WASHINGTON — With congested roadways, never-ending Metro track work and high rates for city parking, sometimes it’s nice to plant yourself in one place — even for a whole day.
Thankfully, in D.C., there are plenty of neighborhoods where you can do just that. Some areas are perfect for bouncing between cocktails and dinner, while others are great for slow Sunday mornings — and quite a few provide a mix of both.
The next time you’re making plans and want to keep all the activity within a block or two, here are some destinations worth checking out:
Easy like Sunday morning
Connecticut Avenue, between Nebraska and Fessenden This is the perfect block to spend a relaxing Sunday morning. Start with a cup of coffee and a paper at The Den (opens at 8 a.m.) inside D.C.’s famed bookstore Politics and Prose . When the bookstore opens at 10 a.m., spend some time perusing the stacks of staff picks, sale books and new fiction. Kids will also love the children’s room, which is filled with old and new favorites.
Then, grab another coffee and mid-morning snack next door at Little Red Fox . Sit outside on the patio and watch the neighborhood go by, or thumb through your recent bookstore purchases. You can also pick up a few local cheeses, a baguette and a bottle of wine for an easy dinner.
Lunch at Comet Ping Pong is the perfect way to end the morning, and if you feel so inclined, you can continue your Sunday Funday across the street at Jake’s American Grille .
(Photo: Coffee at Little Red Fox, WTOP/Rachel Nania)
The block with the hottest spots
Upshur Street, between Georgia Avenue and 8th Street NW Two of the three D.C. restaurants that landed on Bon Appétit’s list of best new restaurants in America are on the same block — and they’re just two options diners have when they visit Upshur Street in Petworth. Timber Pizza Co. and Himitsu have the food world buzzing, but Petworth Citizen , Hank’s Cocktail Bar and Taqueria del Barrio are also worth checking out on this stretch.
Go hungry — maybe wear your stretchy pants.
(Photo: Tacos at Taqueria del Barrio, Courtesy Jai Williams)
Small bites, cocktails and shopping
T Street NW, between 14th and 13th One of the best places to hang out on a weekend afternoon is the intersection of T and 14th streets NW. In just a small block, the options for eating are endless. Colada Shop on T Street serves Cuban coffee, small bites and cocktails. There’s also Ice Cream Jubilee , Taqueria Nacional and Lupo Verde within an arm’s length.
On the other side of T Street is Room and Board , which has an endless number of showrooms displaying modern furniture and design, and across 14th Street, there’s Cafe Saint-Ex , Compass Rose and Matchbox for drinks and dinner.
If you need to squeeze some errands into your fun day, Trader Joe’s is just a few doors down.
(Photo: Ice Cream Jubilee, WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Fun for everyone at The Yards
Tingey Street SE to Water Street SE You won’t find all of these businesses on the same block per se, but you don’t have to walk far to get to each. The Yards has something for everyone: There’s the splash park and Ice Cream Jubilee for families, Bluejacket Brewery for craft beer enthusiasts, and Whaley’s and Osteria Morini for food lovers, plus plenty of greenery and waterfront views — all along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.
And this fall, D.C.’s first urban winery,
District Winery, will open in the area. (Photo: The splash/water park at Yards Park, Getty Images/Alex Wong)
Getty Images/Alex Wong
Tours and tastings at Union Market
5th and Penn streets NE There’s plenty to do (and eat) inside D.C.’s
Union Market, but there are other activities outside the warehouse, as well. Across 5th Street NE, there’s Cotton & Reed distillery, where visitors can do a rum tasting and order cocktails; Lab 1270 houses pop-up businesses. On the other side of Penn Street NE, there’s the Angelika Pop-Up, an independent movie theater, and Dolcezza’s coffee and gelato factory. One can spend hours at this destination, especially when there’s an art fair at Dock 5 or a festival in Union Market’s parking lot.
(Photo: Cotton & Reed, Courtesy Cotton & Reed)
Courtesy Cotton & Reed
Music, movies and meals on V Street
V Street between 8th and 9th streets NW There’s more to do on V Street than go to a show at D.C.’s famous
9:30 Club. In the last few years, the neighborhood has exploded with restaurants, residences and entertainment options. Before a concert, grab a meal at Hazel, Haikan or Declaration. Satellite Room serves boozy milkshakes, and Landmark Cinema at Atlantic Plumbing shows new releases and independent flicks. (Photo: Landmark Atlantic Plumbing Cinema, WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Healthy habits on Grace Street
Grace and Wisconsin Streets NW First, grab a coffee at
Grace Street Coffee. Next, hop on a bike at SoulCycle. After your workout, head to South Block Juice Co. for a green smoothie, then fuel up on veggie tacos at Chaia. Finally, reward yourself with a sweet treat at Dog Tag Bakery and take a stroll along Georgetown’s canal. (Photo: Chaia, Courtesy Chaia)
A night out on H Street NE
H Street NE, between 13th and 14th streets Afternoons quickly transform into evenings on this one block of H Street.
Biergarten Haus is a great place to grab a table on the patio and a stein or two on a weekend afternoon. Go for a meal at Erik Bruner-Yang’s Maketto or Sally’s Middle Name. There’s also RedRocks and Impala Cantina y Taqueria. Entertainment options include a show at Rock & Roll Hotel or a round of indoor mini golf at H Street Country Club. (Photo: Noodles at Maketto, WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Wine, art and eats on 8th Street SE
8th Street SE between E and G streets Pop into
DCanter for a class or tasting, breeze through an exhibit at The Fridge, and choose from a number of restaurants for a dinner out, including Ambar, Garrison and Lavagna. If you feel like venturing off the block, there are plenty of shops and eateries, plus Eastern Market just across Pennsylvania Avenue. (Photo: A tasting at DCanter, WTOP/Rachel Nania)