The National Mall: The Open Park Project, a local nonprofit, brought wireless Internet to the Mall, so now you can browse the Web while sitting amid some of Washington’s best museums and gardens. Try grabbing signals at these three spots: the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle, the plaza beside the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The only catch is that the settings are so lovely, you might find it hard to concentrate on your work.
Big Bear Cafe: A market and liquor store in DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood has been transformed into a welcoming neighborhood coffee shop where neighbors enjoy the Counter Culture Coffee and free Internet service. Friendly baristas and good coffee and sandwiches make the cafe a laid-back spot to check e-mail or get some work done. First and R sts., NW.
Caboose Cafe & Bakery: During the day, this Del Ray cafe with good Ethiopian food and sandwiches has a hip coffeehouse vibe. At night, you can get a full dinner and glass of wine. Bonus: You can skip over to the Dairy Godmother for frozen custard afterward. 2419 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-566-1283.
Tryst: This large Adams Morgan coffee shop has dozens of comfortable couches and chairs for settling in with your laptop—plus good coffee, sandwiches, pastries, and even alcohol. The people-watching is terrific—you’re likely to see political bloggers and tattooed local musicians—but keep in mind that the place turns off its wi-fi on weekends. 2459 18th St., NW; 202-232-5500. Tryst’s cousin in Woodley Park, Open City, also offers wi-fi—including weekends. 2331 Calvert St., NW; 202-332-2331.
Murky Coffee: Despite its name, this Clarendon coffee shop serves some of the area’s best coffee drinks. Hang out in the homey space with the Arlington art crowd, and try the rich, not-too-sweet hot chocolate. 3211 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-312-7001.
Mayorga Coffee Factory: Along with wireless Internet, good coffee, and solid service, this spacious Silver Spring spot has a “quiet room” in the back. 8040 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-562-9090.
DC2NY bus: This bus picks you up from Dupont Circle or 14th and I streets, Northwest, and drops you off at New York’s Penn Station, with free wi-fi during the ride. Round-trip fares are $40 to $50; dc2ny.com.