Do Something!

This summer, turn off the television, shut down your laptop, and get outside. The perks of living in the nation’s capital? There’s so much to do! So get off your butt and take a day trip to one of the area’s many exciting attractions – be it a museum, restaurant, or general district or neighborhood. Go out and explore, avoid the complacency of summer monotony and follow this guide, you’ll be glad you did.

<< Friendship Heights >>

Friendship Heights is the perfect place to have dinner with friends or to bring a date for a nice night out on the town. Check out Clyde’s restaurant on Wisconsin Ave. for a laid back atmosphere and some classic American-style cuisine. Placed throughout the restaurant are numerous cars straight out of the 1950s, of all shapes, sizes and colors. Look up around you for the model train circulating along the ceiling of the restaurant. For a light dinner at Clyde’s, grab a salad or consider sharing a meal. If you’re ready for a heavier meal, try one of Clyde’s’ many pasta, meat or seafood dishes, one being Clyde’s simple dish of spaghetti and meatballs that will come with a basket of warm bread and butter. For dessert, indulge in a slice of Sinful Chocolate Cake or walk on over to Giffords for a wide selection of ice cream to cool you down on a hot summer night. Taste some of Giffords’ ice cream flavors such as Butter Pecan, Chocolate Almond, Rocky Road and Chocolate Oreo, or try some fruity and flavorful sorbet flavors like Raspberry, Blueberry or Mango.

For a movie after dinner, the AMC Theatres, located on the top floor of the Mazza Gallerie, is a one option for those willing to spend a little more for their movie-watching experience.

<< Chinatown >>

Upon arriving by Metro, you’ll first be greeted by Chinatown’s signature bridge, brightly designed and at the exact center of all the action. In viewing distance from the Metro station are a number of shops and restaurants, including Starbucks and Urban Outfitters.

Start your outing with a lunch stop in Chinatown’s Matchbox restaurant, just a few short minutes from the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station, located off the intersection of H and 7th Street. This seemingly tiny restaurant is composed of three levels and designed with an array of earth tones that give Matchbox a relaxed feel. Seated on the top level, you have a clear view out the window overlooking the center of Chinatown.

For lunch, don’t overlook Matchbox’s renowned mini burgers, listed as an appetizer, but perfectly portioned for a light lunch. Many of the appetizers may be all you need to have a satisfying meal. If you happen to be in the mood for pizza, select a small (eight slices) or large (ten slices) out of the many options listed or take your meal into your own hands and design your preferred pizza. To avoid the line, make sure to arrive before the lunch rush between 12 and 1 p.m. (as one hungry customer put it, “There’s a wait to find out the wait.”)

For some dessert, stop by neighboring sweet shops, The Red Velvet Cupcakery and TangySweet, located at the corner of 7th and E Street. If you’re in the mood for an interesting and unique dessert, ask for the classic Southern Belle cupcake at the Red Velvet Cupcakery. If you feel like having a dessert on the simpler side, the Vanilla Bean cupcake is one option. If you find yourself stuck on a hot summer day, stop by TangySweet for some refreshing, fruity frozen yogurt or a smoothie and some air conditioning.

<< Georgetown >>

Grab a bunch of friends and head to Georgetown for a day of hanging out and excellent shopping. Once you get off at Foggy Bottom Metro station and make the 15-minute walk to Georgetown, you’ll find yourself coming in and out of different chain stores and vintage boutiques. Just walking up and down the streets of Georgetown is an experience in itself with the old architecture and cobblestone streets.

Out of the many options available for lunch and dinner, Pizzeria Paradiso offers oven-baked pizza straight from a wood-burning oven. Whether you choose one of the restaurant’s signature menu pizzas or the option to “create your own,” you’re certain to get a taste different than what the typical pizza delivery man brings. Try the Margherita pizza, which is the most basic of Pizzeria Paradiso’s menu pizzas. With mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and a touch of basil, the pizza is just right and isn’t too “dressed up.” The restaurant doesn’t take reservations so, if you’re in a big group, plan to go early. For some dessert following lunch, you can pick up ice cream or frozen yogurt in the mall or grab a gourmet cupcake from the famous Georgetown Cupcake. Expect a wait since lines out the door aren’t uncommon for this tiny shop.

If crowds aren’t your thing, avoid Georgetown on Saturdays when the traffic is by far the worst and the congestion on the narrow sidewalks is beyond frustrating.