16 Ways to Have the Best Summer Ever in Washington, D.C.

From rooftop pools and hiking trails to new eateries and art shows.

summer things to do truckeroo

photography by Phuong Nguyen


You don't need to skip town to have a fun and relaxing summer. Consider this your go-to guide for getting the most out of the season. As part of our 100 Days of Summer package, we'll be giving you tips on how to have the most fun in the sun, in five cities across the country. Last week, we hit New York City, and today, we're heading to Washington D.C.


1. Commit to eating every meal out of a truck at Truckeroo, DC’s biggest food truck festival, which will be held June 16, July 21, August 4, and September 1.

2. Put on your boldest bikini and head to the Liaison Hill DC rooftop pool and lounge, the only open-air rooftop bar on Capitol Hill. Day passes go for only $35, and after 5PM admission is completely free.

3. Unleash your inner adventurer and hike the Billy Goat Trail, which is famous for its sweeping views of the Potomac.

photography by RACHEL LYN PHOTOGRAPHY


4. Idle away an afternoon under pink and white umbrellas at the Rosé Garden, a buzzy newcomer from Whaley’s in the Navy Yard. Then, catch the outdoor crab boils at Fish, José Andrés’s latest seafood spot on a sprawling patio along the Potomac. [Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography]

5. Starting June 21, you can officially head to the Game of Thrones Pop-Up Bar. Sip a "What is Dead May Never Die" cocktail while you're transported to the North, the Red Keep, Meereen, the House of Black and White, and the Throne Room. 

summer things to do georgetown

photography by @montanaheinbach


6. Shop (whether it’s just the windows or the real thing) in historic Georgetown. [Photo via montanaheinbach]

7. For the perfect date night, head to Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art for a free outdoor concert and all the sangria you could ever want.

8. You’ve heard of food trucks, but what about food boats? Head to the Potomac and try a Nauti dog or Dolcezza Gelato from Nauti Foods every weekend from 10AM to 8PM.

summer things to do watergate hotel

photography by @watergatehotel


9. Spend a night at the Watergate Hotel, just to say you did, and make a game of noticing how the hotel pokes fun at its scandalous past. [Photo via @watergatehotel]

10. Catch some zen by taking a free yoga class at your local park any day of the week.

11. On a rainy (or grossly hot) day, visit the museums that you haven’t thought to check out before, like the International Spy Museum, the National Museum of Health and Medicine, and the Newseum.  

12. Unwind with an outdoor movie with friends at the Union Market drive-in movies or Screen on the Green.

summer things to do capital wheel

photography by @capitalwheel


13. Relive your childhood days by riding the Capital Wheel, and don’t forget to take a selfie, just ‘cause. [Photo via  @capitalwheel]

14. Imbibe the most uniquely crafted drinks at the trendiest cocktail bars in the city. Care for a Dirty Decision, anyone?

15. Get a little weird at DC’s biggest celebration of different art forms, Capital Fringe Festival from July 6-30. Click here for a full schedule of events.

16. Sample beers from over 70 different microbreweries at the Smithsonian’s Brew at the Zoo on July 20. All proceeds benefit the conservation and care efforts for the zoo’s animals. 

Related reading: 
Summer Bucket List: 14 Must-Do Activities in NYC 
The Best Places to Grab a Cocktail in Washington D.C.
The Best Outdoor Activities in Washington D.C.

Published on June 13, 2017 - 12:11pm EDT

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