Parks and Recreation: D.C. Style

To start off, no allusions to Ron Swanson and Amy Poehler found their way into this post (sorry), but in the spirit of Spring, stop watching Hulu and get outside. Now with temperatures promising to stay in the seventies for the rest of the week (or so says my Blackberry, which has been wrong before) and the Georgetown community’s complaints about obscene sunbathing habits on campus, where can one go to find a nice place to soak up some sun in the city? I know I’ve been going stir crazy being cooped up inside these past few months, and lets face it, we all know why everyone is happier in California (and it’s not something in the water), so for everyone’s sake, get off campus and enjoy the weather before it gets too humid (there are even free things you can do).

1. The National Portrait Gallery Sculpture Garden, part of the National Gallery of Art, located down 7th Street from Verizon Center and Constitution Avenue, is a great place to see modern art in a peaceful urban setting. It also offers free jazz concerts on the weekends, and with its proximity to the National Mall, the other Smithsonian museums in the area are easily accessible. The easiest way to get to the Sculpture Garden is to walk to the Foggy Bottom metro and take either the Orange or Blue Line to the Archives stop.

2. While it may seem obvious, go to the ZOO! After you’re done walking around looking at the animals, you’re not very far from either Adams Morgan or Cleveland Park, if you get hungry. The easiest way to get to the Zoo would be to take the GUTS bus to DuPont Circle and catch the Red Line to Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan. Its about a ten minute walk or so from the metro station to the zoo up Connecticut Avenue.

3. Meridian Hill Park, located a few blocks down Euclid Street NW from Columbia Road near Adams Morgan, is one of the city’s many overlooked treasures. This park is truly awe inspiring within the cluttered D.C. landscape and is a great escape from the city. The easiest way to get here would be to take the GUTS Bus to Dupont Circle and then take the Red Line to Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan and walk on Calvert Street.

These are only a few examples of what the city has to offer, but there’s also various places to rent kayaks along the Potomac here in Georgetown as well as in Alexandria. Rock Creek Park is a great place to go hiking or running, ride horses, and even has a Planetarium. The park itself actually reaches all the way down to the Potomac between 26th and 29th Streets, and runs up through D.C. into Maryland. If you or your friends have a car, there’s Mount Vernon past National Airport in Virginia and Great Falls that traverses the Potomac River through parts of D.C., Virginia and Maryland.

Photo: bilerico.com

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