Two days! Just two more days until Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. The National Mall is closed and DC is practically on lock down for security reasons, but that doesn’t make the occasion any less a cause for celebration.
We're curated a mix of virtual and IRL things to do, and local food and drink specials for you to throw the best at-home inauguration party ever, so don your best red, white, and blue loungewear and nestle up on the couch and get ready to celebrate!
WHAT TO DO:
WHAT TO EAT/DRINK:
WHAT TO LISTEN TO:
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There won't be any pomp and circumstance for this year's presidential inauguration of President Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris. Even the biggest political event of the year has been reimagined with the usual crowd-pleasing events going virtual. Which is just as well since the entire National Mall will be closed.
But it's not all bad news. The show must go on and there are a host of virtual inauguration events -- official and non-official -- that you can join from home to get in the spirit of the occasion and get a flavor of inaugurations past and present.
So make your Biden-Harris-themed food and drink picks, settle in to celebrate the triumph of democracy and a Twitter rant-free four years.
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.
DC has signature music, food and its own official dinosaur.
Forget images of massive digs like the one in the Jurassic Park movies, though. Apparently someone found part of a dinosaur vertebra and other bone fragments while excavating a sewer at First and F Streets SE in Capitol Hill in the late 1800s.
The bones were taken to Smithsonian scientists, but there was so little of it that paleontologists are still uncertain as to what this animal actually looked like. But since there was no agreement on the actual identity and classification of the bones, it was suggested that it was from a dinosaur unique to Washington, and the unofficial moniker Capitalsaurus was born.
More than a century after it was unearthed, there isn’t consensus on the actual identity of this prehistoric beast.
The official designation as the District’s official dinosaur is thanks to a group of fifth-grade students who enthusiastically lobbied City Hall to vote “yes” on vote “yes” on the Official Dinosaur Designation Act of 1998, Bill 12-538.
Today, January 28 is “Capitalsaurus Day” in D.C., marking the date the bones were presented to the Smithsonian. The block of F Street, SE where the fossil was discovered was formally dedicated as Capitalsaurus Court on January 28, 2000 (it’s the block that fronts Garfield Park).
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Guests check in at the iconic luxury hotel, but not all of them check out ...
Many hotels today have extras like in-room coffee makers, business centers and on-site dining. The historic Omni Shoreham in Woodley Park boasts all of this, plus a few extras, including a couple of ghosts.
At least, that's the story according to legend . . .
There are so many fascinating stories to uncover!
When planning vacation itineraries, graveyard visits may not be top of mind. But they are really open-air museums full of art and history and stories and nature. And sometimes you’ll find really creative nods to various lives among the headstones, too.
Congressional Cemetery in Southeast DC is a historic -- and still active -- 35-acre graveyard spanning more than 300 years. And despite its name, it’s a pretty lively place. The cemetery hosts several 5Ks, concerts, and outdoor movie nights, as well as a book club and yoga classes, and plenty of dogs and their owners frequent the grounds, too.
But despite its size and longtime history, Congressional Cemetery is a real hidden gem that many locals and tourists don't even know exists.
Part of the "Awesome People You Should Know in DC" series
Pop quiz: How many female stories and landmarks in Washington, DC can you name off the top of your head? 3, 2, 1 ... Go!
How did you do?
The history of DC is filled with the names of male patriots, and their stories are easy to find. But women have always been busy making their own history in tandem, too. There might not be a towering obelisk to mark their contribution, but you can find monuments, murals and historic markers to female activists, educators, artists if you look a little closer.
Kaitlin Calogera founded "A Tour of Her Own' in 2018 to help find and amplify those female stories, The first tourism company in DC to focus exclusively on women's history or "herstories" as Katilin calls them, the mission of A Tour Of Her Own is to elevate women’s stories into a more prominent place in American history and culture.
Because no one knows the city better than local guides, we asked Kaitlin about some of her favorite spots and ways to explore DC beyond the familiar iconic images.
You've probably passed it before and didn't even know it
The FDR Memorial at the Tidal Basin gets millions of visitors, while the original memorial to the late President is overlooked--hidden in plain sight.
That's right, the FDR Memorial that we all know actually isn't the first, or the even the only one, in DC!
On the lawn of the National Archives Building (on the Penn Ave side) is a large, rectangular piece of marble with the inscription: In Memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 1882 - 1945. This quietly elegant tribute is the first memorial to FDR and is the one he requested for himself.
The story goes that Roosevelt told Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter, that if he were to have a monument in Washington, it should be in front of National Archives and be no larger than his desk. Which it is; his desk was 3 feet tall, 7 feet long, 4 feet wide and so is the marble memorial. It was funded through an anonymous group of friends -- although their names are sealed into the base of the stone -- and dedicated on the 20th anniversary of FDR's death, April 12, 1965.
It just goes to show that there is *always* more than meets the eye.
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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!
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.
Longtime DC resident Cheryl Crowell is the Resource Development Director at Cultural Tourism DC; she is responsible for developing new sources of revenue and building relationships that further the organization's vision. The non-profit develops authentic, memorable experiences for people to enjoy and learn about DC, beyond its monuments. You've probably seen tall posts with historic information, photos and maps all across the city. Well, those are thanks to Cultural Tourism DC. And that's not all.
They promote pride and appreciation for the arts and vibrant heritage of DC through an impressive range of signature events: Residents and locals can participate in WalkingTown DC, a 10-day festival of intriguing guided tours of DC sites; gain insight into our international diplomatic community via Passport DC and the Around the World Embassy Tour; and engage in arts and culture during PorchFest DC, a showcase for local performing artists in neighborhood settings. Cultural Tourism DC is the ultimate local's tourism guide!
With all that insider knowledge, find out what DC spots bring Cheryl joy and other ways for you to discover the real DC!
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it