Go off the beaten path

During your first visit to GW, be it Colonial Inauguration or move-in, most parents take in the typical D.C. sites, like monuments and museums. When your parents come this weekend, show them what going to school in a city is all about by showing them the areas that make D.C. great. Take them on a tour of Washington – off the beaten path.

Adams Morgan

Make your way into the funky neighborhood of Adam’s Morgan. Popular for its alternative feel, you will find both culture and great cuisine along 18th street. There’s a robust option of live music bars complete with Latin, jazz, and African music. Thrift shops and used bookstores scattered throughout are a fun way to spend an afternoon. If your parents are adventurous, take them to Perry’s for a Sunday Drag Queen Brunch. While eating delicious brunch food, from the light and healthy sushi to typical heavy-duty breakfast items, several drag queens entertain as they come out in outrageous barely-there costumes lip-synching to popular songs.

Perry’s is located at 1811 Columbia Rd. NW.
Sunday brunch starts at 10:30 a.m. but get there early – there is always a line.


Filled with Victorian architecture and boutiques, Alexandria offers a charming view of history that dates back to the 1770s. Ramsay House Visitor Center is located in the middle of Old Town and there you can find maps to help guide you around the city. The free museum, Lyceum, is complete with two galleries and a gift shop. One of the many other interesting spots to visit is the Torpedo Factory located on Union Street, which was once an active site during World War I and II.
If you want to spend time outdoors, go to Fletcher’s Boat House, located at the intersection of Reservoir and Canal roads. There you can rent bikes and boats for under $10 an hour.
Old Town Alexandria can be accessed via the Kings Street Metro station on the Blue and Yellow lines.

Shaw Neighborhood

Venture out to the U Street and Shaw area for city sightseeing, nightlife and restaurants. Once called the Black Broadway, the area is home to a variety of artsy restaurants, nightclubs and music scenes. Busboys & Poets is a favorite bookstore and cafe. Dine on loveseats and coffee tables surrounded by unusual art pieces. Nearly every night there is an event at the café, from poets, to art shows, to famous authors.

Busboys & Poets is located at 2021 14th St. NW.
Mon. to Thurs. 8 a.m. – midnight, Fri. 8 a.m. – 2 a.m. Sat. 9 a.m. – 2 a.m. and Sun. 9 a.m. – midnight.

Capitol Hill

Walk beyond the official center of the District and discover the charming neighborhood of Capitol Hill. You’ll see classic row houses and stumble into Lincoln Park, where you can find a statue of Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves, and one of Mary McLeod Bethune, who was a teacher, prominent civil rights leader, adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and drafter of the United Nations charter. Also check out Eastern Market – only six blocks from the park – for some great shopping.

Lincoln Park is located at 11th and E St. NE. Eastern Market is located right off the Eastern Market Metro stop on the Blue and Orange lines.

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