August in Washington can seem like a big pile of blah. Despite our best efforts, the pace of the city is still set by those crazy Congressmen, and when the Hill departs en masse, the rest of us tend to go on mental vacation.
While there is something to be said for the occasional lazy Sunday, there is no reason to let these last days of summer pass unnoticed. With three weeks to go until September, it’s time to make the best of DC’s summer offerings—and maybe pay a visit to those destinations that you have been putting off since Memorial Day.
Without further ado, I present to you the DC Style Is Real How to Make August Awesome List:
- Play Concert Roulette. Pick a night you are free. Now pick a venue you have never or rarely frequently. Now click that “Buy Tickets” button, and you’re done. Never heard of the band? No problem. Not sure about the type of music? You’ll live. And you’ll have a completely fresh experience that will make for a great story the next day. [Tip: Check out the fancy music calendar those saucy minxes at BrightestYoungThings put together.]
- Dubsplash. The pool party formally known as Spiked Sundays is still going on and still one of the best ways to keep entertained and tanned. For $15, spend all day at the Capitol Skyline’s gorgeous pool serenaded by top local DJs. The bronzed crowd will be all the sightseeing you need. [Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.]
- Take Marie’s Capital Bikeshare Challenge. OK, I just make this up, so let me know how it goes. Step One: Get an all-day BikeShare pass if you aren’t already a member. Step Two: Take a look at the CaBi map and choose at least 10 stations around town (more if you are ambitious) and include at least one in each quadrant. Step Three: Bike from station to station, finding the fastest or most scenic routes, docking your bike at each location. Optional Step Four: Take photos, record your times and share the experience!
- Take Advantage of TICKETPLACE. Get completely legit half-priced tickets to the theatre every single day. And we’re not talking about your cousin’s talent show—these are the best venues in town. Kennedy Center, Arena Stage & Woolly Mammoth, just to name a few. It’s operated by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, so you can feel good about supporting the arts on top of it. Win-win-win.
- Use Your LivingSocial/Groupon/Other Deals. You don’t have to wait until the last minute to use those deals sitting in your inbox. Beat the rush and get the gang together for a bite at that cool place you forgot you wanted to go to so badly when you bought the deal two months ago.
- The Smithsonian is Free. Hey, did you know that one of the world’s premier museums is right here in DC and it is free? There are 19 Smithsonian museums in DC, and if you have honestly visited each and every one, I will buy you a cookie. Take a look at this handy list and go get some free patriotic culture. Bonus: The Smithsonian’s 165th birthday is this month! [Open every day. Hours here.]
- Take Yourself Out to the Ballgame. Root, root, root for the home team! National’s Stadium is nice, new and now features a Shake Shack. You can get inexpensive seats the day of the game, so very little planning is required here. There are 10 home games remaining in August. Go support our team and cheer on Teddy!
- Truckeroo. The next Food Truck bonanza is this Friday, August 12th at Navy Yard Metro from 11am – 11pm. Yummy. Check out the beautiful new Yards Park while you are in the neighborhood. Picnic, anyone?
- Jazz in the Garden. You keep meaning to go, really you do. Well, it’s a lot easier to leave work early in August than pretty much any other time of year. Grab your favorite co-worker and make a run for it while the boss is taking the kids to Nantucket. [Fridays from 5:00 to 8:30 at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.]
- Restaurant Week. Pick a nice restaurant that is normally out of your price range and invite a few friends to put on their finest cocktail attire for a midweek dinner party. “Just because” is reason enough! [August 15-21. Make reservations now.]
- Be a Tourist. While this site’s bias against tourists is well documented, the way they marvel at the fair city we take for granted is a great reminder that DC is awesome. Stroll the Mall, gaze at the White House and admire the historic monuments, row houses and landmarks of the District. Besides, it’s August—what the hell else are you going to do?
Marie Francis loves DC and thinks you should, too. Follow her on Twitter @mcfrancis.