Cool and unexpected places for Black history are all around you
There are are some that believe places like the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial are the be-all-end-all of where to go for Black history, but that's not true.
Black history is embedded in DC's DNA in places that are obvious and many others that are not. From Benjamin Banneker Park to Frederick Douglass' first home in DC, here are some sites worth the hike to discover how significant African American contributions have been not only in Washington, D.C., but in the nation.
Celebrate Black history every day
Historian, scholar, and writer Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week, the precursor to Black History Month, from his rowhouse in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood in 1926. The home, owned by the National Park Service, is currently closed due to COVID (definitely worth a visit when it reopens) but you can pay a visit to the Carter G. Woodson Memorial located at 9th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, NW, which is a couple of blocks from his house.
We've put together several other ways to celebrate Black History Month this February and beyond. We've got recommendations for deep discussions and black love book clubs, walking tours and cultural breaks, and more.
Go Inside the President's Guest House Where Vice President Kamala Harris Will Be Staying Temporarily
Historic Blair House has hosted foreign dignitaries and several presidents in the days before their inaugurations. One even survived an assassination attempt within its walls
Blair House sounds like some kind of posh estate in the United Kingdom but it's right here in DC.
Better known as the "President's Guest House," it's where Madame Vice President Kamala Harris and her family will be staying while her new home at One Naval Observatory, the official residence of the Vice President, undergoes maintenance
Located just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and steps from the White House, Blair House serves as the president's guest house. It’s right near the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum so chances are you’ve walked by without even knowing it. Joe Biden and his family stayed here before Inauguration Day and his swearing in as the 46th President of the United States.
The historic home has hosted foreign dignitaries and several presidents in the days before their inaugurations. Lincoln is known to have been a frequent visitor at Blair House, which was a fast walk across Pennsylvania Avenue. One even survived an assassination attempt within its walls.
Wrangling an invite to Blair House is even harder than getting one to the White House. Security is tight and access exclusive. Go inside — and learn the history behind — the place our new VP will temporarily be calling home.
Number One Observatory Circle on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory is the traditional home for veeps.
Ask most people where the president lives and they’ll tell you, “the White House.” Ask them where the vice president lives and the answer is much less certain.
Even though it might not have the same ring to it as 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, One Naval Observatory (located on the grounds of the 72-acre U.S. Naval Observatory) has been the official home to every vice president since Walter Mondale) in 1977.
When Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff move into Number One Observatory Circle, they will be only the eighth vice-presidential family in American history to do so. They’re currently staying at Blair House, the President's Guest House, while they’re soon-to-be new home undergoes maintenance.
Although Rev Martin Luther King is memorialized on the National Mall and is indelibly associated to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, there are a number of other places in DC where he left his mark.
In honor of Dr. King's, on the 53rd anniversary of his assassination, we've put together a list of 10 places in Washington to reflect on his life and legacy.
If you're sick of just about everything on Netflix, you're in luck. DC’s museums, gardens, art galleries and cultural institutions are starting to re-open! Be aware--many places are requiring visitors to reserve timed-entry passes to aid social distancing measures, and masks are always a must. But that's to be expected in this "new normal."
So, ready for some summertime fun in the city? Take a look at our handy guide to see what’s currently open!
The best ice cream in DC, minus the brain freeze
During these dog days of summer (basically any day ending in -y in DC), there’s nothing like a sweet and delicious frozen treat to cool you down. With so many spots for summertime scoops, we've compiled a handy list of 10 local places to sample some of the best frozen confections in the city!
Part of the "Awesome People You Should Know in DC" series
Find travel inspiration and discover new wonders for your adventures in DC as some of the city's movers, shakers, explorers and creatives share ow they're staying busy during the quarantine and what they're looking forward to once the restrictions lift.
DC-native Solia Bickersteth is a rising pop phenom who released her debut EP Fast Cars & Midnight earlier this year. She embodies DC's long-standing DIY music tradition, writing, playing all the instruments and producing her own music. As a singer-songwriter, Solia finds inspiration from personal experiences.
Check out a sample of her music on our "DC Sounds Like This" Spotify playlist.
She says, "My goal as a songwriter is to tell stories and so through the voices of these women I’m speaking through in the show, I”m telling stories." Through her journey producing two other releases and writing her first play for the Capital Fringe Festival a couple of years ago, she has found the value in letting go and being open to new experiences.
Naturally, being able to enjoy live music again at 9:30 Club tops her wish list for post-COVID activities, but she encourages people to explore DC beyond the popular hotspots:
Follow Solia @iamsolia for updates about releases, videos and events.
Curious? There's more!
"Awesome People in DC You Should Know" Series
Find travel inspiration and discover new wonders for your adventures in DC as some of the city's movers, shakers, explorers and creatives share tips on exploring the city even during the quarantine and what they're looking forward to once the restrictions lift.
DMV-native Dominic Green is a multi-disciplinary artist and storyteller who is currently focused on film, photography and play-writing; he has written and directed two film shorts "The Black Body" and "Awaken, Brown Eyes" which premiered at Atlas Performing Arts Center's "Intersections" festival earlier this year.
From a young age, Dominic has been fascinated with the duality of good and evil. This fascination was rooted in a spiritual upbringing, and stories of good and evil found in biblical text. Through these stories, Dominic developed a curiosity around the backstories of their characters, and how a moment seemed to shape the rest of their lives. Dominic uses his lens and writing to explore this central tension, and inherent questions of fairness and bias rooted in perception. We've said it once and we'll say it again, look out Spike Lee!
Find out what local places Dominic credits as some of his favorites and his suggestions for discovering spots that tend to be overlooked.
A continuing series about awesome social distance activities in DC to keep you entertained during the outbreak and inspired to keep daydreaming about your next adventure in the Nation's capital.
One of our favorite things to do is to wander the aisles of our favorite indie bookstores. Sometimes there's no purpose behind our visit. We aren't necessarily looking for the latest New York Times bestsellers or the latest releases; we've just popped in to browse to see what we discover.
Bookstores are our happy place. Checking out book jackets that catch our eye; adding and removing titles to our Jenga-esque tower of books on the floor as we go deeper into the stacks, and getting lost in the written word, is an escape without a passport or destination. And we always love checking out the staff recommendations and chatting with them, trading book information as eagerly as little kids showing each other our newest toy or game.
Luckily, we don't have to lose the connection to our favorite independent bookstores while we're at home. Due to the impact of COVID, many local bookstores have added curb-side pick-up and are ramping up delivery and shipping to get copies of your new and used picks into your hands as we all quarantine and chill.
Get your read on at our 8 favorite local independent bookstores that are currently offering curb-side pickup, delivery and shipping. Help these small-businesses keep their doors open so check out their offerings for yourself or to give as gifts. Stuck on what book they might like? Gift cards make great gifts too!
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it