several 18th and 19th-century mansions, a few that even include one-time stay spots for celebrities such as JFK and Julia Child. Intermixed with all of these gorgeous historic homes you will find several eateries, from hole-in-the-wall hotspots to world-class restaurants with lines around the corner!