The Maine Avenue Fish Market is famously full-service. Most vendors will cook the seafood to order, tossing customers’ favored crabs into massive vats of boiling water. You can also elect to have your seafood seasoned in true Chesapeake Bay fashion: a heavy-handed dose of the ubiquitous Old Bay. Know Before You Go: The market is located under the I-395 overpass and open seven days a week. The largest selection of fish is displayed over the weekend.
A real estate developer commissioned Atlanta-based painter HENSE (http://hensethename.com) to enliven the facade with an artistic intervention. A colorful mural now wraps around the building like a Basquiat meets Jackson Pollock billboard. The psychedelic-looking graffiti continues throughout the interior. Downstairs there is space for a gallery of rotating art exhibits, and a portion of the grounds are now used as a community garden. Know Before You Go: The gallery is open Wednesdays from 5-8, and weekends 12-5. You can check the event schedule on their website: www.swartsclub.org/calendar/
Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic Church in North America, is an imposing structure with 70 different chapels. In June 2000 the church added in Mary’s Garden, an oasis often overlooked by the millions who visit the shrine each year.
The circular garden is located on the north terrace. At one end of the garden is a reflecting pool and a life-size limestone statue of the Virgin Mary. Know Before You Go: Mary’s Garden is on the Northwest corner of the Basilica near Harewood Road NE. There is a walking path leading to the garden from the sidewalk along Harewood Road NE and from the CUA campus. The Basilica and Mary’s Garden are near the Brookland/CUA metro (red line).
All are welcome to ride, as long as you’re willing to pay the ticket price of $3.50. Know Before You Go: Easy walking access to the carousel is available from the Smithsonian metro station. The carousel is open daily from 10 to 6 (10-5 in the winter).
Know Before You Go: The Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stop (www.wmata.com) opens at the intersection, and the Friendship Arch is across H Street.
Walkers can get a good look at the artwork from any of the corners, but upstairs at one of the adjacent buildings gives a nice view of the entire intersection. Pothole repair has taken a bit of a toll, but hopefully the dragons will be fully restored soon.
In the early 70s it had fallen into disuse, hitting rock bottom when it served as one of Waste Management’s trash transfer stations in the 90s and early 2000s. The company tried to have the arena demolished in 2003, but it was designated as a historic space. The space has been repurposed as the city’s first REI store. There is no plaque or sign on the building today denoting its historic status, but you can still admire the legendary venue from the street before it’s too late. Know Before You Go: The easiest way to reach the arena is by taking Metro's Red Line to the NoMa-Gallaudet U Station.
Today, you can tour the grounds for free or receive a docent-lead tour of the house for a small fee. Periodic D.C. Obscura Society events at Tudor Place will get you in to see the bomb shelter, which is not on the standard tour. Know Before You Go: There are stairs and no A/C so dress accordingly. It is almost a 15 minute walk from the Dupont Circle Metro, but it's an easy walk down Q street. You can see some great old Georgetown brownstones along the way. Tours are on the hour, with the final one leaving at 3:00 pm.
A well-researched investigation by the Otis Elevator Company archivist for Invention & Technology showed that it’s actually a Bates elevator, most likely dating to the 1870s or 1880s. Before Potbelly moved into the space in recent years, the building was occupied by an antiques store run by several generations of the Litwin family. Know Before You Go: There used to be a plaque but it has recently gone missing. *This would be a good place to eat lunch.*
Know Before You Go: This bronze statue of Albert Einstein is tucked away among some trees outside the National Academy of Sciences. It's located across the street from the National Mall, within walking distance of the Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials. Pictures with Albert are welcome by the NAS. The NAS is also a short walk to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where there is another piece by sculptor Robert Berks – the famous bust of JFK. The statue also has a fun "easter egg:" if you stand exactly in the middle of the star chart, face Albert, and speak (or sing or yodel) there is a neat echo effect.
Go for a hike through Glover-Archbold park, just beyond Georgetown University, and you may happen upon this mysterious rusting hulk. The steel pratt-truss bridge floats high overhead and disappears at either end into the camouflage of densely overgrown canopy.
the beloved Shaw lily gardens were preserved and added to Anacostia Park. Know Before You Go: The Aquatic Gardens are open 8-4 during the summer and 9-5 during the winter. Closest metro stop is Deanwood on the Orange Line.
The Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, now houses the throne on the first floor, near the southwest corner, in the Folk Art exhibit. The most dramatic way to approach the Throne is from the north, coming through the Special Exhibitions section.
Know Before You Go: Since you probably can’t get an excavation permit to dig up the street, for the fossil versions check out the Geology exhibits and experts at the National Geographic Museum at 1145 17th Street, NW, or the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History on the National Mall. Fossilized trees from the Northwest DC area are part of the permanent collections at both museums.
Know Before You Go: The Memorial is at the south end of Southwest Waterfront Park on the Washington Channel. It's at the northern corner of Fort McNair, off P Street and 4th Street in Southwest DC, and six blocks west of the Nationals Ballpark.