Good Morning DC!


I’m Julia and I’ll be your guest blogger today! (And for another week or two.) I hail from Los Angeles and am out here for work. I am a Visual Effects Producer and I’m working on a feature film, shooting in DC and Baltimore. I’ve never been to this part of the country so I’m extremely excited to be a tourist on my few days off. But we have a saying in my biz: “It’s LO-cation, not VA-cation” so I can never count on anything as schedules change all the time.

But if my schedule does remain true, my first tourist stop is the National Air and Space Museum at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles. I love airplanes. Love them!

Enough about me. Tell me about you. What is your secret favorite non-touristy spot in DC? Or your favorite nook of the Smithsonian that no one ever goes to or talks about? Isn’t there a medical museum or a spy museum somewhere? Do tell…

(If you want to make your own faux Hollywood sign graphic, go here.)

13 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 8:03 am

    I’m a fan of the Spy Museum, but please, do yourself a favor and go during the week. It’s a MUCH better place when there isn’t a tour or six of kids running amok in the museum. Last admission is 4pm during the week, though, if you get a short day.

    Of course, if you’re up in Baltimore, go hang out at Tapas Teatro in Charles Village.

  2. owen (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 8:55 am

    dan’s cafe.

  3. Tiff (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 9:25 am

    First of all, don’t be afraid to do the straight-up touristy stuff. The museums and monuments are a big part of what it means to experience DC, it’s just that they’re not the ONLY part of experiencing DC. In fact, even though I’ve lived here for several years, I still find things like the Jefferson Memorial to be a great antidote for when I get jaded about this town.

    But if you’re looking to dig a little deeper- hit U Street for good food and the Black Cat just a few blocks away, and of course, Ben’s Chili Bowl. You can also head to Eastern market to check out the progress of the reconstruction.

    Just don’t let me catch you walking around town wearing a CIA baseball cap standing to the left on a Metro escalator.

  4. danny (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 9:38 am

    If you love planes, make a trip out to Gravelly Point park adjacent to Reagan National Airport and accessible from GW Parkway North. Planes land and take off literally right over your head. Probably the best spot on this side of the country for plane spotting.

  5. monavano (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 10:37 am

    Do the monuments! The weather is perfect for it and this is the only place you can see monuments like we have in DC. See the “wall”, check out the Korean and FDR memorial. Don’t miss it for the sake of trying to find something non-touristy. Be a tourist! Just stand to the right…

  6. monavano (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 10:41 am

    Oh, I second Gravely Point just north of Reagan airport. Especially if you see that the planes are comming in from the north. You can stand underneath the landing path and they are literally right over your head. Another way to see them is to take a Potomac river boat ride from Georgetown to Old Town Alexandria. see the Potomac Riverboat Company.

  7. Don (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 11:11 am
  8. Paulo (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 11:26 am

    Agree with both Gravely Point and Roosevelt Island. Even without a car, it’s not a very long walk from Rosslyn Metro to the island foot bridge. Then you can go back up and cross the Key Bridge to grab a bite in Georgetown.

  9. MBFan#2 (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 1:02 pm

    Experience the echo effect underneath the overhang on the building next to the Old Post Office Pavilion building across from Federal Triangle metro. Sit on Einstein’s lap near the National Academies of Science at Constitution and 21st Sts, NW. See FDR Memorial at night if your schedule permits. Mosey around the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (400 Michigan Avenue in Northeast Washington). The Awakening at Hains Point.

    Can’t think of any more to add to the great suggestions, re: aerofanatic. Udvar-Hazy is best indoors and Gravely Point is definitely best for outdoor enjoyment. Bring a picnic and a blanket and definitely accessible by foot if you have time.

    Welcome to DC and enjoy!

  10. Wayan (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 4:30 pm

    I would strongly suggest the Jefferson Memorial at night or Fletcher’s Boat House on the weekends. Two distinct DC getaways accessible by car or taxi.

  11. Julia (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

    Thank you all for the great suggestions! I appreciate the insider information and I’ll post more soon…

  12. Mary De Luca (unregistered) on September 6th, 2007 @ 12:19 am

    Welcome to our town! If you’ve never been here- you have to do the tourist things. But the momuments are for the evenings- the lighting is beautiful and the weather is cooler.

    Gravelly point is a must- pick up some sandwiches are The Italian Store in Arlington on Lee Highway- then head out for gravelly point.

    Make sure to get some crabs at The Quarter Deck- also in Arlington (can you tell that I live in ARlington)

    Take a trip to Old Town Alexandria for an evening dinner. Lot of good restaurants. Stop by the torpedo factory for some local artists work.

    If you get some good time off- take a drive out to Great Falls Park- there is one in Maryland and in VA- I like the VA side better.

    There is a local theater group called signature theater in the Shirlington section of Arlington.

    Then there is Eastern Market, Union Station, the Georgetown flea market on the weekends.

    If you like to bike- this is definitely the place to rent one- there are bike paths all over the place- but a nice little ride along the Potomac in Virginia- you can stop in Old Town for lunch or continue to Mt. Vernon. You can also ride up and down The National Mall. If you can find a commuter store in Arlington (I think there is one at Crystal City) you can get a bike map.

    And I second the recommendation of The Awakening at Hains Point. Also a nice bike ride.

    And if all this isn’t enuf- make sure to pick up the friday edition of the Washington Post for weekend events.
    Sept is the best time to be in DC- there are alot of weekend art festivals coming up and some weekend concerts.

    Also- there is going to be a big anti-war protest coming up – you can even get a good washington protest in.
    Another thing to check out is all the american flags that are going to up on buildings and overpasses next week to remember 9/11.

    The Air Force Memorial is new. You can see where the plane hit the pentagon from it’s hill.

    Also- if you like the Air & Space – they have another version out by Dulles Airport with even bigger and cooler toys. :)

    Enjoy your time here- can’t wait to hear what you like the best about this town.

  13. nonsooth (unregistered) on September 6th, 2007 @ 9:28 pm

    The National Arboretum is gorgeous. There’s a shuttle from the Metro (I forget which stop) and there are plenty of walking/biking trails. The bonsai exhibit is my favorite.

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