How to Avoid the Summer Tourists

o-WASHINGTON-DC-TOURISM-GROWTH-facebookWhy anyone would want to visit a former swamp in the peak heat and humidity absolutely boggles me. But now that school is out for summer, D.C. is going to be crawling with tourists and school groups. There must be something in the summer air that makes it prime time for fanny packs and neck wallets.

Here’s the (un)official guide on how to avoid the summer tourists:

1. Do not get off at the Smithsonian metro stop. Even if this is the closest stop to where you want to go, walk a little extra and get off at the next-closest metro stop.  Otherwise, it will just be a frustrating experience when tourists don’t understand that you stand on the right and walk on the left.  Seriously, just don’t.


2. Speaking of Smithsonian, don’t visit the most popular museums on weekends (Air and Space, American History, and Natural History). Over the summer, they host After-Hours Open Houses on Thursday nights, which are much more worth your time.  If you’re dying to visit a museum on a Saturday or Sunday, consider checking out some of the lesser known ones like the Freer-Sackler Gallery or the Hirshorn.

3. Market more wisely. Eastern Market is a great place but you have to get there early enough to a) get bluebuck pancakes at Market Lunch and b) not suffer from claustrophobia, courtesy of every tourist.  Union Market is a tad more out of the way, but it’s a lot less known to non-Washingtonians and the set-up is a foodie’s heaven.  For markets more close to home, Dupont Circle has an amazing farmers’ market on Sundays and there is a cool pop-up farmers/flea market across from Safeway on Sundays.

4. Go to a Nationals baseball game. They might not be “your team,” but they are your home team for 10 months out of the year and I can guarantee that there will be minimal tourists there.  Students can get pretty cheap tickets and they also offer great group packages.  To top it all off, check out the Bullpen before heading in for slightly less pricey food and drink.


5. Shop M Street during weekday nights. You live in Georgetown (or Burleith) which is perfect walking distance to prime shopping.  M Street is next to impossible to walk on weekends and if you’re on a mission for the perfect outfit, everyone will get in your way and/or take your size.  On weekdays, the stores are surprisingly not in shambles (even the sale section!) and employees are much more attentive (so they can tell you just how perfect your perfect outfit looks on you).


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