Here are some new ideas for things to do in the DC Metro area when you have visitors come in from out of town that doesn’t necessarily involve an all day pass to DC.
So, you live in prime Northern Virginia Real Estate and have the family coming in to visit again. You’ve already done the monument thing, and the trip to Capital Hill and the Smithsonian Tours and the Drive into Union Station and the Ferry trip along the Potomac and there is only so much more of the DC Duck tour that you could possible take, huh? What else is there to do when you have family come in to visit you when you live so close to the Nation’s Capital and you don’t want to feel like such a tourist? They want to do what the locals do, don’t they? At least, that’s what they say they want to do…
Get some butts on bikes. Have you tried renting bikes at Capital Bike Share and riding up and down the WO&D Trail or the Custis Trail? People always comment about what a green city area the DC Metro is and it is so true! With all of the lovely trees and greenery, it is neat to get out and see it first hand up close and personal.
How about a day trip out to Great Falls?
This place is a gem in the middle of the hustle and bustle, you can pack a picnic, don your hiking boots and watch the falls take their plummeting crash over the basalt and granite boulders that make the falls so spectacular. The hike is not too strenuous if you have family that has difficulty getting around, and there are plenty of flat trails for those who want to take a more leisurely stroll than and aggressive hike. You can even take your leashed canine companions out for the day.
You want another amazing day trip, do you?
Get on 95 for a straight shot down to historic Fredericksburg for some beautiful scenery, great sweet tea, lovely people and charming real estate. The main street has plenty of antiquing and contemporary shops to please all of the members of your family, and there are even tattoo parlors galore for your more daring family members right next to ample pubs. This historic town is beautiful, and offers museums, Revolutionary and Civil War memorabilia and wonderfully preserved gardens and cemeteries for you to meander through and absorb the history of our nation. Check out Kenmore House, George Washington’s sister’s mansion that has been impeccably maintained throughout the years.
Want some live music that you can grove to?
Head on over to the Orange Line area in Arlington and hit up Clarendon in any number of the hip restaurants and bars. You can stroll through the streets and see the people coming home from work and hopping off of the Metro, actually smiling because they love the area that they live in. If you want something easy to eat and have cash on hand- walk on down to Ray’s Hell Burger for one of the best darned hamburgers you’ll ever have.
Interested in more green space?
Check out Green Springs Gardens over on the cusp of Annadale and Alexandria. It is another historic estate which has been well preserved and is now a beautiful garden preserve where you can see Native and non-native plants exhibited outdoors, just as beautifully as the National botanic gardens outdoor area but in a more sprawling vignette. It is gorgeous and fun and a wonderful way to get the family outside and enjoying more of what the Northern Virginia and DC Metro area has to offer.
There is much more than sitting yourself on the Metro and getting stuck in the throngs of people who want to see statues and paintings and museum pieces- which are phenomenally great, don’t get me wrong… but when you have to take your visitors there over and over again… it gets a bit old. Spice it up. Change up your guests from out of town routine. Show them a thing or two about what Northern Virginia has to offer that isn’t just the awesome proximity to DC. What are some of your favorite things to do when people come in from out of town?