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I’ve been living in the D.C. area for a year and half now. When we first moved to the area, we explored D.C. every weekend, learning what the city had to offer and loving every minute of it. The city is only a metro ride away, but in the last 6 months we’ve stopped venturing into the city and started exploring more of MD. The only time we go into the city now is when we have visitors that want to see D.C. tourist-style.  Although the basics are always the same, there is always something new in every D.C. experience.

If you only have only one day to explore what D.C. has to offer, here are some of my suggestions…

Start the day off with a morning at Eastern Market.

Eastern Market is located in the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood. Eastern Market is a large fresh food market. Outside there are stands with fresh fruits and vegetables, and inside there’s a long hall full of meats, fish, breads, cheeses, etc. that you can buy to take home, or sit down and eat there.

There is also a flea market full of crafts, jewlery, paintings, pottery. And old shops that sell rugs, toys, or books to explore. It’s a great place to spend the morning exploring, and sampling a lot of fresh foods.

When you are through exploring the market, stroll down 7th street, which takes you from Eastern Market to the Capitol, and the start of the National Mall.

During the summer, there are always festivals taking place on the National Mall lawns. Every season brings something different going on there. Winter has the christmas tree lighting and ice skating, Spring brings the cherry blossom festival, and Fall brings screenings of movies on the lawn and Veteran’s day activities.

Take a break from the heat and enjoy some AC and history by exploring some of the Smithsonian Museums (that have free admission)! We happened to choose the National Museum of American History.

Walking the National Mall can take all day because of all the things  going on (museums, concerts, festivals, tours, etc).

By the end of the day you will be tired, but feeling quite patriotic.

Then I recommend walking back to 7th street and taking it up a few blocks into Chinatown, which has a variety of restaurants, bars, lounges, breweries, clubs, whatever you are looking for after a long day of walking.

We went to Matchbox, where after an hour and a half wait, we enjoyed a delicious brick oven baked pizza, and cocktails.

If you have more than a day there are tons of other fun neighborhoods to explore in D.C. like the waterfront in Georgetown or DuPont Circle or U-street or Adam’s Morgan.

Have you been to D.C.? What are some of your favorite touristy or non-touristy spots?