Travel,  United States

Washington, DC Bucket List

Washington, DC

National Mall

Having grown up in the area, I didn’t fully appreciate DC until the past few years.  I usually associated the city with my 5 consecutive field trips to the SAME Smithsonian Museum snoozefest.  After I went off to school, and began traveling more, I started looking at DC completely differently.  I am finding myself weeks from leaving the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia), with a bucket list that is way too long!

Working in DC the past year or so has definitely pushed me to take more advantage of the area.  However, I kept finding time was passing and I wasn’t doing half of what I wanted to!  So now that the end of summer is fast approaching, I have been exploring more whenever I can squeeze something in!  No rest for the wicked!

Here are some of my favorite activities and places to visit in/around DC:

Kayak/Paddle Board on the Potomac

This is definitely a summer activity, but you can rent a kayak, canoe, paddleboard, what have you, and you pay for the hour(s) you use it!  They provide everything!  Key Bridge is a gorgeous area, right under Georgetown.

Great Falls Park

One of my all-time favorite places for hiking, picnicing, and general sight-seeing.  It costs money to get in, so I wouldn’t drop by for too short of a visit.  However, if hiking isn’t your cup of tea, the picture to the left is at an overlook on the VA side before you have to walk nearly anywhere at all!

DC Restaurant Week 

DC Restaurant week happens at least twice a year, and it’s a great way to explore some of the pricier places to eat in DC without spending that much!  The restaurants post several course menu options at a set price ahead of time, so you can choose before booking if you want!


Despite my earlier comments regarding the “snooze-fest”, the Smithsonian is actually a very great museum to visit.  DC has numerous amazing museums – some of which I still haven’t gone to (but hey!  I’m working on it!)  The Phillips Collection is my personal favorite.  The Renwick Gallery also had an incredible exhibit recently.

Support local sports teams

Job perks definitely help with getting some amazing seats… but!  You can get tickets for super cheap to nearly any sport in DC as long as you aren’t opposed to nosebleeds!

Botanical Gardens

((Yes, I used to have hair)) Botanical Gardens is a must-see in the summertime.  This picture does it no justice, but it was all I could find for the moment!

DC Bucket List - Adventures with Shelby

Themed Bar Crawls

I personally believe that everyone must experience at least one themed bar crawl in DC/VA.  It’s extra shambly, but worth checking off the bucket list.

Local Vineyards

Virginia has SO many amazing vineyards – and many aren’t too far from DC if that’s your locale.  This photo is at The Winery at Bull Run.



The Monuments are all worth seeing once, if you haven’t before.  Or, if you live/work in the area, there are super fun sports/drinking leagues on the National Mall and other locations!  I played Kickball this past Spring and Summer.  🙂 We participated in USS, but there are many many others as well.

Cherry Blossoms

Peak bloom is always announced ahead of time, generally at the beginning of April.  Cloudy or sunny, the tidal basin is worth the visit during this time.  I find it one of my favorite sights year-round in DC!




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