Outings to make the most of your U-Pass card

Media Credit: File Photo by Raphael Kellner | Photographer

The University's enrollment in U-Pass will let students explore the D.C. area for the $100-per-semester rate.

Now that students have access to unlimited Metro rides, get out of Foggy Bottom and make the most of your U-Pass card.

The U-Pass program, which is given to full-time students for a flat rate of $100 per semester, is the perfect opportunity to get off campus for no extra fee. We’ve rounded up some of the best cultural outings to put your new card to good use.

Red Line
Take a 30-minute ride on the Red Line to the Bethesda station for a day filled with shopping and a show. Take a five-minute walk from the Metro station and browse through Bethesda Row, an outdoor shopping area with both local small boutiques and clothing chains like Anthropologie and The North Face. After shopping, you can give your feet a break while sitting down for a play at Round House Theater, recognized by the Washington Post as “the current meteor in DC theatre.” In January and February, you can catch  Nine Night or TikTok (a Period Piece).

For an evening of entertainment, the Grosvenor-Strathmore station is just a five-minute walk from The Music Center at Strathmore. The large and ornate concert hall hosts orchestras, comics and dance groups. In addition to the Music Center, the Strathmore also is home to The Mansion, which hosts free artistic exhibitions as well as an afternoon tea experience. The Strathmore’s full campus spans 16 acres and is ideal for nature walks or photoshoots.

Silver Line
Whether you’re an outer space buff or just trying to tick all of the Smithsonian museums off your list, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is a fun spot to visit to view planes and space shuttles alike. The center is an extension of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and can be accessed by taking the silver line to the Wiehle-Reston East station and then taking the Fairfax Connector Bus. At the Udvar-Hazy Center, you can see the Space Shuttle Discovery, Amelia Earhart’s LockheedVega 5B, an Air France Concorde and other historical planes, shuttles and objects.

Orange Line
You may know this Korean grocery store chain because of the memoir Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner, or because you grew up going to one near you. Regardless, a visit to H Mart is just a ride to the Dunn Lorring-Merrifield station away. For ideas of what to put on your shopping list, you can check out some employee favorites or even a chef’s guide to shopping there.

For a peaceful retreat in the stillness of winter or a foliage-filled landscape view in the spring and summer, the aquatic environment of The Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens national park site accessible by Deanwood station is worth a visit. The gardens are located in D.C. just south of the Maryland border. The park site is free to enter and is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. most days of the year, making it an ideal spot for a morning run along its quarter mile boardwalk loop or a lunchtime picnic with friends.

Blue Line
For a full day outing to Six Flags Maryland, you can take the Silver or Blue Lines to Largo Town Center and then continue via bus for a 20-minute ride to Six Flags. The amusement park has a couple dozen rides, including a water park. The park also features themed areas, shows and bites to eat as you walk around. One-day tickets to the Six Flags park are $24.99 each but other membership deals are available.

Yellow Line
The National Inventors Hall of Fame takes visitors through famous technologies and their innovators throughout American history. The museum is free to enter and just a 13-minute walk from the Eisenhower Avenue station. Notable exhibits include a section on the impact of intellectual property, an exhibit that simulates a football stadium, and interactive kiosks to test your knowledge on trademarks and patents.

The Pentagon City station, which is accessible by both the Yellow and Blue lines, leads directly into the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The mall contains four levels and more than 150 stores and restaurants, with a dining pavilion in the center. There, you can pick up a new accessory at Kate Spade, relive your childhood hobby at Lego or pick up a sweet bite at Häagen-Dazs.

Green Line
Maybe you’re an aircraft buff or maybe you just want an escape from the city. Either way, take a trip to the College Park station to visit the College Park Aviation Museum. The museum, which has a $5 ticket fee, is one of the world’s oldest continuously operating airports founded in 1909 when Wilbur Wright came to give instructions on the first military aviators, according to the website. The museum showcases 10 aircrafts in chronological order of the year they were made with the oldest being the 1910 Wright Model B Reproduction and youngest being the 1946 Ercoupe 415D.

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