Try These Outdoor Activities To Make The Most of Your Springtime in DC

Spring has sprung in Washington D.C., and as cheap college students we want nothing more than to take advantage of the free opportunity of enjoying the outdoors. A go-to for D.C. students is the National Mall, providing acres of grass for yoga, studying, picnics and tanning. With a city this vibrant, there must be other opportunities to soak up the sun without heading to the "popular" spots. Here is a compiled list of the best things to do in D.C. to enjoy the springtime weather. 


D.C. offers an incredible amount of parks to spend a day picnicking and exploring in the sunshine. Hains Point Picnic Areas are located in East Potomac Park, and requires you to reserve one of their picnic areas for you and your entire crew. The picnic area over looks the Potomac River, Anacostia River, and the Washington Channel. After you picnic, feel free to check out the other recreational activities such as fishing, biking, running and a playground.


One of the best part about D.C. is that it’s easy to leave the hub of the city life and enjoy some great, outdoor adventures. Rock Creek Park has 1,754-acres of land to explore and enjoy the springtime. Rock Creek includes hiking trails, nature centers, riding stables, tennis courts, a golf course, picnic areas, and trails for hiking, walking, jogging and cycling.

Paddle Boat

If you want to do something a little more physical but aren’t into hiking, paddle boating is a great opportunity to soak in the sunshine while getting a great view of the city. Tidal Basin Paddle Boats are located near the Jefferson Memorial and offer a great view of memorials and Japanese Cherry Trees all from the water. Boats are rented by the hour as either two or four person boats, and life vests are provided. Grab some friends and make it a competition, or go out with your significant other for a cute weekend date.


If physical activity isn’t for you, checking out D.C.’s many open markets is a great way to get some shopping done while still enjoying the outdoors. Eastern Market is located on Capitol Hill and is D.C.’s oldest fresh food public market. The market opens an outdoor section on weekends which brings in hundreds of people to enjoy live music, local farm-fresh produce, handmade jewelry, crafts and more than 100 merchants. The best part about an open market is you can purchase all the local groceries or snack on all the samples as your browse.


When the sun comes out, the patios open up at hundreds of Washington D.C.’s restaurants. Spend your weekend brunch soaking up the sun, and enjoying delicious seasonal dishes (and maybe some endless mimosas).  A popular choice is the Open City patio in Woodley Park in addition to a variety of great Georgetown patios that overlook the Potomac like Farmers Fishers and Bakers. Be sure to check out a list of the top D.C. patios by location. 


Most parks are open to the public, and it is definitely not discouraged for a college student to head for the swings if that’s what you’re into. Turtle Park (also known as Friendship Park) offers more than just a playground with swings and a sandbox for little kids. Located in American University Park neighborhood, the park offers picnic tables, two basketball courts, two tennis courts, four baseball and softball fields, and a rec center for all your springtime, outdoor sports needs.


The National Cathedral opens its gardens in the springtime for some incredible self-guided tours. Check out the two herb gardens, rose garden, two perennial borders and a Shadow House all while walking along gorgeous stone paths. Behind the gardens stands a five-acre forest, all available for exploring, studying and enjoying the gifts of spring. So make the most out of the gorgeous weather. With all the parks, trails, and open markets to try get outside, and explore all that D.C. has to offer. 

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