5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Arlington, VA

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Arlington.

Gateway Park

Open spaces, scenic vistas of the city, occasional concerts, or movies in the park – Gateway Park has everything you’d want in a city park. It is a great place to picnic in the tranquility of nature without losing the pulse of the city itself. 

Lady Bird Johnson Park

A park of trails and memorial monuments situated on Columbia Island. Lady Bird Johnson Park looks across the Potomac River to the famous monuments of Washington, D.C., but it is also home to several gorgeous monuments of its own. For a quieter picnic in the D.C. area, this is the place. It will give you stunning views without the typical tourist crowds, and is well-designed with trails, flowers, and Cherry Trees along the river. There are picnic tables available throughout the park as well as open spaces for laying out a blanket.

Bon Air Park Rose Garden

Bon Air Park Rose Garden is a fabulous place to visit because its gardens are so elaborate and well-maintained. Walking through these gardens feels luxurious and joyous with so much beauty surrounding you. Benches can be found everywhere in the garden – in open fields, under large trees, under pergolas, or along the stone paths of the garden. No matter where you choose to sit, you’ll be sure to have a lovely view and a feeling of peace in nature.

Virginia Highlands Park

A true urban, city park designed for play, which makes Virginia Highlands Park a wonderful place for a picnic. You can work up an appetite on the basketball courts or soccer field, at the Children’s Playground and Spray Park, or the Aurora Hills Water Playground. There are even tennis courts and baseball diamonds. There are benches and picnic tables under pavilions everywhere in the park as well as plenty of open grassy spaces for picnicking. Virginia Highlands Park is the perfect place to play and to eat.

Long Bridge Park

Long Bridge Park features a contemporary design unseen in many city parks. Its playground and many of its walking paths look almost futuristic. They are fun, unique, and extremely verdant. The park is also located near the Potomac River, so it has lovely views of the National Monuments as well.

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Arlington, VA

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

Arlington National Cemetery

1 Memorial Ave, Arlington, VA 22211

Arlington National Cemetery is a United States military cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., in whose 639 acres the dead of the nation’s conflicts have been buried, beginning with the Civil War, as well as reinterred dead from earlier wars. The United States Department of the Army, a component of the United States Department of Defense, controls the Cemetery. The National Cemetery was established during the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, previously the estate of Mary Anna Custis Lee, a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington and wife of Robert E. Lee. The Cemetery, along with Arlington House, Memorial Drive, the Hemicycle, and Arlington Memorial Bridge, form the Arlington National Cemetery Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 2014.

The Pentagon

Washington, DC 22202

The Pentagon is the world’s largest office building, with about 6.5 million square feet (150 acres; 60 ha) of floor space, of which 3.7 million sq ft (85 acres; 34 ha) are used as offices. Some 23,000 military and civilian employees, and another 3,000 non-defense support personnel, work in the Pentagon. It has five sides, five floors above ground, two basement levels, and five ring corridors per floor with a total of 17.5 miles (28.2 km) of corridors.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

1 Memorial Avenue, Arlington, VA 22211

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument dedicated to deceased U.S. service members whose remains have not been identified. It is located in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, United States. The World War I “Unknown” is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the Victoria Cross, and several other foreign nations’ highest service awards. The U.S. Unknowns who were interred are also recipients of the Medal of Honor, presented by U.S. Presidents who presided over their funerals. The monument has no officially designated name.

National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

901 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

The Pentagon Memorial is a permanent outdoor memorial to the 184 people who died as victims in the building and on American Airlines Flight 77 during the September 11, 2001 attacks—designed by Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman of the architectural firm of Kaseman Beckman Advanced Strategies with engineers Buro Happold, the memorial opened on September 11, 2008, seven years after the attack.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Washington, DC

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and fireworks! But with the country beginning to emerge from the worst of it, some celebrations are returning in the area. Read on to see what’s happening around Washington, DC this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

National Mall Fireworks

As the nation’s capital, Washington, DC is a great place to spend Independence Day! There are so many important cultural and historical sites in the area that you can visit to celebrate the holiday while keeping with the theme of its roots!

Spend your day wandering around the national mall visiting monuments and museums and then end the day by watching the fireworks displays. You can view the locations for fireworks here, which include Grant Memorial and the Capitol Building. For those who would rather not be in a crowd, you can watch the annual PBS broadcast, A Capitol Fourth.

Rock Creek Park

A laid-back day barbequing with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a BBQ, check out Rock Creek Park, which is managed by the National Parks Service. In fact, it was the 3rd National Park ever designated, back in 1890. The park has 8 different picnic shelters with grills and tables that you can reserve for large groups here. There are also additional places to grab a table or spread out a picnic blanket for smaller groups on a first-come-first-served basis.

The park is very large at almost 2,000 acres, so there’s plenty to do if you want to spend the whole day there. Here are some examples:

·   Go for a hike

·   Visit the Nature Center and Planetarium

·   Go horseback riding

·   Bring the kids to one of the many on-site playgrounds

·   Play golf

·   Learn history at Peirce Mill and Old Stone House

Colonial Beach

Cooling off at the beach is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and luckily, Washington, DC isn’t too far from the water! For a perfect holiday weekend getaway, drive just about two hours to Colonial Beach, Virginia. This small town has a lovely stretch of sandy beach along the Potomac River as well as a long boardwalk on which you can stroll to find picnic areas, shopping, food vendors, and boat rentals.

If you get bored of the sand and surf, you can find plenty else to do in this adorable town, including:

·   Visit George Washington Birthplace National Monument

·   Monroe Bay Vineyard

·   Fishing, boating, and crabbing

·   Look for Bald Eagles, which nest in the area

While last year’s Fourth of July events were canceled, some might be back this year, so stay tuned! In previous years Colonial Beach has celebrated with auto races, a parade, children’s activities, and fireworks.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Arlington

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educates with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening as well as the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcome all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Sherwood Gardens

4310 Underwood Rd, Baltimore, MD 21218

Established in 1920, this free-admission garden showcases tulips (Apr-May) & other floral specimens.

Adkins Arboretum

12610 Eveland Rd, Ridgely, MD 21660

Because of its location on the Delmarva Peninsula, at the junction of the piedmont and the coastal plain where northern and southern plant life overlap, it includes diverse habitats that support more than 600 species of native shrubs, trees, wildflowers, grasses, and ferns.

Green Spring Gardens

4603 Green Spring Rd, Alexandria, VA 22312

Green Spring Gardens is a must-visit park, a year-round gold mine of information and inspiration for the home gardener.  It’s an outdoor classroom, a museum, and a national historic site.

U.S. National Arboretum

3501 New York Ave, Washington, DC 20002

​The grounds of the U.S. National Arboretum are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year except for Christmas Day. Admission is free, and no tickets are needed.

Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

3100 Swan Dr, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD 21217

The Rawlins Conservatory and Botanic Gardens have distinct environments that allow the display of plants from all over the world—including plants from tropical, desert, and Mediterranean environments.

Cylburn Arboretum Association

4915 Greenspring Ave, Baltimore, MD 21209

A 200-acre urban oasis in Baltimore City, Cylburn is a place of natural beauty and learning with hundreds of specimen trees, plant collections, gorgeous gardens, wooded trails, and a historic mansion.

McCrillis Gardens

6910 Greentree Rd, Bethesda, MD 20817

McCrillis Gardens is a naturalistic garden, offering shady woodland walks and splashes of color, especially in spring.  Tucked into a residential neighborhood in Bethesda, the five-acre property is managed by Brookside Gardens.

Bishop’s Garden

2112 S St NW, Washington, DC 20008

The Cathedral Close, the 59 acres surrounding the Cathedral, provide a beautiful sanctuary year-round. The grounds consist of cultivated gardens, including the Bishop’s Garden, the Olmsted Woods, an oak and beech forest, manicured lawns; a prayer path; and the landscaped grounds and athletic fields of the Cathedral schools.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Washington, DC

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Founding Farmers DC

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Washington, DC, there’s no better place for brunch than Founding Farmers DC. Since the restaurant is so popular and can’t currently operate at full capacity, they’re also offering a special Mother’s Day Brunch at Home! All you have to do is order the food ahead, pick it up, and follow the step-by-step reheating instructions to give your mother a decadent, cooked-from-scratch brunch in your home. The menu includes mouthwatering items like cinnamon rolls, French toast, quiche, fresh-squeezed juices, and mimosas. Don’t forget to add on the Founding Farmers Chocolate Sampler to really melt mom’s heart! If you’d rather dine on-site, make sure you make a reservation before they fill up!

Meridian Hill Park

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is in Columbia Heights at Meridian Hill Park. The historic park is known for its beautiful cascading fountains, and you can read about more notable park features on its website before you go. As a part of the larger Rock Creek Park, you’ll have plenty of room to stroll and watch wildlife after your picnic.

Derrick’s Paintbrush

If you want something unique to do with your mom, how about getting in touch with your creative side? Derrick’s Paintbrush is a paint and sip where you and your mom can drink and socialize while you’re walked through painting your own personal masterpiece! The studio is taking COVID-19 precautions like wiping down all work areas and supplies in between guests and you can also book a private party with your siblings and your mom’s friends. They’ll provide the supplies and the instruction; you bring snacks and whatever you want to drink. If you’d rather have an intimate night that’s just you and mom, they’ll come to you for a painting party for two at your home (total of $140).

Gravitas

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out. Consider Gravitas, a new restaurant on the scene that just earned a Michelin Star! Gravitas offers chef’s tasting menus with curated cocktails and wines that will give you an intimate experience with the food. You’re sure to enjoy its locally sourced menu items and industrial-chic design elements. If you’re trying to be careful due to the pandemic, they also offer to-go meals.

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Best Car Washes in Washington, D.C.

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Washington, D.C. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Washington, D.C. has to offer.

First, we recommend KR Mobile Car Detailing. This shop comes to you. Can’t come in? No problem! Whether you’re at home or at work, they’ll be sure to service your car wherever you happen to be. Several packages are available, from basic hand wash to interior detail, exterior detail, or both. Prices vary according to the size of your vehicle, so be sure you get a quote before you book your appointment. Depending on your package, different options are available, from shampooing carpets, to rejuvenating leather seats, to waxing, to clay bar. Call or go online today.

Second, we suggest Auto Detail Pros. Touted as “appearance specialists”, they’ll make your car look brand-spanking new. They do not use wax, rather prefer to use coatings for all their vehicles. If you need ceramic coating or paint protection, this is your shop. Their packages include shampooing carpets, conditioning leather seats, cleaning interior windows as well as cleaning wheels and tires. Add-ons are available for purchase as well, such as odor removal, clay bar, or pet hair removal. They also offer scratch removal and steam cleaning, as well as black trim restoration. Book your appointment online or by phone.

Finally, District Detail might just be what you’re looking for. This shop services vehicles of all types, from cars to trucks, from SUV’s to vans and minivans, and from exotic to classic. Whatever you drive, they can detail. At District Detail, you can buy your detailing packages per year. How often do you have your car washed and detailed? Protect your investment and keep it looking like new by buying their year-long packages and take it in whenever you feel like it. Go online to get yourself a quote, or to book your appointment.

If you’re on a time crunch and looking for a quick drive through car wash in Atlanta, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Express Car Wash on Georgia Ave. NW, Montana Double Car Wash on 18th St. NE, or Wash & Shine on Wisconsin Ave. NW. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Washington, D.C., you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Washington DC

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Washington DC and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Washington DC that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

Kimpton George Hotel

If you’re looking for the cool factor, look no further than the Kimpton George Hotel, which pays homage to George Washington with playful modern art throughout the hotel. Located right in Capitol Hill, the hotel is a popular meeting place for politicians. Dine-in at the on-site upscale French bistro and you may see some of them. Other cool amenities include in-room yoga mats, cheetah-print bathrobes, wine receptions, electric car charging stations, and bikes for loan. And Kimpton Hotels go above and beyond when it comes to being pet-friendly. They’ll allow ANY pet that fits through the door, no matter the species, at no additional charge. The concierge will be able to recommend pet-friendly activities around the city and you can borrow a pet bed, bowls, or mats to keep your pet comfy in your room!

The LINE DC

For the ultimate luxury experience, check yourself into The LINE Hotel. Located in a converted turn-of-the-century church, this high-end hotel boasts rooms with free Wi-Fi, large flat-screen TVs, sitting areas, mini-bars, and lots of art. You can also upgrade to a room with a balcony or a monument view! While you’re not lounging in the comfort of your room get your sweat on in the fitness room, take a rooftop yoga class, or enjoy a meal at one of the three on-site bars and restaurants. You can easily venture out to popular destinations around the city – the hotel is in the Adams Morgan neighborhood near plenty of nightlife and only 3 miles away from the Washington Monument. Even better, the hotel has a fantastic pet policy. They allow both dogs and cats for free and place no weight limits or size restrictions. If you like, you can pick up courtesy cleanup bags, water bowls, and treats from the front desk.

Airbnb – Entire Apartment

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly place to crash right near the airport, this Airbnb apartment in Arlington is just minutes from DCA Airport! This private apartment includes free parking, Wi-Fi, a kitchen, laundry, and breakfast. If you’re bringing more than your pet along, this is also a perfect choice for families as it has 3 bedrooms and can sleep five.

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What to do in Washington, DC

Washington, DC is a fantastic place to be if you’re bored and wondering what to do. It is a city steeped in the history of the United States, as well as the seat of our government. Some iconic points of interest are closed until further notice, but we have found a few things that are sure to give you a fun-filled day while on your stay in the District of Columbia. Let’s take a look at what Washington, DC has to offer.

First, we recommend the breathtaking National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. This garden is full of all kinds of fantastical sculptures that will captivate your imagination. Take a stroll through the wandering paths to see sculptures such as the Spider, Wandering Rocks, or Typewriter Eraser, Scale X. All kinds of sculptures pepper the grounds and invite different interpretations and feelings within everyone who views them.

Second, for anyone who loves theology or biblical artifacts and history, you’ll definitely want to visit the Museum of the Bible. Exhibits include The People of the Land: History and Archaeology of Ancient Israel, which features pottery and various items used in everyday life of antiquity. This exhibit aims to teach museum goers more about the life of those in ancient Israel. Treasures from the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Library is another stunning exhibit, featuring several ancient manuscripts and other artifacts from the Vatican and its library.

Mount Vernon, the famed home of General and President George Washington, is open to the public and a great choice for a day trip. Come and learn all about our founding father and first president at his beloved home. His entire life is on display, from his humble beginnings in Virginia, to becoming a beloved general, to being elected to become our first president. You’ll also learn about his wife and various aspects of his life through the things he left behind. For the history buff, this is a must-see attraction.

Finally, the National Museum of Women in the Arts aims to celebrate women and their impact on the world of art and beyond. For as long as art has been celebrated, female artists have often been overlooked in favor of their male counterparts. The founder of this museum, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, determined to change that narrative. By opening her museum to all women artists everywhere, we are given a treasure trove of art by women who might not have been showcased otherwise. From paintings to sculptures to photographs, you’ll have a fantastic time perusing all the amazing art women have to offer the world.

Your trip to Washington, DC doesn’t have to involve visiting all the monuments, there is plenty of other things to do as well as the city slowly reopens. However, if you’d like to tour the Mall and the monuments, they are open to the public. Take a day to explore these recommendations and have yourself an adventure today.

Links

On Air Parking (DCA) – https://www.onairparking.com/parking/Ronald-Reagan-Washington-National-Airport-DCA

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden – https://www.nga.gov/collection/sculpture-garden.html

Museum of the Bible – https://www.museumofthebible.org/

Mount Vernon – https://www.mountvernon.org/

National Museum of Women in the Arts – https://nmwa.org/

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near DCA

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Arlington Public Health Division

2100 Washington Blvd

Arlington, VA 22204

703.228.1200

Several Arlington retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         CVS

·         Safeway

·         Harris Teeter

·         Giant Pharmacy

·         Safeway Pharmacy

Some hospitals and clinics are also offering the vaccination.  Make sure to call ahead of time as, most often, appointments are required.

·         CN Internal Medicine

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International Meals for Delivery in Washington, DC to Quell Your #Wanderlust

Most of us are experiencing major wanderlust these days as the pandemic has prevented everyone from traveling as much as they would like. A creative way to explore other countries without even leaving your apartment is by delving into authentic cuisine. If you’re located in Washington, DC, you probably already know you’re surrounded by amazing international food options. Here are some restaurants with pickup and delivery options so you can sample the world’s many flavors and stay safe from COVID, too:

Japan: Daikaya

There’s not much more comforting in these winter months than a warm bowl of soup, and if you want to add international flavor, get some ramen. Daikaya offers a selection of comforting broths, noodles, and add-ons and they even have instructions for combining and reheating your takeout ramen order here!

Spain: Jaleo

Are you a night owl? Then you’ll want to make like the Spanish do and eat dinner LATE. Open for delivery until 9 pm, Jaleo has you covered for tapas, paella, chorizo, olives, and sangria. Since opening Jaleo in 1993, Chef José Andrés has been capturing Spanish flavors with traditional ingredients and cutting-edge techniques. The hard work has paid off, as the restaurant has been featured in the 2018 Michelin Guide.

The Caribbean: Cane

In these dark days of winter, we all want to be on a beach sipping rum. But when you can’t do that, you can still sip rum on your couch and enjoy traditional Caribbean roti tiffin boxes of curry, jerk, and slaw. Cane is owned and operated by a brother and sister from Trinidad and Tobago who are bringing the diverse tastes of their home island -influenced by African, Indian, Spanish, French, and East Asian foods- to you!

The Middle East: Maydān

Can’t decide on a particular country -or even continent? How about enjoying the varied flavors of the Middle East and North Africa? You’ll enjoy a meal centered around bread baked in clay ovens that you can enjoy with a variety of roasted vegetables, dips, spreads, meats, and salads. Check out their special to-go menu, which includes wine and cocktails.

The Philippines: Bad Saint

This tiny restaurant packs a real flavor punch! And now you can sample their creative Filipino dishes and craft cocktails at home. Delicious options include roast pork with steamed buns, chilled octopus salad, and vegetable stew in peanut sauce. In case you want more goodies to enjoy later, they also have an online “pantry” where you can get house-made sauces, CSA boxes, and Filipino grocery items.

Mexico: Taqueria Habanero

Taco Tuesday called, and it misses you. Luckily, Taqueria Habanero has 14 different taco options daily! You’ll be supporting a family-owned business while eating true Mexican food cooked by Chef Dio Montero, who is from Puebla, Mexico then immigrated to the US 15 years ago, and worked his way up from dishwasher to line cook to restaurant owner. So, get your Mexican fix with authentic food, fresh tortillas, and -if you want to go all out- to-go margaritas.

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