Washington DC is full of hidden gems worth exploring, whether you’re a tourist visiting the city or a resident who simply hasn’t uncovered the lesser known events, attractions and locations. Here are a few of our favorites you should consider checking out, if you haven’t already:
The Animals in the AM
Most attractions in the National Zoo don’t open until around 10am. However, the grounds of the Zoo usually open around 6am, which means you can still enter early if you wish. Whilst this may not initially seem appealing seeing as there are no zookeepers to take you through guides or give talks, it’s actually a fascinating experience. Watch the resident orangutans make their way across stretch cables 500 feet long. Eat breakfast near the cheetahs and watch the animals in a more undisturbed light!
Dining in Style
The culinary scene in DC has become one of the city’s main attractions within the past few years. If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy authentic food from a range of different cultures and regions, then Barracks Row is where you should head. Located within Capitol Hill, there are restaurants which serve everything from authentic Indian to soul food and even Greek meze. The best of the low-key dining gems can be found on 8th Street, between Pennsylvania Avenue and M Street. Some of our recommendations include Founding Farmers (especially for breakfast!) Old Ebbit Grill and Ted’s Bulletin.
The Shopping Quarter
Over the last few years, there have been higher end designer shops popping up around 14th Street and the U St. Corridor. For example, an emerging fashion icon, Jiwon Paik-Nguyen has recently opened her boutique, Rue 14. Paik-Nguyen has worked for the likes of well- known designers such as J. Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren and Theory. This store houses labels such as BB Dakota and Jeffrey Campbell. In addition to stylish clothes, you can also uncover a fantastic contemporary housewares collection from Christopher Reiter, available at Muleh.
Music Under the Stars
Every Friday evening, from May to September, the National Gallery of Art hosts open air jazz fests. Held within the Sculpture Garden, listeners often bring picnics to enjoy the music, however there are also many food trucks nearby where you can try some local cuisine. There’s also homemade sangria available from the Garden’s Pavilion Café throughout the jazz fests.
Our Unique Tours
There are plenty more hidden gems in and around Washington, such as Charlottesville, Virginia, which was home to former President Thomas Jefferson. Visit his home in Monticello with our magnificent Gray Line DC Monticello tour which takes you out of the city and places you further into a historical environment.
In addition, Gray Line DC can also get you to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This trip includes a guided two hour tour of the battlefield, a presentation at the visitor’s center and a stop at the Shriver House Museum. The surrounding areas near Washington DC have plenty to offer and there’s always something new to see and learn, so don’t be afraid to venture out! All of our tours leave from Union Station in the hub of DC.