Things to Do

9 Ways to Enjoy DC’s Unexpectedly Great Weather

From Logan Circle to Hains Point, there's walking and hiking and biking and driving—oh my!

Photograph by Jerry Jividen/Getty Images.

Washington weather is notoriously fickle. Overnight gray skies punctuated by icy raindrops become balmy, beautiful afternoons. It’s best not to question it. Instead, here are some ways to take advantage of the gorgeous weather this week. 

Get Out and Walk

The sun: Not too bright! The heat: Not at all punishing! The humidity: Not yet your nemesis! The mosquitos: ditto! Days like this aren’t the norm, and they’re best spent outdoors. 

Rich with local history and natural scenery, Jones Point Park is perfect for a family day outside. Check out the park’s lighthouse overlooking the Potomac River—the last remaining riverine lighthouse in Virginia. Plus, kids can enjoy the playgrounds, basketball courts, canoe launch, and fishing docks. 

Architecture buffs can explore a self-guided walking tour of Logan Circle in Northwest DC for a taste of Victorian-era luxury. Iconic 19th century row houses line wide streets, and the neighborhood is also home to bars and restaurants to visit after your stroll through local history.

Hit the Road

Open the windows, pop the sunroof, remove the convertible top. Because if not now, when? Next, try driving along the Blue Ridge Mountains for a breathtaking trip through Northern Virginia. From I-66, hop onto Route 29 toward Warrenton. The best views begin once you pick up Route 211/Lee Highway. Picturesque landscapes of the mountains, sprawling fields of grapevines, and pastures with horses line the winding road. If you go all the way to the end point of this journey—Luray Caverns (the road will become US 211/522)—it will be at least a four-hour round-trip from DC without stops or detours. That said, you can turn around at any point.

As Easy as Riding a Bike

For the love of your chosen deity, skip your cycling class or Pel0ton—it will still be there when the weather gets lousy!– and enjoy the real deal. The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail spans across 20 smooth miles of the Anacostia riverbed. The wide path is perfect for cycling, and connects to Waterfront Park, the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, or the Kingman and Heritage Islands. 

For cycling with a waterfront view, check out Hains Point Loop Trail. Cyclists can loop around the flat, four-mile track while watching flights take off from Reagan National Airport across the river. 

Take a Hike 

If you’re looking for a quick and easy excursion, check out the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine Trail. The 0.3-mile trail leads to the banks of Quantico creek and connects to other park trails for longer hikes. Along the walk, trekkers will find educational signs explaining remnants of the pyrite mine that operated in the area until 1920.

More experienced hikers can check out the Loudoun Heights trail for incredible sights. The strenuous 7.5-mile hike is made worth it once you reach its end—a gorgeous view of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers’ confluence from 80 feet up at the Split Rock overlook.

Stroll in a Garden

Visit the gardens at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America (1400 Quincy Street, NE) to stroll through century-old green paths and ornate architecture at this beautiful, historic spot—open to the public daily between 9 AM to 4:45 PM. 

Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens (4155 Linnean Avenue, NW) in Northwest Washington offers 25 sprawling acres full of flora for every season. Guests can explore blooming camelias and hellebores, or peek into their greenhouse displaying a variety of orchids. 

Oh, and if the above isn’t enough, check out more options below:



Tory Basile
Editorial Fellow